Chocolate Mint, Peppermint
Mentha x piperita subsp. citrata 'Chocolate'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mentha (MEN-thuh) (Info)
Species: x piperita subsp. citrata
Cultivar: Chocolate

Category:

Herbs

Height:

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

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

Danger:

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Violet/Lavender

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Bronze-Green

Aromatic

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

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

Regional

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

, (2 reports)

Florala, Alabama

Marbury, Alabama

Midland City, Alabama

Glendale, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Atascadero, California

Banning, California

Brea, California

Hanford, California

Highgrove, California

Menifee, California

Merced, California (2 reports)

Mission Viejo, California

Mountain View, California

Oakland, California

Paradise, California

Perris, California

Redwood City, California

San Jose, California

San Pablo, California

Stockton, California

West Hollywood, California

Palisade, Colorado

Bartow, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Deland, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Navarre, Florida

Oakland, Florida

Ocoee, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Mcdonough, Georgia

Roswell, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Hawaiian Ocean View, Hawaii

Antioch, Illinois

Cherry Valley, Illinois

Itasca, Illinois

Staunton, Illinois

Williamsville, Illinois

Avon, Indiana

Bluffton, Indiana

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Logansport, Indiana

Van Buren, Indiana

Iowa City, Iowa

Derby, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas

Benton, Kentucky

Brodhead, Kentucky

Ewing, Kentucky

Smiths Grove, Kentucky

Waynesburg, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Deridder, Louisiana

Independence, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Cumberland, Maryland

Foxboro, Massachusetts

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Woburn, Massachusetts

Beaverton, Michigan

Columbiaville, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Middleville, Michigan

Owosso, Michigan

White Pigeon, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Florence, Mississippi

Poplarville, Mississippi

Saucier, Mississippi

Freehold, New Jersey

Hopatcong, New Jersey

Plainfield, New Jersey

Plainsboro, New Jersey

West Orange, New Jersey

Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Champlain, New York

Clinton, New York

Deposit, New York

Ithaca, New York

Ogdensburg, New York

Syracuse, New York

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Jacksonville, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Waynesville, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Lancaster, Ohio

Williamsburg, Ohio (2 reports)

Jay, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (2 reports)

Owasso, Oklahoma

Molalla, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Bangor, Pennsylvania

Brookhaven, Pennsylvania

Ephrata, Pennsylvania

Essington, Pennsylvania

Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Hummelstown, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2 reports)

Troy, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania (2 reports)

Charleston, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

Edisto Island, South Carolina

Brookings, South Dakota

Clarksville, Tennessee

Crossville, Tennessee (2 reports)

Soddy Daisy, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Deer Park, Texas

Elgin, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas (2 reports)

Huntsville, Texas

Kilgore, Texas

Lake Dallas, Texas

Odessa, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Rusk, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring, Texas

Tyler, Texas

West, Texas

Charlottesville, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Palmyra, Virginia

Wytheville, Virginia

Centralia, Washington

Clearlake, Washington

Colville, Washington

Concrete, Washington

Enumclaw, Washington

Grand Mound, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Moxee, Washington

Orting, Washington

Seattle, Washington (2 reports)

Spokane, Washington

Volga, West Virginia

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Twin Lakes, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

22
positives
9
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Positive

On Jun 11, 2013, Cville_Gardener from Clarksville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Wonderful smell ... it does, indeed, smell like chocolate along with the mint. It appreciates some shade in my climate. Protect from afternoon sun and be sure to keep it moist whether in a pot or in the ground. Delightful!

Positive

On Mar 11, 2013, Insectivore from Dickson, TN wrote:

I have only had mine for a few days, but I just love it!!! It has already grown. I just love it. I have a question though, I have been really wanting many types of mint, if anyone has other types and would send me some cuttings, please message me. :D

Neutral

On Oct 22, 2012, Annandal from Crossville, TN wrote:

Choc mint can spread fairly rapidly, as it seems to perpetually like new ground. But it is easy to pull out! We take the plants that we have pulled up, put them in a bucket, and -- while we watch TV -- pull off the leaves. After washing these leaves, we put them in fresh water, bring it to a boil, put a lid on the pan and leave overnight. The next day, we strain, add a little honey or sugar, and put this choco-mint tea either into the refrigerator or freeze into ice cubes that can be stored in plastic zip-bags for whenever you need them. Great for receptions or just summer sipping on the deck or patio.

