Mint Plant Growing Guide: How To Plant Mint Types, Care Tips, Growing Zones

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | February 26, 2024

Woman eating mint ice cream wonders if there is a mint plant growing guide that explains how to grow types of mint at home, planting mint, harvesting mint leaves, uses, and mint types identification with pictures.

The Mint plant is a perennial herb belonging to the Lamiaceae family, also referred to as the Mint family.

Other plants in the family include oregano, basil, thyme, lavender, and rosemary. All the plants of this family bear certain similarities, like square stems; some contrasting features include leaf color, shape, and the plant’s scent.

But, did you know that the taste varies from one type of Mint plant to another. For instance, spearmint boasts a sweet taste characterized by a sharp touch of citrus and spice, while peppermint bears a significantly pungent menthol taste. On the other hand, apple mint smells like apple while orange mint resembles the taste of standard oranges.

This article explores the Mint plant, scientifically known as Mentha. Mint is one of the greatest culinary herbs across the globe, and how you can plant and grow mint at home, either indoors or out.



Mint plant image in circle frame on green background.
  • Characteristics: Mint plants are aromatic perennial herbs. They have wide-spreading underground and overground stolons and erect, square, branched stems. They are easy to grow and vigorous spreaders.
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Genus: Mentha
  • Leaf: Mint has square stems and opposite aromatic leaves. The leaves are oblong or lanceolate, and most have serrated margins. Their color ranges from dark green to gray-green, with some varieties having yellow, blue, or purple leaves.
  • Seed: Small brown to black seeds, depending on the cultivar.
  • Blossoms: Mints have small flowers, which can be purple, pink, or white, arranged in clusters.
  • Native Habitat: Europe, Asia, and Africa
  • Canopy: Mints produce a dense mat of leaves to create a lush ground cover that can spread to about 2 to 3 feet.
  • Type: Perennial herb
  • Native Growing Zone: USDA zones 3 up to 11

The Mint plant is easy to grow. It grows in several soils and can tolerate various weather conditions like frost. Mint can also be grown indoors or outdoors in pots or in the garden. This plant is a quick spreader and may overgrow if not monitored. It however makes one of the herbs every farmer shouldn’t miss in their gardens.

For newbie Mint growers, it’s essential to go through this article to the last lap to learn everything regarding the plant. It covers details on how to grow and care for Mint, different types of plants, their benefits, and how to harvest.

What Is a Mint Plant?

Mint is a perennial herb, loved by many chefs and gardeners due to its ease of growth, fresh scent, and distinct flavor.11 This plant belongs to the genus Mentha in the Lamiaceae family. It has been cultivated by humans for hundreds of years due to medicinal and culinary uses.

In fact, Mint has been a common herb in kitchen gardens and a primary ingredient in traditional medicine. The plant boasts soothing and cooling properties, making it an ideal choice for flavoring beverages, teas, and food.

Do you wish to grow Mint plants but are not certain of how and where they will suit you best? Mints can be grown in different setups, including terraces, windowsills, and beds. You can also plant them in pots and place them on your kitchen table so you can easily grab a few leaves whenever you wish, especially for your morning tea.

What Does Mint Look Like? (How To Identify Mint Plant)

Many plants are referred to as Mint, while there aren’t actual Mint- a good example is the hummingbird Mint. Others are quite close to Mint, like basil, you can confuse them with the true Mint plants. Hence, if you encounter an aromatic herb and aren’t sure if it’s Mint, below are general characteristics to describe real Mints. These characteristics may, however, vary across different cultivars.

Mint Leaves

Mint leaves are egg or lance-shaped, while the size varies for different species. They are opposite, meaning each leaf grows with a pair along the main stem. Mint leaves have a smooth texture and toothed edge.

Mint leaves are the most aromatic. Their color ranges from dark green to gray-green, although some cultivars have yellow, blue, or purple leaves.

Mint Stem

Like all members of the Lamiaceae family, Mint plants have a square stem. It’s usually hairy, and its color can range from green to purple, depending on the species.

Mint Flowers

Mint plants produce small tubular flowers arranged in clusters. The flowers have different colors depending on the cultivar. They can be white, pink, purple or lavender. Mint flowers are very attractive to both humans and pollinators.

They attract pollinators like different types of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds and look gorgeous planted alongside types of white flowers. Mint plants start to flower in early summer, lasting until autumn. They usually begin to flower in their second year.

Mint Seeds

Mint flowers will produce small, round, brown-to-black seeds. They are located inside the tubular flowers. If you plan to propagate Mint through seeds, wait until the flowers start to wilt. Harvest and dry the seeds. If you don’t harvest them at this point, they will self-seed and cause the plant to spread in the entire garden.

Mint Taste

The best way to identify Mint is by its taste. Most Mints have a cool, slightly sweet flavor with a hint of menthol. However, the aromatic flavor will differ depending on the cultivars.

25 Types of Mint Plant

When you talk of Mint, most people will think of peppermint. But did you know there are 25 known species of Mints and hundreds of hybrids? There could be more types of Mints people don’t know about. Why? Because Mint is easy to hybridize, cross-pollination will occur as long as you have planted more than one variety.

The varieties we know about are the ones researchers have identified and studied. But that doesn’t mean they are the only species that exist. So, if you are growing several species of Mint, you might get a new cultivar. But if you don’t want a new cultivar in your garden, remove the flower to prevent cross-pollination.

These herbs will thrive in various soils, in full sun to partial shade. However, the best environment for Mint plants will depend on the parents. Generally, Mint will grow from USDA zones 3 to 11, but some cultivars will tolerate cold better than others.

Therefore, if you are considering adding Mint to your garden but are unsure which type of Mint will do well in your area, below is a detailed description of 25 types of Mint you can add to your garden, plus where they grow best.

1. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Peppermint is one of the most commonly planted and used types of Mint.13 It’s a hybrid of watermint and spearmint. Peppermint has dark green elongated leaves that are toothed along the margin. It produces pink flowers and has a peppery-spicy aroma.

Photo of the Peppermint leaves.

(Image: Sapturnus19)

The Peppermint prefers well-drained humus soil and full sun to partial shade. It can grow 12 to 24 inches and grow best in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 11. Both its leaves and flowers are edible and are used to flavor food, teas, and beverages.

Peppermint essential oil (oil extracted from peppermint leaves and flowers) is used in cosmetics and soaps as a fragrance. Moreover, it’s used for medical purposes, like in the production of drugs. Peppermint is believed to improve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive problems.

Photo of the leaves of Egyptian Mint.

(Image: Batsv20)

2. Egyptian Mint (Mentha niliaca)

Are you looking for a Mint with a milder taste than pepperMint and spearmint? Egyptian Mint might be exactly what you need. As its name suggests, this Mint originates from Africa, and it’s widely used in Mediterranean cuisine.

This Mint dates back to ancient Egypt. Some scholars believe it’s the Mint of the bible. The Mint that the Pharisees used to tithe because it grows wild in biblical regions. Egyptian Mint has a flavor close to apple Mint. It has soft, light green, and round leaves. It is sweeter than most Mints and can be added to savory dishes, tea, cocktails, and pastries.

Egyptian Mint is less invasive than most Mints (but still invasive when not controlled.) It prefers moist, well-drained humus soil and partial shade to full sun. It will flower in summer within USDA zones 3 – 8, producing cream and lilac blossoms. It grows up to 3 feet tall. Besides using Egyptian Mint in food and teas, you can crush the leaves and flowers and mix them with apple cider vinegar and water to make a natural skin toner.

