Blunt Mountainmint – Facts and Grow/Care Guide

blunt clustered mountainmint plantBlunt Mountainmint is a native herbaceous flower that is really a strong draw for pollinators.  Also known as Clustered Mountainmint, in mid to late summer clusters of tiny white/purple flowers will bloom forming almost a canopy over the stalks.  This plant is very dense with leaves and flowers, making it a great choice for manicured flowerbeds as well as wildflower gardens.  It is really a pretty plant that is just mobbed by bees and pollinating flys.  A native plant, Blunt mountain mint has a natural range from Texas to Illinois, then East to the Atlantic Ocean and New England.

 Facts

  • Is a favorite flower of bees and butterflies.  This plant has a very high value for pollinators.
  • Contains a natural insect repellent, pulegone
  • Slowly spreads via rhizomes, but easy to control
  • Deer and rabbit resistant
  • Has a long blooming period of 4-6 weeks
  • Is attractive even after flowering, into the winter
  • Blunt Mountainmint is hardy from USDA zones 4-8.  Check your USDA zone here

Physical Description

This is a clump forming plant that spreads via rhizomes.  It grows 2-3′ tall with equal spread once firmly established.  You will notice a strong spearmint aroma on crushed leaves.

Stalk / Stem

It has a smooth stalk with branching.  The stalk is light green.  The branching will terminate and flowers with opposite leaves.

Leaves

Leaves of Blunt Mountain Mint are opposite and green near the base and lower on the stalk.  Near the top of the stalk the leaves are almost white and take on a more exotic appearance.  The leaves have a lance shape (lanceolate) and terminate at a point (acuminate).  Leaves grow about 2″ long by 1″ wide (at the widest point).Pycnanthemum muticum flower mountainmint

Flower

Hundreds of tiny tubular flowers form clusters.  Each tube has two lips.  In full sun many blooms will occur.

Root

This is a shallow-rooted plant.  The roots will spread out and send up new stalks, increasing the size of the plant over time.  Since it is shallow, it is not hard to control the size.

Growing Conditions

This plant prefers full sun and moist soil that drains well.  But it is very drought tolerant, so just pay attention.  It will do just fine in partial shade.  Along the southern or eastern edge of woods is a perfect location for this plant.  But it can do just fine out in the open too.

Click on the image below for our Reference Table on Growing Mountainmint

I have mine in an open, isolated area.  It is growing on a small knob or hill with pretty much no shade, and the area gets really dry in mid-late Summer.  All pictures on this page are of that specimen, as I haven’t transplanted any new shoots to our micro-prairie yet.

blunt clustered mountainmint
This location receives sun all day long, and is on a small slope.

How to care  for Blunt Mountainmint

This plant really doesn’t require much care.  As long as you put it in conditions / an environment that it likes, the plant will do just fine.  It may require watering in extreme drought.

Maintenance

The main thing you may need to do is to control the spread if in a small garden area.  This dense plant will slowly spread.  It is not as aggressive as most mints though, so don’t be afraid.  The shallow roots make it easy to pull new shoots.  Alternatively, you can stab around the perimeter with a shovel to sever new roots too, in Early Spring.

How to Establish

Growing from seed is quite easy for this plant.  It doesn’t require any stratification, and needs light to germinate.  So to grow Clustered Mountainmint from seed you just need to sprinkle seed in a disturbed area in early Spring.  Or just direct so in pots and keep moist, letting them get morning sun.

Once you have germination, thin to the desired number of plants.  Transplant seedlings once they are several inches tall into their final location.  Then just maintain soil moisture throughout the first year.  Alternatively you can plant your transplants in the fall, and the roots will establish themselves during the winter.

clustered mountainmint in spring
This photo was taken about 1 month after emergence in Spring

Garden Uses

Since this is a ‘slow’ spreading mint, it would do well in a manicured flower bed. But overall this plant is quite versatile and can adapt to many settings.  The key is to keep it in well draining soil and make sure it gets some sunlight.  As I stated above, I have mine out in the open.  But next spring I plant to move some volunteer shoots into our backyard micro-prairie.

Click on the image below to learn how to make your own backyard Micro-Prairie!

How To Make a Micro-Prairie

Fauna Associations

This plant is an absolute favorite of bees and butterflies!  I’m amazed by the number of native bees that I see on the flowers every time I visit it.  This is a very beneficial plant for pollinators.  As far as ‘pollinator friendly’ flowers go, this one will definitely give you the most bang for your buck.

Ailanthus Webworm Moth Atteva aurea
A colorful webworm moth paying Mountainmint a visit

Pests and diseases

This plant has a strong aroma.  That strong aroma keeps deer and rabbits from browsing it.  I’ve never seen any damage on my plants.  So you can classify Blunt Mountainmint as very deer resistant.

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how to Grow Blunt Mountainmint

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