Peppermint is a very popular herb plant because it can be used in a variety of ways, is very easy to care for and thrives well in the garden bed as well as in a tub on the balcony. So it can be brewed as a tea, refine a meal and the delicious leaves have become an indispensable part of many cocktails. However, it is often pointed out that a flowering peppermint plant should not be consumed. If there are health reasons, it is due to the taste or the plant even becomes poisonous during flowering. The following article explains the reasons why the herb should not be eaten during the flowering period.


  • different up to 14 types with many sub-types
  • Family: Mint
  • Mint or mentha
  • originally from England
  • elongated leaves with a serrated edge
  • Color: often green to dark green
  • fresh, aromatic fragrance
  • Flowering period from June to August
  • Leaves and flowers suitable for consumption
  • perennial and hardy


Peppermint usually starts flowering in June. During this time, long panicles that are reminiscent of ears of corn form. This is where the small flowers are formed. Before these open, most of the oil is stored in the leaves and should then be harvested. So the following can be said about the flowering time of the plant:

  • blooms from June to August
  • pink-white small flowers
  • the aroma of the leaves is greatest before flowering

Many experts advise clipping off the flower buds and not letting the plant bloom in the first place. If you are not interested in the actually decorative flowers of peppermint for aesthetic reasons, you can definitely take this measure. Because the seeds are not needed for reproduction either, since the mint can also be multiplied by division if more plants are desired. In this way, no force is put into the flower formation and the leaves remain tasty longer in this way.

Tip: Gourmets even go so far as to use the flowers in the kitchen. Like other edible flowers, these can be sprinkled over a salad and should also be very tasty.

Harvest time

As a rule, the leaves of the peppermint can be harvested at any time. In the spring before the flowers develop, the leaves have the most flavor due to the essential oils they contain. As the plant blooms, its powers are put more into the flowers, so the leaves receive less of the oil and thus lose much of their familiar minty taste. And even after the flowers have faded, the leaves can be used again, but they now taste a bit bitter. Harvesting should be done as follows:

  • keep removing leaves in spring
  • harvest most of the leaves before flowering
  • freeze or dry
  • occasionally leaves can also be taken during flowering
  • after the leaves have faded, they are bitter
  • can also be harvested now

Ideally, the plant should be cut back before winter so that it can sprout again in spring in a tasty manner. Although the leaves now taste a bit tart, they can still be used. So these tart tasting leaves can be used for brewing tea, for example, while they are still well dried.

Tip: The leaves of the mint should not be eaten if the plant is infected with powdery mildew, which unfortunately happens very often. Then the appropriate countermeasures must first be taken before the leaves can be harvested again for consumption.

Don’t eat flowering mint?

The blooming mint can be used and eaten or made into a tea. It shouldn’t, however, as it loses its flavor during flowering. This is because the main goal of the plant is to reproduce. With the flowers, she attracts pollinators, such as bees or bumblebees, so that the flowers are fertilized. All of the energy is invested in the formation of the flowers, fruits and seeds. The well-known peppermint taste of the leaves falls by the wayside.

Tip: When the peppermint is in bloom, the hobby gardener should enjoy this sight to the full. However, to ensure that mint is available in the kitchen all year round, the leaves can be harvested before flowering and dried or frozen. This allows the plant to bloom in peace, after which it will also be tasty again when fresh.

Peppermint not toxic

Even though it is often transmitted, the plants are not poisonous, not even during the flowering period. The leaves can also be harvested and consumed while the plant is in bloom, which is completely harmless. However, many amateur cooks do not like them very well during this time. Others, however, are of the opinion that especially at this time after flowering, the leaves are particularly edible and edible due to the tart taste.

Tip: Since opinions about the taste before and after the flowering period as well as the edibility of the flowers differ greatly, every hobby gardener should form his own opinion about this. However, consumption does not hurt at any time if the tasty leaves are enjoyed in moderation.

Side effects

Although the leaves of the herbaceous plant are edible at any time and the plant is not poisonous, larger consumption can certainly lead to side effects. Because the mint leaves are not only used in the kitchen for a tasty meal, they are also said to help in various areas of health. The tea can help with the following symptoms:

  • for stomach and intestinal problems
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • a headache
  • Colds

However, heartburn symptoms can be exacerbated here due to increased consumption of the tea. However, this has nothing to do with whether or not the plant was in flower at harvest time.

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