Ask a Question forum: Pennyroyal in the same pot as a ficus?

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Name: Michael Klein
New Orleans, LA (Zone 9b)
Aug 23, 2016 8:50 PM CST
I have three indoor towering ficus plants in 12" pots. I was wondering if it would be ok to plant pennyroyal mint (or any other kind of mint/herb) in the pot with the ficus? I know that pennyroyal spreads quickly and has a thick root system so I don't want to strangle the ficus but it would be great to have that fresh mint fragrance and the very green mint leaves in the pot. Thoughts?
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[Last edited by mieklein - Aug 23, 2016 9:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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Aug 23, 2016 10:16 PM CST
Welcome! to NGA

I don't see why not. It looks like your soil level is down a couple inches. I would lift the tree and add more soil under it to bring it up to pot rim level before adding more plants.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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Aug 24, 2016 5:10 AM CST
Are you familiar with the plant pennyroyal ?
If not you might want to do some research first. It is a great herb for insect repellent, but is dangerous if taken internally , and some people react with a rash just with skin contact.

I have grown this plant and it does have a wonderful smell and nice growing habit.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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Aug 24, 2016 5:21 AM CST
Appart from Cinda's comment on pennyroyal toxicity (especially if there are small children or pets) I would tend to think the indoor conditions that suit the ficus would not suit any herbs that need high levels of light. Ficus benjamina can be a little cranky and yours looks in excellent condition so I wouldn't disturb it. Maybe grow the herbs in separate pots on a windowsill?
Name: Michael Klein
New Orleans, LA (Zone 9b)
Aug 24, 2016 10:08 PM CST
Thanks for your answers and suggestions. I definitely need to raise the soil level in the pot. The ficus are newly transplanted into their pots so I wanted to wait a little for the root structure to settle before disturbing. Also, in regards to the light requirement for the mint, it is hard to tell because that picture was taken at night but the ficus sit in front of gigantic arched windows that let in tons of natural light. I'm not worried about the pennyroyal growing, I just don't want its roots to suffocate the ficus. I think I will try it in one of the three first and see how it goes. I will post pictures soon.

Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
Aug 24, 2016 11:17 PM CST
In my yard, in Washington State, my dear sweet late neighbor, Grammpa Neighbor, as the kids called him, planted mint. Just a little tiny bit, next to his basil, he wanted to make Mojitos. He was a loving and special gentleman, and I just could not tell him his mint was going to spread to both are gardens in a way we would curse later. And in a season or two, we saw alot of each other, as his mint patch had become a weedy nightmare.
He passed 15 or more years ago, but that stinking mint is going to outlive us all, and choke out anything in it's path.

Is there any other plant you have too many of, you could do a test run on, so as not to harm such a big and beautiful tree.
Good luck, with it. It sure will be pretty if it does no harm in a pot.

Good Luck
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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Aug 25, 2016 5:49 AM CST
It may be easier in the long run to place small potted plants right on the soil of the ficus rather than plant into it.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
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