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March 2010
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Chocolate Mint, how to grow and what are the conditions needed for its growth.

Chocolate mints Latin genus is Mentha piperita species and is not a native of our part of the world, but came from Europe. Growing mint, the world’s favorite flavor, has grown a new twist. The distinctive cool taste grows in more sweet varieties other than peppermint or spearmint. We are all well acquainted with chocolate mint.

Characteristics of Chocolate Mint

– Chocolate mint grows about 12 to 18 inches high.
– Chocolate mint does well in our zone 6 and is hardy to zone 3a.
– Chocolate mint blooms in late spring and early summer with violet-lavender blooms and the leaves are a wonderfully aromatic bronze-green.
– The bees and butterflies love it and even the birds seem to for some reason.
– Chocolate mint fills the surrounding air with a grand fragrance as one walks by.

Growing Conditions for Chocolate Mint

– This plant has two stages of growth. In the early spring, the plant produces flowers, and in the summer, the plant starts to send out shoots and runners.
– If chocolate mint is allowed to grow unchecked, it can become an unruly ground cover, and it has a slightly vine-like growth habit, so it can climb trees and shrubs.
– It’s happiest in partial shade but it will grow in any light from full sun to full shade and in any kind of soil you happen to have.
– The soil should be well-dug, fertile and water-retentive, but not water-logged.
– Set plants 12 to 18 inches apart, depending on the variety. To control their rampant ways, plant them in bottomless containers sunk into the soil. Clay drainage tiles, about 10 inches deep and 6 to 8 inches across, are ideal.

What Care should be taken

– A twice yearly feeding with bone meal will keep it even happier.
– Remove the flowers by hand as soon as they appear because if left, they will reduce the amount of leaves.
– Mint suffers from only one disease and that is rust – allow it to get a hold and it will kill all your mint plants. he best method is to examine each plant carefully for signs of rust (orange blobs generally on the underside of the leaves) and remove any leaves affected – spray as well with a chemical if you want.

Uses of Chocolate Mint

– It can be used as a garnish on salads, roasts, desserts, and a myriad of other dishes.
– Chocolate mint can be used in desserts; it can be added to sorbets and cakes.
– Chocolate mint can also make a very interesting star ingredient in mint sauce for Southeast Asian food, and it pairs well with spicy food.

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