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Chocolate mint is a fragrant plant that is simple to grow and propagate. It can add additional layers of flavor to drinks like tea and mojitos, sweet desserts, salads, and even savory dishes. This guide will teach you how to grow this fragrant plant.

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Thin chocolate mints are my absolute favorite. Well, I love sweet things as a rule, however those cool mint patties covered in slim layers of dull chocolate are on an unheard of degree of tastiness.

In the grocery store, I was first introduced to the plant known as chocolate mint. I’ll be honest: I was listening in on a conversation between two women waiting in the checkout line. I can’t blame anyone.

I tuned in when one of them started talking about her garden. The other person came in and said that she had just picked her chocolate mint, and she exclaimed, not very subtly, “It smells so good!”

Not long after that, I found my own plant at a nursery, and I was thrilled to discover that it did indeed smell like the inside of a Nestle After Eight wrapper! Since then, my kitchen herb garden has always included this variety.

Whether it actually smells like chocolate is debated among individuals. Some people assert that it is all mental, while others assert that it actually possesses the essence of the rich sweet we so adore.

Learn how to grow it below, then find a plant of your own, and you’ll know for sure if it has that chocolate flavor or not.

History and cultivation This plant, which goes by the Latin name Mentha piperita f. citrata “Chocolate,” is a peppermint cultivar that was created by crossing watermint, M. aquatica, with spearmint, M. spicata.

The outcome was a clean half breed we as a whole know and love: Piperita, M.

For further development, the form citrata, also known as orange mint, was chosen. One of the resulting cultivars was known as “Chocolate.”

The breeders and gardeners were captivated by its refreshing peppermint scent, which was layered with a warm, sweet undertone that made them salivate.

In contrast to peppermint’s bright leaves, this cultivar looks dark. It is hardy in Zones 3-9. It has dark stems and deep green leaves with purple undersides.

The tiny lavender flowers entice a variety of bees, butterflies, and occasionally human admirers.

Seed propagation is not an option for peppermint and its cultivars because they are sterile hybrids.

Great to be aware, and I express this for a fact on the grounds that in the past I’ve bought my reasonable part of “peppermint” seeds just to be frustrated with the smell and taste of the subsequent plant.

Luckily, cuttings, runners, layering, and plant division can easily propagate these plants.

Check out our article on growing and caring for peppermint for in-depth instructions on each of these methods.

Chocolate mint is an easy-to-grow, quick-growing plant for the garden. However, like all plants, it has preferences.

It thrives when given at least five to six hours of sunlight per day, and if it is available, up to fourteen. The flavor and color are best with more sun.

However, this plant prefers shade during the day in the summer because it dislikes heat.

Compost can be used to enrich sandy or chalky soil to provide a fertile environment for your Mentha plants, which generally prefer moist soil and can tolerate pHs ranging from acidic to alkaline.

You can annually add a layer of compost around the plant, despite the fact that they typically do not require much fertilizer.

Except when it comes to water, chocolate mint requires little maintenance. These plants are thirsty and will wilt if the soil becomes dry.

Before I was successful in transplanting one of mine into the garden, I had to learn the hard way how thirsty it was.

It wilted on my windowsill on a hot, sunny day, but thanks to a good soak, it came back within a few hours!

What we learned: If you want to grow this plant, which likes moisture, keep an eye on how much moisture is in the soil and water it often.

By pressing your finger into the soil’s surface, measure the moisture content. If the soil is cool and your finger comes up wet, you don’t need to water it. However, thoroughly moisten your finger if there is no moisture present.

Mint can survive a brief period of wetness in soggy soil, which is not ideal for any plant. If you are growing it in a container, check to see that it has holes for drainage.

It can be grown in the garden or in containers, but keep in mind that it will spread and take over if left alone.

The plant goes through two growth stages: the first is in the spring when the plant develops upstanding stems that will create blossoms. The second occurs following flowering, when runners and rhizome offshoots begin to spread horizontally.

Try placing your transplant inside a bottomless bucket to contain it if you want your chocolate mint to grow without taking over your herb garden.

Check out our guide to learn more about growing mint.

Growing Instructions: Grow in full sun for best flavor and color; keep soil moist; grow in a pot to prevent spread; Where to Buy: Since hybrid cultivars cannot be propagated through seed, if your gardener friends do not have one for you to take cuttings from, look for a potted plant instead at your neighborhood nursery.

Managing Pests and Diseases Herbivores don’t like mint, and despite the fact that this plant doesn’t have a lot of serious pests to worry about, it can be a home for some hungry insects and diseases.

Since chocolate mint is a peppermint cultivar, its pests and diseases are very similar to those of peppermint.

Check out the peppermint section of our article for comprehensive information on each of the most prevalent insects and diseases, including powdery mildew, caterpillars, spider mites, and mint rust.

When the plant is four to five inches tall, you can begin harvesting individual leaves, stems, or bundles of stems.

Depending on the plant’s size, you can safely harvest as much as you want at one time. Never take more than two-thirds of the plant at once from the plant.

In order to keep the plant under control and encourage bushier growth, bunch the stems back.

Despite the fact that the minty flavor is at its peak just before blooming and in the early morning, the plant will continue to have a distinct aroma and flavor throughout the growing season.

Preserving Leaves are best when used right away, but I’ve found that they also work well when dried, infused, or frozen for later use!

For approximately four days, fresh cut sections can be stored in the refrigerator.

Hanging harvested bundles upside down in a warm, dry place away from direct sunlight allows them to dry.

Put the leaves in sealed bags and freeze them by putting them on a cookie sheet, freezing them until they are crisp and frozen, and then freezing the bags.

Alternately, you can freeze them as ice cubes for later use in beverages.

Save the quintessence of the flavor by absorbing the leaves oil, whether almond, coconut, or olive, to inject with the minty, chocolatey smell.

Pack the crushed, fresh or dried leaves into a jar. Place the oil-filled jar in a warm spot, like a sunny windowsill, for at least five days.

Use the leaves as a massage oil or in recipes by straining them.

Recipes and Ideas for Cooking This plant and mint in general are so adaptable.

Make a refreshing cup of hot or cold tea with it. Before the coffee grinds begin to percolate, you can enhance the flavor of your brew by adding a few dried leaves that have been crushed.

In fact, chocolate mint can be added to many different drinks, both hot and cold. Fresh or dried crushed flakes can be added to a hot chocolate to add some flavor. As a garnish or muddled herb, use it in cocktails.

Use as a garnish and to add flavor to desserts like brownies, cakes, and pudding, as well as to milkshakes and ice cream.

You can add your new herb to fruit salads and other salads if you want to enjoy it in a healthier way.

It could also be used in savory dishes like fish or lamb.

Additionally, since it is such a fragrant herb, why not incorporate it into potpourri or use the plant as a natural repellent against a variety of pests, including mice, ants, and mosquitoes?

Growing Guide for Quick Reference: Chocolate and Mint: The Best of Both Worlds in One Plant!

In any case, it’s the ideal combination, but in a plant? That takes it to an entirely new level.

This herb has a wonderful scent, and adding it to my planting barrel was a breeze. My small wild sweat bees and honey bees adore drinking from the tiny flowers.