Negative

On Oct 22, 2012, flamg1rl from Highland, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I am in the toddler stage of gardening so would appreciate any feedback. I LOVE this plant. I found one along with an Apple Mint early this summer and planted them on each end of a raised flower bed filled with only "garden soil". I live in Southern California and the "soil" is only VERY HARD packed dirt. They both initially did well; however, they both died quickly (absolutely fried). Very disappointed but would like to try again. Questions: 1) Could I have over watered because we had an extremely HOT summer? 2) Although spaced very far apart in each corner, the bed also contained tomato, cucumber, and eggplant. Should I have kept them completely separated? 3) The garden bed is in the Southwest portion of my "yard", (dirt!). Should/could I keep it growing in pots? 4) I have a bird bath t... read more

Neutral

On May 24, 2011, jera29 from Colorado Springs, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

i have a few questions:

i live in colorado. as of right now it is may and only around 30-40 at night. is it ok to plant my mint right now outdoors or do i wait?

what other herbs are good for first time growers to get a great aromatic herb garden going? ( i will mostly be using them for looks/scents and attracting birds/butterflys etc.)

i bought the plant 3 days ago, replanted it in a slightly larger pot, and the leaves are already turning yellow...
my question is can potting soil go 'bad'? (it is over 2 years old and nothing seems to grow in it anymore so i assume the answer is yes?)

so i cant give it a yay or nay yet, but so far i love this plant because of the strong aroma and greenage. i have yet to taste it but as a n... read more

Neutral

On Oct 25, 2010, tcs1366 from Leesburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I received a 'piece' one winter, in the mail a few years ago in trade. I guess I was unaware of what i was getting into when i asked for it. I wasn't crazy about it, so i just planted it way out back, in the "back forty" just thinking it would die.

here it is 2.5 yrs later, and WOW has it taken over. I guess if I would have researched it a bit, I would have put it in a pot on the patio. I think I may be able to trim it back a bit. Yes it does have a nice scent -- but sure can take over -- not sure if it is invasive or not, but sure is a nuisance for me.

didnt wanna give it a negative though...

Positive

On Oct 1, 2010, suewylan from North Fork, CA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This, and my pineapple mint grow in clay soil that gets little water. Mid summer I trim the pineapple sage to 6 inches but Chocolate doesn't seem to spread even after 3 years. This Chocolate mint grows together with Artemesia 'Curlicue sage' and Brachychome, all under a Box Elder tree.

Positive

On Jun 23, 2010, Sundownr from (Bev) Wytheville, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love the smell of this plant and addicted to its peppermint patty flavor when added to cakes, cookies, breads, coffee, tea, etc. The plant is very hardy and invasive as previously mentioned... it just wants to share it's good taste!

Positive

On Apr 29, 2010, MarshaW from Bluffton, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love the flavor of chocolate mint better than any mint I've had. I've had trouble getting other mints to grow but not this one, so far. I bought one single plant last spring. My husband planted it in a square he had divided for herbs in our garden. I guess he didn't believe me that it needed the roots contained. The divisions are only boards laying on the soil. This spring we have mint in three of the squares plus in the adjoining vegetable garden, all from a single plant a year ago. I'm looking forward to lots of mint iced tea this summer, and when I say mint tea, it's strictly mint with no black or green tea. I rinse a few sprigs of mint and toss them in a pan of water, bring it to a simmer and let it sit to cool, strain it, dilute if too strong, sometimes I add artificial sweetener, s... read more

Positive

On Apr 10, 2010, JonthanJ from Logansport, IN wrote:

When I go to dig this up the scent from the roots is fierce. The friend who gave it to me said it was the secret ingredient in her pesto.

Neutral

On Feb 3, 2010, nettai wrote:

I'm living in the tropics where the temperature can go as hot as 90+ degrees, but the plant's still living for quite a while. My seller told me to water it once every two days but knowing the nature of this plant, I just watered it every day. It doesn't look as lively as I've seen in pictures posted here, but seems that it's hardy enough to thrive in a place as hot as here.

