Pennyroyal is a popular herb and a member of the mint family which is widely used for medicinal and culinary purposes. With its fragrant leaves and attractive purple flowers, the pennyroyal will be a charming addition to your home garden. Although Pennyroyal is not considered a visually stunning garden plant, it is incredibly low maintenance and can be very resilient in terms of growth. In fact, if you grow pennyroyal indoors, it can sometimes become too invasive and take over your entire place if not properly contained.
Looking forward to planting this useful and beautiful herb in your kitchen garden? Then, you may be wondering: how can you grow it indoors? Does pennyroyal grow in shade? or many other questions. In this blog post, we’ll explore the facts about pennyroyal and answer some common questions about it so that you can be ready for this!
What Does a Pennyroyal Plant Look Like?
Pennyroyal typically grows to a height of 6 to 12 inches (Approx 15-30 cm) and has small, oval-shaped leaves that are a vibrant shade of green. The leaves have a slightly fuzzy texture and a distinctive minty aroma when crushed. Pennyroyal also produces small clusters of delicate, tubular flowers in shades of lavender, pink, or white, depending on the variety. There are many uses for pennyroyal leaves and flowers, despite their delicate and unassuming appearance.
Does Pennyroyal Grow in Shade?
Yes, although pennyroyal prefers full sun, it can be easily grown in partial shade, especially in the morning or late afternoon sun. But remember that it may not be able to thrive in deep shade. Sunlight affects its growth, and too much shade can cause it to become leggy and weak. Therefore, it’s best to plant pennyroyal in an area that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. You should choose a spot for pennyroyal that still receives enough light or supplement with additional light sources, such as artificial lighting.
How to Grow Pennyroyal Indoors? 7 Steps
You can easily grow pennyroyal indoors to enjoy the herb all year round by following these 7 easy steps:
Choose the Right Container for Pennyroyal
Use a container that is at least 6 to 8 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate the plant’s roots. Make sure the container has drainage holes to prevent overwatering. A cascading growth habit makes pennyroyal ideal for spilling over the sides of containers or hanging baskets.
Prepare the Soil to Grow Pennyroyal
Use a light, well-draining potting mix that is powered with organic matter. You can mix in some sand or perlite to improve drainage. To make your own compost, click here.
Plant the Pennyroyal
In order for pennyroyal seeds to germinate, they must be exposed to light. Therefore, do not cover the seeds completely with soil. If you are planting, dig a small hole in the center of the potting mix and place the plant in it. Cover the roots with the mix and gently press.
Choose a Bright Location
To successfully grow pennyroyal indoors, you must select a spot that gets plenty of bright, indirect sunlight (at least 4 hours). A south-facing window or a spot near a west-facing window can be ideal for growing pennyroyal indoors.
Water and Fertilize the Pennyroyal Plant
Water your pennyroyal plant thoroughly, making sure the soil is evenly moist. Allow the soil to dry slightly between each watering event to prevent overwatering. Feed the plant with a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer).
Prune the plant and Control Pests
To prune the pennyroyal plant, you can simply pinch back the tips of the plant to encourage bushier growth and promote new leaves. Also, check the plant regularly for pests such as aphids and spider mites.
Correctly Harvest the Pennyroyal Leaves
By simply pinching off the stem tips, you can harvest the pennyroyal leaves as needed. The leaves can be used fresh or dried for various culinary and medicinal purposes.
How Much Time Does Pennyroyal Take to Grow?
Pennyroyal is a relatively fast-growing plant and can take around 3 to 4 weeks to germinate from seed. Once the plant has been established, it can grow quickly and reach a height of 6 to 12 inches (Approx 15-30 cm) within a few months. Pennyroyal grows at a different pace depending on the growing conditions, soil quality, and the amount of sunlight and water the plant receives. Remember, pennyroyal can become invasive, so make sure you monitor its growth regularly and trim it back as needed to prevent it from taking over your garden.
What Kills Pennyroyal? 5 Points
Pennyroyal is a resilient plant, but still, there are many factors that can harm or even kill your pennyroyal plants. To successfully grow pennyroyal indoors, make sure you remember these 5 points:
- Overwatering: Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can kill the pennyroyal plant.
- Frost: Pennyroyal is not frost-tolerant and can die in freezing temperatures.
- Posts: Pest can weaken and ultimately kill your pennyroyal plant.
- Herbicides: Careless use of herbicides can also harm pennyroyal.
- Animals: Some animals may eat pennyroyal, while others may avoid it.
Will Deer Eat Pennyroyal?
No, deer usually avoid pennyroyal due to its strong minty odor, which they find unappealing. Therefore, pennyroyal is considered to be a deer-resistant plant. This can make it a good option for gardeners who are looking for plants that can deter deer from their gardens.
Will Chickens Eat Pennyroyal?
Yes, although pennyroyal is not a feed for chickens, they may eat pennyroyal if offered. Additionally, the essential oils in pennyroyal can be toxic to them, so it’s important to be cautious when feeding pennyroyal to chickens or any other animals.
Now You Can Grow Pennyroyal Indoors
In conclusion, pennyroyal is a versatile plant that can be grown in a variety of conditions, including in shade and indoors. Although it may not be a visually appealing plant, its easy-to-grow nature, and minty fragrance make it a popular choice for herb gardens. By following the tips and information provided in this blog, you too can successfully grow pennyroyal and enjoy its many benefits in your home garden. Happy Gardening!
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