How To Grow And Care For Calamint

The Calamint plants are native to Africa, Asia, and other parts of Europe. This aromatic herb is a delicate and petite perennial flower suitable to USDA hardiness zones five through seven. There are about 8 different species of calamint and all of them belong to the Lamiaceae family and they also share the name with true mint, but their care requirements are considerably different.

Furthermore, the calamint seeds should be started indoors (or in a greenhouse) in early spring, and then moved outdoors as seedlings in about mid-summer, once the plants have had time to develop a strong root system. The calamint plant is a steady, moderate grower, the plant will reach maturity by late summer and bloom well into the end of fall. Below is the basic information about calamint plant;

The botanical name: The botanical name is Calamintha nepeta.

The common name: The common names are field balm, Calamint, basil thyme.

The plant type:   The plant is herbaceous perennial.

The mature size: The mature size is about twelve to eighteen inches. tall, twelve to eighteen inches wide.

The sun exposure: The plant does well in full sun.

The soil type: The plant prefers moist but well-drained soil.

The soil pH: Neutral to acidic.

The blooming time: The blooming time is summer, fall.

The flower color: The flower colors are pink, white, red, purple.

Plant hardiness zones: USDA 5–7

The native area: Calamint plants are native   to Europe, Africa, Asia.

Calamint Care

Actually, this plant is a low-maintenance little flower that can tolerate a variety of soil types, lighting, and temperatures. Calamint plants are small, bushy, aromatic perennials that are known for being so versatile that it makes a popular choice for even the most beginner gardeners.

Light requirement: Be sure to plant your calamint in a spot that boasts full sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. That being said, calamint plant can also tolerate partial shade, most especially during the hot summer months. If your calamint plant is located somewhere that receives afternoon shade, it will likely to be okay.

Soil requirement: Calamint plant is known for being able to adapt to any soil type, the plant can grow in infertile, gravelly, loamy, and sandy varieties without issue. The only truly important factor is that the soil that it’s planted in boasts good drainage to prevent root rot and other type diseases.

Water requirement: Calamint plants likes to be kept consistently moist, although it copes surprisingly well through periods of drought. To actually prevent stress in prolonged drought conditions, you should still lightly water your calamint plant after the top inch of the soil has dried out. Overwatering is really a bigger problem for the plant. Calamint plant roots don’t like to be sitting in standing water and they can easily develop root rot if they are kept moist for too long without being allowed to dry out.

Temperature and humidity requirement: If you experience chilly winters in your area, calamint plant could be suited to your garden. Calamint plants are relatively cold hardy and can survive even when temperatures reach below freezing. On the other hand, Calamint plants is not a plant that appreciates extreme heat or humidity, those conditions may necessitate a slight change in your care routines, such as more shade or more frequent watering of the plant.

Fertilizer requirement: Unless they are planted in highly infertile soil, your calamint plant does not need any fertilization. If your soil is particularly deficient in nutrients you can apply a balanced fertilizer just once at the start of the spring, this can help to increase the plant’s vigor.

Calamint Varieties

There are about 8 species of calamint and also many hybrid cultivars too. Some of the most common varieties of calamint are;

  1. Calamintha nepeta variety: Calamintha nepeta is also known as lesser calamint, actually this varietal is one of the most popular options. The plant flowers are abundantly and it has a pleasant fragrance, and is also fast spreading. The blooms are usually white but can sometimes be blue or purple.
  2. Calamintha grandiflora variety: This particular variety is also known as mint savory and it has larger flowers than most other species in this genus. This variety is available with variegated foliage and it also smells delicious.
  3. Calamintha sylvatica variety: The Calamintha sylvatica variety can cope with higher temperatures and it produces a particular flavorful tea.

Pruning calamint plant: One of the most important parts of pruning your calamint plant is deadheading the flowers before they start to seed (which typically happens in late summer or early fall). This is really an important thing to do if you want to control your calamints spread, which can become a bit unruly if left to its own devices. You can also confine them to a container, use landscaping fabric or, more simply, select a hybrid cultivar that is sterile.

Furthermore, trimming back the calamint plant to half height after its growing season can also encourage new growth come spring and also help to keep the plant from looking untidy. It can also redirect the plant’s energy into blooming more vigorously instead of maintaining a too-large size.

Calamint propagation: Calamint plant has long, spreading rhizomatous roots, which can be easily divided or cut to develop new plants. It’s actually best to take any healthy cuttings in the spring after the last frost date in your area and make sure that they’re kept moist but well-drained during their establishment period. They should also be protected from too much harsh, direct sunlight.

Pest and disease control: Calamint plants are fairly disease and pest-free, although you may end up contending with powdery mildew towards the end of the growing season. To avoid this particular issue, you can water the calamint plant at the base where the roots meet the soil to avoid adding excess moisture into the plant’s dense foliage.

Occasionally, you may find your calamint plant afflicted with whitefly as well. If you notice signs of infestation you can easily treat your calamint plant with a mild insecticide or horticultural oil like neem oil.

Calamint Uses

Calamint plants are bushy herb. The parts that grow above the ground are mostly used to make medicine and to also flavor foods. A lot of people use calamint plant for infection of the airways, depression, insomnia, seizure disorder (epilepsy), gout, and many other conditions, although there is actually no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

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