Chocolate Mint Plant

Chocolate mint, an in depth relative to ordinary peppermint, features a complicated lineage involving sorts of peppermint. it’s derived from a cross between water-mint (watermint) and spearmint (spearmint), from which a specific form, citrata (orange mint) was selected for development. The ‘Chocolate’ cultivar has the aroma of chocolate, but the taste in foods more closely resembles the orange citrus flavor of the citrata sort of mint.

The plant grows to about 2 feet tall and simply spreads by rhizomes into a beautiful ground cover. The rounded, lance-shaped leaves are a darker green than other sorts of mint. Lavender flowers appear in summer. This plant may be a vigorous grower that’s sometimes planted as an annual in colder climates.

In cooking, chocolate are often used for flavoring desserts and drinks. In landscapes, it’s often naturalized as a ground cover in moist areas or planted in rain gardens. The plant will spread as far because it is allowed, though it’s not particularly hard to stay within its boundaries.

closeup of chocolate mint floret
Botanical NameMentha × piperita f. citrata ‘Chocolate’
Common NamesChocolate mint
Plant TypeHerbaceous perennial f. citrata
Mature Size1 to 2 feet
Sun ExposureFull sun to part shade
Soil TypeAny rich, moist soil
Soil pH6.5 to 7; slightly acidic to neutral
Bloom TimeMid- to late-summer
Flower ColorLavender
Hardiness Zones5 to 9
Native AreaEurope and the Middle East
chocolate mint plant from above

How to Grow Chocolate Mint Plant

Chocolate mint grows best during a rich, moist soil that’s slightly acidic or neutral in pH. Top-dress the soil yearly with organic interest to keep it well-draining. Although growing herbs in but rich soil tends to concentrate their essential oils (and therefore their scent and flavor), mint prefers moist, woods-like soil, so it’s good to feature some organic matter before planting. Mint is one of the few culinary herbs that prefer partial shade. you’ll grow it full sun if you provide adequate moisture.

All mints are aggressive growers and can cover the maximum amount space as they will . Cultivars of flavored mints, like chocolate mint, don’t grow quite as rampantly because the species sort of mints, but you’ll still want to plant them in containers or with some sort of barrier within the ground. you’ll even sink the entire container within the ground. Of course, if you would like a spreading ground cover, mints are an honest choice.


Chocolate mint plants prefer partial shade. you’ll grow them fully sun if you water them frequently.


Just about any rich, moist soil will successfully grow chocolate mint. Only very dry, sandy soils are likely to cause problems, but even this will be overcome if you water frequently.


Chocolate mint requires 1 to 2 inches of water hebdomadally (rain and/or irrigation), but doesn’t respond well to boggy conditions. If growing during a container, never let the pot dry out completely, but confirm it’s ready to drain.

Temperature and Humidity

This plant isn’t fussy; it’ll tolerate all climate conditions within its hardiness range. Extreme humidity may cause fungal diseases to develop.


Chocolate mint may be a vigorous plant that needs little quite one dose of balanced fertilizer each spring.

Propagating Chocolate Mint Plants

Once you’ve got your first mature plant, you’ll take cuttings and make as many plants as you wish. they’re going to readily root just by suspending the cuttings in water. When an honest network of roots has developed, plant the cutting in potting soil or into the garden.


Regularly harvest or shear the plants to stay new foliage coming in. Regular shearing also helps to stay the plants in restraint in order that they don’t take over the yard.

Harvesting Chocolate Mint

You can begin harvesting leaves when the plants are a minimum of to five inches tall. Don’t take quite one-third of the leaves at anybody’s harvest, but confirm to reap a minimum of three or fourfold during the season. The plant will answer harvesting by becoming bushier.

The flavor of chocolate mint is best if you harvest leaves before the plant flowers. However, if your plants do bloom, shearing them back will cause new tender leaves to fill in. If you notice the stems getting longer and therefore the leaves getting sparse and little , it’s a symbol that harvesting has not been enough to reinvigorate your plant. Cut the plants back by one-third to one-half, and therefore the new foliage that appears should have much larger leaves.

Uses for chocolate mint:

  • Great sprinkled on fruit dishes
  • Makes a scrumptious tea
  • Nice addition to mojitos

Growing in Containers

Growing any mint during a container may be a great way to enjoy the plant without fear of it becoming invasive. you’ll need a pot that’s a minimum of 12 inches deep. If you employ something sort of a strawberry pot, you’ll grow multiple sorts of mint within the same container. With its dark green leaves and stems, chocolate mint is additionally nice during a hanging basket. Growing it in containers means you’ll keep it near the kitchen for convenient harvesting.

If you reside in hardiness zones 3 to five , potted chocolate mint can overwinter if you provide it with some protection. you’ll try growing it as a houseplant, but indoor conditions aren’t ideal for mints. If you would like to undertake , give the plant more sun than you’d outdoors, and supply some humidity within the sort of misting or by placing the container on a tray crammed with pebbles and water.

A better thanks to overwinter potted chocolate mint is to maneuver it into a basement or unheated garage for the winter. provides it a touch water when the soil is dry a couple of inches below the surface, and move it back outdoors when the weather warms within the spring.

Common Pests/ Diseases

Mint is typically problem-free; however, it can sometimes be suffering from rust, a fungal disease that manifests as small orange spots on the undersides of leaves. Use an organic fungicide and check out to permit the leaves to dry out between waterings. confirm the plants aren’t crowded and are becoming many air circulation.

If your chocolate mint plants should become stressed, they’ll invite pests, like whitefly, spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs.

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