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How to sow and grow liquorice mint

Liquorice mint is an annual herb here in the Netherlands, but it can survive mild winters too. The whole plant is edible and the beautiful flowers attract lots of bees, bumblebees, and butterflies from July on.
De dropplant: lekker kruid en trekt veel bijen en hommels aan
Liquorice mint: also good for bees

What is licorice mint?

In the Netherlands, licorice mint is also known as Korean mint.
The leaves and flowers taste like anise and licorice, and in the past, the plant was also used to make licorice candies.
Originally, the plant came from the central and western parts of North America, as well as China. Nowadays, it is cultivated everywhere.
In this context, dropplant is an annual herb, but it can survive well in mild winters.

Licorice mint for your health

Licorice mint has been used as a medicinal herb by the Chinese and Indians for centuries.
The Indians use it as a type of incense to relieve depression and to make compresses and ointments for burns or wounds.
Chinese natural medicine practitioners use it to treat fever, sore throat, and headache. In addition, the oil is used as a massage oil for painful joints and arthritis. Like the Indians, it was applied to the chest for colds and respiratory problems.
Furthermore, the herb helps improve digestion and relieve cold and cough symptoms.
Takjes van de dropplant: goed voor je gezondheid
Branches of licorice mint

What do you need to grow your own licorice mint?

All you need is this:
  • a 30x30 cm garden patch with airy, nutrient-rich soil mix
  • licorice mint seeds
  • a place with at least 6 hours of sunlight a day
In other words, a MM-Mini, or a square patch in one of our garden boxes, filled with MM-Mix.

Growing licorice mint in this perfect soil mix is super easy. If you use poor-quality (potting) soil, it's much harder and the results will be disappointing. So just go for the best.
Dropplant in een Makkelijke Moestuin-mini
Liquorice mint grows great in an MM-Mini

More about our liquorice mint seeds

Our liquorice mint is compact and produces beautiful lilac flowers. The flowers, leaves and seeds are edible and it's great for making tea, just like mint.

You can sow directly outdoors starting in May but since the seeds don't germinate so easily and snails love the seedlings, we start them indoors first. They can move outside when they're bigger and strong enough.

Note: unlike true summer vegetables, liquorice mint seedlings don't do so well in heat. So put the pots in a sunny but unheated spot. The Planty Gardening app includes instructions for pre-sowing in March to May.
  • Species name: Agastache foeniculum
  • Family: flower
  • Plants per square patch: 1
  • Height: 40 to 70 cm
  • Sowing time: March to May
  • Sowing Depth: 0.2 to max. 0.5 cm
  • Germination: from 18°C in 7 to 21 days
  • Time to harvest: 11-12 weeks
  • Sunlight: preferably in the sun, but also in partial shade
Looking for our liquorice mint seeds? We sell the bags separately in the seed shop. Or you can get them as part of our Specials seed pack.
Thee van de dropplant
Mint tea with liquorice mint

How to sow and grow liquorice mint?

This dropplant is featured in the free MM app. If you use it, it will guide you from seed to harvest. 

Each plant goes through several stages - we call them levels. The app tells you exactly what to do in each level and regularly prompts you to check if your plants are ready to move on to the next level.

So, you don't need to know how to successfully grow dropplant in advance.

But if you're interested in reading some information beforehand, I'll now tell you what the whole process will look like.

Level 1: Sowing liquorice mint plants

Liquorice mint seedlings struggle outdoors. They often get eaten up by snails and other pests.

So, we sow the plants indoors first and only put them in a garden box when they're strong enough. That's called pre-sowing.

For pre-sowing you use 2 MM-Airpots with MM pre-sowing mix.

Plant some seeds in each pot and put them on the windowsill.

Level 2 and 3: Liquorice mint seedlings

As soon as you see the first seedlings, you know things are going well. They probably won't all come up at once, but just give it another week or 2. Sometimes it may take a little longer.

Then put the pots in a light but unheated place: they won't do nearly as well if it's too warm.  

At level 3, you thin out your seedlings. Leave the best seedling in each pot and ruthlessly cut away the rest. It might sound harsh, but it's necessary. You're giving the remaining plants enough room to grow.
Piepkleine zaailingen van de dropplant
Tiny liquorice mint seedlings growing on the windowsill

Level 4 and 5: Caring for your plants on the windowsill

By now your seedlings have become small plants. They'll look really small: the first month the plants grow slowly.

For these 5 weeks, make sure that your plants:
  • get a lot of light
  • are not too warm (they'll also grow well in a cold greenhouse)
  • get enough water
In the last weeks, cut off the tops of the main stems. This encourages the plants to grow side branches and get bushier.
Dropplantjes in een koude kas
Liquorice mint in a cold greenhouse

Level 6-10: Getting used to the outdoors

In the second half of May, you let the plants get used to being outdoors. Take the pots outside for a little longer every day. By the last level, they've been outside the whole day and only come inside at night.

Level 11: Transfer the most succesful plant

When your plants have gotten used to being outside, you can transfer the best-looking ones to your garden box or MM-Mini. 

After transplanting, there isn't much more to do: your plants pretty much grow by themselves.
Dropplant: net overzet naar een Makkelijke Moestuinbak
Freshly transplanted liquorice mint

Level 12. Harvesting liquorice mint

About 10 weeks after sowing, the plant is ready to  harvest. Cut or pick a few of the leaves. 

The liquorice mint will soon start to bloom. The purple flowers will attract masses of bees, bumblebees and butterflies. It's amazing, they won't leave your plant alone 🙂

Prune the plant now and then, and new side shoots will grow. It'll get beautifully bushy and stay that way through fall. You can continue to harvest leaves (and flowers) until it gets cold, usually around October. 
Bloeiende dropplant in een Makkelijke Moestuinbak
Flowering liquorice mint

What do you use liquorice mint for?

The leaves and flowers are edible. The small flowers look nice tossed in a salad.

Liquorice mint leaves are delicious to chew on and can be used to make tea. Or add the leaves to spicy stews, pancakes, bread, and desserts.
Dropplant voor limonadesiroop
Licorice plant for lemonade syrup

At the end of the season

At the end of the season, you get a last reminder from the app. By then, your plant won't look as nice and the flowers will have dried out. Leave the plants in your garden box a little longer: birds love the tiny seeds.

By the end of October, it's time remove the plant from your liquorice mint patch and get it ready for the next season.

Tip: You can also leave your liquorice mint in your Planty Garden for the winter if you like. If the weather is mild, liquorice mint will grow again in spring. But then the plant will get much bigger, too big for 1 square patch.
Dropplant tegen het einde van de zomer
Liquorice mint at the end of summer

So: what's keeping you from growing your own liquorice mint?

It's a tasty herb, easy to grow, and is one of the best plants for attracting tons of bees and bumblebees to your garden.

Plus: with our app and materials, it's practically impossible to fail 😉

Order your liquorice mint seeds here or get started with a complete starter kit:

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