3. Water Mint (Mentha aquatica)

Water Mint is a water-loving aromatic herb. In its native regions of Africa, Europe, and Asia, this Mint grows near water bodies.15 While all Mints prefer moist soil, add this Mint only if you can provide adequate irrigation. It also spreads more vigorously than other types of Mint, so you must keep it in check.

Close up photo of the leaves of water mint.

(Image: Michel Langeveld21)

Nonetheless, this hardy perennial will grace your garden with rich green leaves with serrated margins attached to purple stems. They will produce purple or blue blossoms in summer that will attract pollinators. Plant water Mint within the USDA zone 3 -10 in poorly drained clay or loam soil, in full or partial shade. This Mint will spread to about 2-3 inches and a height of 1 – 2 inches.

Water Mint is grown for culinary and medical purposes. It’s rich in antibacterial properties and therefore used in producing soaps and cosmetics. It’s also used in aromatherapy thanks to its intense menthol flavor that’s almost like a bergamot but spicy.

Close up photo of Apple Mint plant leaves.

(Image: Humoyun Mehridinov22)

4. Apple Mint (Mentha suaveolens)

Apple Mint is also called fuzzy Mint or woolly Mint.16 This is because it has a hairy stem and aromatic light green fuzzy serrated leaves. It has an apple-like flavor but is milder than other Mints.

Apple Mint grows best in USDA zones  6- 10 and is not frost-hardy. It prefers well-drained humus soil in full sun or partial shade. This Mint will grow up to 24 inches, producing pale pink or white blossoms that smell like apples. It’s often used to flavor teas, desserts, and cocktails.

Moreover, it’s used in the production of cosmetics and medication thanks to its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. However, it’s not often used to garnish because of the hairy leaves. Apple Mint is one of the least spreading Mints.

5. Penny Royal (Mentha pulegium)

Unlike most Mints that are loved for their aroma, especially when added to dishes and beverages, penny royal is toxic when eaten. Nonetheless, it can be added to a garden with rich, moist soil in full or partial shade within USDA zones 5-9.

Close up photo of the purple flower of penny royal mint plant

(Image: EmirDzaferovic23)

This plant is very invasive and should be controlled so as not to spread to areas near children or pet play areas. It has oval leaves that smell like spearmint. Pennyroyal Mint are natives of Europe and will grow to a height of 6-12 inches, producing small lilac flowers between May and September.12

While this Mint has medicinal properties, don’t use it without being advised by a medical professional, as ingesting it in large quantities can cause liver damage, seizure, or even death.

6. Kentucky Colonel Mint (Mentha spicata ‘Kentucky Colonel’)

Kentucky Colonel Mint is a hybrid of the spearmint. In fact, it’s the most popular among all spearMint varieties. It has large dark green leaves with wrinkled surfaces and a sweet-spicy flavor.

Kentucky colonels prefer rich, moist, well-draining soil and can grow to 2-3 feet. This Mint grows best within USDA zones 5-9 and will flower during summer, producing lilac or pink flowers.

Kentucky colonel is used in cooking and garnishing but also has medicinal properties. It’s a very common Mint in the southern United States, especially in making Mint julep, a traditional alcoholic cocktail popular with Southerners, particularly the Kentucky Derby.

7. Corsican Mint (Mentha requienii)

Corsican Mint will do if you are looking for a short Mint for planting at the edge of your pot or between stepping stones. This Mint, also called rock Mint or creeping Mint, is short with bright green leaves. It’s less aggressive than most Mint varieties but is still invasive.

Close up photo of the blossom of Corsican Mint with a comparison of its size to a burnt match.

(Image: MichaelXXLF25)

It’s native to Corsica and Sardinia but has spread to temperate regions worldwide, even becoming invasive. In fact, it’s considered an invasive species in the USA. Corsican Mint thrives in the USDA zones 7 to 11. It needs well-draining soil and partial shade (it can still grow under full sun but prefers partial shade).

This little plant will grow to a height of 1/4 inch and bloom in summer, producing small light purple flowers. It makes a perfect ground cover as the small leaves will spread to make a thick mat that can even withstand foot traffic to some extent.

Moreover, it’s used in cooking, especially meat and salads. Corsican Mint has a slightly sweet but strong Minty flavor. It’s used in the making of the famous creme de menthe.

8. Strawberry Mint

If you’d love to wake up to the smell of fresh strawberries, add this beautiful herb to your garden, pots, or hanging baskets. This hardy perennial has compact growth of green foliage and will produce lilac flowers in summer.

This Mint, also called red-stemmed Mint, is a spearmint and apple Mint hybrid. It has a red stem and a sweet, fruity, cool, minty flavor. It grows best within USDA zones 4 to 9 and will reach a height of 2 feet.

Strawberry Mint prefers moist, well-draining soil in full sun or partial shade. It’s full of health benefits and can be added to food, pastries, teas, beverages, or just pure water to add flavor.

9. Grapefruit Mint (Mentha piperita ‘Grapefruit’)

Another easy-to-grow sub-type of peppermint is the Grapefruit Mint. This hybrid has a sharp citrus mint aroma, making it an ideal addition to various desserts, beverages, and salads. Grapefruit Mint boasts deep green leaves with a slight touch of purple. Their flowers and leaves are all edible.

Additionally, the purple flowers make awesome cut flowers. This plant is hardy but works better under the sun than in cold areas. It flourishes best in USDA zones 6 to 11. Grapefruit Mint prefers rich, moist, and well-drained soil and will likely reach 2 feet in height under these conditions.

The Grapefruit Mint not only graces your garden with magnificent flowers but also attracts many pollinators. Moreover, it boasts medicinal properties and aligns well with chicken and fish dishes.

10. Banana Mint (Mentha arvensis ‘Banana’)

Imagine a combination of ripe, sweet bananas and Mint. That’s what you get when you add Banana Mint in your favorite beverage or tea. This hybrid is also easy to grow and is primarily cultivated for its foliage, specifically for cooking. Banana Mint contains medicinal properties and its leaves are used to enhance fragrance in soap and cosmetic products.

The Banana Mint plant bears fuzzy, lime-green leaves with tiny purple flowers. It performs well in humus, well-draining soil and is quite hardy in USDA zones 5 to 11. You can grow banana Mint in window baskets, pots, or along other plants in the garden under partial shade and full sun. A mature banana Mint plant will likely reach 18 inches in height.

11. Chocolate Mint (Mentha piperita ‘Chocolate’)

Chocolate Mint is a hybrid of peppermint and orange mint. This is one of the most interesting types of Mint. It smells like chocolate but tastes like oranges. It has lance-shaped dark green leaves and lavender blossoms. Both the leaves and flowers are edible. They add orange-Minty flavor to teas, pastries, and dishes.

Grow chocolate Mint in moist, well-draining soil in full sun or partial shade within USDA zones 5 to 9. This Europe and the Middle East native Mint, will grow to 24 inches height upon maturity.

Photo of the blossoms and leaves of Mojito Mint plant.

(Image: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz26)

12. Mojito Mint (Mentha villosa)

Mojito Mint is also called Cuban Mint.17 This aromatic herb native to Cuba is essential in making the famous Cuban mojito. It’s a hybrid of spearmint and apple mint. This variety is not as widespread as other Mints. In fact, it was impossible to find it outside Cuba until 2005, when it was introduced to North America.

