Home Herbs Calamint: A Versatile Herb for Gardens and Health | Growing, Uses, and Benefits

Calamint: A Versatile Herb for Gardens and Health | Growing, Uses, and Benefits

by Gregory
4 minutes read

Calamint: A Versatile Herb for Gardens and Health


Calamint is a fascinating herb that adds beauty, fragrance, and medicinal value to gardens. With its unique appearance, ease of growth, and wide range of uses, calamint is a must-have for any gardener or herbalist.

About Calamint Plants

Calamint plants are part of the mint family and are native to the UK. They are characterized by their thick stems, bushy growth habit, and spreading rhizomes, similar to other mint plants. The leaves of calamint are heavily veined and textured, often sporting ridges and fuzzy or hairy foliage.

Depending on the variety, calamint plants can range in height from 4 to 24 inches and bloom in mid to late summer or even fall. Their flowers are two-lipped, slender tubes that come in a variety of colors, including purple, red, white, and cream. Calamint can self-sow, but its more invasive qualities come from its spreading stems and rhizomes, which can root at internodes and create new plants.

Types of Calamint

There are many different types of calamint, each with its own unique characteristics. Some popular varieties include:

  • Grandiflora: Large, fuzzy leaves with lavender tubular flowers and a minty-tangerine scent.
  • Grapefruit-mint: A variety with a strong grapefruit-mint scent.
  • Ozark calamint: A diminutive variety with vibrant red flowers in late spring.
  • Wild basil: A variety with a flavor profile similar to basil.
  • Monkey flower: A variety with unique purple-and-yellow flowers.
  • Mountain thyme: A variety with a flavor profile similar to thyme.
  • Limestone savory: A variety with a savory flavor.
  • Trailing calamint: A trailing variety with pink to mauve blooms.

Growing Calamint Herbs

Calamint is a relatively easy herb to grow and can thrive in a variety of conditions. Here are some tips for growing calamint successfully:

  • Sunlight: Calamint prefers full sun exposure.
  • Soil: The ideal soil for calamint is well-drained and organic to sandy.
  • Planting: Calamint can be planted in the spring or fall. Space plants 12-18 inches apart.
  • Container gardening: Container gardening is a good way to keep calamint from spreading.
  • Border plants: Calamint makes an excellent border plant, but some maintenance is necessary to prevent it from invading other areas.
  • Potager garden: The potager garden is a prime spot for growing calamint herbs, as it provides easy access to the leaves and stems for various uses.
  • Pests and diseases: Calamint has few pest or disease problems, but it is susceptible to small insect pests such as whiteflies. Treat infestations with a horticultural soap or blasts of fresh water.

Using Calamint

Calamint has a long history of medicinal and culinary uses. Here are some ways to incorporate calamint into your life:

  • Medicinal: Calamint has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including bruises, contusions, and bronchial issues. Its high menthol content makes it an effective poultice for these conditions.
  • Culinary: Calamint can be used to flavor meats, soups, and stews. Some varieties have a flavor profile similar to thyme, while others resemble basil.
  • Tea: Dried calamint leaves can be brewed into a refreshing hot or cold tea.
  • Potpourri: Dried calamint leaves add a pleasant fragrance to potpourri.
  • Attracting wildlife: Calamint is attractive to butterflies and bees.

Calamint is a versatile and easy-to-grow herb that offers a wide range of benefits. Whether you’re looking to add beauty to your garden, improve your health, or simply enjoy its unique flavor, calamint is a herb that deserves a place in your life.

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