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Jun 15, 2009 09:59 PM

What kind of mint to grow?

I'm going to start growing mint in a pot on my back deck as I've grown tired of never using all the mint I get at the store in time.

But I want to use my mint for a few different purposes:

-morrocan dishes
-mint juleps

I looked into getting the Kentucky Colonel (spearmint), which is supposedly the quintessential mint for cocktails, but I just worry it will be overpowering in the other dishes I want to make.

is there a versatile mint to grow for all these foods, or do you think the colonel will be good? I'd like to use some type of spearmint.


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  1. In my area, there are only 2 types of mint available: generic mint just labeled as "mint" and mint-spearmint. Why not buy the ordinary mint and one plant of spearmint? If you make ice cream you can add the spearment to the custard while cooking. Tehn discard.
    I would advise you against putting mint in your garden. It just takes over. Plant it in a pot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Smachnoho

      thanks for the advise. I was definitely going to put it in a pot, but wasn't sure if I could plant two different types successfully in the same pot? Or if they'd duke it out like beta fish...

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Real spearmint is a wild plant and I've never known a named variety like "Kentucky Colonel," but that doesn't mean that there isn't a cultivar being marketed that way. Most people get hunks of it from someone who is happy to get rid of some that has wandered into yet another place it shouldn't be. It's happiest in the ground where it can roam.
        I've never had much luck growing it in containers because it's scraggly and hard to keep bushy. The original Born to Be Wild. I doesn't like to share its space and always looks pretty ratty.

        This year I found a cultivar of spearmint called Julep that has excellent aroma and flavor, although not as strong as wild spearmint. It is doing great in a pot and is maintaining a good bushy form. It's actually pretty.
        I'm growing it in the same pot with some Corsican mint used as a ground cover, and they're happy together. Corsican mint is the mint from which Creme de Menthe was originally made.

        If you are going to raise mint in a pot, get one of the "refined" varieties of spearmint that has been developed for container culture. The real stuff won't be happy and you will not be pleased with an ugly specimen on your deck.

        You will have to adjust recipes for the strength of any mint you use, so don't worry about it.

        1. I'm wondering if there is a mint that grows particularly well, or are they all the same? Do you start by growing a hearty mint and then, once you have it mastered, you do a more "refined" mint? Is there even such a thing?

          So many questions. Like, can mint be grown indoors? Are you planning to grow inside or outside?


          1 Reply
          1. re: mudaba


            The mint that I've planted (Eastern PA and Cincinnati) has grown from 1 plant to out of control in one summer's time. I've used the regular (spear)mint and lime mint and they've both been incredibly prolific without me having to feed them or water them. If it wasn't for my love of mojito's and juleps my yard might be out of control. My guess is that it can probably be grown indoors given its high tolerance to abuse.

            I made a killer mint choco-chip ice cream last year. Just seeped the mint leaves in heavy cream.

          2. Thanks MakingSense, I'll look for one of the 'for the pot' types of mint - Hortica, is a great place for anyone in SF, they have a great selection of mints.

            mudaba-I'm going to be growing it outside, I think it does grow ok indoors, but it probably wouldn't yield what I'd want it to. Plus I've read that it take a lot of sun - and a lot of water, so it might be better outside.

            I'll report back when I get my mint in the pot.

            566 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: itsapeugeot

              Kentucky col. is a favorite of mine and any mint will do well in pots. Like many herbs there are increasingly more and more of a variety of both spearmints and peppermints and you should just explore nurseries in the bay area to find ones you like. they can all be grown in pots with good soil and organic food and do very well. Pineapple mint is varigated and very pretty but there are so many mints now it's just about going to nurseries and discovering what appeals to you.