Nonetheless, under the right conditions, it grows easily and spreads aggressively. It grows best in USDA zones 5 to 9 in any soil as long as it’s well-draining and fertile. You will have to give this Mint more water than you’d give other types of Mints, but not as much as the water needed by the water mint.

Mojito Mint grows well in full sun or part shade, but it will likely burn when grown in full sun in areas that experience extremely hot summers. Mojito Mint has large, bright green leaves and pale pink flowers. It tastes more like spearmint but milder with a citrus hint. Besides making mojito, Cuban Mint is used to garnish tea, food, and pastries.

13. Horse Mint (Mentha longifolia)

Horse Mint is also called brook Mint, wild spearmint, or bush Mint.18 It’s native to Europe, Africa, and Asia but has naturalized in many parts of the world. It’s a culinary herb with a Minty taste similar to peppermint. Its leaves are double-colored. The top is gray-green, while the bottom is whitish.

Horse Mint will bloom in summer, producing purple, lilac, and white flowers. It thrives anywhere within the USDA zone 5 to 9 as long as it’s planted in moist well, draining soil, in full sun or partial shade.

Photo of the leaves and blossoms of horse mint plant.

(Image: David Perezy27)

Photo that shows the flower of Asian Mint plant.

(Image: I, Doronenko28)

14. Asian Mint (Mentha asiatica)

As the name suggests, this Mint is native to Asia. It has long, serrated, dark green leaves and rose or purple flowers. It grows best in fertile, well-draining, moist soil. It’s not frost-hardy, so it should be planted in USDA Zone 6 to 9.

Asian Mint was traditionally used as a herbal tea to treat several illnesses, including headaches, flu, and digestive problems.19 It’s also used for culinary purposes, especially in Asian cuisine

15. Pineapple Mint (Mentha suaveolens ‘Variegata’)

Pineapple Mint is a hybrid of apple mint. This Mint will light up your garden with variegated leaves and white to light pink flowers. The leaves are bright green with cream-to-white markings along the toothed edges. You can plant this Mint as a ground cover, ornamental plant, or for culinary purposes.

Pineapple Mint has a sweet, minty flavor with hints of pineapple. While the parents love full sun, the white parts of the Pineapple Mint leaves usually burn out under harsh sun. And although it grows best in USDA zones 5 to 9, it’ll need shade during the hotter months. It grows best in well-drained, fertile, and moist soil. Under the right growing conditions, Pineapple Mint will grow to a height of 34 inches.

16. American Wild Mint (Mentha canadensis)

American Wild Mint is also called Canada Mint, probably because it’s native to North America. It has dark green oval leaves with a toothed margin and lovely pink or white flowers. It has a very strong Minty flavor similar to peppermint.

Close up photo of the flower of American Wild Mint plant.

(Image: Ayotte, Gilles, 194829)

This Mint grows in most parts of the USA, specifically USDA zones 3 to 9. Like most Mint, it loves well-drained but moist soil and full sun to part shade. It grows to an average height of 18 inches, so it can be planted in pots, hanging baskets, or on the ground.

Canada Mint is mainly used for culinary purposes to make teas, jellies, candies, and garnish meat. It also has medicinal properties. However, its fruit is toxic when eaten.

17. Margarita Mint (Mentha margarita)

So you read margarita and thought this herb originates from Mexico? No, this gorgeous Mint was bred by the famous hybridizer from Illinois, Jim Westerfield. However, you were not totally wrong; this Mint goes well with margarita.

Margarita Mint is among the least invasive Mints. This is because it doesn’t spread by underground rhizomes like most Mints. Instead, it spreads through above-ground runners. It grows best in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. It should be grown within USDA zones 5 to 8 and can attain a height of 12 inches.

Margarita Mint has small oval light green leaves with bronze edges, and it will produce lilac or purple flowers during summer. Apart from adding it to margaritas, you can use it to make tea, garnish meat and other foods, or for aromatherapy and potpourri.

18. Lavender Mint (Mentha piperita ‘Lavenduls’)

Lavender Mint is a red-stemmed perennial herb mostly grown for ornamental purposes. However, it also has medicinal properties and is grown for culinary purposes. It has small round leaves and produces gorgeous lavender flowers during summer.

Lavender Mint is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9, growing to a height of 2 feet. It prefers moist, well-drained soil. Lavender Mint has a Minty flavor with a hint of lavender. It’s used to enhance the taste of delicacies and tea or to treat digestive problems. Moreover, it’s added to soaps, lotions, and cosmetics to give them a lavender fragrance.

Photo of the Calamint on a grassy field.

(Image: Evelyn Simak30)

19. Calamint

If your garden is rocky or has sandy soil and you wonder which type of Mint to add – Calamint is the one. This Mint grows best in dry sandy soil and doesn’t care about temperature as long as it’s not very cold.

Calamint is native to the United Kingdom and has other names like basil thyme or mountain balm. It has large, bright green fuzzy leaves and produces light pink flowers during summer.

It’s easy to grow, reaching a height of up to 2 feet. Calamint is grown for both medical and culinary purposes. It has an oregano minty fragrance and attracts a lot of pollinators.

20. Corn Mint (Mentha arvensis)

The Corn Mint, also called Wild Mint, grows wildly in many parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. In fact, many people don’t use it for culinary or ornamental purposes but treat it like weed. This Mint has lance-shaped bright green leaves with serrated margins. Its flowers are purple, white or pink.

Photo of leaves and flowers of Corn Mint plant.

(Image: AnemoneProjectors (talk)31)

Although not very popular, Corn Mint leaves are eaten raw, cooked, or brewed into herbal tea for colds and congestion. If you want to add Corn Mint to your garden, ensure the soil is well-drained and fertile in full or partial shade.

21. Orange Mint (Mentha piperita citrata)

Orange Mint, also called bergamot Mint or Eau de Cologne Mint, is a spearMint and waterMint hybrid. It has oval, deep green leaves and produces pink or white flowers in summer. This European native has a citrus and spicy flavor with hints of lavender.

Like most Mint plants, Orange Mint is easy to grow and spreads vigorously. It grows best within USDA zones 4 to 11 in moist, rich, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. It usually gets leggy when planted under full shade. It grows to a height of 24 inches.

Orange Mint is used for culinary applications and medical purposes, especially in treating colds, coughs, stomachaches, aromatherapy, and potpourri. Moreover, it adds fragrance to soaps, lotions, deodorants, and cosmetics.

Photo focusing on the white flower of Ginger Mint plant.

(Image: ZipcodeZoo.com32)

22. Ginger Mint (Mentha x gracilis)

If you indulge in Vietnamese food, you must be familiar with this Mint, a Minty flavor with hints of ginger. This Mint is also called Vietnamese Mint because it is a Vietnam native. However, it also grows wildly in some parts of Europe and Asia.

Besides culinary applications, ginger Mint is also grown as an ornamental plant thanks to its variegated leaves. Moreover, it treats acne, sores, colds and flu, runny stomachs, and other digestive problems. Its oil is used to add fragrance to perfumes and soaps. It’s mixed with lemon juice and pepper to flavor meat and seafood dishes.

Ginger Mint has green variegated leaves with orange-goldish mottled stripes and a red stem. It grows to a height of 1 to 2 inches, producing tiny lilac flowers. It will grow in any soil as long as it’s in full sun or part shade within USDA zones 5 to 9.

