Mentha Species, Common Spearmint, Garden Mint, Lamb Mint, Mackerel Mint

Mentha spicata

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mentha (MEN-thuh) (Info)
Species: spicata (spi-KAH-tuh) (Info)
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:



White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Tucson, Arizona

Amesti, California

Corralitos, California

Elkhorn, California

Hawthorne, California

Interlaken, California

Long Beach, California

Merced, California

Oak View, California

Pajaro, California

Watsonville, 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

Barnum, Minnesota

Grand Portage, Minnesota

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

Dallas, Texas

Danbury, Texas

Fabens, Texas

Houston, Texas

Humble, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Palestine, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Terlingua, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Colville, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Morgantown, West Virginia

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 13, 2017, lakabarra from Katoomba,
Australia wrote:

I don't get it I always thought Mentha spicata as mentioned here was spearmint, but another entry says M x suavis is spearmint?


On Apr 11, 2015, paulstapp from Lynnwood, WA wrote:

I am trying to grow this mentha from seed from pinetreeseeds. I used seed growing medium and put two to there seeds per cubical. under fluorescent shop lights with a clear plastic to keep the seeds damp. And guess what - there are all these little plants now . Grandma Clara would be proud of me.

At 81 she got a job to reflower the flowers in smokey mountain national park. Tourists had made some species close to extinction by over picking, but Grandma Clara brought them back. I am happy.


On Apr 20, 2013, NCMstGardener from Columbus, NC (Zone 7b) 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.


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 thes... read more


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.


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

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


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.


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)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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'.