Make the most of culinary herbs and spices.

Mint QandA

I have a mint plant that was doing well, but it has taken a turn. It is in a container in full sun. I live in USDA zone 7b. The tops of the stems look good, green leaves with no flowering. The bottoms look terrible- brown and dried looking. What should I do? Do I cut the stems back to the ground? Would it regrow this summer? Or just leave it and do a better job pinching back next year? Thanks for your help!! KD

I've had this problem in the past, although it isn't happening this summer. If you cut it back to the ground it will grow right back. Then you can do what I always do, vow to keep it trimmed better (but I never do).


Hello there, I was reading through your mint Q&A and I ran across a question by a student doing a report on mouth temperature and chewing mint. Well, it happens that I AM a food scientist-- smell and taste are closely connected, and the cooling sensation of mint is actually related to olfactory senses, not taste. Try plugging your nose and eating a mint candy-- until you unplug your nose, you can't identify the flavor, just the sweetness. Happy eating! DA

Thanks for giving us the facts.


I have chocolate mint in my garden how do I make extract? DD

Good idea. If I were going to try this I would do it much like making herbed vinegars. Fill a jar with torn mint leaves and then pour vodka over them, making sure the mint is completely submerged. Set it in a cool, dark place and check the flavor after six weeks or so. If it isn't strong enough, let it sit longer. Once you have a satisfying flavor, strain off the leaves and transfer your extract to a clean bottle. I think I'll try this, too. I've got tons of peppermint right now!


Hello. I have a question about harvesting from my mint plant. I know that you are supposed to clip right above a set of new growth however, what if you have a long stem that could use a trim but you don't have new growth on the stem to cut above because you have already trimmed off above new growth from that stem. Is it still ok to clip that stem or should I try to clip one of the branching out stems? Or just take the main stem no matter if it had a new growth bud point ? GP

It is my experience that, if your mint plant is healthy, you can do just about anything to it and it will continue to grow. In this case, you don't have to necessarily trim above "new growth" but make your snips at a leaf pair. If you want to cut a stem that has gotten leggy and doesn't have much growth on the lower part, just cut it down to the ground.


I have blue mold on my mint plants. It will wash off, I boil my water with the mint leaves in it. Is it safe to drink it? CZ

I don't think I would. Curious about blue mold, I did a Google search. It seems to be a fungus called downy mildew disease. It is more common in storage fruits but is quite a serious problem. You will want to get rid of it on your plants as it may spread to other areas of your garden. You can either pull up the plants and destroy them or inquire at your local garden center for methods of treatment.


Is it possible to boil the mint stems and drink it as tea? AR

I suspected you would get a much better flavor using the leaves rather than the stems so I put the matter to a test. I steeped just leaves of lemon balm in one cup and young, tender stems in another cup. After three minutes, the leaves were aromatic and had the taste of lemon, as I expected. The cup with the stems only had no aroma and the vaguest hint of lemon. After five minutes more the stems had developed just a bit more flavor.


Hi, I live in the UK and have a mint plant in a terracotta pot in my garden. I did not bring it in over the winter and it survived very low temps and came back wonderfully in the spring, but last years dead growth (woody stems) are still in the pot. I've tried pulling them out but they are quite stubborn, so I've cut them off as low as I can. Is there a better way to deal with this? Also, when I moved my mint from the indoor windowsill to an outdoor position, the leaves definitely lost some softness and became a lot tougher, is this usual? Thanks, H

Once the seasonal growth from mint dies out for the winter, most gardeners go ahead and cut the stems to the ground. You wouldn't want to pull them out since they grow through the spreading of the roots. I suppose that the tougher leaves come from weathering. Soft new growth usually gives way to become a stronger, older plant.




Hi. I have mint growing in my backyard. I live in Colorado and it does well but is not invasive due to water limitations. The plants have good flavor and fragrance and I have not disease problems. I decided to bring some plants in to winter in my garage on the theory that it would be nice to have some mint leaves available in the winter months. The plant looks great, lots of new growth. The leaves however are scentless and tasteless. Any suggestions? FB

One reason many experts don't recommend using fertilizer on herbs is because they put so much energy into growing that they don't produce much in the way of essential oils that give flavor. Maybe that is the problem with your plant. It is getting used to its new environs and growing so much foliage that it is flavorless. I'll bet the problem with right itself with time.


Hi, I have mint growing in a pot a bought from my supermarket, and after about 3 months it has been growing bulb like white fluffy tops. Should I cut them off, the other leaves are very small now.

thanks VB

Your plants are beginning to flower, a natural part of their life cycle. You could trim them off, if you wish, to stimulate more foliage growth.


Hi I was wondering if you could help me indentify what's going on with my lavender plant and my peppermint plant. I'm not sure what's going on with the lavender plant but I believe what is going on with the peppermint plant is rust. It's kinda brown orange spots but it's just not on the bottom of the leaves. I don't want to get a new plant so what can i do in order to save it? Last time i used an incenctical * soap it made my plant taste nasty, is there anything I can do about that? It also appears that my lavender is not flowering yet I believe its called silver or Spanish lavender (all my other lavender are already flowering). NM

Mint plants are prone to rust, which is a fungal disease. Insecticidal soap is used to kill bugs so it would have no impact on rust. The best way to prevent rust is to make sure the plants have good air circulation and avoid wetting the leaves when watering. If you have a large infestation, you might want to cut the plant to the ground and see if it will grow back rust-free. Some lavenders don't bloom in the first year or bloom later than others. Overfertilizing can also result in more foliage and fewer flowers.


Hello! I have a spearmint plant that has been growing on my western window sill. (We also have a lot of trees in our yard, so it does not get much direct sun.) For a while it did all right, but the leaves have always been very small. It tends to shoot up long stems with small leaves space far apart. Lately some stems have been dying. What do you suppose it needs? MG

Generally, when plants become "leggy" it is because they are reaching for light. While mint does well in partial shade, maybe yours is too much in the dark.


I have mint drying in a dark closet but the leaves are turning brown. Is this common. When I dry my catnip doesn't turn brown it stays green. Am I doing it the wrong way to dry mint. Any help in dry mint would be appreciated. TIA S

I looked at the peppermint from my garden that I have dried and noticed that the leaves are purple on one side and stayed green on the other. If you are drying your mint in the same way you dried the catnip, I'm thinking maybe it is a problem with the mint leaves to begin with. Perhaps they didn't dry quickly enough in the beginning and actually died before the process began. You might want to try a new batch and see if you get similar results. Another thought, quality drying requires good air circulation...a closet might not be the best choice of places.


