Growing Mojito Mint Herb Plants in Northeast Florida Herb Gardens
(Mentha x villosa)
Mohito Mint (Mentha x Villosa ) For Northeast Florida Uses and Origins:
Mojito mint, a Cuban native, is the secret ingredient in the common alcoholic drink the Mojito. It is made with rum, Mojito mint leaves, powdered sugar, the juice of a lime, and some club soda. Mojito mint has large decorative leaves and a distinct flavor that is hard to put into words, it is often described as mild, but still somehow rich and warm. To me the flavor of Mojito mint is just spectacular!
It’s my favorite new mint selection, the large leaves and distinct flavor of Mojito Mint herb plants make it a perfect addition to any tea. “LaurieMM”, a garden commenter on the popular garden chat site ‘Dave`s Garden’ commented that “it makes the most delicious and amazing tea” Well, after reading that who wouldn’t try it? I did, and she is right, just plain mint tea made using only crushed Mojito mint leaves is delightful. But if you are not a big tea drinker try using Mojito mint for mint jellies, meat marinades, salads, mint sauce, and herb vinegars and oils. Or try chewing the leaves for minty fresh breath. You can also just throw crushed mint leaves into your hot bath for “mint aromatherapy” to make a relaxing and rejuvenating bath water after a long day.
Growing Season for Northeast Florida Mojito Mint Plants / Mentha x villosa:
Almost all types of mint herb plants that can be grown in Northeast Florida are hardy perennial plant selections for Florida gardeners. They can be grown year round in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden. This image was taken in early February just a few days after 27 degree temperatures!
Plant from S & J Nursery containers or bury a stem, or root division, from a friend’s plant.
Mint grows quickly here in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden.
Sun Exposure for Mojito Mint ( Mentha x villosa ) in Northeast Florida, Jacksonville and St. Augustine area landscapes:
Plant Mojito mint plants in areas where it will receive morning sun and afternoon shade for best results in Jacksonville and St. Augustine area gardens.
Partial shade is preferred to full sun locations that can be a bit overpowering on Mojito mint herb plants during the heat of the summer. Filtered light under taller canopy trees will work nicely as well.
Mojito mint makes an excellent indoor house plant in a nice window location. When planting Mojito mint herb plants on a porch, patio, or as an indoor house plant, place them in a location to receive at least 4 hours of light each day.
Soil Preference for Mojito Mint Herb Plants in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida Area Gardens:
Mojito mint plants will prefer moist, but well draining soils. Mojito mint is not particular about the components of the soil that it is planted into, but tends to like the soil a bit drier than most mint herb plants you may be familiar with.
When planting Mojito Mint into the ground, amend the soil generously with compost. It acts as a sponge and helps to keep the soil moist and well drained.
Mint herb plants make a great container plant as well, as the plant and root system take up very little room. Mint roots are very shallow in the soil, almost right at the surface, so there is no need for a deep pot. You may want to consider adding a soil moisture retention granule like soil moist to your potting soil mix to help conserve water, the smaller the container that your mint plant is potted into, the quicker the soil will dry out.
Water and Fertilizer Requirements of Mojito Mint Herb Plants:
Newly planted Mojito mint herb plants will require watering every day for the first few days, then taper back watering to three times a week, then twice a week for in-ground plants and three to four times a week for potted containers.
In general herbs require little in the way of fertilizer. To much fertilizer with herbs can be worse than not enough. Over fertilization can lead to lush green growth with a reduced quantity of volatile oils in the leaves. Reduced oils, means reduced flavor and aroma in your herbs.
However, in Florida’s sandy soils you may find your plants in some need of some help, particularly if compost wasn’t added to the soil when planting.
Granular Fertilizer for Herb Plants:
On water loving herbs like Celery or Mint, I like to add granular Milorganite® fertilizer to the compost when potting or planting my herbs. Milorganite helps the soil retain moisture and fertilizes your plant with a great quality organic that will not burn the new fiber hair roots that your herb plant will start putting out into the surrounding soil once planted from it’s S & J Nursery container.
Foliar spray Fertilizer for Herb Plants:
Fertilize with a mixture of liquid fish emulsions and seaweed at one ounce of each per gallon of water. Put into a sprayer and water every other week or as needed with the mixed solution.
If you find your plant struggling at any point, make up a batch of compost tea and water generously. Repeat as needed weekly or biweekly.
Size of Mojito Mint Herb Plants When Mature:
The mature size of a Mohito Mint plant will be between 18 and 24 inches high. Mint will root into the surrounding soil anywhere the foliage has contact and continue growing and spreading if left unchecked. Many gardeners confine mint by planting into raised beds or potted containers.
Sowing Mojito Mint Herb Plant Seeds into Northeast Florida Soils:
Mint seeds are often sterile and mint seeds that are not sterile have a high level of variability to the seedlings they will produce, they do not ‘come true’ from seed. So you often don’t get a mint plant similar to the one you were hoping for when you plant mint seeds. For that reason, mint is propagated by divisions of existing clumps or by sticking cuttings into moist soil for them to root and grow.
Harvesting Mojito Mint Herb foliage in the Northeast Florida Landscape:
Mint herb plants can be harvested year round, although the leaves should be at their best in spring and again in fall in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area landscape.
Fresh mint leaves are best when available, but still retain good flavor and color when stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for a few days.
If you have harvested more than you need to use, throw them into the blender with a little bit of water and pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze. Add to your tea for a refreshing burst of flavor.
Dried Mint leaves should be stored in an airtight container in a cool dark area.
Blooms of Mojito Mint Herbs for Northeast Florida Landscape:
Mint flowers range from white to pink and are born on stem tips during late spring and early summer.