23. Menthe de Perse

This Mint plant with a fancy name is also called Menthe de Gatefossé, or Fliyyo dial jbel. It was given this name by French botanist René Maire in 1922 in honor of botanist Jean Gattefossé and is native to Morocco’s Atlas Mountains.

Photo showing the purple blossoms and leaves of Menthe de Perse.

(Image: André Karwath aka Aka33)

Menthe de Perse has bright green sessile and oblanceolate leaves with white, lilac, or purple flowers. It will grow best in humus, well-draining, moist soil in full sun or partial shade. While it’s mainly grown for essential oil extraction due to its intense Minty flavor, it’s still used for cooking, making traditional medicine, and repelling insects and bugs.

Photo of the leaves of Chinese Mint plant.

(Image: I, Doronenko34)

24. Chinese Mint (Mentha haplocalyx)

Chinese Mint is always at the center of Chinese cuisine, from flavoring meat, fish, desserts, and salads to teas. It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat sores, wounds, stomach problems, and colds.

Their oil is used as a fragrance in the beauty industry and aromatherapy. Chinese Mint has dark green toothed oval leaves and pale lilac flowers. This native of China will grow anywhere with moist soil (any soil) in full sun or partial shade within USDA zones 5 to 9.

25. Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

Spearmint is also called garden Mint or common Mint, probably because it’s common in kitchen gardens.2 The spear’s name comes from the appearance of its leaves, which are pointed like a spear. The leaves are bright green with serrated margins and almost hairless, unlike most Mints.

Close up photo of the blossoms of Spearmint.

(Image: U.S. Department of Energy24)

Spearmint blooms in summer, producing pink or white flowers in pointy spikes. It is native to Europe and North Africa but has spread to most temperate regions worldwide. They prefer moist, well-drained, rich soil and full sun to partial shade. A mature Spearmint plant can grow 1 to 2 feet tall and grows best in USDA hardiness zones 3 – 11.

Spearmint has a sweet, slightly sharp citrus and spicy aroma. It’s commonly used to give a minty taste to sweets, chewing gums, and toothpaste. Moreover, Spearmint oil is used in cosmetics as a fragrance.

Plant Spearmint if you want to remove sugar from your diet but still want a sweet taste in your morning tea. This Mint also treats digestive problems and colds and kills bacteria.

Is the Hummingbird Mint Plant a True Mint?

Hummingbird Mint 1 also called giant hyssop belongs to the Lamiaceae family (Mint family) but in genus Agastache. True Mints belong to the genus Mentha.

Mint Plant Facts and Symbolism

Mint plant is a beloved herb all over the world. Everywhere you go, you’ll find a Mint native to that region. While they may carry different names and flavors, they belong to the Mentha genus.

But do they have any special meaning? You probably didn’t know facts about Mint:

  • Mint’s scientific name, Mentha, was given from a Greek mythological figure called Minthe. According to the story, Minthe, a beautiful nymph, was turned into Mint by Persephone because her husband Pluto (god of the underworld) was eying her. However, she still attracts people with her beautiful fragrance.
  • Mints in different cultures symbolize hospitality and love. In many Arab countries, they offer guests a cup of Mint tea upon arrival. In ancient Greece, they rubbed Mint on tables to welcome visitors.
  • Did you know the Mint is a biblical herb? Pharisees used Mint to tithe.
  • Mint has for many years been used to clear air in homes and temples. The Bible talks of Hebrews scattering Mint in the synagogue.
  • Humans have used Mint for over 1000 years for different purposes.
  • Did you know the US produces 70% of the world’s Mint? Most of this Mint comes from Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. The US, India, and China are the top producers of Mint-related products.

Uses of Mint Herb

Everyone loves Mint. Whether in chewing gum, toothpaste, margarita, or tea. But what’s with the obsession? Does Mint have any health benefits?8
Throughout history, people have used Mint for various reasons. From cooking, medicine, repelling pests, and air freshening. If you are wondering if they are worth the effort, below are some uses for Mint plants. But first, here are some nutrients found in Mint plants.

  • Vitamin A: Supports vision, skin health, and immune function
  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant that boosts the immune system and improves skin health
  • Fiber: Promotes digestive health
  • Iron: Helps in the transportation of oxygen in the body
  • Calcium: Helps to strengthen bones and teeth
  • Manganese: Great for the nervous system and the brain
  • Phosphorus: Essential for the growth and repair of body tissues and cells
  • Potassium: Helps regulate blood pressure and muscle contraction
  • Vitamin K: Important for blood clotting and bone health

Remember, a Mint plant is consumed in small quantities, so you can’t expect to meet your daily nutrient requirements by eating them. It’s best to eat Mint alongside other healthy food. Here are the uses of Mint.

Help With Indigestion and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

If you suffer from indigestion, you know how uncomfortable it gets, especially in public. But did you know Mint tea could help? Indigestion happens when your system cannot digest food as required, causing bloating, burning sensation, and nausea.

Taking Mint tea or Peppermint oil with food will stimulate digestive enzymes to help with digestion. Mint oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Similarly, taking Peppermint oil gives relief to people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.4 The menthol relaxes the gastrointestinal muscles, while anti-inflammatory properties help reduce inflammation in the stomach.

Relief Nausea

Nausea is common in many pregnant women, more so in the first trimester. But do you acknowledge that Mint could assist in eliminating nausea and motion sickness? You can use Peppermint oil for aromatherapy or drink peppermint to tackle nausea.

Relieve from Headache

Mint contains menthol, a product known to eliminate pain by triggering pain fiber. While all Mint plants have some menthol content, Peppermint is the most ideal for this treatment. Other Mint varieties, like lemon Mint, contain insignificant menthol content and hence may not be effective.

The cooling properties of Peppermint help to prevent muscle contraction and enhance blood flow in the head. While you could acquire some relief by consuming pepperMint tea, the results are more desirable via aromatherapy or massaging a blend of Peppermint oil and carrier oil at the back of your neck or on your surface.

Improves Respiratory Health

Although Mint cannot cure asthma or colds, taking Mint tea daily (or consuming Mint leaves in salads) has been proven to deliver a soothing impact to patients. Studies 5 have shown that Mint can assist in decongesting sinuses and enhance nasal breathing.

Peppermint particularly contains menthol, a primary ingredient in cold and flu medications. Its antibacterial properties assist in minimizing the irritation facilitated by coughing. Furthermore, Mint contains rosmarinic acid, which is ideal for allergies.

Oral Health

Mint is a significant ingredient in different toothpaste and chewing gum brands. It’s used not just because of its bacterial properties which inhibit the growth of bad breath-causing bacteria, but also because of the great taste. Peppermint is also known to relieve mouth ulcers. You can enhance your oral health by consuming Mint in tea or its leaves in salads.

Stress Reduction

Mint has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine to minimize stress. Studies show that the calming impact of this plant can assist in calming nerves, helping to tackle different situations like depression, anxiety, or fatigue.

While drinking Mint tea or chewing its leaves will enhance memory, minimize fatigue, relax the mind, and improve alertness, addressing issues like depression will need to employ pepperMint oil in aromatherapy.

Reduce Inflammation

Mint can minimize inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This is beneficial for arthritis patients.

Helps in Weight Loss

Don’t get it twisted; Mint is not a magic herb that will burn fats in your body. It plays its role in weight loss indirectly. To lose weight, you need to take in fewer calories than you burn, and you need to elevate your metabolism to do this.

