List of Mint Plants
Mints, plants in the genus Mentha, are easy to grow if given enough water and a bit of shade. Most spread by underground runners into large patches, sometimes even overwhelming smaller plants with their rampant growth. Mints can be contained in pots, either set into the ground or on a back step. Peppermint and spearmint are common, but other types have subtle, delicious variations on the basic mint fragrance.
One of the most charming of mints is the tiny Corsican mint (M. requienii) with leaves less than a quarter inch across but with an intense scent similar to the somewhat larger pennyroyal (M. pulegium.) Pennyroyal is hardier, surviving cold weather more successfully, but Corsican mint will often come back from seed if frozen out.
Mentha piperata, the peppermint, has a spicy scent that, in some varieties, takes on fruity overtones. You can find lemon bergamot mint, orange, chocolate, lime, eau de cologne, candy and lavender mints.
One of the most popular mints, spearmint can be found in varieties called "Kentucky Colonel," "Mint the Best" and basil mint. One type, called "Curly Mint" has leaves with ruffled edges.
Applemint is one of the largest and most invasive of the mints. Give it and its varieties, pineapple mint and grapefruit mint, a large container or a bed surrounded by concrete to keep it from taking over your yard.
More Mints to Grow
Mints are native to areas all over the world and many have been brought into cultivation. You'll find Austrian mint (M. gracilis), Egyptian mint (M. niliaca), ginger mint (M. gentillis), Habek mint (M. longifolia "Habek"), Japanese mint (M. arvensis), silver mint (M. longifolia) and other flavors offered for sale. All should respond well to the same conditions, moist soil and a bit of shade.
Rid Of Mint Plants
When you invite mint plants (Mentha spp.) With care and patience, you can dig up and remove all of your mint plants, including their rhizomes. Lever the fork upward, loosening the soil clump, and gently pull the rhizomes and roots out of the soil. A layer of light-excluding material can be used to starve mint plants and kill them. In late fall or the following spring, remove the covering or incorporate the remains of the newspaper and mulch into the soil. Whichever elimination method you use, mint plants sometimes reappear. Closely check the soil for new mint shoots every three to four weeks during the growing season, and pull up all shoots that appear, removing as much of the root system as possible.