Growing Herbs: So Many Mints!
There are probably a squillion types of mint.
OK, there are not really that many, but there are a LOT of mints. You can find them in all flavors and fragrances.
Some of my favorites are the fruit flavored mints like Apple, Orange, Pineapple, Banana and…well you get the idea.
Most people start out with a few basics, either Peppermint or Spearmint.
Sometimes people will forget to label them after planting thinking they will always remember what mint they planted where. This happens sometimes, even if you plant them in pots. Ask me how I know…
If a label gets lost or a mislabeling episode should occur, you can probably sort out the basic mints on your own. You just need to take a look, and a sniff!
Mints have close similarities, but there are some subtle differences, too.
Spearmint for example has a VERY bright green coloring. The stems, leaves and leaf veins are all bright green. It has serrated leaf margins or edges.
Peppermint on the other hand has a darker green color and may have a reddish or purple cast to stems and leaf veins.
Apple mint is also bright green like spearmint, but it’s easy to tell from the others. First of all it has a wonderful fresh apple scent, but most importantly it’s fuzzy! Both leaves and stems are covered in soft hairs.
Some of the mints have rounded leaves -like Lemon and Orange Mint.
These two mints are fuzz free and smooth, but the leaves definitely have a more rounded shape to them than Spearmint or Peppermint leaves. Orange Mint may also have a reddish or purple cast to the stems and leaf veins.
When you give it the sniff test you’ll notice that Orange Mint also has a definite citrus fragrance to it.
Did you know that mints will cross pollinate?
Oh yes, they will!
If you want to save seeds from your mint and you have several types of growing, remember the mint seeds you save will give you some new sort of mint.
The best way to get the same type of mint is to take cuttings, and those will usually root easily enough by layering them in a container of moistened potting mix, or even by placing them in a glass of water!