So, how does a Mint plant assist? Mint enhances digestion, improves metabolism, and surprises appetite. Furthermore, it’s a low-calorie option than coffee and regular tea.

Soothe Cracked Skin

Cracked nipples are one of the devastating experiences that many new mothers encounter. Applying Mint to your nipple soon after breastfeeding will help soothe the pain caused by fissures and facilitate healing. While traditionally, people employ any type of Mint for this role, this study7 shows that applying peppermint water will be more effective.

However, you shouldn’t apply Peppermint oil directly to the cracked nipple, as it can irritate. Furthermore, not enough research indicates how pepperMint oil would affect the baby if ingested. However, for maximum safety, it’s essential to clean the nipple before the next breastfeed.

Natural Pest Repellent

People and pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love Mint. But it’s a natural pest-repellent. For example, ants, flies, mosquitoes, mice, rodents, cabbage moths, and some types of spiders hate the strong smell of Mint.

You can crush Mint leaves or apply Mint oil to your skin or clothes to repel mosquitoes. You can also plant pepperMint or spearMint on the windowsill or wipe tables with Mint oil to deter house flies. Adding Mint to your garden will also keep most pests, rabbits, and deer away.

Scent Up Your House

Before the coming of commercial air fresheners, Mint was and still is a popular air freshener. It was used to scent up houses, temples, and toilets. If you prefer a fresh, Minty scent in your home, add several Mint plants. The best part is there are many types of Mints, so you can add one with your preferred scent or mix a few.

Mint for Skin Care

Mint has vitamin A, salicylic acid, and antibacterial properties, which are very beneficial for skin health. They help soothe irritation, reduce acne, and promote clear skin. It also has mild astringent that will tone your skin. Additionally, it will help with sunburn and tighten skin. It’s added to soaps, lotions, and many skincare products.

Culinary Uses

Although a Mint plant has all the above benefits, it’s primarily used to flavor food and drinks. It’s used in its dried or fresh form.

Here are some ways to use Mint in your kitchen:

  • To Spice Salads: Whether fruit salad or vegetable salad, Mint will definitely spice things up.
  • Mint Tea: Mint tea is very popular, and you can drink it either cold or hot. To prepare, add Mint leaves to boiling water and allow it to boil for 5 minutes. Allow it to cool to your desired temperature, and enjoy.
  • To Spice Dessert: Whichever is your favorite dessert, there is a Mint to go with it. Add strawberry Mint or apple Mint to ice cream, chocolate Mint to chocolate chip cookies, or grapefruit Mint to yogurt.
  • Mint in Vegetables; Did you know the carbon footprint of vegan diet is the lowest among other types of diets? If you struggle to eat healthy, add Mint to vegetables to enhance their flavor. Don’t overcook, add Mint leaves in the last 1-2 minutes.
  • To Garnish: Mint is used to garnish everything from desserts, cocktails, soups, smoothies to foods.
  • To Make Beverages: Mint is used worldwide to make beverages.
  • Seasoning meat and seafood –  use Mint to add flavor to chicken, fish, lamb chops, pork, seafood, beef, sausage, or any meat you have.

Planting Mint (How to Plant Mint)

Now, you have learned the benefits of Mint plants and want to add some to your garden or pots. So, how do you plant Mint?9 You can grow Mint from seeds, cuttings, runners, or seedlings. They also grow indoors or outdoors.

Growing Mints Outdoor

If you want to produce Mint in large quantities or if you have enough space, growing Mint in the garden is the way to go.

But if you have less space, plant them in pots or hanging baskets.

Growing Mint in the Garden (Mint Farm)

Before planting Mints on the ground, be warned that they spread vigorously.3 They primarily spread via underground rhizomes or runners. Rhizomes are stems that grow under the ground and produce shoots above ground. This means you can plant a few Mints, but they quickly take over the entire garden.

Mint also spreads above ground. Peppermint spreads at a rate of 4 inches per month. This means one peppermint plant can spread to 1 foot in three months. While this would be good for commercial farmers, it’s bad for small gardens.

This is because as they spread, they will consume nutrients from other plants. And you might never be able to remove them completely because they are very hardy and will regrow even from the smallest roots. So what should you do? You need to control them.

How To Control Mints To Prevent Them From Taking Over the Garden

  • Plant Mint in Containers

Plant Mints in containers and place them on a hard surface. The runners will not be able to penetrate. But if you want the Mints in the garden with other plants, dig up holes and place the containers. Leave at least one inch of the container above ground.

  • Create Root Barriers

Creating root barriers hinders the Mint roots from penetrating. The barrier should at least be 15 to 18 inches deep all around the Mints or around the area you don’t want them to spread to.

  • Create a Less Ideal Environment For Growth

While this can go wrong in so many ways, it’ll still work. You can plant the Mint in dry soil and only water to prevent it from drying. One disadvantage of this method is they may never bloom.

  • Prune Regularly

Regularly pruning Mints will encourage them to grow bushier and not spread. Prune at least once or twice a month. Pruning also makes the new leaves to be more flavorful.

Growing Mints in Pots

As mentioned above, you can grow Mints in containers to contain them. But that’s not the only reason. Mints look very beautiful in pots and hanging baskets, alone or alongside other plants.

Choose a wider pot with a diameter of at least 10 – 12 inches; If you can get even a wider container, the better. The container should have drainage holes so that the soil doesn’t become soggy.

The best containers for planting Mints are glazed clay pots or plastic. Although terracotta and unglazed will still do, they usually dry out faster, so you’ll have to check on watering. More on how to plant Mints is as follows:

Growing Mint Indoors

Mints make a beautiful houseplant. So, you can plant them indoors if you don’t have space to grow them outside or your region is too cold. Growing Mint indoors is very beneficial for the fragrance, but also because there are fewer pests to deal with.

But before you plant them, you must understand that caring for Mints indoors will differ from growing them outside.

  • Sunlight: Mints are sun-loving plants. But how do you ensure they get enough light for proper growth indoors? Place them in a bright location like a windowsill of a north-facing window. It would be better if it could get morning sun. You must rotate the plant every 3-5 days because Mint grows towards the light, failure to which it will grow unevenly. If you don’t have a good sunny spot, buy a grow light and install it over the Mint.
  • Watering: Watering mint indoors can be messy but very necessary. Water once a week or 2 to 3 times if your climate is dry or if they are getting a lot of sunlight. Just ensure the top inch is dry before watering again. Water Mint leaves daily if the climate is too dry.
  • Fertilizer: Use water-soluble low-release fertilizer once every 3-6 weeks. Fertilizing a lot will affect their taste.

How To Grow Mint Indoors

There are three ways to grow Mint indoors.

Growing Mint In Soil

This is the most popular way to plant Mint. Maybe because it’s similar to growing them in the garden or because potted Mints can live for years. All you need is a pot with proper drainage holes and potting soil. Plant the Mint as discussed below and continue to give it water and sunlight.

Growing Mint Hydroponically

Hydroponics is a way of growing plants using water-based nutrient solutions. Meaning you don’t need potting soil. If you hate the mess of watering potted plants indoors, this is a better option. Unfortunately, this method is very expensive. However, there are some relatively cheap DIY hydroponic options you can try.

Growing Mint in Water

This is the easiest and cheapest way to grow Mints. Unfortunately,  Mint cannot grow for long in water alone, so this method is only effective for a short period. But because Mint is not consumed in large quantities, it still works. Cut a severed Mint stem from an existing Mint plant.