I was given quite a bit of chocolate mint stems which I’m using for sun tea and also drying for future use. There are a number of small blossoms on the stems. Can you steep the blossoms along with the leaves or will they adversely affect the taste? I just found your site today and have really enjoyed it! Thanks so much! LL

Mint flowers are edible and I don't think they would make any sort of impact on the flavor of your tea.


Dear A Pinch Of... I own a raw foods deli and I was wondering is mint worth juicing or will it just be a waste of time? M

 I like this idea. From what I can gather after a quick look around the net is that success depends largely on your juicer. Seems to me if you can juice wheatgrass, you could juice other leafy herbs. If you can't get just the mint leaves to make it through maybe you could add them along with other fruits and vegetables that mint would complement.

Here's one that's full of our favorite recipes because we wrote the book! It is also full of information, helpful hints and ideas for using herbs and spices in your kitchen.

Hi. By looking at the shape, texture, structure, 'colour', growth pattern, etc. of the mint plant that we've been given; How would we know which type it is? I'm 100% certain it's either peppermint or spearmint; but how to be sure! We would appreciate any info. CJ

Mints can be confusing. The best key to determining whether you have peppermint or spearmint is the color of the flowers. Peppermint has purple blossoms while spearmint flowers are white or pink. I've also noticed that the peppermint I grow has much darker green leaves than spearmint does.


Is it best to steep mint in water or can you just soak the leaves in water in the refrigerator? PGG

It is best to introduce heat to the liquid when you want to infuse the flavor of herbs.


I have dried some mint leaves to crush over salad. While the mint was drying, little black particles dropped onto the counter. Are these bugs? And since so many have abandoned the plants, are the mint leaves safe to eat? Thank you. LS

I've noticed this same thing when I dry a variety of herbs. I'm not sure what the debris is but I suspect it may be bugs or their droppings that were clinging to the leaves. I have gone on to use the herbs I dried with fine results.


Hello, would you please suggest the best way to infuse mint for a wafer recipe. I could not get mint extract or mint oil. I am thinking of infusing fresh mint in the softened butter. Any idea how long do I let the mint soak into the liquid butter? Hope you have the answer. Thank you LG

Sounds like fun experiment that might work well. I would start with quite a bit of mint and and use hot melted butter then let it steep for about an hour. Let us know how it goes if you try it, okay?


I have a kibbie recipe and it calls for mint. My question is peppermint or spearmint? MT

You would probably have good results with either one, but spearmint is the most common mint for savory dishes.


My mint has turned partly black and a little crisp. Can I still use it for cooking? SM

It doesn't sound very appetizing, but unless it's moldy, it probably won't hurt you.


Dear A Pinch Of...I recently bought a mint plant from a market, but I am new to gardening. It looked healthy to start with, but now the leaves are turning brown. It’s not spots of brown, it sort of creeps from the tips inwards. Nearly all of the leaves are like this and the only leaves that aren’t brown are too small to use. I re-potted it today into a bigger pot, but I was wondering if it was from over-watering? I water it every day because we’re having quite a dry summer. Please help? AD

The damage you describe could be called "scorch." It is basically a sunburn although it could also be the result of drought. Your plant may have come from a greenhouse and then gotten burned when you first put it into full sun. As for watering, you will want to water the plant thoroughly, until water runs from the drainage holes, and then let it become dry over the top two or three inches of soil before watering again. It's better to completely saturate the soil and roots rather than just a bit every day.


Hi there. You have a wonderful site but I can't seem to find out what the very, very tiny white bugs are that are all over my counter. You see we brought my mint and chocolate mint plants inside last night as it is getting very chilly here in Colorado at night. Any idea as to what the bugs are and what I should do about them? DM

So many white bugs exist, but my first guess would be aphids. Ladybugs love to eat them, however, if you have the plants indoors you might just want to give them a good shower.


I planted a chocolate mint plant last year. I would pick some fresh leaves and put in my coffee. It was wonderful!!! I have tried to do the same this year, but am finding that it tastes more like greens. The plant is full and looks very healthy. Am I doing something wrong? Would it be better to dry it? How can I get the best results out of my plant? LB

Sometimes when we use too much fertilizer the plants grow full and lush but the essential oils don't develop as much. Herbs that are allowed to flower will often have less flavor as well


Dear pinch of, I have brought back some cuttings of mint to the tropics. The cuttings were already rooted and they survived their trip and transplant. They are in hanging pots, getting some sun and they have to hand watered. I read as part of your answers that the leaves should not be wet - in a garden I would assume they might get rained on. Is this just to avoid the rust disease? My problem is that they are not growing that well. They get leggy, and the most of the stem dies and I am left with the top part. I usually cut it and try to root it, but the success rate is not that great...maybe 1 out of 10 cuttings will root. I also read you should not fertilize more than twice/year. Any advice to make my mint plant happier in a hot and humid climate? Thanks for a great web site. MB

I have a problem with leggy mint too. As the plants get taller, the lower leaves die. So far, I have found that if I keep it trimmed back, the problem lessens. You might try getting them more sun. Plants in containers need a bit more fertilizer than those in the ground so perhaps you could give light applications more frequently. Getting the leaves wet on a regular basis could encourage disease as does a lack of air circulation. The most important thing for plants in pots is good drainage. Nobody likes wet feet.

Hi! I just discovered your site and found it very helpful, but I didn't find the answer to my question anywhere else. My grandfather planted some peppermint and it ran wild, so he let me dig up a plant and bring it home. It had been growing sideways over his driveway and many of the leaves were black and yellow, or yellow with black spots. I plucked off all of the diseased leaves and the plant seems to be okay, but I was just curious as to what might have caused it. I also want to make sure it wasn't anything poisonous. Thank you for your help! ED

Could be that the leaves had been stepped or driven on since they were so close to the driveway. Might also be a lack of water or too much water. I know, it's really hard to say. If the plant seems okay now it was probably environmental rather than a disease.


I have a simple, but wonderful tasting mint dipping sauce for BBQ shrimp, meat, chicken etc. I place 2 cups (packed) of mint in food processor with 2 T lemon juice and I/2 C of vegetable oil and a 1/4 t of sugar. Mix well. My question is can I freeze this mixture? Look forward to your response. Thanks. LB

There isn't anything in this mixture that doesn't freeze well so I don't see why you can't. You will probably see a difference in texture of the frozen sauce as the mint will get a little soggy. If I were you, I would freeze a small amount and thaw it out to see if you are happy with the result. NOTE: LB did try it and was happy. She writes: "After 20 minutes defrosting the aroma is wonderful and it doesn't look sad and tastes great---so after being frozen in a plastic container for 4 days, I will use it."


