Clustered Mountain Mint Pycnanthemum muticum

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
short-toothed mountain mint


The plant commonly known as mountain mint has a dense, bushy appearance with sturdy stems that are often square-shaped. Its leaves are a vibrant green, with a slightly fuzzy texture, and are observed to be lance-shaped with toothed margins. During the flowering season, the plant produces an abundance of small, pink to lavender flowers that cluster at the top of the stems in a compact, rounded form, typically surrounded by whitish to silvery bracts that can be quite showy and give the blooms a frosted look. These bracts are often mistaken for petals, but they actually provide a backdrop for the true flowers, helping to attract pollinators. The overall effect during bloom is a soft haze of color. The foliage of mountain mint is highly aromatic; when its leaves are crushed, they emit a strong minty fragrance, which is a characteristic trait of plants in this genus. The plant's aroma serves to entice beneficial insects, including pollinators and predatory insects that help keep pests at bay.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Clustered Mountain Mint, Short-Toothed Mountain Mint, Broad-Leaved Mountain-Mint

    • Common names

      Koellia mutica, Pycnanthemum clinopodioides.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Pycnanthemum muticum, commonly known as the clustered mountain mint, is not known to be toxic to humans. There are no widely recognized symptoms of poisoning from ingesting this plant, as it is generally considered safe and is even used as a flavoring in some culinary applications. However, as with any plant, individual allergies or sensitivity can occur.

    • To pets

      The clustered mountain mint, or Pycnanthemum muticum, is not known to be toxic to pets. It doesn't contain any known toxins that would cause poisoning symptoms in domestic animals such as dogs or cats. As with human consumption, pets may have individual sensitivities or allergic reactions, but general toxicity is not a concern with this plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Pycnanthemum muticum, commonly known as clustered mountain mint, draws bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to the garden, aiding in the pollination of nearby plants.
    • Herbal Use: The leaves can be used to make a minty herbal tea.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, clustered mountain mint is tolerant of drought, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: With its silvery bracts and tiny, clustered flowers, it adds visual interest to gardens and landscapes.
    • Culinary Use: The aromatic leaves can be used in small quantities to flavor food.
    • Erosion Control: Its spreading habit and resilient nature make it effective at stabilizing soil and preventing erosion.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Provides cover and food for a variety of small wildlife, including insects and birds.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, making it ideal for gardeners seeking low-maintenance plants.
    • Companion Planting: Can be used in companion planting to enhance the growth of other plants and repel certain pests.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antioxidant activity: Pycnanthemum muticum has been suggested to contain compounds with potential antioxidant properties.
    • Antimicrobial effects: Studies may indicate that extracts from Pycnanthemum muticum have antimicrobial effects against certain bacteria and fungi.
    • Aromatic therapy: The essential oils from Pycnanthemum muticum are sometimes used in aromatherapy for their purported soothing and relaxing effects.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Moth deterrent: The strong scent of Mountain mint is reputed to repel moths, making it useful for protecting woolens and other fabrics when dried and placed in sachets.
    • Natural insect repellent: When crushed, the leaves of Mountain mint produce a strong fragrance that can deter insects, making it an excellent choice for natural pest control in gardens or on patios.
    • Culinary flavoring: While not a traditional culinary herb, some adventurous cooks may use Mountain mint to impart a unique, minty flavor to jellies, teas, or summer cocktails.
    • Landscape design: Mountain mint is often used in landscaping for its attractive, silvery foliage and long-lasting summer blooms that provide visual interest in garden beds.
    • Companion planting: Grown alongside vegetables, Mountain mint can help to attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies for pollination, as well as predatory insects that control pests.
    • Potpourri ingredient: The fragrant leaves and flowers of Mountain mint can be dried and included in potpourri blends to scent the home.
    • Decorative elements: Fresh or dried Mountain mint cuttings can be used in floral arrangements or as part of wreaths and other decorative crafts.
    • Wildlife habitat: The dense foliage provides shelter for small wildlife and the flowers are a food source for native pollinators.
    • Erosion control: As a native perennial with extensive root systems, Mountain mint can help in stabilizing soil and preventing erosion in certain landscapes.
    • Photography subject: The distinctive blooms and foliage of Mountain mint make it a popular subject for photographers, especially those specializing in macro photography of plants and insects.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Mountain mint is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Mountain mint is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Pycnanthemum muticum, also known as Clustered Mountain Mint, often symbolizes resilience because it's a hardy plant that can thrive in various conditions.
    • Attraction: The strong, minty fragrance of Clustered Mountain Mint is thought to symbolize attraction, as it lures pollinators like bees and butterflies.
    • Healing and Therapeutic Properties: Given its use in traditional medicine, it may represent healing, relief from ailments, and therapeutic benefits.
    • Purity: As with many mint varieties, the fresh and clean scent of Clustered Mountain Mint is often associated with purity and cleanliness.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Pycnanthemum muticum, commonly known as Clustered Mountain Mint, should be watered deeply to ensure the soil is moist to the touch, particularly during its growing season in the spring and summer. As a general rule, water when the top inch of soil feels dry, roughly once a week, depending on the climate and soil drainage. It's important not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. If the weather is particularly hot and dry, increase the watering frequency. Typically, applying about 1-2 gallons of water per plant will suffice, ensuring even distribution around the root zone.

