- botanical name: Mentha suaveolens
- perennial zones 4-8
- height 24-36″
- spacing 8-20″ apart
- full sun tolerant, partial shade
- average soil
- flower color white
- uses in garden: great in containers, drought tolerant, fragrant
- use in fruit salads, mint sauces, or use in candying
- attracts bees and butterflies
- deer resistant
Apple Mint bears tall, sturdy stems with large, fuzzy, gray-green leaves that smell slightly of apple. Don’t let the texture of the leaves deter you from using it in the kitchen; Apple Mint will lose its fuzzy feeling once you chop them for use. Its mellow flavor makes it a great choice for fruit salads, mint sauces, or for use in candying. Find great mint recipes here!
Mints attract a number of good pollinators to the garden. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are attracted to the mint when it flowers. Mints have a tendency to be quite invasive. It is best to plant it in a confined space like a container or pot. However, if you want to keep mint in your garden, try planting your seedlings in bottomless number ten cans, or surround them with a barrier that is at least ten inches deep – laundry baskets work well for this. Just be sure to drill plenty of holes in the bottom to allow for drainage. If you have a damp spot in your garden area, consider planting mint as a groundcover as it likes a moist soil.
Mint will thrive in a partly shaded area with plenty of moisture. To keep plants looking their best, cut plants back regularly by a third periodically to promote a fuller appearance. In the fall, you can cut the plants just above ground level. Be sure to mulch over the top if winters are harsh in your area. Mint is best when used fresh.
Mint seeds don’t always produce the exact variety, so the recommended planting method is from root division from an existing plant stock, cuttings, suckers, or stolons. Cuttings will root easily in a moist potting medium, or even in water. If you are dividing an existing plant, it is best done in the fall.
To harvest, gather bunches and hang on drying racks or spread on screens until completely dry. Dried mint, when stored in airtight containers, will retain its flavor and scent.