I don't place it on direct sun, though, because I know for sure the sun will burn the plant and I might be forced to use them all for tea.

Positive

On Jul 17, 2009, drecenra from Orting, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have this plant groing in a barrel half on my back deck. It's bright, but mostly shaded; it gets a couple hours of sun mid-day and that's it. Does great and really does smell like chocolate. Taste's great with tea.

Positive

On Jul 9, 2009, JoniJumpUp from Grand Rapids, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have had this plant for 10 years. Got a start from a friend. It is very invasive, so I keep it in a pot sunk in the garden.

Positive

On Jun 22, 2009, Bunghole from Centralia, WA wrote:

My aunt who lives in Rochester, WA originally found this plant living in a swamp in her backyard. She took a small portion of it, and put it in a bucket with water (because it originally grew in water) & it lived for quite a while, and she separated a piece of it for me. I then went back home and planted it in a pot about 8" inches across by 6" inches deep. In 5 months it had such significant root growth, that when i went to transplant it, it was just a mess of roots packed together. It was still going strong though!!! I then planted it in my backyard, where in 1 month, it has tripled in size, and all I used to get it going was organic plant food. The soil here isn't ideal for a plant that is used to water!!! The soil is very dense & a large amount of rocks. I uploaded a picture of how ... read more

Positive

On Mar 30, 2009, giftgas from Everson, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I put this plant directly in the ground, and it's not that big of a deal - Perhaps because it's always being pulled up and consumed. :) This peppermint has unbelievable taste and smell.

Positive

On Jun 7, 2008, virginbred from Edisto Island, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

this plant is extremely hardy in my zone 8b...winters over well and comes back year after year...it got into my pond and has completely surrounded the banks growing in the waters edge and now growing up the banks...i would be interested in knowing if this could be a deterrent for snakes???

Positive

On Jun 4, 2008, ChefMama from Avon, IN wrote:

Chocolate Mint is easily contained in the garden by sinking a plastic pot, with the bottom removed, into the bed. Leave the pot edge about 2" above the soil. I mulch around the outer edge of the pot to help conceal it. The plant will need to be divided when growth ceases to be vigorous. (About every three years, depending on the size of the pot used.)

Positive

On Nov 24, 2007, gray_53 from Mcdonough, GA wrote:

I love the peppermint patty smell, but something weird keeps happening with mine. It grows to fill the pot, and then dies. And then slowly comes back to life, fills the pot, and dies. Rinse, repeat. Right now it's got a couple inch-high sprouts, amidst a sea of dead peppermint stem. What am I doing wrong?!

Neutral

On Nov 7, 2007, sevidra from Rockaway, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:

I personally love this plant - in pots.

It grows surprisingly quickly, doesn't seem to care whether I stick it in a half-sunny window or a full-sun one, and is distinctly non-picky about water. The only changes are how leggy it gets and how quickly it flowers in the spring.

However, when I planted some in the garden, it soon spread to three or four times the space I'd allowed for all three types of mint I had growing there, and very nearly took over instead of the other two, missing that margin due solely to my rescuing them into pots of their own.

Plant it with caution, preferably in containers - but it's a lovely smell, a wonderful lemonade mint, and smashing in icing for cakes.

Positive

On Aug 25, 2006, bbinnj from West Orange, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:

I agree with many comments. If you like peppermint patties, this is the mint for you. It is vigorous where I live (zone 6a). when I didn't have it in a pot, it tried to take over the lawn. Now it is behaving nicely in a pot, sending out runners every so often.
I read somewhere that with all the mints, harvest the leaves before any blooming for great flavor without bitterness. Hard to do that!

Positive

On Aug 5, 2006, Susannah_C from DFW area, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Fabulous mint -- perhaps my favorite of all the mints I grow (and I grow a LOT of mint). I have it in pots and between treads of a slate path. It's reasonably step-able, as long as the crushing is an occasional thing. But oh, what fragrance with every step!

