True Peppermint cannot be grown from seed. True Peppermint has to be propagated through cuttings or divisions from the original Peppermint plant. (Mentha x piperita), which is a hybrid. True Peppermint is a cross between a Spearmint and a Watermint. True Peppermint is sterile.
If you try to grow Peppermint from purchased seeds, you will not get a True Peppermint. True Peppermint does not make seeds. It spreads by underground rhizomes, and can only be propagated by cuttings or divisions. A hybrid does not produce seeds. A hybrid is a combination of two or more types of plants.
If you purchase a package of seeds labeled Peppermint. What you Will get is actually a form of Spearmint or actual Spearmint.
I am finding out about the very misleading Market of Peppermint Seed Sellers. BEWARE. It is not True Peppermint. If you are growing True Peppermint under the assumption of making strong teas and teas for medicinal purposes, you will be sadly disappointed, as I was.
You can only obtain True Peppermint Plants from another True Peppermint plant. Simple and Factual.
I purchased what I thought was Peppermint last year at a local market. I questioned the person in charge about wanting a True Peppermint plant. She assured me it was indeed, a True Peppermint.
So, I brought it home and grew it. It spread so fast, I kept cutting it back to keep it at bay. I saved the cuttings for my teas and herbal cold remedy tea mixes. I found out when it started going to seed a few weeks ago that it was not, in fact, True Peppermint.
This didn’t cause too big of a stir, though. I only had to halt my mixing of my menthol teas for medicinal purposes. Spearmint works fine in tea, it’s just not as strong. Spearmint tea is also delicious and has many benefits. It is just not as strong as True Peppermint.
How Can You Tell The Difference Between Peppermint And Spearmint
When you drink True Peppermint tea, you will feel a sensation of cold menthol in your mouth
When you drink Spearmint tea, you will feel a sensation, but not as strong a menthol sensation.
That’s why I only use True Peppermint in my medicinal teas. You can taste the strong menthol and it is very soothing on sore throats, and aids in congestion among other ailments associated with colds and flu.
So I will use the Spearmint in my tea mixes until I get the True Peppermint growing next year. I will just have to add more and change the labels I use for that particular mix.
So, those of you who were asking for my wonderful Peppermint Tea mixes this year, I will have to wait till next year to acquire a new True Peppermint cutting.
Rules of Peppermint VS Spearmint
You can only grow True Peppermint from Cuttings or Divisions.
You can grow Spearmint from Seeds, Cuttings, or Divisions.
So, If you are planning on growing True Peppermint, get a cutting, or a division of another True Peppermint plant.
Uses For Peppermint Leaves
Peppermint leaves have been used for Centuries in teas, cooking, cold or hot drinks, face creams, hair care, pest control, baking, medicine, gum and throat lozenges, along with many other uses like air fresheners, garnish, and potpourri.
Use caution in adding Peppermint to any dish. True Peppermint is very menthol and will definitely flavor whatever you are putting it in.
Most people, like me, are using actually Spearmint instead, mistakenly. If you use Spearmint, you use more. With Peppermint, you will use much less.
Warning/Please Read Before Using True Peppermint
Peppermint can make gallstones worse.
True Peppermint used in oil form, can be fatal and any amount if it is used on the hands or face of a small child. This could cause severe breathing spasms that could result in death.
Lastly, Do not take peppermint with an immunosuppressant
As with any herbs, there can be negative side effects or interactions with other supplements or medications and any regular use should be discussed with your Doctor
Uses For Spearmint Leaves
Spearmint can be used for the same list of items as Peppermint, except for medicinal purposes, like medicinal teas and soothing balms, bath products, soaking products. I would my uses for Spearmint to tea mixes and garnishes, also in cooking for a light flavor of mint instead of a strong flavor.
Spearmint can be grown from seed, divisions, and plant cuttings.
If you have your own recipes that you have created and were not using True Peppermint, You need to change the amount of Peppermint in your recipes. I have some work to do this winter. I am also a victim of False Advertisement.
When I do get my hands on a True Peppermint Plant, and try to use it in a recipe that Spearmint was previously used, I will have to re-adjust the amount I use through trial and error. So, thank you, kind lady, at the store who assured me my plant was True Peppermint. You LIED.
Flies On Your Mint Plant
The easy way to keep flies off your mint plants is to plant other plants that flies hate very close. Flies are attracted to the sweetness of the mint plant. They will swarm your mint plants. So if you plant the mints near your door, you will want to plant other plants that will keep the flies away.
Plants That Flies Hate
- PennyRoyal-Plant pots of this near the mint plants. Don’t mix with the
mint plant if you are planning on saving the mint for cooking or drinking. Pennyroyal is fatal to animals. Use caution when deciding to plant Pennyroyal near a plant that you will ingest. Fatalities occur when even a small amount is ingested in humans. Even with aggressive treatment, animals and humans will die if enough is ingested. Some people put Pennyroyal in teas, but it has been discredited and should not be used, ever. I would keep this completely away from my mints that I use for eating or drinking. If you have small children or pets, my suggestion is, do not have this plant in your yard. It can be fatal.
- Lavender- A much better and safer choice. Plant Lavender near your
mint plants. Flies hate these. Also, keep the plants completely separate. Mints will spread, and Lavender also spreads. If you are using the mints and Lavender for useful purposes, you don’t want them mixing. Keep the ones you are using separate. This plant is safe for everyone.
- Basil-Flies hate Basil. Grow some near the mint and you will not have a
a swarm of flies. If it is near your entrance doors, rustle a few leaves when you come and go to keep flies from coming in your house, also for the fragrance. Also keep this separated from your mints.
Different Types Of Mint Plants
Chocolate Mint-This mint will taste like an Andes Mint. It has a true chocolate taste. Considered by many a WOW plant for taste.
Berries And Cream-A very light flavor mint, and it doesn’t spread like wildfire as in other mints.
Pineapple Mint-I’ve tasted this mint and I am not sure I like this combo. This mint is useful as in other mild mints for flavor.
Lemon Mint-Don’t confuse this with Lemon Balm. This mint has many culinary uses.
Iced Hazelnut-This mint has an icy minty coffee taste. Delicious. Considered by many a WOW plant for taste. Does not spread very fast.
Julep Mint-Grows very tall. Leaves smell just like Spearmint Gum. Very good taste with no bite. Favored among many culinary dishes.
There are many more varieties , these are just my favorites and the most common.
Did You Know?
If you have several types of mint growing in the same area, they will cross pollinate. Yes, they will. If you save seeds from grouped mints and grow them, you will get a mint plant, but most likely a combo of several.
If you are cultivating mints for the sale of seeds or any other use of plants, keep mint plants separated. Plant mints together only if you want them for landscaping purposes. Do not use mints planted together for culinary recipes or teas that you will be selling.
Roots will get intertwined and produce a new mint. Whether you want to or not. Or go ahead and start a new mint of your own. Could be fun. Let me know if you do this or have done it.
Please sign up in the upper left of this post to be notified of future posts.
I’d like to leave you with a smile.
Thank You and have a Bountiful Day
Founder of Bountifulharvesting.com