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The Best Types of Mint Plants to Grow!

The Best Types of Mint Plants to Grow will let you explore all the varieties of this wonderful herb that is easy to grow and can be used in many ways. You only need a little space to grow mint. It does well with container gardening and on windowsills.

If you’re looking for more information about mint, How to Grow Mint and The Best Ideas on Storing Mint will help you on your journey to learn more about herbs.

Types of Mint for Your Garden - Fresh Mint Leaves in a Wooden Bowl
Types of Mint for Your Garden – Fresh Mint Leaves

What Type of Mint is Sold at Grocery Stores?

Spearmint is the mint most commonly found at grocery stores. It is also the most widely used of the mint varieties.

History of Mint

The history of mint is interesting and dates back thousands of years. It has a rich and fascinating heritage that spans across the continents.

Mint’s origins can be traced back to ancient civilizations, including ancient Egypt. Mint was beloved in Egypt for its medicinal uses. The ancient Greeks and Romans also valued mint for culinary uses and its ability to freshen breath.

The popularity of mint grew during the Middle Ages when it became a prominent ingredient in European cuisine and herbal remedies.

Its cultivation spread throughout Europe and eventually reached the Americas through early settlers. Over time, numerous varieties of mint were found and cultivated, each with unique qualities and flavors.

Today, mint remains a beloved herb worldwide. It’s cherished for its invigorating aroma, therapeutic properties, essential oils like peppermint oil, and infusion in culinary dishes. There are 25 species of herbs in the mint family.

Growing Mint Plants

Different Types of Mint Plants - Spearmint
Different Types of Mint Plants – Spearmint Plant

Growing mint is a wonderful endeavor for both novice and experienced gardeners alike. Mint thrives in various climates and is known for its vigorous growth and aromatic leaves.

Select an area with well-draining soil with partial shade to full sun. Mint’s remarkable adaptability means it can tolerate different soil types; but tends to flourish in slightly moist soil. Plant mint in spring after the last frost.

Mint Culinary Uses for Mint Types

Different Types of Mint Plants - Mint Culinary Uses - Mint Raspberry Tea
Different Types of Mint Plants – Culinary Uses of Mint – Raspberry Iced Tea

Mint’s versatility in culinary applications knows no bounds. Mint shines in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, such as tabbouleh or lamb kabobs, infusing them with a delightful minty zing.

For a cooling twist, mint leaves can be incorporated into yogurt sauces, creating a refreshing accompaniment to spicy foods. Mint jelly is also a popular condiment with lamb.

When it comes to sweet treats, mint takes the spotlight in desserts like ice cream, sorbets, and chocolate creations. Mint also pairs well with fresh fruit.

Beyond culinary dishes, mint’s exceptional fragrance is equally impressive in beverages – whether muddled in cocktails, infused in teas, or added to lemonade and other cold drinks.

Mint transforms a wide range of dishes and drinks into a delightful culinary experience.

To find more ways to use fresh mint leaves, I put together a list here.

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The Best Types of Mint Plants to Grow

Here are just a few examples of popular mint varieties. Each offers its own distinctive characteristics and culinary possibilities.

Apple Mint (Mentha suaveolens)

Types of Mint - Photo of Apple Mint
Types of Mint Plants – Apple Mint has Fuzzy Leaves

Apple mint is a delightful herb that offers a refreshing and aromatic experience. The apple scent adds a touch of sweetness to the overall herbal aroma.

This versatile herb is the perfect ingredient in salads, sauces, herbal tea, and cocktails for a hint of sweet mint with apple tones.

Banana Mint (Mentha arvensis)

Banana mint is a lesser-known variety that combines the sweet aroma of bananas with the refreshing qualities of mint. This unique and fragrant plant has vibrant green leaves with a subtle hint of yellow, resembling the color of ripe bananas.

Adding a touch of banana mint to cocktails or a fruit salad will provide a delightful twist to traditional recipes.

Bergamot Mint (Mentha citrata)

Types of Mint - Photo of Bergamot Mint
Types of Mint Plants – Bergamot Mint

A unique blend of citrus and minty aromas, Bergamot mint, is an enchanting herb with slender, serrated leaves with a vibrant green hue. When the leaves are crushed, this herb releases a refreshing and uplifting scent reminiscent of bergamot oranges.

Berries and Cream Mint (Mentha hybrid)

Berries and Cream Mint is a mint hybrid created by Jim Westerfield, who made over 60 mint hybrids before his death. This mint plant offers a subtle berry-like flavor and the minty taste.

These hybrid mint plant leaves make a great addition to fruit salads and desserts.

Chocolate Mint (Mentha x piperita ‘Chocolate’)

Types of Mint Plants - Chocolate Mint
Types of Mint Plants – Chocolate Mint

Chocolate mint is a delicious herb that combines the stimulating qualities of mint with the enticing allure of chocolate. Its distance qualities and flavor make it a favorite among culinary enthusiasts.

The harmonious combination of flavors makes chocolate mint a versatile ingredient, perfect for adding a touch of decadence to desserts, beverages, or even savory dishes.

Corsican Mint (Mentha requienii)

Types of Mint - Picture of Corsican mint in a Terra Cotta Pot
Types of Mint Plants – Corsican Mint

Corsican mint is a charming and petite herb that captivates the senses with its intense fragrance. It is also a ground-hugging herb that is native to Corsica and Sardinia. This herb features tiny, rounded leaves that are densely packed, forming a lush carpet of greenery.

The leaves release hints of both mint and thyme, making Corsican mint a popular choice for aromatic gardens and as a natural air freshener. Its low-growing nature and ability to tolerate foot traffic make it an ideal choice for planting between stepping stones or in rock gardens or to use as ground cover.