Is mint with rust safe to eat? Should I throw out the whole plant? and how do I prevent it in the future? Thanks, SZ

Rust is a fungal disease so that is definitely not desirable on the dinner table. Rust is also nearly impossible to eradicate so you might as well get a new plant. Good air circulation is an important way to prevent rust. Also important is to avoid getting the leaves wet when watering.


Hi I was planning to make a special tea with fresh mint leaves inside of them but I was wondering how long would the fresh mint lasts inside of the hot water or how long would it be before the fresh mint went bad. If you can answer my question I would be very happy. Thank you so much. YA

If you are planning to make a tea blend that won't be consumed right away you will want to use dried mint leaves because they would likely mold if not completely dry. For brewing the tea, you just need to steep it for about three minutes in the hot water whether it is fresh or dried.


Hi! I have tried over many years to grow apple mint and always find it a struggle. I had a lovely plant last year, this year the base of the stem is brown with lots of small white/creamy spots. Some of the lower leaves also have this same problem. What is it, what can I do and is it safe to eat. Thanks DG

Sounds like it may be a fungal disease but there is no way to say for sure without seeing it. For the best diagnosis take a sample of the problem to your local nursery or contact Master Gardeners in your area.


My mother made perogies with cottage cheese smothered with melted butter and topped with chopped "mint". The Food Channel refers to mint for cooking also. When shown, they appear a dark green. I did not relate this to the spearmint family, but that seems to be the majority. I found some in the back yard that match the pictures on your website and my cat loved them, so I thought it was cat nip. When I taste the leaves they are not palatable nor minty tasting. The edges are a little more rounded vs. pointed. I want to find the same mint she used years ago. Any advice? CJM

Those perogies sound yummy! Spearmint is the most common cooking mint. You might start by trying to find out where your mother got the mint. Did she buy it or grow it? Maybe someone in your family knows.


Can you eat dried mint? Can you also put dried mint directly into hot water to make mint tea, at the same time eating the mint? E

Dried mint is an herb just like any other dried herb so there is no reason you can't eat it.


I'm glad I found your website. I just bought a potted mint plant that was very healthy looking but has started having a problem with whiteflies. I have been using some leaves in my cooking (really good in wraps or in Thai curries with coconut milk) but I started to notice tiny brownish/blackish dots all over the undersides of the leaves. I can't tell if this is a normal part of the plant or if it has something to do with the whiteflies. It's definitely not their eggs (which are larger and whitish) and from what I've heard it doesn't sound like their droppings. They are tiny, almost like hairs, but it's too difficult to get them all off and I'm not brave enough to eat my mint anymore. Would you happen to know anything about it? Does mint normally have tiny dark specks under the leaves? S

Rust is generally the only disease that will bother mint so that's out. You might want to do a little research into mites, spider and others, as this seems to be a frequent problem with mint.


I have successfully grown mint sunk in a herb garden for years, but had to move the garden a few years ago. Unfortunately my mint did not survive in the transplant pot over the winter. It was I believe a Perfum Mint, but I use it primarily for mint tea and other beverages. I liked the subtle mint flavor in the tea. I have seen Spearmint and Peppermint as well as Chocolate Mint at a local store, but am concerned especially with the latter type of mint. What type of mint would you suggest that I replant this Spring that will offer a similar subtle flavor? Thank you. JS

I'm not familiar with what you call perfum mint. Spearmint in a good all-purpose choice for cooking and tea. Peppermint has a bit more of a bite and chocolate mint is peppermint with just a hint of chocolate.


Hi! Because St. Patty's day is just around the corner, I am making my official St. Patty's Day drink the Mojito. I have found that the flavor I like best is Spearmint. Do you guys have any suggestions for extracting the flavor or recipes for mojitos that are good? I noticed in Cuba that they look like they boil the mint down and extract the flavor in a simple syrop mix and then add that to the soda and rum. Do you guys have options for the perfect mojito drink? Thanks, KM

Unfortunately I didn't get to your letter until St. Patrick's Day so my answer is not timely for your celebration. One trick to getting the most herb flavor into a simple syrup is to use a good handful of the fresh leaves and let it steep for 30 to 45 minutes. Most bartenders I have seen "muddle," or crush the fresh leaves with sugar right in the glass. I guess you will have to do the research to find out which method you like. Do be sure to let us know.


Hi. Thank you for the wonderful website. I have a recipe that calls for Mint stems. Which part of the stems should I use? The tender part near the leaves or the thicker lower parts? Thanks. DL

I'm curious what you are making? The tender stems near the leaves would probably have far more flavor than the more woody lower stems, however, if you are using them as some sort of skewer, the sturdier the better.


Dear a Pinch of... I can't find the answer anywhere, I hope you can help. I know this is heresy, but a recipe for mint jelly calls for 1 1/2 cups fresh mint, I have a bottle of commercially sold mint extract and want to use this instead of the fresh mint. What would be the equivalent amount? Thanks for your help. GBS

Since most recipes call for flavoring a simple syrup with the mint before making the jelly, I suppose the best way to proceed (if you must) would be to add about 3/4 teaspoon of mint extract to the liquids and then taste it to see if that's enough. If not, add more in very small increments until you reach the level of flavor you desire. Be aware, however, that mint extract has some degree of alcohol that may affect the way the jelly sets up.


I grow chocolate mint in my garden and have just brought this years crop in to dry and use. Are the stems edible or just the leaves? I am drying it now so I have time to wait for your answer. Thank you. SE

While the stems are edible, I find them rather unappetizing especially when dried. I always strip the leaves from the stems after drying.


Hello I just found your site today. I was wondering if you ever heard of this as I am trying to find out if this is true. If you place some spearmint leaves or gum in with your flour or rice then you won't get bugs in these items. Please let me know what you think. Thanks CT

I hadn't heard of the mint gum idea but I know that mint is a natural pest repellent. I've heard of using bay leaves for the same reason and have been known to put them in with the seasonal clothing that I put in storage to keep away moths.


Hi, I love mint! growing it true to form is not easy, however. In the past, my peppermint crossed with my pennyroyal. Neither was ever the same again, except that the cross grew everywhere and was not usable. I have peppermint, spearmint, catnip mint (not mentha family), lemon balm, and chocolate mint that I want to plant around my home. I am having difficulty finding out about cross-pollination. How far apart do they have to be planted to prevent cross-pollination, so they taste strongly as they originally did? ME

This is a problem with the mint family. That's why we can't grow peppermint from seed, too unreliable. I couldn't find a good answer to your question specifically but I did come across a field study where they wanted cross-pollination so they planted rows of 16'x 16' plots with 2' spacing. It's a complicated study but if you would like to read the whole thing, I offer this link.