The cutting should be about 3-4 inches. Remove the lower leaves to remain with two sets of leaves. Dip the cutting in a glass or container with water. Change the water every 5 to 7 days. You’ll enjoy Mints for weeks or months before the leaves turn yellow. Once they start to turn, discard them and get a new cutting for fresher leaves.

Growing a Mint Plant From a Seed

If you are already growing Mint, you might have thought of adding more plants using seeds. Mints usually flower in summer, and after finishing blooming, the purple, pink, or white leaves will turn brown. To collect seeds, cut the flowers off and allow them to dry.

Once dry (maybe after two weeks,) crush them to release the seeds. Remove the debris, and you will be left with tiny black-to-brown seeds. Store them in a cool, dry place. Before collecting Mint seeds, you must identify the type of Mint you have. Not all Mint can be propagated using seeds because some are sterile.

Sterile Mint varieties include Peppermint, Banana Mint, Wild Mint, and Corn Mint. And even if you have those that can be propagated, you might end up with a totally different variety than the parent Mint. If you want a specific Mint, your best bet is to buy certified seeds or use other propagation methods.

When To Plant Mints for the Best Yield

Mint seeds can either be started indoors or outdoors. Starting Mint seeds indoors will give you a headstart. Sow them 8-10 weeks before the last frost. For outdoor sowing, sow after the last frost. Here is a general timeline for sowing Mint seeds outdoors.

ZoneAverage timeline
3 – 4Early to mid-May
5 – 7Mid-April April
8 – 9End February to early March
10 – 11Anytime

How To Sow Mint Seeds

  1. Fill your seed tray with the seed starting mix. You can purchase or make yours. To make your own, you’ll need 2 parts peat moss, 4 parts compost, 1 part perlite, and 1 part vermiculite.
  2. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep.
  3. Cover them lightly with soil because Mint seeds need sunlight to germinate.
  4. Water the seeds, ensuring the soil is moist but not soggy.
  5. Keep the tray in a spot with a temperature of about 70°F (for indoor seeds).
  6. Wrap the tray with plastic wrap.
  7. The seeds will germinate in 7-14 days.
  8. After germination, place the seedlings in a spot where they’ll get morning sun and afternoon shade. They’ll be ready for transplanting in 3 to 4 weeks or when they have at least two sets of leaves.
  9. Harden them before transplanting them outdoors.

Growing a Mint Plant From a Cutting

Because some Mint cultivars are sterile, the best way to propagate them is from cuttings. It’s easy and will only take a few days. The best time to propagate Mint from cuttings is during the growing season before they start blooming (late spring to early summer).

Select a healthy Mint plant. Using a sharp knife, cut 4 to 5 inches shoot below the leaf node. If you can get a longer stem, the better, as it will be easier to grow since there’ll be plenty of room for roots to grow. Remove all the leaves on the lower side of the cutting to remain with 2 sets of leaves at the top. Be gentle so as not to damage the cutting.

Rooting a Cutting in Soil

What you’ll need;

  • Starting mix
  • Pot
  • Water
  • Rooting hormone
  • Heat mat if your area is very cold


  1. Put the starting mix in a pot.
  2. Use a pencil or stick to dig holes in the mix. This ensures you don’t damage the cutting when you put them in the soil.
  3. Dip the cutting in the rooting hormone. The rooting hormone helps speed up the rooting process, and the roots will be healthier.
  4. Put the cuttings in the holes you made and cover them with soil.
  5. Water the cutting gently. The soil should be moist, not soggy.
  6. Keep the pot in a shaded area until you see new leaves growing.

Humidity and temperature are vital in the rooting process of cuttings. If your weather is dry or you are rooting them in the house, you need to mist them regularly. And if it’s cold, use a heat mat.

Rooting Mint Cutting in Water

This method is similar to the one covered above on growing Mint in water. Just put water in a container or glass, dip the cuttings, and ensure the leaves don’t touch the water. Transplant when the cutting gets several roots.

Although this method is easy, cuttings propagated through this method are usually weak, and their chances of dying after transplanting are high. This is because the roots are weak, so they are susceptible to transplanting shock.

Growing a Mint Plant From a Seedling

If you want to avoid the hustle of planting seeds or rooting cuttings, buy Mint plant seedlings. So, how do you plant Mint seedlings? It’s super easy, especially if they were grown outdoors. But you’ll have to harden seedlings grown indoors.

What you’ll need

  • Potting mix (if planting in pots)
  • Compost or well-rotted manure ( if planting on the ground)
  • Healthy seedlings
  • Watering can
  • Trowel or shovel


  1. Choose a spot to plant (where to place the pots). It should be in partial to full sun.
  2. Prepare the soil (add compost if planting on the ground to improve the soil. For pots, use the potting mix).
  3. Dig holes slightly larger than the root ball of the seedling. Space them for about 18 to 25 inches.
  4. Place the seedling in the hole and cover the root with soil. Plant them in the same depth they were in the original container.
  5. Water them deeply to help settle the soil and promote good root-to-soil contact.
  6. You can mulch to help the plant retain moisture and suppress weeds. Identify weeds by photo and use organic weeds killer recipes to kill them.

Planting Tips for Mints

Whichever method you choose to plant Mint, ensure they get partial to full sunlight, water them adequately, and use fertile soil.14

How Far Apart To Plant Mint

Mints are aggressive spreaders, so your first consideration when planting them is spacing. As a thumb rule, space Mint plants 18 to 24 inches apart. This gives them enough space to spread without competing for nutrients. If you are growing several Mints in one pot, space them 6-8 inches apart.

If you are planting Mint in the garden with other plants and without containing them, space them further apart. If you don’t, they’ll spread to choke other plants. If you are growing Mints for personal use, just plant one or two plants and allow them to spread. Even so, create barriers to prevent them from taking over the garden.

How Long It Takes To Grow Mint Plant ( Mint Plant Growth Rate)

Mint grows fast. It will take 60 – 90 days to grow a Mint plant from seed to maturity (ready for harvesting.) However, this period will differ for different cultivars and growing conditions. Moreover, this period will be shorter if you start your Mint from seedlings.

Mature Mints usually grow to a height of 12 to 36 inches. On average, if you plant Mint on the ground without containing it, it will spread at 1 to 2 feet (30-60 cm) every year or even faster.

Here are the growth rates for some popular Mints under their best growing conditions.

Type of MintsGrowth rateSpread rate per year
SpearmintFast2 feet
PeppermintFast to moderate1 to 2 feet
Chocolate MintFast to moderate1 to 2 feet
Orange MintModerate1 foot
Apple MintModerate1-foot

Growing Zones For Mint Plants (Where to Grow Mint)

Mints are hardy herbs found worldwide. They are very adaptive, such that they grow in various soils and climates.

Native Mint Plant Growing Zone

Mints are natives of temperate zones of Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. But through hybridization, they have spread a lot. Nonetheless, they still prefer growing conditions similar to their native region.

In the USA, Mint planting zones are USDA zones 3 -11. But different Mints will grow best in different zones. Here is a table showing growing zones for some popular types of Mints.

ZoneThe Type of Mint That Grows in This Zone
3Peppermint, Spearmint, Egypt Mint, Wild American Mint,
4Strawberry Mint, Spearmint, Egypt Mint, Wild American Mint
5Chocolate Mint, Margarita Mint, Banana Mint, Pennyroyal
6Grapefruit, Water Mint, Asian Mint
7Kentucky Colonel Mint, Penny Royal, Peppermint, Spearmint, Watermint,
8Mojito, Horse Mint, Wild American Mint, Asian Mint
9Water Mint, Grapefruit, Apple Mint
10Apple Mint, Spearmint
11Corsican Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint

Is Mint a Perennial? Does Mint Grow Back Every Year?

