Plant Profile: Slender Mint – Mentha diemenica

Slender by name,  slender by nature. This plant is a delicate,  diminutive beauty, but don’t let that fool you! If it likes the growing conditions it will endeavour to spread far and wide with its suckering habit.

Also known as:

  • Mentha diemenica
  • Wild Mint
  • Very similar to Mentha satureoides and sometimes confused with it.

Growing conditions:

  • Full sun/Shade/part shade
  • Groundcover
  • Prefers slightly damp soil
  • Suitable for pots, rockeries and as a filler between paving stones or driving strips
My unruly patch of spreading Slender Mint after being disrupted by me weeding out stray grass.

Propagation:

  • Cuttings
  • Removing a rooted section of the plant as it spreads
  • Keep moist until established.

Named after Tasmania when it was Van Diemens Land, this herb is found on that cool temperate island, as well as in Victoria and New South Wales.  Some sites list Queensland as well, but this could be as a result of the confusion with its cousin, Mentha satureoides. With these origins it’s no surprise that it is frost tolerant. In hot or dry periods it can go into a dormant phase and regenerate like many other amazing Australian Native Plants.

Slender Mint or Mentha diemenica

I started with a tiny tubestock of this tough little groundcover and in good family tradition I planted it under a garden tap. My mother always plants mint under garden taps, an ingenious idea that means they get incidental moisture.  My tiny plant is now a spreading mat that has escaped the Garden bed and invaded the lawn. This gives me the delightful surprise of lovely minty fragrance every time I step on it to fill my watering cans. This is despite an awful drought which meant that the tank which is connected to the Garden tap was completely drained. Still it survived and thrived as soon as the rain came back when many of my hardy trees had perished and gone.

It’s a perfect candidate for rockeries and between paving stones. It tolerates low levels of foot traffic and fills the air with minty freshness at every footfall.

The flowers are tiny and subtle. Most varieties are mauve or violet. My plant has almost white, pale mauve flowers with purple spots and purple tipped anthers. They are lovely but almost impossible to photograph,  at least with my equipment.

The flowers are lovely but difficult to capture with only a phone camera.

All in all this hardy survivor is a welcome addition to my garden. I have recently dug up some of the suckers and replanted them on the steps in one of my rockeries.  I’m interested to see if they’ll do as well in that position which gets the midday sun in summer. Of all the native mints I have grown, this one seems the toughest and most persistent.  *fingers crossed *

Wishing you a minty fresh trip to the Garden tap,

Janegrowsgardenrooms

PS This plant is on my Ten Australian Bush Food Plants for Your Garden list. Click here to read the full article.

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