I have a punch recipe that calls for 4 cups fresh mint leaves. As I have had NO luck growing mint and a friend of mine has 3 gallon jars of freshly dried mint. Can I use this and would I use the same amount, 4 cups in the recipe? Your help would be greatly appreciated as this is my favorite and I have not been able to make it because of my brown thumb with mint. AS

I would not make this substitution. While you would likely get the same flavor using about half as much of the dried mint as you would fresh, I fear you would end up with lots of unattractive mint shards floating around in the punch and getting hung up on people's teeth.


I was wondering, how will I know when my peppermint leaves are ready to use for things like tea, etc? CC

You can pinch the leaves whenever you have enough not to strip the plant. Generally, you want to take no more than one-third of a plant at any given time.

Hi there. I just found your website and it has helped a lot. some questions though. First, I have 6 mint plants growing, an applemint, a pineapple mint, two spearmints and two peppermints only my two pots of peppermint look nothing alike one another and same with my spearmint. Do I just have a different branch of mint or are they totally different species? One of them has small, dark green, more ovate leaves while the other is a lighter green and has more jagged leaves. Any ideas? Second question, I'm growing my mint in pots as I don't want them to take over my mom's garden. How big should my pots be for ideal growth? Third, what's the best way to preserve mint leaves, drying or freezing? I've had a pretty bad experience with microwave drying but is there a better way? Last question, is there a technique to growing mint so that the flavor is strongest? Some days its very strong and some others I feel like I'm just chewing on a regular leaf. thank you! TRS

You have a lot of mint questions! Here we go, so many types of mints exist, I'm not surprised that you have come across different varieties. It could even be different cultural experiences for the plants such as light or fertilizer. Pot size depends on plant size, really, but an eight- or ten-inch pot would be a good place to start. Please see the article "A Bounty of Basil: How to Preserve the Harvest" for ideas about how to dry or freeze. Mint is very similar to basil so these techniques should work. For the best flavor from herbs, resist using fertilizers and harvest the leaves before the plants flower.


I found a small amount of mint in my yard when I moved here about 6 years ago and dug it up and put it in my flower bed. I keep pulling it out and trying to get all the roots but a week are so later it is growing all over the place again. How do I stop it from growing and killing my other plants? help me if you can. JH

You are in for a long battle. You should know that mint grows from "runners" so you will want to dig as much of the roots as possible. As you pull the foliage above ground, try to dig around a bit and follow the runner to pull it out of the ground too.


I have a couple of recipes out of a magazine that I would like to try to make, and it does not specify if the amount called for is before or after chopping fresh mint. (I am guessing after) In one it calls for a teaspoon of fresh mint and another a quarter cup. How do I know how much to start cutting so I am not wasteful? TD

Depending on the size of the leaf, a two-inch sprig of mint would probably give you about a teaspoon chopped. For the quarter cup I think I would just measure out that much in fresh leaves stripped from the stems and then chop them.


I have a new pineapple mint that I just repotted into a large container along with chocolate mint and spearmint. I noticed that there are white spots, even small clumps in places developing on the pineapple mint leaves. What is this, or caused this, and are my other mints in danger of contamination and therefore be transplanted? KC

If the spots are sort of cottony it could be mealy bugs. Or it could just be water damage or salt build-up. Try giving the plant a nice little water bath and see if the problem persists. If it does, you will want to separate it from the other plants to avoid spreading. You might also look into powdery mildew.


I have recently discovered mint. I chop my mint roughly and put in small clip seal bags to freeze. I have noticed that the mint is black in color when I get it out. My sister in law just read an article on herbs, it said not to freeze mint. It didn't say why. Is it bad to do this and why? Thank you EM

You are bruising the mint when you chop it, thus causing it to blacken. You might want to look at the article "A Bounty of Basil: How to Preserve the Harvest." Mint and basil are similar plants so I should think the preservation techniques would be similar.


Hi, I planted some mint stems. The stems had healthy , nice , big leaves which I used in my cooking and then built the stems. In a week leaves started showing up, but they haven't become big since then. In fact this is the second time I am planting mint stem and the leaves are not growing big. How many days does it take for the mint leaves to become big and usable. Thanks, KR

Commercial growers don't take a harvest until the second year so it might be more than a matter of days before you get the large leaves you seek.


What is the difference between mint and spearmint? Would you use spearmint on roast lamb? L

Mint is just a more generic term for all the different types while spearmint is specific. Spearmint is exactly what I would want for a lamb roast. Be sure to check out the article "All About Mint" for more information.


This is a wonderful resource! I'm preparing for my daughter's birthday party in May, and I want to candy spearmint leaves for her as a special surprise. I would like to make them well in advance, but I don't know how well they hold up. How far in advance can I make them, and what's the best way to store them so they maintain their candied/frosted appearance? MC

The biggest factor is humidity which can make them go limp or give you trouble getting them completely dry. Why not make some now and see how long they stay crisp? Store them in an airtight container in single layers with waxed or parchment paper between layers. I'm guessing you have already seen the article "Take Time to Stop and Eat the Flowers."


Was wondering if giving students a mint before taking a test actually improves concentration? Thank you. C.B.

The Wisconsin Mint Industry offers us this fun fact: "Recent research conducted at the University of Cincinnati has shown that sniffing mint improves concentration; several Japanese companies now pipe small amounts through their air conditioning systems to invigorate workers and improve productivity."


Hi there. Great website. I took a cutting from my mom's mint plant, brought it home and let it root in water. I planted it and after a couple months out of nowhere, tiny black specks started appearing. They are so small and definitely not poop of any kind. I keep the plant inside on my window sill so I can't imagine it's any type of caterpillar. The leaves aren't nearly as vibrant as they were and the only leaves not affected yet are the most apical ones. I've raised these little guys for a while and am quite fond of them. Can I save them? RS

Could it be aphids? You might try just spraying them away with a strong stream of water or even squishing them with gloved fingertips. Also consider mites--do a little research on eriophyid mites to see if they match your description.


I have a recipe for a cleansing tonic that calls for 12 spearmint leaves - I have a bag of dried spearmint - can you tell me please how much of the dried will give me the equivalent of 12 fresh leaves? Thank you! GTM

Going with the general 1 teaspoon dried to 1 Tablespoon fresh idea, try using 4 dried leaves.