  • sunLight

    Clustered Mountain Mint thrives in full sun to partial shade conditions. Ideally, this plant should receive at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight daily. Planting it in a spot that gets morning sun and partial afternoon shade can help protect it from the intense heat of the day.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Clustered Mountain Mint does well in a wide range of temperatures but prefers warmer conditions ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate minimum temperatures down to about 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid exposing the Clustered Mountain Mint to temperatures below freezing for extended periods to prevent damage to the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Clustered Mountain Mint is beneficial for maintaining its shape and encouraging more vigorous growth. Pruning can be done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Remove dead or damaged stems and cut back the plant by about a third to promote bushiness. Pruning yearly will also help to rejuvenate the plant and encourage the production of fresh, aromatic leaves.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Mountain mint prefers well-drained soil with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 8.0. A mix of garden soil, compost, and perlite or sand in equal parts is ideal to ensure good drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Mountain mint should be repotted every 2 to 3 years or if it becomes root-bound. This helps in maintaining its health and vigor.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Mountain mint thrives best in moderate to high humidity but is quite adaptable and can tolerate lower humidity levels.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and ensure good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to partial shade, in fertile, well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Pycnanthemum muticum, commonly known as the clustered mountain mint, typically begins its life cycle with seed germination in spring, when soil temperatures rise and frost danger diminishes. Seedlings develop into mature plants with square stems and opposite leaves, characteristic of the mint family. Throughout the summer, the plant undergoes vegetative growth, forming dense stands with its fragrant, coarsely toothed leaves. By mid to late summer, it reaches reproductive maturity, producing small, pale pink or white flowers in dense, terminal clusters surrounded by prominent, silvery bracts. These flowers attract a wide variety of pollinators, leading to cross-pollination. After flowering, seed set occurs and once seeds mature, they disperse, completing the life cycle and preparing for the next generation to begin with the return of favorable conditions.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late spring to early summer

    • The Pycnanthemum muticum, commonly known as Clustered Mountain Mint, can be propagated through seed sowing or stem cuttings. The most popular method of propagation for this plant is by stem cuttings, typically done in late spring or early summer. To propagate by stem cuttings, a gardener would select healthy, non-flowering shoots and cut a 4 to 6 inch section from the tip of the stem. The cut end of the stem is then dipped in rooting hormone powder to encourage root development and planted in a moist, well-draining potting medium. The cutting should be kept in a warm environment with indirect light and should remain consistently moist until the roots have established, which usually takes several weeks. Once rooted, the new plants can be transplanted to their final location either in containers or in the garden.