Have a look at the best Types of Mints that you must grow once! These Mint Varieties are also great for pots on your balcony or kitchen windowsill!
There are Types of Mints for everything: For fragrance, grow Eau de Cologne and for cooking, plant Spearmint or Vietnamese mint. If you want to garnish your desserts with fruit-scented herbs, strawberry and apple mints are perfect. Grow peppermint for teas and horsemint for medicinal uses and if you have cats, don’t skip catmint!
Check out our article on growing mint here
Types of Mints
Botanical Name: Mentha spicata
Spearmint or Common mint is probably number one when it comes to culinary uses. It has narrow and green leaves with a pleasing scent, milder than peppermint. The herb is also known as Lamb mint because of its special uses in lamb and potato dishes.
- Plant it in moist soil under full or part sun.
- As it is invasive by nature, growing it in pots is always a good idea.
2. Pepper Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha × piperita
It is a cross of two mints–Watermint and Spearmint. It has a strong taste, sweet aroma, and cooling, pungent aftertaste, which is why it’s often used in desserts and teas.
- This plant can easily be multiplied through stem cuttings.
- Always grow it in fertile, well-drained, and moist soil.
3. Apple Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha suaveolens
This species is also known by various names like Wooly or Pineapple Mint. It has light green round foliage and pale pink flowers that appear from early to mid-summer. The fruity aftertaste makes it special. People use it in tea and for garnishing salads.
- It’s a cold-hardy plant, growing well under full to part sun.
- Water the plant well to keep the soil slightly moist.
4. Banana Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha arvensis ‘Banana’
This fruity herb has an aroma that resembles a banana, which attracts bees. Its small lilac-colored flowers bloom throughout the summer. You can use it in ice creams, cookies, muffins, and fruit salads.
- Banana mint grows best in a partly shaded area that remains evenly moist.
- Frequent harvesting and pinching keep it bushier.
5. Chocolate Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha × piperita ‘Chocolate Mint’
Chocolate Mint is famous for its minty chocolate-flavored aroma. It goes well in shakes, desserts, and ice-creams. Its round spear-shaped foliage blooms stunning lavender flowers in summers.
- Though it can thrive in full sun, save it from the afternoon sun.
- Never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Botanical Name: Mentha aquatica
Watermint, also known as ‘Mentha citrata,’ grows mostly in waterways, near rivers. It has an oval-looking and toothed, aromatic foliage. This vigorous plant expands through runners.
- As it thrives near moist places, it requires humidity and moisture for proper growth.
- Since water mint is invasive, grow it in pots.
7. Lavender Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha piperita ‘Lavendula’
One of the most beautiful types of mints that you can grow for ornamental purposes. Plant this 2 feet tall variety in your garden in the form of an informal hedge.
- Grow the plant on slopes or elevated areas in a garden bed to ensure good drainage.
- For pots, use well-drained soil that retains some moisture.
8. Slender Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha diemenica
This dwarf 6 inches high mint is frost-hardy and native to Australia. Slender mint looks different from other types of mints. It can be used as common mints. Learn more about it here.
- While it prefers several hours of sunlight, you can also grow this wild mint in full shade.
- Various propagation methods like Division and Stolonos can also be used as well.
9. Egyptian Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha niliaca
Egyptian mint is as old as ancient Egypt and has a reference in the Pharaoh’s times as well. This culinary herb has a scent like an applemint, and the flavor is milder than peppermint and spearmint. It has a strong upright stem with fuzzy leaves and finds its uses in savory dishes and teas and is also used as a skin toner too.
- This tall mint can be up to 2-3 feet high, so grow it in a medium-sized pot.
- You can grow it as an annual in USDA 8 and below. In warmer regions, it’s a perennial.
10. Pennyroyal Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha pulegium
A large number of Roman cookbooks have a mention of Pennyroyal Mint. Today, it is seldom used in kitchens but more as a herbal remedy and to repel insects. Grow it in a vegetable garden to sort out pest problems. It has tiny and delicate green leaves with stunning pale blue or lavender flowers.
- Since it’s a creeper (6-12 inches), you can grow it in hanging pots as well.
- If you’re growing this cold-hardy herb in a warm climate, water it regularly.
Botanical Name: Mentha longifolia
This upright herb can be up to 3-4 feet tall, it bears flower spikes of attractive pale pink or lilac color and has hairy foliage. It’s also known as silver mint. It has more medicinal uses, which makes it a perfect addition to a medicinal garden.
- It’s more drought tolerant than other types of mints.
- It can grow well in poor soil and full sun.
12. Corsican Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha requieni
Corsican mint is native to Corsica. It has trails of round, aromatic leaves with small, fragrant flowers. Like most mints, it is low-growing and invasive. Corsican mint helps to enhance the flavor of the vegetable crops growing around it and used in teas and salads. This variety is also an essential ingredient of mint-flavored alcoholic drink crème de menthe.
- It loves the morning sun but dislikes the intense direct sunlight in the afternoon.
- Use soil that’s moist but not soggy.
13. Eau de Cologne Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha piperita citrata
Also known as the orange and bergamot mint, it has citrus-flavored perfumed leaves that are elliptical in shape on beautiful burgundy stems. Orange mint is famous for its aromatic attributes and used as an ingredient in the preparation of Jellies, salads, and Sauces. Its essential oil is used by the perfume industry.
- Because of its invasive nature, it’s better to grow it in raised beds or pots.
