So you think you know what mint tastes like? What if I told you that there are literally dozens of different types of mint, each with its own unique flavor and growth habit?
Apple mint, in particular, is one of my favorites. Why?
So apple mint is particularly tasty. It’s also known as pineapple mint, because the flavor is sweet and fruity, making it ideal for muddling into a mojito or enjoying as a hot tea. But the taste isn’t the main reason I plant apple mint.
The number one reason? The bees.
It’s a truly excellent source of nectar for the bees, that persists for weeks each fall. It produces huge flower spikes in mass, creating a fall bee frenzy. It’s one of my favorite medicinal herbs to plant for the bees.
Beyond that, you cant kill it. It’s completely immortal.
They say you can’t get rid of mint once you plant it. That’s not entirely true. Some varieties, like peppermint or chocolate mint, are a bit less persistent. Apple mint, on the other hand, is immortal. Mow it every week, it’ll come back stronger.
So why is immortality good? Doesn’t that mean invasive? It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Dandelions are invasive. They’re also tasty and superb spring bee forage.
The same is true of apple mint, except it blooms for an extended period in the fall. It’s a wonderful source of food for the bees, and even without care, it’ll keep growing and producing nectar. At the same time, harvest all you like and you’ll never put a dent in it.
Everywhere I live I always try to plant a rogue patch of apple mint in some corner of the land. Most recently we planted it on a small island in the middle of our pond.
Find somewhere a good distance away from any intentionally cultivated garden and give the bees a little boost.
Apple mint, like all mints, doesn’t come true to seed. The only way to grow it is a potted plant or division. Sometimes you can find apple mint at garden centers, or get a division from another gardener. If you can’t find one locally, apple mint plants are available here.