aka: Water Mint, Mentha hirsuta
Winter Hardy Plant
Hardiness Zones: 5-11
This plant is sold in bundles of about 4 to 6 strands per bundle. Plant 1 bundle complete for best results, do not break apart bundles before planting, however it is a good idea to take a fresh snippet from the base of the bundle perhaps a 1/2 inch off, kind of like when you get fresh roses before you plant in a vase, you would do the same just before you plant in the water.
Mentha aquatica is a perennial plant in the genus Mentha that is native in northwest Africa and southwest Asia. It is a herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant growing to 35″ in ideal situations. Typically this is a creeping plant when installed on shorelines, and may grow upright to above size only if the surrounding plants crowd it, forcing it to grow upright. (see pic of older established pond). The stems are square in cross sections, green & purple, and variably hairy to almost hairless. The rhizomes are wide-spreading, fleshy, and bear fibrous roots.
The leaves are ovate to lanceolate and 0.36 to 1.6″ broad, green (sometimes purplish once it gets cold), opposite, toothed, and vary from hairy to nearly hairless. The flowers are tiny, densely crowded, purple, tubular, pinkish to lilac in color, flowering from mid to late summer. Water Mint is pollinated by insects, and also spreads by underground rhizomes, like other species of mint. All parts of the plant have a distinctly minty smell.
Ideal for shoreline erosion control, edging or ponds or waterways, and can tolerate quite a bit of abuse without hurting the plant permanently. Used often to hide liners or unsightly containers in ponds, or to fill in areas in between rocks to soften a shoreline this plant is one of the best but unfortunately not typically chosen by landscapers likely due to the short supply of this plant.
Aquatic Mint should be planted just in the edge of the water no more than about 12 inches deep and allow it to growout from there. Generally this plant will root along banks, or surrounding dirt, even in dry soil as long as the main root is in the water or was once established in water at one point. Plant 1 buncdle per foot of shoreline or less. Will attract butterflies, hummingbirds, dragonflies, and other flying animals. SIMPLE to grow, there’s no disappointments with this selection.