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Pineapple mint

Mentha suaveolens 'Variegata'

Apple Mint, Variegated apple mint, Variegated round-leaved mint

With sweet tropical notes and minty citrus finish, the Pineapple mint is a highly aromatic and aesthetically beautiful variegated cultivar of apple mint (Menth suaveolens). The leaves of this unique, running, perennial herb are cream-and-green and have a wrinkled (fuzzy) look. They are used in a variety of dishes and drinks, as well as in various medical applications, soap and potpouri. Pineapple mint is seen by many people as a must-have herb for everyone's garden.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Spring - Autumn. Essential oils in the leaves are at their peak just before flowering. This would be the ideal time for harvesting leaves to be dried. For fresh use, pick the youngest leaves before the plant flowers.

Propagation

Division
Divides easily by simply taking a stem with a piece of root and transplanting. Do not plant with other mints, since they cross-breed easily and will lose their distinctive aromas.
Cuttings
Take cuttings of rooted stems and plant them horizontally in the soil. Roots easily grow from stem or root cuttings placed in water.
Rhizomes
The horizontal growth of its underground rhizomes lend it to aggressive spreading. When pulled out, small pieces are usually left behind, and new plants grow from them.
Seed
Not the most preferred method, because mint seeds are very variable, and some varieties are sterile. Seeds should be planted in Spring at 6mm depth and thinned out later.

Special features

Attracts birds
Pineapple mint attracts hummingbirds.
Attracts useful insects
The flowers attract a range of pollinating insects, including bees and butterflies.
Repels harmful insects
The essential oil in the plant acts as a pest confuser, repelling harmful insects and rodents.
Pot plant
Potting it keeps it from spreading aggressively into the garden. It is recommended to use a medium sized pot, and take precautions as it has been known to spread through drainage holes.

Geography

Origin
Southern and western Europe, the Mediterranean and Western Asia.
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Personality

Family
Lamiaceae
Flower colour
White or light pink
Scent
Strong

Problems

Powdery mildew, rust, leaf spot and anthracnose are some of the diseases that affect this plant. To deal with many of these, keep the leaves dry and spray fungicide, otherwise remove infected plants. Prevention includes well-drained soil and rotation of plants every 2 - 3 years.

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