How to Grow River Mint (Mentha australis)
River Mint in a Pot
River Mint is a native ground cover indigenous to the south-eastern temperate regions of Australia. With a powerful spearmint-like flavour, River Mint can be used in place of regular mint. The fresh leaf can help flavour water during the hot summer months, or be used to create a delicious mint icecream or sorbet.
Aboriginal People would use the plant as a traditional medicine to help treat the symptoms of cold and flu. Contemporary restaurants use it as a flavouring in a range of dishes, including elaborate cocktails. Soaking the crushed leaves in gin and mixing with lemonade and ice gives a refreshing cocktail in warm months.
The leaves have a strong fragrance of mint, and can grow in many climates across the country. River Mint is being increasingly cultivated for the essential oil content and as a dried mint supplement.
River Mint likes moist soils and is found in swampy or boggy soils along water ways out of direct sunlight. As they are a mint, they can easily become well established in gardens so planting in a container or a pot is advised. Make sure to water well.
How to Grow River Mint
Habitat: Along river and creek banks in the temeperate regions of south-eastern Australia.
Size: Growing up to 80cm high which can easily colonize a large area of up to 2 metres.
Foliage: Fragrant and aromatic leaves which are arrow-shaped and grow up to 5cm long.
Where to Plant: Plant in a large, well watered container allowing adequate room for expasion. Place the pot in a semi-shady position, and harvest in winter time. Growth slows significantly during cooler months so harvesting is best during summer months.
Propagation: River Mint can be grown by dividing the roots and planting each in seperate containers. Alternatively, River Mint can be easily grown from cuttings that are placed directly into soil.
Fertilizing: Use fish emulsion fertilizer in spring.