- Select a location that receives partial sunlight.
14. Strawberry Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha spicata subsp. citrata ‘Strawberry’
This compact mint variety is suitable for growing indoors in hanging basket and pots. It has a fruity fragrance that is a mix of strawberry and mint. Chop it to add in salads and desserts or make an iced tea.
- Use well-drained loamy soil to grow this mint.
- Keep it in dappled shade.
15. Grapefruit Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha x piperita ‘Grapefruit’
What sets this mint apart from the rest is its intoxicating grapefruit-like fragrance. The fruit-flavored deep green leaves of grapefruit mint go well with fruit desserts. You can also add it to seafood and lamb salad for citrusy zest.
- This upright herb can be up to 2 feet tall, so grow it in a large pot.
- Keep it in a spot that receives at least 4-5 hours of sunlight.
16. Hemingway Peppermint
Botanical Name: Mentha nemorosa
This American variety of wild mint is edible and can be eaten either fresh or cooked into dishes that add a beautiful aroma and pleasant taste. You can also enjoy the mint leaves in the form of herbal teas and other cold beverages.
- This variety mostly grows as a wild plant without much care.
- Best thrives in rich, moist soil with a pH between 6-7.
17. Ginger Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha x gracilis
Ginger mint is also known as Vietnamese mint because it’s popular in Vietnamese cooking and used to flavor beef and chicken dishes. It smells like spearmint with a hint of fruity ginger-like fragrance, therefore the name.
- Grow it in dappled or full shade in moderately fertile loamy soil.
- Like other types of mints, it grows aggressively, and that’s why it’s better to confine it in a pot before planting on the ground.
18. Mojito Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha × villosa
Also, goes by the common name Cuban mint (Yerba Buena), compared to other varieties, it has a warm and mild flavor. The well-loved and known Mojito cocktail has this mint as its main ingredient!
- Warm temperate and mildly subtropical climates are perfect for this mint.
- It can be grown in USDA Zones 5 to 10a.
19. Hart’s Pennyroyal
Botanical Name: Mentha cervina
Another unique variety from the mint family mainly because of the fragrant leaves and colorful blossoms with a very intense minty flavor that’s similar to spearmint. This is most widely used to season fish, meats, and other culinary uses besides the popular teas and beverages.
- This plant can grow fine in sandy, loamy, or clay-like soil.
- Prefers semi-shade or full sunlight.
20. American Wild Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha canadensis
This mint variety native to most of Canada and the United States is one of the most sought-after ones in the North American gardens. It goes well with jellies, teas, candies and has also been used to cure hiccups and toothaches.
- Grows well in full sunlight to partial shade.
- Best suited for USDA zones 4-10 and needs well-drained soil.
21. Margarita Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha ‘Margarita’
If you do not prefer the taste of mojito, this is the mint variety you need to grow. Margarita has a scent of lime that adds up as the perfect garnish to a margarita drink.
- You should plant Margarita in humus-rich, Fertile, well-drained soil.
- Best grown in USDA zones 5-8.
22. Red Mint
Botanical Name: Mentha rubra raripila
This variety of mint is another delicious hybrid that is a combination of the watermint or Mentha aquatica, spearmint or Mentha spicata, and corn mint or Mentha arvensis. The taste is very similar to the spearmint and could be used in cocktails, garnish in lemonade or other cool beverages, refreshing teas, candies, and ice creams.
- Feed with a slow-release 16-16-16 granular fertilizer in spring.
- The variety like other mint plants can thrive best in full sunlight but also grows well in partial shade, too.
Some Other Plants that are Also Called as Mints
23. Lemon Balm
Botanical Name: Melissa officinalis
Lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family. People use it for making refreshing, lemony drinks because of its citrus-like scent, which is somewhat like lemongrass but with a hint of mint. It is also used for treating mental disorders and medicinal purposes.
- Provide proper air circulation to this herb.
- Avoid overwatering.
Botanical Name: Calamintha nepeta
This variety of mint has a very powerful fragrance that is similar to Pennyroyal and tastes somewhat like a cross between marjoram and spearmint. Calamint is not only used for cooking meat dishes and beverages but also is a host of several medicinal benefits.
- Place calamint in full sunlight.
- This herb can sow by itself prolifically, so you need to get rid of the spent flower heads to stop seedlings.
Botanical Name: Nepeta cataria
If you’re a cat parent, growing catnip is an excellent idea for your feline’s enjoyment as it contains a compound called nepetalactone, which attracts almost 70-80% of cats. You can also use catnip in mint teas and salads.
- You can grow catnip indoors as well, on a windowsill that receives several hours of direct sun.
- This mint family plant is fairly drought tolerant, once established.
26. Licorice Mint
Botanical Name: Anise hyssop
This variety of mint produces lovely purple flowers. The fresh leaves are mostly used in baked items such as scones, or cookies, and also used in making custards, ice creams, beverages, vinegar, jams, or salad dressings.
- The plant grows well in full sun. It can also tolerate light shade.
- Provide a balanced organic fertilizer in the spring once every year.
Botanical Name: Nepeta racemosa
Unlike catnip, catmint is an ornamental herb and can be used in vegetable gardens to deter insects and as an edging plant. Catmint also contains a similar compound, which makes cat euphoric.
- Grow it in the garden in full sun to part sun location.
- When growing catmint in a pot, select a medium to large size container.