Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Spearmint, English Mint
Mentha spicata

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mentha (MEN-thuh) (Info)
Species: spicata (spi-KAH-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Mentha viridis
Synonym:Mentha spicata var. ciliata

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

77 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 21 photos.
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9 positives
2 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive NCMstGardener On Apr 20, 2013, NCMstGardener from Columbus, NC wrote:

Yes Spearmint can be invasive so you need to make sure it is be controlled in either a restricted bed or a pot. It is worth the effort because it is great in the kitchen. If you are going to grow it be sure and get 'Kentucky Colonel' which is the only named cultivar. It has larger leaves than the species and of course makes the best mint juleps.

Positive JoannCooper On Apr 1, 2013, JoannCooper from Bluffton, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

Having this plant to use in drinks and for cooking makes it worth a little extra effort to contain. If you want to plant it in the garden, put it in a large plastic nursery container and sink the container in the ground. Leave the top of the container about 1 inch above the gound so that the runners on the plant can't escape. Divide the plant every few years. All mints are easy to propagate by putting cuttings in a glass of water. The plant flourishs in a damp area in full sun and isn't much bothered by pests or disease. It does die back in cold weather, but begins new growth early in spring.

Many new mints are available in garden centers now, and I also have orange mint, chocolate mint, and grapefruit mint in my garden. One can become quite a collector of mints these days!

My grandmother had a patch of spearmint growing at the edge of a stream in the cow pasture. I remember how lush and fragrant it was. We would gather it to put in ice tea and to make mint jelly. Thanks to my 'Grammie' for a wonderful memory.

Positive BUFFY690 On Jun 28, 2011, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Growing in a 24 inch container with, thyme, oregano, and lettuce. Keeping it pruned and drying the leaves has been a great experiment for the kids. They also love to eat it fresh and throw a leaf in their iced tea. Keeping this plant pruned is one trick to keep it's invasive character under control...I also keep mine a little on the reyer side to discourage the underground runners from being quite so aggressive.

Negative ThomPotempa On Dec 10, 2010, ThomPotempa from Houston, TX wrote:

Mistake putting this in the garden with other herbs... it took over.

Positive jmorth On Dec 3, 2009, jmorth from Divernon, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Mine are regulated to a portion of the garden left to grow wild, it competes with dayflower, ivy, and Chinese Lanterns holding it's own.
Great with iced tea on a hot summer's day.

Neutral biyu_wolf On Apr 19, 2008, biyu_wolf from Milwaukee, WI wrote:

ive grown 2 different spearamint plants one was really leggy an didnt spread much nor did it survive the winter outdoors in pots the outher from a local nursery looked much more like whats shown in the images just it got mint rust only on the leaves (ive been growing mints fer years now like 4 it started with chocolate mint which i still have an love) good thing it didnt spread to my outher mints bewarte of rust on this mint!!!

an fer bthose that say its too invasive i use pots on the patio an i LOVE it (prevents weeds really well)

Positive Kenotia On May 2, 2007, Kenotia from Bedford, TX wrote:

Extremely invasive if you don't curtail it's growing to a container - will easily overtake and choke out other plants. On a lighter note, the plants and flowers smell wonderful and you can pinch shoots to boil in water for tea. Makes a wonderful addition to a potted butterfly garden or a patio plant. One plant can replicate itself several times using offshoots, so one plant per 6" container should suffice. I have one of these plants paired with a Catmint plant and they battle each other out - I would say if you want to pair these up with something else, only plant these with equally invasive fast-growing plants.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 27, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Excellent in tea or as tea. Be sure to keep it contained! Cut back often to prevent flowering and encourage new growth. Seed is slow to germinate.

Positive foodiesleuth On Jun 14, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Spearmint, called Yerbabuena in Spanish is the traditional mint to use when making the Cuban "Mojito" rum drink.

Grows well in my yard in a contained area.

Positive Chinook84 On Jun 13, 2004, Chinook84 from Rolla, MO wrote:

Makes a gorgeous "bush" type plant depending on how you trim it up. Mine reach 2 1/2 feet tall each year, I stay on top of it often not allowing it to get out in the yard. Mine never get the chance to flower as we use and sell the dried mint leaves.

Positive Chamma On Mar 27, 2003, Chamma from Tennille, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

No garden here is complete without Nana or mint! It is used in greensalads, tea, and on vegetable trays. Wonderful in a sandwich .... Feta cheese, black olives and mint inside fresh pita bread!
I grow it from cuttings! just pick some up from the grocery store and put it in a glass of water near the kitchen window for a few days. Once it roots I plant it! I am fortunate to have gotten my hands on Morroccan mint! It has a larger leaf than the local mint.

Negative lynn55 On Mar 12, 2003, lynn55 wrote:

Be aware, this plant will take over a large area. I made the mistake of planting this in my garden two years ago without realizing how intrusive it is. I am wondering on how I can get rid of it without affecting my other flowers in the same area.

Neutral lupinelover On Jan 24, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Like all the mints, spearmint readily crosses, so does not come true from seed. The cultivar 'Kentucky Colonel' is one of the best for flavor. It grows bigger than most, up to 3'.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Tucson, Arizona
Amesti, California
Hawthorne, California
Merced, California
Oak View, California
West Hollywood, California
Aurora, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Largo, Florida
Longwood, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
Miami, Florida
Saint Augustine, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Gainesville, Georgia
Roswell, Georgia
Honomu, Hawaii
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Chicago, Illinois
Divernon, Illinois
Wichita, Kansas
Ewing, Kentucky
Franklin, Louisiana
Independence, Louisiana
Marrero, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Oakland, Maryland
Middleville, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Hawley, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Brandon, Mississippi
Blue Springs, Missouri
Rolla, Missouri
Carson City, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
Greenville, New Hampshire
Hackettstown, New Jersey
Roswell, New Mexico
Bronx, New York
Deposit, New York
Union Springs, New York
Columbus, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Glouster, Ohio
Lancaster, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Milford, Pennsylvania
Millville, Pennsylvania
West Warwick, Rhode Island
Westerly, Rhode Island
Bluffton, South Carolina
Prosperity, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Soddy Daisy, Tennessee
Allen, Texas
Austin, Texas
Bedford, Texas
Belton, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Carrollton, Texas
Danbury, Texas
Fabens, Texas
Houston, Texas
Humble, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Terlingua, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Colville, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Morgantown, West Virginia
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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