Hi there, Great site! I noticed several people asking questions about which mint to use in making Mojitos. While spearmint will work fine, Richter's sells the actual 'Mojito Mint', which has been imported from Cuba. I bought some last year and can attest that there is absolutely no comparison between a Mojito made with spearmint and one made with the proper Mojito mint. Mojito mint has a distinctly different taste than other mints and is essential in creating an absolutely divine, completely authentic tasting Mojito. For anyone searching to replicate the taste of a proper Cuban Mojito, or anyone that's interested in discovering the true art of the drink, I highly recommend investing in a Mojito mint plant or plug from Richter's! Sincerely, CF

Thanks for the heads-up on a new herb. Mentha x villosa is the botanical name, according to Richter's, but this information may lead to more confusion that clarity. At least it did for me when I Googled it! I did find the listing you mention on the Canadian firm's website and offer a link.


I have growing (in the ground) chocolate mint. There are tiny almost black specks on them that are so small I can't tell if it is a bug or part of the plant. I can scape it off with my fingernail. What do you think? If it is an insect could I use a organic Safer's like spray on the plant? RF

My first impulse is to suggest that you have caterpillar or some other insect droppings but it could be any number of things. Before you spray any time for anything is important to evaluate if it's really necessary. Consider these factors: What is the true problem and if it is an insect, is it listed on your insecticide label? Could you remove the pest by hand? Is there any real damage? If so, is it more than fifty percent of the foliage putting the plant in peril? Or is the damage unsightly and you don't like it?


Can you use the mint when it is blooming the purple flowers…if so do you use the purple flower or tear it off when you make your tea? GL

Your mint will be more flavorful if you snip the leaves just before the blooms open but you can use it anytime, flowers and all.


Can a peppermint leaf be eaten straight off of the plant? If so, how much at a time? KB

There's nothing wrong with peppermint right off the plant and I'm not aware of any limits.


How long can you safely store mint sugar? The recipe I have calls for fresh mint leaves layered in sugar. Put in glass container and set in a dark, cook place. I'd like to make some for Christmas gifts, but it is summer and the mint is fresh now. I live in Denver and our outdoor growing season is short. NT

I don't think that you would want to keep the mint leaves in the sugar until Christmas. If you could get the flavor into the sugar and then remove the leaves seems like it would last as long as regular sugar.


I found some fresh mint in the yard and I was wondering how much it sells for if I was wanting to sell it in my produce stand? JT

I would check around and see what other vendors, like at the supermarket and the farmers' market, are charging for bunches of herbs.


Love your site - it is very informative... I was recently in PA and dug up some of my favorite mint (originally from Italy - passed down three generations!) - and brought it to Florida with me to hopefully grow. Since there is a definite season in the northeast I am wondering if this mint will come back every year like it does in PA. I have replanted the mint and it looks good so far (only been a week)- any suggestions in helping take hold? Thanks, LAF

More likely, your mint will thrive all year around rather than need to come back from winter dormancy. In your humid environment the best tip I can give you is to make sure the air circulation around the plant is good. This is best accomplished by snipping from it frequently so be sure to consider it for lots of different recipes!


Hi! I was just wondering what I should do if I picked some of the Peppermint plant by accident. Will it effect the plant itself and die or will it grow back somewhere else on the plant? MS

Mint is indestructible. You can trim as much as you want and it will always come back.


Hello, I planted a spearmint plant in a planter a few days ago and now I see white spots on the leaves. What can I do to stop this? Also I see some very tiny (hard to see) whitish insects - what can i do to kill these and have my mint plant back in good condition? Thanks, SP

Could be a case of mealy bugs or spider mites but it's hard to say. I suggest first directing a strong stream of water to both sides of the leaves to drown/wash them away. After a few days, if this doesn't eliminate the problem take a look around the Internet and see if you can identify the pest for sure to see what other steps might be necessary.


I live in South Florida and I bought a mint plant from Home Depot and it is not very fragrant nor does it have the flavor of the individual mints leaves that I buy in the grocery store. Is there a place that sells quality herbs plants online that you would recommend or is there a way that I could plant the individual leaves that I buy from the grocery store? You can probably tell by this post that I am new to gardening! AW

My favorite place to buy herb plants is at my local farmer's market. There you can be assured of high quality plants that are suited to your area. If you wanted to do mail order there are many options. I have had excellent service and quality from


I have some chocolate mint in a terra cotta pot. At the bottom of the plant where it is closest to the soil, it is dense and healthy looking. But as the plant grows up, several of the leaves are turning yellow. Do you know what might be causing this? KM

It is hard to say for sure but yellowing leaves are often a sign of overwatering. You might also check for aphids, tiny fly-like insects that enjoy new growth. If it has been awhile, you could consider a light application of fertilizer. Repeated watering of container plants has a tendency to wash away nutrients in the soil.


Hi, Lemon mint is overtaking my yard. How can I control and get rid of it? PM

There is a joke that comes to mind here. The best way to gain the upper hand with some invasive weeds is to move! As you have seen, all mints are difficult to contain. You might start by digging as much of the root system as you can find and then just continue to yank it up whenever you see it. If you don't mind using chemicals your local garden center may be able to point you to one that will help you get a head start on the long battle.


I am doing a science project for school to see if chewing mint gum has any effect on the temperature of your mouth. I discovered that if I chewed it for three minutes it increased the temperature. Why is that? JB

I'm no food scientist but I suspect it could have something to do with menthol. Although when I looked into it a little I learned that menthol is actually cooling. You could investigate the menthol further but you might also get curious about the amount of energy generated in your mouth by the actual chewing.


I recently went looking for fresh spearmint leaves at the grocery stores. All I found is fresh mint leaves, would this be spearmint? Thank you. MV

Most likely it is spearmint, that is the most common mint for cooking.


Hello first time on your site. I have a problem with my mint here in south Florida . This time of year my mint starts out with big leaves and beautiful and then it curls up. What could be the cause is it lack of fertilizer or ? I'm stumped. Please help. Thanks. JS

I wonder if your mint is in full sun? That may just be too much given your location. Mint is more flavorful if fertilized only a couple of times a year.


I work in a restaurant, and we have mojitos on our drink menu. We don't sell a lot of them, and we are continuously buying new mint for the bar. We currently store it in the plastic container that it is purchased in and put it in the cooler; however, it never seems to last more than 3-4 days. Is there a better way to store the mint, or are we just bound to buying mint every few days? I would appreciate any sort of help! Thanks!

You could try a couple of ideas. One would be to store the mint with the stems in water, like a vase of flowers, at room temperature. You might also try wrapping it in damp paper towels and then storing in the cooler. Another alternative might be to grow a mint plant in a pot somewhere in the restaurant.


Can mint cuttings be propagated by placing them in a container of water until they sprout roots, then transplanted into pots. Thanks. UNW

They sure can.