Curly Mint (Mentha Spicata)

Curly mint is also know as curly leaf mint or crinkle mint, is characterized by its distinctive ruffled leaf. The curly mint plant is a cultivar of spearmint.

Field Mint (Menta arvensis)

Types of Mint - Picture of Field Mint
Types of Mint Plants – Field Mint

Field mint is a versatile herb widely found in fields and meadows across various regions. It is renowned for its medicinal properties and is often used in herbal remedies and aromatherapy.

With its hardy nature and aromatic qualities, field mint is an herb that thrives in natural landscapes and offers both wellness benefits and culinary delights.

Ginger Mint (Mentha x gracilis)

Ginger mint is a delightful and aromatic herb that beautifully marries the refreshing essence of mint with the warm, spicy notes of ginger.

This hybrid variety is characterized by its striking variegated leaves with beautiful yellow stripes as the season changes. It’s a cross between corn mint and spearmint.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Different Types of Mint Plants - Lemon Balm
Different Types of Mint Plants to Grow – Lemon Balm

Lemon balm’s vibrant green leaves, and distinctive citrus scent; make this a favorite herb to grow.

With its calming and soothing qualities, lemon balm is an excellent culinary addition, infusing dishes and beverages with a refreshing lemony flavor. It also adds potential health benefits when brewed into teas and when used in aromatherapy.

Mojito Mint (Mentha x villosa)

Types of Mint Plants - Photo of  Mojito Mint Plant
Types of Mint Plants – Mojito Mint Plant

This variety of mint is the key ingredient of the Cuban cocktail, the mojito. It has a robust flavor that enhances the minty freshness of the drink.

Moroccan Mint (Mentha spicata var. crispa)

The Best Types of Mint Plants - Moroccan Mint Plant
The Best Types of Mint Plants – Moroccan Mint Plant

Orange Mint (Mentha x piperita Citrata)

Orange mint is a captivating herb that infuses the classic aroma of mint with a vibrant and uplifting citrus twist.

This aromatic plant features serrated leaves with a lush green hue, emitting a delightful fragrance that combines the invigorating coolness of mint with the sweet and zesty essence of oranges.

As a hybrid mint variety, orange mint is not only prized for its aromatic leaves but also for its culinary versatility.

The leaves are perfect for adding a refreshing citrus-mint flavor to a wide range of culinary creations, from herbal teas to cocktails to fruit salads and desserts.

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)

Different Types of Mint Plants - Pennyroyal Plant
Different Types of Mint Plants – Pennyroyal Plant

Pennyroyal is renowned for its medical properties. This low-growing herb features small, rounded leaves and releases a pungent aroma when crushed.

Despite its notable benefits, it’s important to note that Pennyroyal contains compounds that can be toxic in high concentrations.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Types of Mint Plants - Photo of Peppermint Plant
Types of Mint Plants – Peppermint Plant

Peppermint is a classic favorite known for its strong menthol flavor. It is a cross between water mint and spearmint.

One simple way to tell the peppermint plant from the spearmint plant is that the peppermint stem has a purple hue.

Sometimes the spearmint plant will have a light purple tone, but the peppermint plant has a distinct darker color.

What would Christmas be without the flavor of peppermint infused in desserts and beverages during the holiday season?

Pineapple Mint (Mentha suaveolens ‘Variegata’)

Types of Mints - Pineapple Mint Plant
Types of Mint Plants – Pineapple Mint Plants

With bright green leaves and a distinct aroma, pineapple mint offers a refreshing and tropical taste experience. When crushed or bruised, the pineapple mint leaves release a delightful scented flavor of pineapple mint, a delicate balance of sweet and tangy.

Pineapple mint is a variant of apple mint. It is still found growing wild on the ruins of old monasteries, which also doubled as infirmaries.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

Types of Mint Plant - Picture of Spearmint Plant
Types of Mint Plants – Spearmint Plant

The flavor of spearmint has a milder and sweeter profile than peppermint. This perennial plant features vibrant green leaves.

Spearmint is the mint plant traditionally used in making mint juleps.

Strawberry Mint (Mentha x piperita ‘Strawberry’)

This unique herb features lush green leaves with a delightful hint of red and combines the flavors of mint with the sweet essence of strawberries. It’s a great herb to add to salads, infuse beverages, and add flavor to desserts.

Water Mint (Mentha aquatica)

Types of Mint Plants - Water Mint Plant
Types of Mint Plants – Water Mint Plant with Purple Flowers

Water mint is a captivating herb that thrives along the edges of ponds, streams, and damp areas. This perennial herb is characterized by its vibrant green leaves and delicate lilac-hued flowers clustered atop square stems.

Beyond its practical applications, this wild mint serves as a vital habitat and food source for various aquatic creatures, contributing to the overall biodiversity of wetland ecosystems.

Wild Mint (Mentha longifolia)

Wild mint stands apart from other types of mint due to its distinct botanical characteristics and nuanced aroma.

Unlike the typical compact and bushy growth habit of many mints, wild mint exhibits a more elongated growth pattern. It features lance-shaped leaves that give the plant the “longifolia” name.

This mint also sets itself apart from other varieties because of its subtle mint fragrance combined with more “earthy” undertones.

American wild mint’s preference for slightly drier and more sunny conditions further distinguishes it from its moisture-loving counterparts.

We’ve reached the end of The Different Types of Mint Plants. I hope you enjoyed it!

Let me know in the comments below what type of mint you grow at your home and what culinary purpose you use it for.

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Here Are Recipes Featuring Mint!

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The Best Types of Mint Plants to Grow - Spearmint, Pineapple Mint and Corsican Mint
The Best Types of Mint Plants to Grow

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