You’re probably familiar with mojito cocktails, but have you ever heard of mojito mint? It’s a Cuban mint variety that gives your drink that famous mojito taste. We’ll show you how to grow, care for and use mojito mint.
Mojito mint is a hybrid mint variety that contains less menthol than peppermint, for instance. It is milder and won’t numb your taste buds as much as other varieties. In summer, its violet blossoms are an important food source for many insects, including bees.
How to Grow Mojito Mint
You can plant mojito mint in a pot or a vegetable patch in your garden. As is the case with any special mint variety, it is easier to buy seedlings that you can plant rather than seeds. Luckily, growing mint is fairly simple as long as you pay attention to a few things:
- Location: Mojito mint needs a lot of sunlight to grow and acquire its full taste. However, you also need to protect it from too much exposure, especially around noon, when the sun is strongest. You also need to find a place for your mint plant that gets enough air circulation so its leaves dry quickly after it has rained or after you’ve watered it.
- Soil: Mojito mint grows best in soil that is loose and permeable. Use soil with a high humus content to ensure your plant gets enough nutrients. If you’re growing it in a pot, it’s best to use a potting mix.
Make sure not to plant different mint varieties together, as that might make them lose their distinct flavors. Learn more about which herbs to plant together and which to keep away from each other in our guide.
Growing mojito mint in the garden:
- Place the seedlings in a bucket with water and wait until no more bubbles rise up.
- Dig a hole in your patch that is just a little larger than the seedling’s pot.
- Don’t plant mojito mint next to plants that grow slower, or else it will overgrow them.
- Mix the soil you dug up with some humus or compost.
- Place the mojito mint plant in the hole and surround it with the soil mixture.
- Gently press the soil with your hands, then water the plant.
Growing mojito mint in a pot:
- Place the seedling in a bucket of water to soak.
- The volume of the pot you use should be at least 3 gallons.
- Add a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot using pebbles or shards, then add some peat-free potting soil.
- Place the mojito mint seedling in the pot and gently cover with more soil.
- Gently firm down the top layer of the soil and water generously.
How to Care for Your Mojito Mint
Mojito mint is a hardy plant that is easy to care for. Here’s everything you need to know:
- Watering your plant: Water your mojito mint regularly, but don’t overdo it – your plant shouldn’t get waterlogged. If the plant begins to droop, it’s not getting enough water. When watering, don’t let the leaves get too wet, because this will make the plant more susceptible to fungi. In winter, water your outdoor plants only moderately and not when there is frost. Because seedlings constantly require moist soil and need quite a lot of water, there is always the risk of ending up with an overwatered seedling. Check out our guide to find out how to recognize and avoid that.
- Adding fertilizer: If you’re growing your mojito mint outdoors, it doesn’t require extra fertilizer. If your soil isn’t very rich in nutrients, you can add some compost or homemade plant food to it every now and then. Potted mint needs to be fertilized regularly from May to September using a vegetable fertilizer high in potassium and nitrogen.
- Cutting mojito mint: To keep your mojito mint plant from spreading rapidly, you need to cut and harvest it regularly. Either harvest the plant twice a year in July and September or cut off some of the shoots more frequently. In fall, cut the plant close to the ground.
- Getting it through the winter: Mojito mint grown in a vegetable patch will survive temperatures as low as minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets really cold in your region, you can cover the plants with some leaves or twigs to protect them. Potted plants should be brought inside or wrapped with burlap, so their roots don’t freeze in the pot.
- Repotting: If you’re growing your mojito mint in a pot, you should replant it into a larger container with fresh soil every 2 to 3 years.
- Pests and Diseases: Mojito mint is very robust, but if it doesn’t get enough air, it may get mint rust, which is a fungal disease, or mildew. Learn how to get rid of mildew, just in case!
Mojito Mint Recipe: Alcohol-Free Apple Mojito
Mojito mint is an excellent ingredient for a classic mojito cocktail, but it also adds a fresh flavor to alcohol-free beverages like this apple mojito. Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients for 1 beverage:
- 1 organic lime
- 8 mojito mint leaves
- 1 tsp. cane sugar
- crushed ice
- 3-4 fl oz (100 ml) cloudy apple juice
- 3-4 fl oz (100 ml) carbonated water
- Roll your lime back and forth on a hard counter, then cut off the ends.
- Cut the lime in half, then slice the halves into quarters.
- Wash the mojito mint leaves, place them in one hand and smack with the other. This will release the fresh mint aroma.
- Fill the lime, mint, and cane sugar into a tall glass.
- Use a muddler to smash and mix the ingredients.
- Add as much crushed ice as you want, then pour the apple juice over the ice and fill the glass with carbonated water.
- Finally, mix everything using a shaker and add some more crushed ice. Garnish with an apple slice or some mint.
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