I have tried to make a good tasting mint tea, but the water always comes out tasting leafy. Is the water too hot, or what am I missing? Thanks, B

You don't say just what you are using to make the tea but you might have good luck brewing a regular tea and adding some mint leaves to it while it steeps.


So I am infusing some vodka with mint in accordance to the recipe mentioned on this page. It's been about 3 days, and the whole thing's turned brown! The mint looks like it's been pickled, and the vodka is the color of very strong green tea. It all smells and tastes fine, but is it supposed to be that color? I thought a mint infusion would come out clear. SC

I must admit I haven't tried this method. As you will notice, it is a reader submission. But it stands to reason that mint soaked in vodka has indeed pickled and that the vodka itself would turn green. When we brew green tea, the water takes on the color of the herb; same deal here. Commercial mint extract is clear because they are using mint oils which are colorless.


Thank you for your informative site. I just bought a spearmint plant online since I cant find it close to home and it smells wonderful. I am concerned however with the heat on my balcony. The only time it gets direct sunlight is from about 3-6pm and it is HOT in Miami this time of year. The average temp in my home during the day is about 84 degrees because I keep the AC high when I'm not home. I do have plenty of windows though. Do you suggest keeping it inside or putting it in the shade outside? Thanks, O

I think it will do better outdoors. Mint will grow in most conditions so you could try setting it out where it will get the short spurt of full sun. If this seems to stress the plant, move it to another bright place that's not in full sun.


Hi, I am interested in growing a mint plant on my porch, I don't have any garden space so I am growing it in a pot. I live in CT and wanted to know what type of mint is easiest to grow in a pot. Thanks for reading! AG

Any mint will grow well in a pot. In fact, this is the best way to prevent mint from taking over the garden. Consider what you want from the plant in making your choice. If you want to cook with it, spearmint is a good all-purpose flavoring. If you want it just to look pretty you might consider the variegated pineapple mint or go with a chocolate mint for a fun conversation piece.


We have planted mint plants in several different places in our yard. In each place it is growing with holes in the leaves. I can see no obvious bugs. What can it be? CAS

Probably a case of the elusive slug. The best way to find out what's doing the chewing is to go out after dark with a flashlight.


I love mint lemonade, but am sugar restricted now, so I am wondering if there is a way to make a drink that is mint and water without the quantity of sugar that is required to sweeten the lemon juice. And one more question: our second year plant is beginning to grow spindly and flower, and it is only June. Can we cut it down to encourage new growth? Thanks for whatever help you can offer. ML

Mix mint leaves with hot water and you have mint tea; add some lemon juice and ice and you will have a nice drink. You might want to experiment with making teas that combine mint and one of the lemon herbs (like lemon balm or lemon verbena). It may take awhile to adjust to not having the sugar. Cutting your mint plant back will definitely encourage new growth.


Dear A-Pinch-Of, This year I planted my own mint so that I could have mojitos whenever I desired. I am wondering how to preserve that fabulous fresh mint flavor for mojitos in the winter. How long does Candied Mint (mint leaves brushed with egg white, dipped into granulated sugar, and dried) last? What if I packed fresh mint leaves in granulated sugar and stored them? What if I poured simple syrup over the leaves and froze them? What if I mixed some Fruit Fresh (ascorbic acid) into the simple syrup? The goal would be to preserve the wonderful aromatic zing and herbal flavor of fresh mint, as well as to keep the leaves from turning black or mushy (which would be really icky in a drink). I have not found any commercial mint product that does an even mediocre job of preserving the right flavor. I'll be getting an overabundance of garden mint soon, and I would like to do something with it. If I can figure out a recipe, I can even make Christmas presents for my mojito-drinking friends. Thanks for any suggestions. Cheers, OJ

You have many good ideas about how to do it. I haven't tried any of them but that's the best way to figure it out: Experiment! Have you seen the other entries on this page? There you will find more ideas and links to ways to use and save mint.


Hi, I have a couple of mint plants which oddly enough never quite take off. They are being attacked by little tiny tiny white insects. The leaves turn brown and fall off from the bottom. Second year in a row this has happened And I thought mint was supposed to keep all these things away! Can't find help anywhere - thanks much. MBK

You don't say if yours is potted or in the ground but I haven't had much luck with mint in pots myself. My peppermint ground cover is running rampant. Your bugs could be aphids or mites or, I'm sorry, something else. The best way to figure it out is look for pictures that match up with what you are seeing (or take a sample to a Master Gardener).


Hi. Really enjoy your site. I refer to it often. I want to add mint(s) to my herb garden. I have found many different mints at garden supply and nursery locations . However, when I roll a leaf between my fingers and smell it all I smell is green, not that wonderful mint smell I am looking for. Any recommendations? LC

Hmmm, that's funny. Maybe if you broke a leaf you would find the right scent but that shouldn't really be necessary. Spearmint and peppermint are the most common and useful for cooking but other varieties like chocolate mint or pineapplemint are fun too.


Please enlighten me on the facts of mint as a mouse repellent. Thanks WM

I haven't tried it personally but have seen various citations of people scattering mint leaves or using a spray of essential oils of mint in mouse ridden areas. Apparently, the rodents find the aroma offensive and will move away from it.


I just found your mint information, and it was really helpful. This isn't really a question, but I thought it might be helpful for you - it seemed like you had a lot of people looking for information on how to make mint extract. I found this at "To make mint extract, obtain a pound or so of fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves (harvest them at noon time on a sunny day), wash them well and crush/bruise the leaves. Add these to a quart sized canning jar of vodka and place in the sun. Using a piece of well-washed, new cheese cloth, strain (and discard) the leaves from the infusion after three to four weeks." Thanks for your helpful site!  KC

And thanks to you for the helpful information. I'll have to try it myself once my mint crop comes out of the wintertime blahs.


Can I freeze fresh mint leaves? Thank you, M

You could freeze mint leaves just as you would basil. Please see the article "A Bounty of Basil: How to Preserve the Harvest" for ideas.


Hi, I live in the UK and have enjoyed reading your board. I am just setting up a new herb garden and want to include four to six different varieties of mint in a divided grid section (to avoid root spread”) my question is: Will the different varieties cross pollinate and thereby spoil the individual varieties tastes or should I keep them all well apart. Thanks for your help. DP

From what I have read, mints will cross pollinate easily. This seems to affect the seeds more than the flavor so experts recommend propagating mint from stem cuttings rather than seeds.


Hi: I would like to know where can I buy fresh mint in bulk for mojito’s? I am opening a small bar in Louisiana and I have tried looking for fresh Mint on line but have not found any place that sells fresh mint. Can you help?

