What you need to know about Vietnamese mint
Name: Vietnamese mint, Persicaria odorata, Vietnamese coriander, laksa
Foliage: evergreen perennial.
Climate: all climates.
Soil: prefers moist soil.
Position: full sun to part shade.
Flowering and fruiting: not required.
Feeding: apply a seaweed solution at planting. In frost-prone areas, also apply a seaweed solution periodically from late autumn through winter to improve frost tolerance. Mulch with compost in spring.
Watering: regular watering is required, especially during hot or dry weather.
Appearance and characteristics of Vietnamese mint
Vietnamese mint is a spreading herb with striking green foliage featuring distinct blackish v-shaped blotches, held along purple stems. It is fragrant, edible, and prolific when grown in tropical and sub-tropical conditions. If you are worried about this mint spreading, plant in a pot in a premium potting mix.
Uses for Vietnamese mint
An edible herb commonly used fresh in rice paper rolls and salads, or served alongside spring rolls together with lettuce and dipping sauce, Vietnamese mint has an unusual flavour that adds pizzazz to any meal. It is an acquired taste for some, bringing depth and flavour to Asian-inspired cuisine.
How to plant and grow Vietnamese mint
Vietnamese mint is usually available in a small herb pot, ready for planting directly into the garden or into a larger pot or container.
Planting Vietnamese mint in pots
1. Select a premium potting mix that meets Australian standards and fill the pot three-quarters full, leaving a hole in the middle.
2. Water the Vietnamese mint prior to planting, then gently squeeze the side of the pot to dislodge the herb. Try to keep as much potting mix with the roots as possible.
3. Place in the hole, then backfill and water to settle the soil in the pot.
4. Top up with potting mix if required.
Growing Vietnamese mint in the garden
1. Improve the soil with compost and decomposed manure prior to planting.
2. Plant at the same level as it was in the pot.
3. Water well, and mulch to reduce water loss and weed competition.
How and when to prune Vietnamese mint
Harvest for the kitchen regularly, and prune the plant back by at least half in late winter or early spring, after all likelihood of frost has past.
Diseases and pests
Vietnamese mint is relatively pest and disease free. If aphids or mites are found, treat with an organic oil, making sure you follow the directions on the label.
How to propagate Vietnamese mint
Vietnamese mint can be easily propagated by layering (burying part of the stem under soil), or by striking cuttings in a glass of water.
If you like this then try
Lemongrass: another Asian herb that thrives in moist soils.
Japanese ginger: an easy-to-grow rhizome that complements Asian cuisine.
Coriander: a delicious herb that’s easy to grow from seed.
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