How to Buy Wild Mint Plants

Overview

The aroma of mint awakens the senses and brings to mind tasty treats like grasshopper pie. Mint is a much diversified herb and is used in a variety of methods. Learning what to look for when purchasing wild mint is a key factor when including this herb in your garden. Mint is a perennial plant so there is no need to keep planting it every year. There are 13 species and 76 genera of the wild mint plant; the three main types of wild mint: peppermint (mentha piperita), spearmint (mentha viridis) and pennyroyal (mentha pulegium).

Step 1

Research types of wild mint plants. Peppermint varieties like orange, chocolate and lavender are used for teas, candy making and therapeutic purposes. Look up spearmint, which comes in several kinds like Kentucky Colonel and curly mint. Some uses for spearmints are medicinal or as an ingredient in mint juleps. Investigate mints used for potpourri like Corsican mint; which also doubles as pest control in the garden. Search for aesthetically pleasing mints like pineapple mint or ginger mint to add color to your garden. Determine what type of wild mint will best suit your needs.

Step 2

Survey the location where the mint will be planted. Make sure there is enough space as mint is a rapidly growing plant that can quickly take over any garden. Consider the option of container growing for a smaller-scale garden if you lack space. Decide how many mint plants to start off with.

Step 3

Pick out a wild mint plant that is healthy with no signs of diseases. Look for the plant to have a bright green color, shiny leaves and a strong square stem. Pass on plants that have rust colored spots, droopy or discolored leaves and a gray powdery fungus growing on the leaves; these are signs that the mint plant is diseased.

Tips and Warnings

  • Mint is an invasive plant that will quickly take over any garden. Mint is best grown in its own separate garden. An alternative is to cultivate mint in large pots or containers. Wild mint plants are prone to attract diseases and bugs like aphids. Check the plant frequently to avoid having to nurse a sick plant or replanting the whole garden in non diseased soil.

References

  • United States Department of Agriculture: Mentha arvensis L. wild mint
  • Oregon State University Extension: Peppermint (Mentha spp.) -- Powdery Mildew
  • Utah State University Extension: Mint in the Garden

Who Can Help

  • Botanical: Mints
  • Mountain Valley Growers: Mints
Keywords: purchasing mint plants, medicinal mint plants, choosing wild mint

About this Author

Since May 2009, Christina Delegans-Bunch has been pursuing her career as a professional writer. Her work has been published on eHow and GardenGuides. She holds a certification in floral designing and wedding consultation from Harcourt Extended Learning.