Mint is a herbaceous perennial. It will die during winter, but it will resprout when the weather gets warmer in early spring. The leaves and stems die in winter, but the roots survive and sprout in spring. But this mostly happens in areas with harsh winters, and you could overwinter to help the plant grow.

Mint Plant Care (How To Grow Mint Plant)

Mints are perennial herbs native to the Mediterranean region but have spread worldwide. Due to cross-pollination and hybridization, many cultivars have been developed that grow in areas with different conditions than parents. They are easy to grow, even for novice gardeners. Nonetheless, they have certain conditions that should be met to thrive.

Best Growing Conditions for Mint Plants

If you want to add Mint to your garden, you must give them the best growing conditions. But you must understand that these are general conditions, and you may have to adjust for some cultivars.

How Much Sunlight Does Mint Need Each Day?

Mints are sun-loving plants. They are grown in full sun or partial shade. So, how much sun do they need every day? Mints will grow best if they receive 3 to 6 hours of sunlight every day. If you are growing them indoors, ensure to place them on a spot where they can receive indirect sunlight, like a north-facing windowsill.

If you’re growing them outside, the sunlight they need will depend on your region. Mint growing in zones 3-6 can grow in full sun. However, plant Mints on a spot where they’ll receive morning sun and afternoon shade in zones 8-11.

Keep in mind some Mint plant varieties, especially the variegated ones, get sunburns, so you’ll have to minimize their sun exposure. Mint planted in full shade becomes leggy and might not bloom or produce fewer flowers.

Watering Needs for Mint

Mints need regular watering to maintain their green foliage. Most Mints will appreciate moist soil, but some varieties, like water Mint, need more water. Generally, if you are growing Mint outside and on the ground, water Mint thoroughly once or twice a week. If in pots, water twice or three times a week, and only once a week if indoors.

However, this will also depend on your zone and climate. For instance,  during fall and winter, you will have to cut back on watering and increase watering during summer. Similarly, Mints in zones 9-11 need more water than in zones 3-5. So, water your Mint only when the top inch of the soil is dry. Remember, overwatering promotes root rot. Underwatering will cause Mint to wilt and produce fewer flowers.

Soil Needs for Mint Plant

Most Mints will grow in any soil as long as it’s rich with good drainage and a pH of 6.0-7.5. But their ideal pH is 6.5-7.0. When growing Mint in clay soil, add coarse grit and organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure to improve drainage. Additionally, grow them in raised beds for sharp drainage. Similarly, improve sandy soil with compost to help it retain more water.

Fertilizer Needs for Mint

While Mints need rich soil, they don’t necessarily need fertilizer. Before planting, add compost or well-rotted manure. But for plants growing in pots or poor soil, you’ll have to feed them every six weeks during the growing season.

Mint Temperature Tolerance

Mint plants are very adaptive and survive in a wide range of temperatures. However, their temperature tolerance varies depending on the cultivar. For example, Wild American Mint and Peppermint are very cold-tolerant, while Banana Mint and Asian Mint are not.

Before planting any Mint, check their temperature requirements to avoid disappointment.

Overwintering Mints

Some Mint cultivars will tolerate very low temperatures. They will die over the winter but resprout in early spring. If growing a Mint below its recommended zone, you’ll need to overwinter it to help it survive through the winter.

Here are some ways of overwintering Mint:

  • Prune: Trim the Mint in late fall or before the first frost to a few inches above the ground. This will help to remove damaged or diseased leaves. It will also use the little energy it has on growing its root system, not the leaves, which will help it bounce back easier in spring.
  • Mulch the Garden Beds: Apply a layer of mulch like straw or shredded leaves after pruning. The mulch will insulate the soil and protect the roots from the freezing temperatures.
  • Move the Mint Indoors: This is the most effective overwintering method, especially for areas with extreme winter. The best part is you will continue to enjoy Mint leaves all through winter. Put them in a cool room with bright light, like a shed, basement, garage, windowsill, or kitchen counter.

Remember to keep an eye on the plant because the environment change could weaken it. Check for pests and diseases regularly, cut on watering, and ensure the soil is not soggy. You can use a full-spectrum light bulb for 6 to 10 daily if the room doesn’t have enough light.

As temperatures start rising in spring, return your Mints to their sunny or partial shade spot and continue watering as you usually do. You will also need to fertilize to power them for the growing season. Remember to harden them first to avoid shock. Place them in a sheltered area or partial shade for a few days to adjust.

How To Harvest Mint

Did you know although you can harvest Mint leaves anytime, the flavor is more potent just before it flowers? This is because the oils are concentrated in the leaves at the time. Moreover, how you harvest is crucial for the overall health of the Mint.

So, when should you harvest Mint? Harvesting, in this case, means picking Mint leaves in bulk. This is for people who prefer dried Mint or in preparation for winter if you’re growing them outdoors. But if you prefer picking fresh leaves every morning for your tea, this can be done daily without harming the plant as long as it’s above 4 to 5 inches in height.

You can harvest Mint 3 to 4 times within the growing season. Harvest as much or as little as you need, but don’t take more than a third of the leaves. The best time to pick Mint leaves is in the morning before it gets scorching. You’ll need sharp scissors, or just pinch the leaves off with your fingers.

How To Store Mint Leaves

After harvesting your mist leaves, store them correctly to avoid wastage. Start by rinsing them gently to remove dirt and insects, then pat them dry with a clean towel. Store them in any of the three ways below.

  • Store Fresh Leaves in the Fridge: Put them in an airtight container or plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb moisture. They will last for a week or two.
  • Freeze the Leaves: Cut the leaves and place them in an ice cube tray. Add water and freeze.
  • Dry the Leaves: Use a dehydrator to try them and store them in air-tight containers.

Pruning Mint

For easier gardening, you should prune your Mint during harvesting time. Cut the Mint back by half during the growing season and shorter before the first frost. Like harvesting, prune your Mint 3 – 4 times each growing season.

Pruning will encourage new growth and shape the plant, especially the potted ones, by ensuring they don’t sprawl too far over the pot’s side. Use scissors or your fingers to cut about one-third of each stem.

Mint Weeds

Weeds are every gardener’s headache. They not only make the garden look untidy, but they also compete for nutrients, water, and space with the plants. Plants grown in the garden are more susceptible to weeds than those grown in containers.

Weed around the Mints regularly and mulch to prevent weeds from growing. But if you already have them growing, identify weeds by photo and buy an effective herbicide or make your own using an organic weed killer recipe.

15 Companion Plants for Growing Mints

Companion planting is an old technique used by organic farmers. It involves planting several plants close to each other for mutual benefits, which include;

  • Pest control
  • Attracting beneficial insects
  • Providing shade
  • Improve productivity by utilizing space
  • To enhance flavor
  • To improve soil quality

When choosing companion plants for Mint, consider their growing habits and conditions. Below are some excellent companions for Mints.

