We presently grow 33 varieties of mint. Yep, there’s that many kinds of mint and several hundred more that are named but which we haven’t yet found. We just keep looking for them… and as we add a new one, we promise to update this list.
So… here goes:
Berries and Cream
That’s the list. Botanical names will be added as well as a brief description, wherever possible.
Now for the disclaimer: Everyone’s taste buds are different and we all don’t smell things the same way. Therefore, we cannot be responsible if you can’t find the ‘banana’ scent or flavor in the Banana Mint. Some scents just seem to jump out at you while others are more subtle. Regardless, you will find lots of mints that are just that little bit different than the standard spearmint and peppermint.
How to Grow Mint, Mentha sp.
All mint plants prefer cool, moist spots in partial shade. That being said, they will usually grow in full sun, as long as they have enough moisture. In SW Florida, it’s best to give them partial shade to protect them from our fierce sun.
Mint is a perennial, which means it comes back year after year. And nearly all are rampant growers.
Mint spreads by means of creeping underground stems and by rooting above ground branches. Most mint will grow 2 to 3 feet tall and are hardy in Zones 3-9. In SW Florida, our high humidity and heavy rain, coupled with fierce sun in the summertime, stresses mint. For that reason, grow it in partial shade and be sure to provide good drainage.
Mint doesn’t grow well from seed. Or, perhaps I should say, it grows well… but you probably won’t get the variety you want. Rather than waste your time, purchase mint that has the flavor and aroma you like from a reputable grower or nursery.
In most cases, one plant is all you need because mint will spread. Grow each variety in a separate container a distance apart so that they don’t blend their flavors and scents.
Mint will grow very well in “bottomless” containers sunk into the ground. This keeps them from spreading via underground stems. However, you will still have to be vigilant with the plant itself. Any branch that touches the ground will put out roots… and spread!
Mint is best used fresh. It can be dried, however, but be aware that it loses a lot of its flavor that way. To dry it, simply snip off stems and lay on a sheet in a cool, shady area indoors. I have found that herbs of all types will dry overnight in my air-conditioned SW Florida home. Once dry, remove the stems and store the leaves in an air-tight container.
Dried mint leaves can be made into a tea, either alone or mixed with your regular tea. Peppermint tea is an old remedy that can calm an upset stomach. Each variety of mint will produce a unique flavor of tea, so grow your favorite flavor and then USE it!