5 Types of Mint Plants You Can Grow in the Garden and The Way to Take Care of Them

By | November 14, 2021

Types of Mint Plants – You should know the types of mint plants before growing them in the garden due to its 7.500 varieties. As one of the edible plants, mint has a great scent and it is suitable for a variety of meals and drinks. You can add mint leaves for mint tea, salads, pesto, and many more.

Consuming mint leaves is also good for health because of its antioxidants, antiseptic properties, antibacterial properties, and others. Check the different types of mint plants below and add your mint collection to the garden.

1. Peppermint

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Peppermint is one of the most popular mint plants. You can easily find this leaf in supermarkets. People love peppermint because of its strong sweet aroma and taste. It is the reason why you can see peppermint in some candies, desserts, and teas. The most important thing is that this mint plant is easy to plan in the garden.

Characteristics of Peppermint 

Peppermint has square stems, along with dark green leaves. The older the peppermint, it produces pinkish lavender flowers. This plant spreads with its stolon or underground stems.

Tips to Grow Peppermint in the Garden

This herb grows well as long as you grow it in moist soil and shady areas. You can have up to three feet tall if this plant grows maximally. Ensure that you grow it with enough water supply, along with a good drainage system. It is okay to grow peppermint in full sun, although growing it in the partial sunlight area is enough.

How to Harvest Peppermint 

It takes 90 days for peppermint to mature from seed. Mature means that this plant reaches 1 to 2 feet and it is ready to harvest. Pinching off the stems to harvest the peppermint leaves. You can also cut above the first or second set of leaves to harvest the leaves.

2. Spearmint

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Spearmint is the second most famous mint variety after peppermint. This variety is often used in cooking. The aroma of the spearmint is milder than peppermint.

Characteristics of Spearmint 

This herb plant has long and narrow leaves with pink or white flowers. The leaves can grow up to 4 inches or 10 cm long. This plant can grow well up to 12 to 24 inches or 31 to 61 cm high and wide if you plant it in the right area.

Tips to Grow Spearmint in the Garden

As a perennial plant, you should grow this mint in a partial shade or full sunlight area with good drainage. Check the quality of the soil first because spearmint loves to grow in rich and moist soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.

Spring is the perfect time to plant spearmint from seed. Then, keep it until 1 foot or 31 cm height before moving it to a large area such as your beds or containers. You can also grow this mint from its plant. Take care of your spearmint by keeping the soil moist and using fertilizer monthly.

How to Harvest Spearmint

You can start harvesting the spearmint right before flowering and the stems are 1 inch from the ground. Just like harvesting peppermint, pinch the stems and take the leaves. The more you harvest the leaves, the lusher your spearmint plant.

3. Apple Mint 

Those who are living in a cold area can try to grow apple mint. It is one of the types of mint plants you can eat and use as ornamental plants. This mint is often used in teas and garnishments in salads or other meals.

Characteristics of Apple Mint 

Apple mint has light green foliage and small hairs on top. This plant can grow well up to 40 to 100 cm or 16 to 39 inches tall in the right conditions. The main plant will grow stolons to produce more leaves.

The size of the leaves is around 3 to 5 cm or 1.2 to 2.0 inches long and 2 to 4 cm or 0.8 to 1.6 inches broad. It is one of the mint varieties that has hairy leaves on top and down the surface. The pale pink or white flowers make it beautiful to see.

Tips to Grow Apple Mint in the Garden 

Pick a spot that has full sunlight in the garden. At the same time, ensure that the soil is moist by watering it regularly. You can grow this mint from seed or propagate it by cuttings. Keep the soil at a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, along with a good drainage system.

It is okay if you want to plant this mint in a partial shade or partial sun area. Use apple mint as a companion plant while growing cabbage, peas, tomatoes, and broccoli.

How to Harvest Apple Mint 

Harvest apple mint at any point in the growing season by picking the leaves. You will get a stronger flavor when harvesting the leaves at midday. It is time for this plant to produce its essential oil concentrations. You can also clip the leafy stems before pinching the leaves. Harvesting the apple mint plant regularly will make it produce more leaves.

4. Banana Mint 

It seems strange to know that there is a mint plant variety known as banana mint. As its name suggests, the scent of this mint leaf is similar to the smell of a banana. Bees love to find honey in banana mint when it grows its flowers.

Characteristics of Banana Mint 

Banana mint has bright lime-green leaves. The older the plant, it is one of the various types of mint plants that produce lilac-colored flowers. That’s why gardeners often let their banana mint plants produce a lot of flowers to make their gardens more attractive. The flowers bloom throughout summer. A mature banana mint can be 18 inches or 46 cm in height.

Tips to Grow Banana Mint in the Garden 

Find a partial shade area in the garden and grow this herb. For a faster result, you would better grow banana mint from cutting than seed. Ensure that the soil is moist and it has a good drainage system. This plant can grow aggressively throughout the garden and cover up other plants in the garden. That’s why you should prune the stems and leaves regularly. This mint can’t survive in dry soil, so water the soil regularly.

How to Harvest Banana Mint 

You can start to harvest the banana mint leaves when the plant looks long and leggy. Midsummer or fall is the best time to harvest the leaves. Make the process faster by cutting the stems for about one-third of their height. Then, pinch the leaves and use them on your tea, salads, or other meals.

5. Pennyroyal Mint 

Pennyroyal mint is considered an ancient herb and it has been used since ancient Rome. Nowadays, people are not only using this mint in their dishes but also for medicinal and insect repelling properties.

Characteristics of Pennyroyal Mint 

This mint consists of two varieties, which are American and European. The American Pennyroyal mint has a square and hairy stem. A mature pennyroyal mint has many branches for about 6 inches or 15 cm to 1 foot or 31 cm in height.

On the other hand, the leaves are tiny and slim. This mint will produce pale blue flowers from July up to September. European Pennyroyal mint can grow up to 1 foot or 31 cm tall. They grow well in full sun or partial shade areas.

Tips to Grow Pennyroyal Mint in the Garden 

You can grow this mint by seedling, cuttings, and spring division methods. Find partial sunlight or full sunlight in your garden to grow this herb. Water the soil until it is perfectly moist. The seeds will germinate for around two weeks. Planting this mint with cutting and spring division is faster than a seedling. You can also plant them in a hanging basket or indoor for an ornamental plant at home.

How to Harvest Pennyroyal Mint 

You can start to harvest pennyroyal mint throughout spring and summer. It produces a lot of leaves in one growing season, so you can harvest this mint plant two or three times.

Now, you know the types of mint plants. Some of them may be new for you, and you can consider planting all types of mint plants above in your garden.

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