From the standpoint of butterflies and bees this plant is the strongest strong attractant I know. From quite a distance you can see a cloud of butterflies and bees hovering over our planting which is located at our farm in the middle of a field of quack grass. Believe me the mint is winning! The mint foliage is just divine and makes a dark rich tea. Kind of a light mix between licorice and peppermint. Illinois Seed Source originally and wild collected from a prairie remnant. When we first had the plants I was surprised to see a lot of mud dauber wasps on them. I have not noticed that in the last ten years but do see a lot of painted lady butterflies.
To germinate the Seeds: Fall plant by lightly tamping the seeds in the soil surface. They will grow quickly the following spring.
To germinate in the fridge, store with just a smidgen of moisture and sand in the bag. Shake periodically and/or lightly moisten a small amount of Canadian peat moss and then store for 90 days at 33-38 F. The cold period may not be entirely necessary but for us it was the only way to get the seeds really going. But if you do not use the cold method, just sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil, tamp in and water every other day. Normally a lot of seedlings will come up anyway. Some seeds will also remain dormant in the soil for a second year and then sprout. Keep the surface moist but not flooded. Small seedlings will emerge in 7-21 days. Let them grow for 2-4 weeks before transplanting.
|Genus & Species||Pycnanthemum tenuifolium|
|Seed Source||Michigan-originally Illinois stock|
|Hardiness||-30F or more|
|Height (ft)||2-3 ft.|
|Width (ft)||2-3 ft. depending on age|
|Ease of Cultivation||The seed needs dormancy to really kick in gear. Once planted the seedlings grow slow at first. In the second year the roots really move their outward rhizome type nature but far more clumpy that regular mint.|