You will probably get the best price by using one of the food service distributors (like Sysco) or a produce company. An online source would likely end up being cost prohibitive once you figure in the shipping. I did find it available from Melissa's but didn't dig deep enough to find a price. You might also try growing mint, it should do well in your climate and, once established, you will have all you need.


Hi, I just purchased apple mint, peppermint and spearmint seedlings. I received them in the mail, put them in a pot, and they seemed to be doing well. A few days later all three are getting round brown blotches on all the leaves?? Can you help me with what this could be? Thanks! BK

Unfortunately, it could be any number of problems. Do a little research on "Anthracnose," "Bacterial Spot" and "Black Spot." Look for photographs to compare to your particular problem. Meanwhile, remove the affected leaves and make sure that you are watering without getting the leaves wet as much as possible.


Hello-Thank you for your wonderful website. I found it through Google. I am having trouble deciding which mint to buy to use in my Middle Eastern recipes. I asked my Lebanese friends and they told me it is just called Mint. Then I asked my Israeli friends and they told me it is "Nana", which of course is in Hebrew. Can you help here? I have seen it before and the leaves appear different. I called the local market, and they told me that it may be what they call "Mint Julep" What is your opinion? Thank you for your help-EE

I found this entry of the egullet forums, "...Mint tea is a biggie in Israel...The mint used is usually spearmint, called "nana" in Hebrew (pronounced nah-nah, accent on the first syllable). Wonderful on a cold Jerusalem winter night..." Further investigation in my cookbooks confirmed that spearmint seems to be the mint of choice in the Middle East.


I purchased a herb plant named pineapple mint, by mistake, but have no idea how to use it and can find no one that knows how to us it either. Can you please advise me as to what one uses it for and how. Thank much. WW

Pineapple mint is a variation on other mints that tastes (and smells) like pineapple. You can use it as you would fresh mint as long as the pineapple tinge would be welcome. Think of it for salads, tropical salsas and beverages.


Hi, I would like to know what type of mint do I need to use in mojitos peppermint or spearmint. thank you ZC

Spearmint is the one that is used most often. If you have access to both, you might try cocktails made with each one to see which you prefer.


When a recipe calls for mint what kind do they mean? J

Spearmint is the most common type of mint for cooking.


Do you know what blue electric mint is? thanks, ME

I don't but maybe some mint lover out there does...


Can Corsican mint be grown in Houston, TX? I am looking for something to grow between the flagstones on the patio and Corsican mint has been recommended. Any suggestions or recommendations? thanks, BL

Corsican mint would probably be a good choice, and pretty too, for growing between your flagstones as long as the location is mostly shady. You will also want to keep it fairly moist but watch out for moss. If you have a large space, you might want to try a sort of "patch test" before you invest in a lot of plants that may not be suited to the location.


Hello, I am beginning to grow mint inside this winter and I was wondering if you knew the amount of light I should give to my plants each day, a rough estimate hourly wise (I don't know anything about growing plants inside). Thank you. L

Mint is one of the more forgiving herbs when it comes to sunlight but at this time of year you should probably just give it as much sunshine as possible. I have moved my spearmint pot into the garage where it gets a good dose of the afternoon sun and it seems to be thriving.


Hello and thank you. I moved to the panhandle of Florida one year ago and planted some mint this spring, which thrived until the warmer weather. I kept it watered well, but it has nearly died to nothing. NO spots on the plant or other bug I can see. Is it just the time of year and the heat or is there something else I should consider?

You know, when I lived in Northeastern Louisiana I never had much success with mint either. I was always a little embarrassed since everyone talks about how easy it is to grow. I think it is one of those herbs, like lavender, that just won't grow well in your hot, moist climate. You might try an experiment: root cuttings from your existing plant in water then transplant them to a pot indoors to keep in a place that gets lots of sunshine.


Thank you for taking this question. My neighbor has planted a mint plant in her patio and it has grown into my area. I don't mind having the plant but I want to be sure it is not poison. I did not know there were so many varieties of mint. I understand that pennyroyal is toxic and I wonder how you can tell which it is. It grows like a vine and has covered a large area. I would appreciate your insight. SHD

Since there are so very many varieties of mint, you might want to find a book about mint with pictures at the library to help identify it. Our friend, Hermann Rachlinger, has a wonderful mint site that is written in German. This index page has links from botanical names and some English terms linking to photographs of each variety. Incidentally, you are correct in that pennyroyal is considered unsafe for consumption, however, it has long been used as an insect repellent so it's not really a bad thing to have on your patio as long as everyone, including pets, knows not to eat it. (NOTE: Sadly, no longer seems to exist.)


Dear Friends, I have begun growing and using fresh herbs. My favorite is peppermint. I have an awesome plant in a clay pot doing very nicely right at my front door. Not only is it very useful for many recipes, but it is also absolutely graceful and beautiful. What happens when it gets cold? Do I bring it inside or do I have to start all over again in the Spring? Thanks! SMO

I am trying peppermint for the first time this year and also find it a very enjoyable plant. I've been using it as a bit of greenery in some of my small flower arrangements and discovered that it roots very fast. You might want to remember this tidbit if you do need to start all over in the spring. Mints can tolerate lower temperatures, particularly in a protected area, but you don't say where you live so it's hard to tell. If your winter temperatures drop below 30 degrees (F) on a regular basis, I would say bring it inside to a very sunny window.


Help! As you can see in the attached photo, my mint has been destroyed! I transplanted two plants a couple of years ago from my mothers house, and as predicted it spread and did very well...until this happened. Black spots are now on almost all of the plants, except for a few stragglers away from the pack. I'm going to cut these all the way down and I hope that it doesn't recur. I couldn't find any information on this problem. Thanks for any help! BM

I think you may have an infestation of the oddly named "plant bug." They seem to enjoy mint. Read more about them at this article from the University of Kentucky.


Hi, I live in North Carolina and have bought several pots of "Spearmint" at local plant shops recently. They do not have the spearmint smell, the spearmint I grew in Florida had. The plants I have bought here are labeled Spearmint and are certainly mint by the way the leaves look, but actually smell like some generic grassy smell, almost like basil really! Perhaps there is some special nutrient I need to give them to bring out their scent? Thanks much!!! KG

I wonder how it actually tastes? I know that peppermint grown from seed will sometimes give the grower a completely different kind of mint so this could be a possibility. Or, perhaps the type of spearmint you bought is bred more as an ornamental. This situation illustrates why we should give the plant a little taste before we buy herbs for culinary purposes.


Hi there, What is mint juice exactly and how do I go about making my own? Thanx, TK

Mint juice seems to vary by recipe or application. Most recipes are just some combination of mint leaves and water, steeped together as for tea or simply blended. It depends on the ultimate way that you plan to use your mint juice. Here is a link to a kind of neat mint syrup.


