Mentha suaveolens 'Variegata'
Apple Mint, Variegated Apple Mint, Variegated Round-Leaved Mint
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Mentha suaveolens 'Variegata' has sweet tropical notes and a minty citrus finish. Also known as pineapple mint, this is a highly aromatic and aesthetically beautiful variegated cultivar of apple mint (M. suaveolens). Leaves are pale green in colour, with cream edging, they also have a wrinkled texture from a coating of soft hairs. This plant is used in a variety of dishes and drinks, as well as in various medical applications, soap and potpourri. Pineapple mint is seen by many people as a must-have herb for a visually appealing garden. It typically grows to around 40cm in height, producing small, light purple-white flowers arranged densely on upright spikes late in the summer.
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.
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.
The horizontal growth of its underground rhizomes lend it to aggressive spreading. When pulled out, small pieces are usually left behind and new plants easily grow from them.
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 in the year.
Take cuttings of rooted stems and plant them horizontally in the soil. Also roots easily grow from stem or root cuttings placed in water. Root tip cuttings are best taken in spring.
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.
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.
Southern and western Europe, the Mediterranean and Western Asia.
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral, Alkaline, Acid
Aromatic foliage is commonly used in food and drink.
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.