Minty Delights A Guide to 10 Types of Mint Plants

Minty Delights: A Guide to 10 Types of Mint Plants

Imagine having your very own minty haven right at home, ready to elevate your culinary delights and soothe your senses with their invigorating fragrances.

Mint is known for its refreshing taste and captivating scent, but it’s not just a regular herb for adding flavor; it has health benefits and beautiful looks.

Whether you’re an aspiring home chef, a gardening enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the finer things in life, you’re in for a treat! We will explore the benefits of having your own mint plants and show you the best varieties for your home. 

Why Grow Mints

Why Grow Mints

Here’s why you should consider growing mint or adding them to your herb collection:

  1. Delicious Dishes: Mint isn’t just about making your drinks taste better; it’s like a magic ingredient in the kitchen. It can turn ordinary meals into something special! 

Whether you’re making a colorful salad, mixing up a refreshing cocktail, baking a yummy dessert, or seasoning a tasty dish, mint can make all these foods taste amazing. 

If you enjoy cooking at home, you definitely should have mint in your garden.

  1. Medicinal Benefits: Beyond its delectable taste, mint also has a lot of health benefits. It’s like nature’s remedy kit! 

Mint can help treat bad breath, improve cold symptoms, soothe an upset stomach, ease headaches, and even relieve menstrual cramps. 

So, having mint readily available in your garden means you have a natural, effective solution for various common ailments.

  1. Easy to Grow: Mint is incredibly friendly to newbie gardeners. It’s hardy, meaning it can withstand different weather conditions and garden environments with ease. 

Whether you have limited space indoors or a sprawling outdoor garden, mint thrives almost anywhere. Plus, it’s low-maintenance, so you don’t need to be a gardening pro to look after it.

  1. Beautiful Aesthetics: Mint doesn’t just taste and smell fantastic; it looks stunning too. Its lush green leaves and small flowers make your house look fancy.
  1. Natural Insect Repellent: The active ingredient in mint called menthol is a pesticide for mites and mosquito larvae. It also repels spiders, ants, and mice.
  1. Fragrant Aromatherapy: Mint doesn’t just delight your taste buds; it also pampers your senses with its invigorating aroma. It’s like having a natural air freshener in your garden. 

The scent of mint can lift your spirits and create a calming atmosphere in your home. So, besides being a culinary and medicinal marvel, mint is your ticket to a fragrant and mood-enhancing garden.

Now that you know why mint is a fantastic choice, let’s explore different types of mint that you can grow at home.

Types of Mint



Botanical Name: Mentha spicata
Origin: Europe and Asia
Size: Typically grows 1 to 3 feet tall
Light: Spearmint thrives in full sun to partial shade
Water: Water every 3 to 4 days. Allow the soil to become almost dry between each watering session

Mentha spicata, commonly known as spearmint, gets its name from its spear-shaped leaves. This mint variety has low levels of menthol but is abundant in carvone, which gives it a spicier aroma and taste. 

Working with the other compounds in spearmint, it creates the spicy, citrusy, and minty flavor that the spearmint is known for. 

Spearmint helps with stomach ailments and can be used in cocktails, teas, mint jelly, candles, and essential oils.



Botanical Name: Mentha piperita
Origin: Northern Africa and the Mediterranean
Size: Peppermint can grow up to 3 feet tall
Light: Thrives in full sun but can tolerate partial shade
Water: Water every day or every other day. Be sure not to let the soil dry out between waterings

Mentha piperita, also known as peppermint, has vibrant green leaves that release a refreshing, slightly spicy scent and flavor when you crush or eat them. 

Growing peppermint is quite simple, but they are invasive, so many choose to grow them in containers. They can reach heights of up to three feet and produce pinkish-purple flowers around the stem in summer. 

Peppermint is widely used in candies, desserts, and various healthcare products. It’s also often used to enhance the flavors of fruit salads and to complement meats like lamb.

Peppermint oil gives off a soothing, cooling sensation when applied topically for nerve and muscle pain.

Ginger Mint

Ginger Mint

Botanical Name: Mentha gracilis
Origin: Asia and Europe
Size: Can reach a height of up to 2 feet
Light: Thrives in full sunlight but can also tolerate partial shade
Water: Water once a week

Ginger mint, also referred to as scotch mint or slender mint, is a crossbreed of spearmint and corn mint. It has vibrant green leaves with splashes of golden hues and emits a fruity scent with a subtle hint of spicy ginger.

Ginger mint can spread rapidly but is less invasive compared to other mint varieties. If you want to have it in one place, plant it in a large, deep container. 

Pick the young leaves and tips when harvesting to encourage fresh shoots from the base. As the stems age and become woody in the summer, remove them entirely to stimulate new growth.

Ginger mint adds an exciting twist to both sweet and savory dishes as well as beverages. Finely chopped ginger mint adds a tangy flavor to tomato salads and complements fruit salads. 

This mint variety is also known as a stimulant herb that aids digestion, which makes it an excellent choice for herbal tea. They can also be added to drinks and cocktails for a spicy fruity flavor.

Basil Mint

Basil Mint

Botanical Name: Mentha piperita f. citrata
Origin: India, Africa, and Southeast Asia
Size: Can reach a height of up to 1 to 2 feet
Light: Thrives in full sunlight or partial shade
Water: Water thoroughly at least once a week

Basil mint is a perennial herb that grows upright with narrow leaves and a basil-mint aroma. Remember to trim it back when the stems start to become woody. 

