Have you seen mint Flower?
Mint flowers every year, and the flowers, too, are used for many purposes. Let us look at the reasons why your mint plant is flowering?
Mint is a hardy perennial, which means that it can live for up to two years or more under suitable conditions.
When mint plants are ready for reproduction, they start to flower.
As part of the natural life cycle, annual flowering plants grow, start budding, bloom, and soon die. But because mint is a perennial, it does not die after giving flowers.
Lack of pruning
Gardeners swear by pruning to always keep an herb in the growth cycle and to prolong its life.
As you prune a mint as it starts to grow flowers, you ensure that your herb keeps on producing fresh leaves and foliage.
Lack of pruning will lead to the plant bolting at some point, because of the life cycle of plants. It is a natural process.
Mint is known to bolt prematurely when the temperature gets hot. Mint thrives in temperatures between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius.
If the temperatures rise, it could lead to the mint starting the process of reproduction sooner and thus blooming prematurely.
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Do mint plants die after flowering?
No. mint is a perennial, which means that it will return to its bushy state every growing season.
If the winters are cold in the region, the mint will become dormant until the season has passed, but it will stay alive.
So, the mint will not die after it flowers, but the seeds from the plant will take root and it will lead to new plants growing alongside the main plant as it grows larger.
Should you let your mint flower?
Letting your mint flower or pruning it is an individual decision. This is because neither option affects the health of the plant in any way.
When mint flowers, the plant loses some of its essential oils and decreases the flavor of the leaves.
Not only that, when the flowers start to bloom, the foliage of the plant becomes less bushy, as the plant produces fewer leaves because it uses more energy in the flowers.
That is why some recommend that you remove the flowers as they bloom.
On the other hand, mint flowers have a lot of uses. They are used as ornamental decoration, both indoors as well as outdoors.
Mint flowers are also beneficial for the environment, besides which, it has culinary uses as well.
So whether or not you want your mint to flower is completely up to you.
Signs that mint is going to start flowering
You will see signs before the mint plant starts to flower.
- The leaf production of the plant will start to slow down.
- The stems will start to seem woody and with much less foliage.This is completely normal. It is because all the plant’s energy is being spent in producing the flowers.
- You will also begin to see white or purple flowers starting to bloom just above the leaves.
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How to stop mint from flowering?
The flowering of mint plants does not affect the mint in any way, but if you still want to stop your mint from flowering, you can try some of the following ways:
- Prune the plant regularly, but prune it extensively as the summer starts. This will slow down the flowering process.
- Harvest your mint regularly. The more you harvest your mint leaves, the bushier the plant becomes. It grows a denser foliage which keeps producing fresh leaves.
- High temperatures are a major cause of the mint plant bolting. To prevent that, use mulch to cover the base of your plant and keep the plant in a cool and shady place.
- Organic fertilizers that are high in nitrogen help in improving the green foliage of the mint plant. Try to incorporate such fertilizers in your soil occasionally.
- As soon as you see any blooms, snip it off instantly. This will ensure that the plant’s energy is focused on maintaining healthy roots and a green foliage instead of on the flowers.
How to make sure your mint plant flowers?
A mint plant that is grown under the right conditions will grow flowers naturally. You don’t need to do anything special to get your mint to flower.
Mint starts to flower in the early summer and continues to flower till early autumn. Usually, young mint plants only start to flower in their second year.
Here are some things you can do to ensure that your mint plant grows under the right conditions so that it blooms:
Mint requires loose, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic (5.5-7.0).
If you are growing mint outdoors, you need to be careful, as mint is a fast spreader.
It can invade the other plants as well. So, it is best to grow mint in containers as its roots can be contained.
Mint needs sunlight to thrive, but it cannot be exposed to direct or harsh sunlight. Mint prefers to be in partial shade.
The amount of light a mint needs every day also depends on the different varieties of mint.
The watering needs of the mint plant are very specific. Mint needs to be kept in soil that is well-drained and moist. However, mint hates water-logged soil.
Mint needs moisture, but it can also easily be overwatered, and that can invite a lot of fungal diseases and pests.
Mint also does not do well in a dry atmosphere, so if you are growing it indoors, you will need to provide it with some humidity.
The ideal temperature for a mint to grow in is 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. If exposed to frost, the top layer of the plant will die, but the roots of the plant will remain intact.
The plant becomes dormant during winters and becomes normal during warm weather.
Mint is not a very fussy plant, but it does require rich and fertile soil to grow properly.
It needs soil that is high in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. You can also use organic slow-release fertilizers in spring.
You can provide your plant with fertilizers once a month. Do not use excessive fertilizers as that will ruin the plant.
Are mint flowers edible?
Yes, mint flowers are edible. The flowers are minty and fragrant, similar in taste to the mint leaves, although they are not as strong in flavor as the leaves.
The mint flowers can also have hints of grapefruit, apple, or lemon flavors, depending on the variety of the mint.
Uses of mint flowers
Here are the ways you can use your mint flowers.
You can use mint flowers in cooking, just like the leaves.
You can add them to certain cuisines like Middle Eastern dishes to add to the aroma of the dish. It adds an exotic flavor to the dish.
You can also add mint flowers as a garnish in salads, starters, or cocktails to make it look and taste better.
Just as you harvest and store mint leaves, you can do the same with mint flowers as well. Dried mint flowers can be added to recipes like tea, which will taste minty and refreshing.
You can add the mint flowers to your glass of iced tea or any cool drink to give it a splash of color and flavor.
You can also freeze the flowers in ice cubes and use them in cold drinks during the summer.
You can use mint flowers even in desserts, as an edible topping or as a flavor enhancer.
Mint can grow in most spaces easily. It is also a fast spreader, which means it can take up a lot of space in a short period. This makes the mint plant an ideal ground cover.
During the blooming season, the mint flowers will add a splash of color to your garden with their pink, white and purple blooms.
Your garden will look prettier without you doing much to it.
Fresh mint flowers can be kept in bunches all over your house in vases. They look good and have a unique smell. You can use dried mint flowers in potpourri.
If you are into the DIY craft, you can also use dried mint flowers to create ornamental pieces, or press them, or use them in artworks.
Good for the environment
Mint flowers are great for the ecosystem. A lot of pollinators like butterflies and bees get rich nectar from the mint leaves.
The flowers also attract insects, which in turn attract numerous species of birds like the warbler, kinglet, or even the hummingbird.
This creates a happy environment in your garden.
How many types of mint are there?
There are around 20 types of mint. If you take into account hybridization, you will find hundreds of varieties and cultivars of mint.
There are some popular varieties that are known for both their leaves and flowers.
The Spearmint is the most common mint. It has pink or purple flowers and is used for varied purposes.
The peppermint contains menthol and has an intense flavor. It has white or purple flowers.
The chocolate mint actually has the flavor of chocolate and mint combined, and its lavender-colored flowers and brown stalks look great as a decorative piece.
The lemon mint has a slightly citrus flavor and flowers that grow in large purple bouquets, while the lemon balm has a citrusy and lemongrass flavor.
The grapefruit mint and the strawberry mint are fresh and fragrant, tasting like the fruits they derived their names from.