- Mint is a perennial with very fragrant, toothed leaves and tiny purple, pink, or white flowers. It has a fruity, aromatic taste.
- There are many varieties of mint—all fragrant, whether shiny or fuzzy, smooth or crinkled, bright green or variegated.
- However, you can always tell a member of the mint family by its square stem. Rolling it between your fingers, you’ll notice a pungent scent and think of candy, sweet teas, or maybe even mint juleps.
- Mint can be vigorous spreaders, so be careful where you plant it.
- Mints are vigorous perennials that thrive in light soil with good drainage.
- Ideally, they prefer a moist but well-drained site, something like their native habitat along stream banks.
- Most will tolerate some shade, and the variegated types may require some protection from direct sun.
- For growing outdoors, plant one or two purchased plants (or one or two cuttings from a friend) about 2 feet apart in moist soil. One or two plants will easily cover the ground. Mint should grow to be 1 or 2 feet tall.
- For the best growth in confined areas such as containers, topdress plants with a thin layer of compost or organic fertilizer every few months. Aboveground pots will need winter protection in cold climates.
- In the garden, plant mint near cabbage and tomatoes—in pots, if possible, in order to prevent it from spreading and stealing nutrients from your crops!