  • Tomatoes: Mint will repel pests from the tomato garden.
  • Cabbage family (broccoli, cabbage, kale): Mint will repel most pests that attack these plants, like cabbage moth, cabbage looper, and flea beetle. It will also enhance their flavor.
  • Chives: This combo is a double defense against aphids. Chives also enhance Mint flavor.
  • Dill: These two will also complement each other. They will attract beneficial insects that will control aphids. Mint will repel ants and flea beetles.
  • Lettuce: Do you have snails and slugs in your lettuce garden? Add Mint to remove them.
  • Legumes: Plant Mints if you have peas and beans. Mint will keep away rodents and most pests that destroy legume gardens. Legumes on their parts will enrich the soil with nitrogen.
  • Carrots: Whether your headache is rodents, rabbits, or carrot flies, Mint will come in handy. It will repel these pests and still add flavor to your carrots.
  • Squash and Pumpkins: A combo between these three will repel pests and attract beneficial insects.
  • Roses: If you want a colorful garden, roses are the ideal flowers. As Mint repels pests, roses will attract beneficial insects.
  • Marigolds: Like roses, marigolds will attract beneficial insects. They’ll also deter aphids and nematodes.
  • Nasturtium: These will add color and deter aphids.
  • Garlic and Onions: Onions are susceptible to onion flies, and Mint will help prevent them. Garlic will repel aphids and spider mites.
  • Stinging Nettle: As Mint chases away slugs and snails, this plant will improve Mint’s flavor.
  • Corn: Mint will deter deer from your corn garden. Corn will shade Mints from the hot sun.
  • Potatoes: Mint and potatoes can be good or bad companions depending on the growing method. This will only work if Mints are growing in pots. Mint will help deter the Colorado potato beetle.

Worst Mint Companion Plants

  • Other Mints: Mint will crossbreed, producing hybrids. Unless this is what you want, plant Mints separate from each other.
  • Fennel: Fennel has allopathic properties. It will release chemicals into the soil that hinder the growth of other plants.
  • Mediterranean Herbs: Most of these herbs appreciate drier soil, while Mints like moist soil. You will have a hard time balancing moisture if growing them on the ground. But they’ll be okay in pots.

Common Pests for Mint Plant and Natural Pest Control for Mint

  • Spider Mites: These small arachnids will wreak havoc in your garden, sucking out Mint leaves juice and causing leaf stippling. Spray the plant with a mixture of neem oil and water to control spider mites.
  • Snail and Slugs: These will eat the leaves, leaving behind large irregular holes and a slimy trail. Set up several beer traps to catch them or use diatomaceous earth around the Mints.
  • Flea Beetles: They are black or brown insects that feed on leaves, causing small holes. Their larva eats the roots and will quickly kill the plant. They also spread the blight disease. Use neem oil to control them.
  • Black and Green Aphids: Aphids are small but will feed on the sap of the Mint plant. The plant will lose nutrients, and become distorted and discolored, but if you don’t intervene, the plant will die. To remove aphids from Mint plants, use neem oil or soapy water.
  • White Flies: These are small, almost the size of aphids, but are winged insects. They usually feed on the underside of Mint leaves. Treat white flies with soapy water mixed with vinegar or neem oil.

In addition to neem oil and soapy water to control pests naturally, you should also add companion plants that can deter these Mint pests.6 This topic is covered above.

Mint Plant Diseases and How To Stop Mint Plant Disease

When growing Mints, look out for the following diseases;10

  • Mint Rust: This disease appears as orange or brown pustules on the lower side of Mint leaves.

Treatment: remove and destroy all the affected leaves to stop spread. If the plants are crowded, thin them to allow air circulation and avoid overhead watering.

  • Powdery Mildew: The disease will appear as white powdery spots on the leaves.

Treatment: Use sulfur fungicide or neem oil. Give the plant proper air circulation and avoid overhead watering.

  • Verticillium: The disease will cause leaf discoloration, and wilting, and finally kill the affected parts of the plant.

Treatment: there is no cure for verticillium; you’ll have to remove and destroy all the affected plants.

  • Bacterial Leaf Spot – this disease will appear as dark, water-soaked spots with yellow halos.

Treatment: start by applying copper-based bactericides. But if the plants are severely affected, you’ll have to uproot and discard them.

Mint Plant Disease Prevention

Prevention is always better than cure. If you want to enjoy your Mints for long, you must protect them from diseases. You can do this by giving them the right growing conditions, like sufficient watering (but ensure foliage doesn’t get wet), sufficient sunlight, and well-draining soil. Moreover, always inspect the herbs for diseases and pests so that you can detect problems early and address them.

Mint plants are hardy perennial herbs that grow best in USDA zones 3 to 11. They are very aromatic and have many uses. You can grow Mints for their medical uses, culinary purposes, skincare, or to freshen up your home or garden.

Mints are very easy to grow, and you can grow them from cuttings, seeds, and seedlings. The best time to plant Mints is in early spring after the last frost, but you can start them indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost.

While it’s possible to propagate Mint through seeds, the most sure method of growing them is through cuttings or seedlings because some Mint cultivars are sterile. If you prefer growing them from seeds, buying certified seeds offers better chances. Remember, plant your Mint plant in moist soil, in full or partial shade.

By growing types of Mint plant, you can reap the benefits of this versatile herb for years.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mint Plant

How Much Cold Can Mint Tolerate?

Most Mints are hardy and can tolerate temperatures of -20° F. But it’s best to overwinter them if your area experiences harsh winters.

When Is the Best Time To Harvest Mint?

You can start picking Mint leaves any time as long as the plant is over 4 inches in height. But for bulk harvest, harvest during the growing season right before flowers emerge.

Which Is the Best Mint Type To Plant?

While Peppermint and Spearmint are the most popular Mints, there are many others you can grow. Just choose a cultivar suitable for your zone.


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14Tay, J., & Lim, V. (n.d.). Growing Mints – A ‘Cool’ Idea You Can Try At Home! National Parks Board. Retrieved October 1, 2023, from <'cool'-idea-you-can-try-at-home!>

15Mentha aquatica. (2023, February 17). Wikipedia. <>

16Mentha suaveolens. (2021, March 22). Wikipedia. <>

17Wikipedia Contributors. (2023, January 30). Mentha × villosa. Wikipedia; Wikimedia Foundation. <>

18Mentha longifolia. (2023, August 2). Wikipedia. <>

19By Sapturnus – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, <>

20By Batsv – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, <>

21By Michel Langeveld –, CC BY-SA 4.0, <>

22By Humoyun Mehridinov – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, <>

23By EmirDzaferovic – Own work, CC0, <>

24By Ayotte, Gilles, 1948- – Bibliothèque de l'Université Laval, CC BY-SA 4.0, <>

25By MichaelXXLF – Own work, CC BY 3.0, <>

26By Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, <>

27By David Perez – Own work, CC BY 3.0, <>

28By I, Doronenko, CC BY 2.5, <>

29By Ayotte, Gilles, 1948- – Bibliothèque de l'Université Laval, CC BY-SA 4.0, <>

30By Common Calamint (Clinopodium ascendens) by Evelyn Simak, CC BY-SA 2.0, <>

31By AnemoneProjectors (talk) – Corn Mint (Mentha arvensis), CC BY-SA 2.0, <>

32By Photo by David J. Stang – source: David Stang. First published at, CC BY-SA 4.0, <>

33By André Karwath aka Aka – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, <>

34By I, Doronenko, CC BY 2.5, <>

35Species Information Image: Green leaves in macro lens Photo by Victor Serban. (June 2, 2021) / Unsplash License. Cropped and added text, shape, and background elements. Unsplash. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <>