days to maturity:
plant spacing: 1 plant per yard (running invasive vine)
sunlight requirements: 6-14 hours
look out for: Invasive - plant in a pot and keep it trimmed back
harvest notes: harvest leaves regularly
Hoja santa is a popular Mexican herb used to flavor many dishes from soups to Oaxacan Mole Verde. The fresh leaves are sometimes also used to wrap tamales. The large leaves (up to a foot across) of the plant have an unusual flavor that is hard to describe. It is a part of the peppercorn family, and so it has a slight pepper flavor as well as black licorice note as well. It is commonly called “root beer plant” because it kind of smells like root beer. Please be careful when planting hoja santa because it can be INVASIVE. The plant sends many underground shoots that will sprout up near the original plant. Since it is such a fun and amazing flavor to be able to grow in South Florida, don’t be afraid of it’s invasive quality, simply plant it in a container or a spot in your garden that is either surrounded by large trees or concrete so that it cannot spread to the rest of the yard.