Mint is a ubiquitous herb that is well known for its cooling properties. Many people associate peppermint and spearmint for fresh the breath. Yet there are many other types of mint which are beneficial and can easily be grown in the backyard. First, it is important to know that mint belongs to your family with the Latin name of Labiates. The herbs in this household are numerous as there are hundreds of varieties of mint. These include varieties like chocolate mint, the Recognized spearmint, Water mint, apple mint, pineapple mint, ginger mint, candy mint, black peppermint, Eau de cologne mint, red spearmint, Eau de Cologne mint, catmint or catnip and the beautiful groundcover Corsican mint.
Other members of the mint family that are lesser known include lemon Balm also called balm, bergamot, horehound, marjoram and pennyroyal. While some herbs are grown or culinary or medicinal uses, others are simply grown for decorative uses. This includes Corsican mint and pennyroyal. Pennyroyal is used as an insect repellent and should not be ingested as it is poisonous. The herb was used in flea collars for cats and dogs and can be dried for this purpose.
Corsican mint is a compact low growing groundcover that forms a carpet of Tiny, bright green leaves that have the alluring scent of crème de menthe. This herb is Excellent for walkways, stone gardens, covering ugly spots between paving stones and spilling over walls or from urns. A dense patch of Corsican mint may take the place of teucrium fruticans and form a ‘yard’ that never has to be cut. It wills, however, need part shade to grow best as full sun will dry it out and burn the leaves. Despite it is fascinating scent, Corsican mint does not have any culinary use.
The Majority of the other mints are vertical plants or make good groundcovers. But such as Corsican mint, many mints prefer partial shade and moist, well-drained soil full of nutrients. But, this does not always apply to the lesser known members of this mint family such as lemon balm, bergamot, horehound and pennyroyal. Lemon balm, bergamot and horehound are herbs that prefer full sunlight. This is also true for catmint and catnip. Nevertheless, these herbs do not mind a shade for part of their day.
Pennyroyal does well in the shade or in a sun or part colour combination. So when developing a particular herb in the mint family, it is best to assess the growing conditions for that plant. A few of the herbs, like horehound, do better at a darkish, more alkaline soil. While many members of the mint family are known more for its use of their leaves, bergamot is one which has stunning flowers and is grown more for decorative use than culinary.