I pinch a sprig off every morning to toss into a cup of tea, coffee, or in winter, hot chocolate. Also very good as a sort of "lace" edge presentation to a scoop of sorbet. I've never harvested the leaves to make a tea on their own, but I definitely add it to the hot or cold beverages I'm already brewing. I even give a little leaf of it to the dogs for "afters" when they've had a meal. Certainly eradicates dog food breath!

I love this plant -- all herbs really, but I can plead addictions to basil, ro... read more

Positive

On Jul 26, 2006, pete4399 from Beaverton, MI wrote:

This is my first year with Chocolate Mint. It seems to be taking off quite well. Spearmint (which I love) grows exceptionally well. I have never done much with these herbs and I would like to know how to use these as teas? Is there a web site to learn how to harvest your herbs?

Positive

On Jun 9, 2006, wjdlove77 from West, TX wrote:

I love this plant. I am very new at herb growing and don't realy know the best way to harvest do I clip the top or pinch leaves?

Positive

On May 15, 2006, innergies from Marbury, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I kept my chocolate mint in a shallow pot on top of a table and let it cascade down... BEAU-TI-FUL! The pot was under my front porch and only received a few hours of morning sun each day and evidently thay was plenty. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any this spring, but I'm still looking. Probably wouldn't plant it in a bed, because it does grow VERY fast and I would consider it invasive. But it's awesome in a pot.

Neutral

On Apr 12, 2006, chicochi3 from Fayetteville, AR (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant has been extremely invasive here. I really like it, so I don't have the heart to give it a negative. I pull it up by the handfuls and throw it away at least twice during the summer months in order to keep it at least part way under control.

Neutral

On May 23, 2005, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Chocolate mint smells exactly like a mix of chocolate and mint but tastes mintier than chocolatey (slight chocolate flavor) pretty shiny leaves with dark brown vening and dark brown stems.... Easy to grow.

Positive

On May 14, 2005, Photographer from Moxee, WA (Zone 4a) wrote:

Nice flavor and even better aroma. Our plant spreads but our area is basically a desert ....... so the dry soil and the speading is not to the point where I would ever complain. We're using it as a ground cover beneath a few of our 40 year old Leyland Cypress trees. The Chocolate Mint is attractive and the height. I like the different coloration from our Spearmint plant which is invasive.

Neutral

On Mar 22, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is my second year for this plant and it hasn't been invasive so far. We're in a fairly dry area and that may keep it from getting too carried away.

The scent is fantastic.

Positive

On Oct 2, 2004, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Chocolate Mint has a vining habit, as you will see when my pictures come through. All you have to do is snip off a piece with a couple of florets and leave it on top of soil.
It does not need any fertilizer, this may cause long roots and less flavor in the leaves.

You can use the layering method for it to propagate:

Without cutting the vine take a piece and lay it on top of the soil; use a very small piece of twig or popcicle stick and push it gently down on top of vine and into the soil, to hold the piece of vine down into the soil and in place. Leave the small piece of twig or popcicle stick there. After 2 weeks check the plant, it should have developed enough of it's own roots for you to snip it off of the parent plant. You then have a brand new plan... read more

Neutral

On Jun 2, 2004, Larabee from Houston, TX wrote:

This is a wonderful mint plant but it's pretty finicky here in zone 9a. Of all the mints my friends and I grow, this has been the most troublesome (it doesn't seem as hardy here as, say, spearmint or apple mint). We've found that when propagating with softwood cuttings, chocolate mint does much better when left in a vase of water to grow roots (add a pinch of rooting hormone to the water) than it does being dipped in rooting hormone and potted right away.

Positive

On Jul 7, 2003, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

In Florida, this plant needs partial shade and plenty of moisture. Give it a little space and it will perform well. I love to put the leaves in iced tea.

Positive

On Jul 5, 2003, moondancer from Milwaukee, WI wrote:

Chocolate Mint has a wonderful scent, much like that of a Peppermint Patty candy. If you grow it in the garden, place it in a large container, like a 5 gal bucket with drainage holes, otherwise it will take over. Great in teas, coffee, and baked goods. I cant get enough of it. Propagates easily from cuttings