Basil mint can be used in creating pesto to enhance the flavors of melons, tomatoes, and fruit salads. It can also be used for a refreshing summer drink or to flavor sugar. 

For a subtle minty touch, add finely chopped leaves to dishes like potato salad, chicken stuffing, or when boiling cabbage. 

While basil mint is best enjoyed fresh, you can also dry it for future use. It can be dried in the microwave for one to two minutes on high, and it can keep its fragrance for up to six months.

Cuban Mint

Cuban Mint

Botanical Name: Mentha villosa
Origin: Cuba
Size: Can grow up to 2 feet
Light: Thrives in full sun but can tolerate light shade
Water: Water when the top layer of the soil is dry

Cuban mint, also known as mojito mint, is most famous for being used in creating mojito cocktails. 

It’s a resilient plant that flourishes best when exposed to full sun or partial shade. It produces fragrant white flowers and can reach heights of up to two feet.

Cuban mint has a mild and sweet leaf flavor that can be used in lamb dishes or brewing herbal tea. They can also be used as a garnish for your savory dishes. 

Lavender Mint

Lavender Mint

Botanical Name: Mentha piperita ‘Lavendula’
Origin: Europe
Size: Can grow up to 2.6 feet
Light: Thrives in full sun but will love some shade in hot regions
Water: Keep soil consistently moist and water more especially in dry times

Lavender mint is a result of a natural cross between spearmint and watermint. It has small, spear-shaped leaves that have slightly jagged edges. 

Its purplish-red stems stand out against its green leaves, which grow in pairs along its stems. As it matures, the leaves turn a grey-green color with dark veins and purple edges. 

Lavender mint can grow up to 60 centimeters tall and spreads easily, like other mints. In late summer and fall, it produces small, delicate purple flowers. 

Both the leaves and flowers have a strong scent that’s a mix of lavender, mint, and a floral fragrance.

Chefs like it because it smells great, and it’s also popular with gardeners and landscapers because it’s easy to grow, looks beautiful, and attracts bees and butterflies.

Lavender mint can be used in cooking, baking, or as garnish. It has an intense smell, so you may only need a few leaves. 

You can make tea with lavender mint as well as mojitos and other drinks. You may also mix it with spearmint or peppermint to enhance the minty flavor of your dishes.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm

Botanical Name: Melissa officinalis
Origin: North Africa, Europe, and Asia
Size: Can grow up to 2 to 3 feet
Light: Prefers full sun but can tolerate light shade
Water: Maintain the soil’s moisture but don’t make it too wet

Lemon balm, also known as balm gentle, is known for its lemon-scented leaves. Its leaves are in a roughly heart-shaped or oval form with a wrinkled toothed edge.

Some variations may have smooth leaves, while others are slightly hairy and they grow in pairs along the square stems. The plant produces tiny flowers that become a source of nectar for honeybees and other pollinators.

Lemon balm leaves, whether fresh or dried, are commonly used to season and enhance the flavor of various dishes, including salads, soups, sauces, and stuffings. 

They are also used in candies, liquors, wine, and fruit beverages. The essential oil from lemon balm is popular in aromatherapy and is used in perfumes and cosmetics.

Licorice Mint

Licorice Mint

Botanical Name: Agastache
Origin: United States and Canada
Size: Can grow up to 4 inches
Light: At least 6 hours of sun a day
Water: Once established, water it once or twice a month

Licorice mints feature pointed, ovate to spear-shaped leaves that grow opposite each other along square stems. They produce lilac, purple, or violet-blue flowers in dense, cylindrical spikes measuring about 7 to 15 centimeters long. 

Licorice mint leaves are known for their sweet, minty, and licorice-like fragrance and flavor.

The leaves and flowers can be used as garnishes or for scenting potpourri. Fresh leaves can be added to salads, crushed for seasoning, or used to infuse a sweet licorice flavor into vinegar, honey, oil, simple syrup, and jam.

Chocolate Mint

Chocolate Mint

Botanical Name: Mentha x piperita ‘Chocolate’
Origin: Europe and the Middle East
Size: Can reach heights of up to 3 feet tall
Light: Thrives in full sunlight to partial shade
Water: Water once a day but can be 2 to 3 times daily in hot weather

Chocolate mint, as its name denotes, is a type of mint that smells and tastes a bit like chocolate, with a hint of cocoa and vanilla along with the usual minty flavor. 

When it gets enough sunlight, its green leaves even turn a bit burgundy with chocolate-colored stems.

They come from a mix of watermint and spearmint plants. People often grow them for cooking and to serve as ground cover.

Chocolate mint is also popular for making desserts. Its leaves can be used to add flavor to mousse, ice cream, and custards. You may also chop up the leaves and add them to ice cubes or popsicles. 

Apple Mint

Apple Mint

Botanical Name: Mentha suaveolens
Origin: Southern and Western Europe
Size: Can grow up to 3 feet in height
Light: Thrives in full sun or partial shade
Water: Water every 3 to 4 days

Apple mint has bright green leaves that are round with slightly jagged edges. People also call it “wooly mint” because the leaves and stems are covered in fine hair. 

It gives off a fruity smell, particularly apple, although its minty taste is not as strong as other kinds of mint. 

When it starts to bloom, you’ll see tall spikes with white or pale pink flowers.

You can squish the leaves and put them in drinks like cocktails, mocktails, or tea to give them a nice twist. They can also be used to make popsicles, sorbets, or ice cubes. 

If you want to make sauces or rubs for meat like chicken, lamb, or fish, apple mint is also a great choice.