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Different Varieties of Mint Plants

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Different Varieties of Mint Plants

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There are many different varieties of mint plants. The mint family of plants, known as Labiatae, is recognizable because of their opposite leaves and the stalks being square. They are typically fragrant. There are over 180 genera in the mint family with 3,500 different species. Of those 180 there are 50 found in North America.

Carpet Bugleweed

Ajuga reptans, the carpet bugleweed or common bugleweed, is from the mint family and is a fast-growing perennial. It gets 6 to 10 inches in height, with (usually) dark green leaves 3 to 5 inches long and flowers 1/2 inch long, in typically blue or purple. The leaf color and flower color can vary depending on cultivar. Plant an Ajuga reptans in any moist soil in partial to full shade. Propagate via stolon separation or seed in USDA hardiness zones of 4 through 9.

Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis, the lemon balm, is from the mint family and is a perennial that attracts butterflies. The light green leaves are 1 to 3 inches long, and the flowers are small and yellow that age to lilac. The leaves smell like lemon when they are bruised. Plant a Melissa officinalis in well drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Propagate via division or seed in USDA hardiness zones of 3 through 9.

Florida Mountainmint

Pycnanthemum floridanum, the Florida mountainmint, is a fragrant, easy-to-grow perennial that is drought tolerant and attractive to butterflies. It gets 4 feet high, with 2 inch long leaves and small lavender flowers in clusters. Plant a Pycnanthemum floridanum in full sun to partial shade in any soil. Propagate via seed or division in USDA hardiness zones of 8 through 9.

Blue Anise Sage

Salvia guaranitica, the blue anise sage or Brazilian sage, is a perennial shrub that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. It will get 3 to 5 feet high and 3 to 5 feet wide, with 2 to 5 inch dark green leaves. The flowers are tubular, 2 inches long and on spikes. Plant a Salvia guaranitica in partial shade to full sun, and water regularly. Propagate via cuttings in USDA hardiness zones of 8 through 11.

Beebalm

Monarda didyma, the beebalm or Owego tea, is from the mint family and is a perennial that is attractive to butterflies or hummingbirds. The leaves are 2 to 6 inches long and toothed. Flowers are 1-1/2 inches long, tubular and red in color. The plant will get 3 to 4 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide. Plant a Monarda didyma in full sun or partial shade in rich soil. Propagate via seed or division in USDA hardiness zones of 4 through 8.

Keywords: mint, mint plants, different varieties of mint plants

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years (in health and gardening topics) and a writer for 20 years. She has one book, "A Georgia Native Plant Guide," offered through Mercer University Press. She is happy to be a LIVESTRONG and Gardenguides writer.