Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Zone
Zones vary by species.
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Mentha

Mint
Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Deciduous, Evergreen, Ground covers, Herbs, Perennials

These Mediterranean natives spread rapidly by underground stems and can be quite invasive; to keep them in bounds, grow them in pots or boxes. Tough and unfussy, they grow almost anywhere but perform best with light, moist, medium-rich soil, regular water; and full sun or partial shade. Plants disappear in winter in colder part of range. Replant about every 3 years; propagate from runners.

Mentha requienii

Native to the Mediterranean, this creeping, mat-forming mint reaches only 1/2 in. high. Tiny, round bright green leaves give this plant a mossy appearance; leaves release a delightful minty or sagelike fragrance when bruised. Can be used as an aromatic filler between steppingstones (won’t take heavy foot traffic). Bears tiny, tubular light purple flowers in summer.

Mentha spicata
Mentha spicata

Click to Enlarge

Mentha spicata

Grows to 1–3 ft. high. Dark green, toothed leaves are slightly smaller than those of M. x piperita. Leafy spikes of pale blue flowers. Use leaves fresh from the garden or dried, as flavoring for foods, cold drinks, and jelly.

Mentha x gracilis

Grows to 2 ft. tall. Smooth deep green leaves with yellow variegation have a spicy apple fragrance and flavor. Inconspicuous flowers. Use in flavoring foods. Foliage is excellent in mixed bouquets.

Mentha x piperita

This hybrid grows to 3 ft. tall. Strongly scented, tooth-edged leaves to 3 in. long are dark green often tinged with purple. Small purplish flowers appear in 1–3-in. spikes. Leaves are good for flavoring tea.

Mentha x piperita citrata

Known as orange mint (crushed leaves have a slight orange flavor) or bergamot mint, this plant grows to 2 ft. high and spreads as far as conditions permit. Has broad, 2-in.-long leaves and small lavender flowers. It is used in potpourris and in flavoring foods.

You Might Also Like...

Nassella

These needle grasses were once included in Stipa. All are clump formers characterized by long...

Lilium columbianum

Native from British Columbia to Northern California. Grows to 5–6 ft. tall, with one to six smal...

Crinodendron

Little-known evergreen shrubs or trees from Chile with leathery leaves, somewhat stiff growth habit, a...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement