Has anyone tried growing mint in deep shade (no sun ever)? What would be the most shade tolerant variety?
It'll grow - but it will be horribly leggy as it tries to reach out for sunlight, and in the shade it doesn't develop the strong minty flavour you'd expect - it needs sunlight for those essential oils to reach their full potential. Full sun for mint in temperate areas, dappled shade for really hot climates.
In my subtropical climate, I grow mine in full sun - simply because I have nowhere else to put it (it's in pots, of course). The leaves are smaller than you'd expect if grown in partial shade, but the flavour is oomphy!
well, You pick them before they get leggy.
This way they are tender and not too woody.
Too much sun/heat can make mints tough and too strong, maybe bitter.
That is why they are at their best in the spring time.
One more thing. Mints like lots of water. Some variety grows by the streams in sandy soil. When the weather gets hot they bolt, flower and get too tough.
Today I bought some from Asian market and put some in water to root so that I can plant them. I trimed lots of lower leaves and big lives on top. Some of them already have tiny roots. I hope to have them rooted in a couple of weeks.
Have you ever tried rooting any of the Thai basil from the Asian grocery store? There's another herb that I got this week that has a really interesting flavor. When I bought it, it already had small roots on it so I planted some to see if it will grow. They have a lot of interesting herbs at the Asian grocery store; I wish I knew what to do with them!
Basil is good in Pho.
As for the mint, I had some which was planted in partial shade which was from shrubs that eventually caused full shade. At that point the mint died out. It was also a fairly dry spot, though, as it was on a slight incline.
Mint will grow under trees if the canopy is high enough.
If the spot is next to a driveway or other reflective source of sunlight, that might also help.
You might also have better luck since you are in a warmer zone.
The "lay of the land" can help a bit, too, if the ground slopes a bit toward the sun.
Second on the Pho! Pho is a very yummy Vietnamese noodle soup. Thai basil is one of the necessary ingredients. I made some in January with thai basil I harvested and dried last summer. Dried isn't the same is fresh, but in January it was plenty close enough and the thai basil has more flavor dried then regular dried basil.
I've never rooted sprigs from the store. The direct sown seed does well enough for me. But give it a shot and see what happens!
I agree on the Pho soup. Yum! In fact, we just had some tonight!
Here in south Texas, I can only grow my mint it shade. The combined very high heat and very high humidity will fry mint. I know that DFW isn't as humid as we are, but you still have the intense heat. My mother-in-law grew all of her mint in shade in Marshall, TX. So I would give it a try and see how it does.
Thai basil is easy to find. Just check out a nursery in your area. Our local Wal-Mart is even carrying it.
I am growing both Thai basil and Korean mint, from store-bough bunches. I root them in water. when tiny roots start coming out, I plant them, either in the ground or pots.But you have to water them very often until the grow bigger roots and grab the soil.
back to the subject: mints need light too; little direct sun, a lot of indirect light. They are like parsley and celery when it comes to the amount of light.
I only know of ferns growing well in deep shade.
Gosh, I'm sorry Cyrus, but I have lots of mint going crazy that get shade all day long, i.e. no sunlight at all. I really believe it is where you live as to whether it can live in shade.
I've tried going mint in full sun to dapple sun, and believe me, it dies out. And of course, mint needs to be kept moist. I have an acre of land that is planted with lots of beds. Over the years I have experimented with placing 3 to 5 of the same plants in different areas of my yard. This has given me the opportunity to see what grows best where.
And yes, you can root store bought herbs, but unless you know they are organic, I would stay away from them and buy herbs that are organically grown.
Lemon Balm is a type of mint that does very well in the deep shade of my Azalea. It reseeds itself without being invasive (for me at least). The flavor is amazing in salad dressings however it isn't minty flavored.
Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden Blog