My cat loves to eat my mint plant. However, it seems to have the effect of catnip. Is there anything in the mint that can make him sick?

Are you sure your mint plant isn't catnip? They are in the same family. I'm no expert on pet health but I can't imagine that eating mint would hurt him.


I'm growing a spearmint plant in my backyard and I want to know what you do with how to eat it. Do you just drop it in your tea or something? Thanks, B.C.B.

Mint is used in all sorts of cooking as well as a nice tea. Read more about it at "All About Mint." I used spearmint in the recipe there for Mint Pesto.


I buy fresh cut mint for my rabbits, they love it. I am trying to grow it inside during the winter, I live in New York State where it gets cold and snows. How can I keep my bought mint fresh and do you have any tips for growing it inside during the cold, snowy months? PBT

What lucky rabbits you have! Store the mint that you buy with their stems in water, like a cut-flower bouquet, loosely wrapped and in the refrigerator. I just added a fresh herb keeper to the "Nifty Gadgets for Herbs and Spices" article that might also interest you. I haven't really tried growing mint indoors but many of the same principles as outdoors apply: well-drained soil, a sunny window and lots of pinching will help. Don't fertilize mint plants very much, they will do just fine on their own.


I am preparing a package for my daughter with the ingredients for a Mojito Cocktail. I have the rum, the soda, the muddler, etc. etc. I also have a lot of mint growing in my garden, even at this time of the year (November) and would like to include a bunch of it in the package. It will be going from B.C. to Ontario so will be picked approx. Dec. 15th to be opened Christmas Day. If I pack it tight in a Tupperware type container do you think it will stay OK? I could also purchase some at already packaged in the plastic containers at the supermarket, but I'm sure my homegrown mint is fresher! Would be glad for your suggestions. AM

Certainly your homegrown mint would be better and more special! Packed loosely resealable plastic bags and kept chilled, your mint will last a week or so. The best environment would be the refrigerator vegetable bin so do what you can to duplicate that while traveling.


Hi, I am doing a school project on herbs. The herb that I am doing is mint. I would like to know: how mint is prepared for cooking purposes and- which part of mint is edible. Thank you very much and your website is very cool.

You can find lots of information about mint in the article "All About Mint" as well as on this page. To answer your questions, mint leaves, flowers and stems are edible and need only be chopped or torn to be used for cooking.


Hi, How can I preserve mint juice to keep all year? Thanks, S

I wonder how you made your mint juice? If you used an alcohol base it will probably keep well in the refrigerator. If it is water based, the freezer might be better.


How do I extract flavor from mint leaves to make mint candy? My neighbor has the wonderful smelling mint. I think it is spearmint. The Fair is coming to town in August and I want to enter a mint candy made with her mint leaves. Please help me if you can. Thanks in advance, K

Depending on the type of candy you want to make, you can get the flavor many ways. You can just use it chopped, like any herb, or infuse it into a liquid. For infusion, pour a hot liquid over the mint sprigs and allow it to steep for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the strength you want. A simple syrup of 2 parts water boiled with one part sugar might be a good start for candy making. Did you see the Mint Pesto Brownie recipe?


Hi. I've recently discovered and fallen in love with chocolate mint and want to be able to preserve it's flavor in an extract so i can use it in my baked goods year-round. do you know of any ways of making your own mint extracts? I'm thinking of using vodka and varying amounts of the mint, but I am concerned about botulism. is the alcohol content in the vodka strong enough to be considered safe? Thanks! C

Hey, that's a pretty neat idea! I suppose you have heard of people making vanilla extract with vodka so I don't see what the difference would be. If you made sure the mint was very clean and used the bottle that the vodka came in you would probably be okay. Why not call the poison control center just to be sure? You might also try freezing your mint in ice cubes. This works great for basil. When you want to use it, just melt the ice in a colander and you are left with nearly fresh leaves.


HI, Just found your site as I was looking up "how to extract mint juices. Nice site, found some wonderful information, thanks! I have a mint plant that for the past 10 years I have done nothing with, except to let it grow! Now it has little yellow flower like on it. The flower has more of the mint scent then the leaves do. Can I use the flower for the juices? Or just the leaves? Thanks, B

Glad you are enjoying the site! After ten years, your mint plant must be huge. When you speak of extracting juices, I am going to assume you refer to using the mint for cooking and/or flavoring. If so, the mint flowers are edible.


Hello, I read your article on Corsican Mint but was wondering if you could direct me to a place where I can buy seeds or plants. I cannot seem to find it anywhere. Thanks for your help. JK

This seems to be a rather elusive plant, doesn't it? The only time I have ever seen the carpet-like Corsican Mint is on the Martha Stewart show. I checked all my catalogs and the only place I found it was through Richter's. They sell plants. Because mint seeds often produce inferior plants, most gardeners prefer to propagate it through cuttings. You might also call your local garden center to see if they can order it for you. Beware, though, I called my favorite nursery and they hadn't heard of it. When I described it, they tried to sell me spearmint.


I read in a Household Hints Helpful magazine that I have kept in my library since 1993 that said that if you are having trouble with mice to put peppermint leaves around and they will run - it said that they hate the smell of peppermint leaves. I have never heard of peppermint leaves - where do I get them and well, have you heard anything comparable to this tale?

This natural remedy for repelling rodents dates back to the Middle Ages. Spearmint leaves are said to have the same affect. You can find dried mint leaves at most spice shops but it is easy to grow your own. Be sure to see the article All About Mint.


I have planted the herb catnip and just recently found out that I could make a tea out of it.  Could you possibly tell me how to go about doing so, because the catnip has taken over my herb garden along with my lemon mint. PS

I've never paid much attention to catnip until your question so I looked it up in Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs.  They suggest making tea with dried catnip simply by pouring boiling water over it and allowing to steep.  I don't see why this wouldn't work with the fresh herb as well, maybe with a bit of your lemon mint included.  Two thousand years ago the Romans were adding catnip to their salad greens.  Famous naturalist Euell Gibbons was quite a fan of this herb. He liked to "candy" the fresh leaves by dipping them into an egg white/lemon juice mixture and then sprinkling with granulated sugar.  After drying for a day or so, they can be served as an after-dinner mint.


I have lots of fresh mint in the garden. How can I make use of this herb besides putting it in my iced-tea?

Mint is nice when used with fruits for salads or desserts as well as making a lovely dessert garnish. You might consider adding it to savory salads such as tabbuleh (see All About Parsley) or into salad dressings like yogurt and cucumber (this is good on fish). I am currently at work on All About Mint so check back soon.



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