Many herbs are easy to grow, and this is definitely true for peppermint. Square stems tend to run rampantly over — and under — soil. In small garden spaces, it’s best to tuck peppermint into a pot to curtail its wandering ways. Peppermint thrives alongside water gardens or in damp spots in the yard, but will also survive in drier soil. Lushest growth occurs in moist soil in partial shade. Crush fresh leaves into water for a refreshing beverage, or add to iced tea. You can also dry leaves for flavoring dishes or beverages and making desserts like meringues, cookies, or cakes. Pick leaves frequently. Plants open lavender blooms in late summer. Tolerates light frost.

To grow peppermint, uses organic standards as set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture. The term “organic” is regulated in the United States. In order to sell products as organic, farmers and processors must use production and handling practices contained in the National Organic Standard, a set of rules developed by the United States Department of Agriculture as part of the Organic Foods Protection Act of 1990. The National Organic Standard can be viewed in English, Spanish, Japanese and French.

At a Glance

TypePerennial in zones 3 to 11
Planting TimeAfter last frost in spring or in fall (up to 2 to 3 weeks before first frost in cold zones)
FeaturesGreen leaves with strong menthol flavor
LightFull sun to part shade
SoilFertile, moist
Spacing18 to 24 inches apart
Plant size12 to 36 inches tall
Garden useHerb gardens, beside water gardens, in low, wet spots, or in containers
Culinary useSalads, sauces, desserts, beverages

Nutrition Information

Commonly used as a flavoring in beverages and foods, mint is also believed to have medicinal purposes—both as a leaf and as an oil. Peppermint oil is often applied to the skin as a treatment for headaches, muscle and nerve pain, inflammation, and even for repelling mosquitoes. A good source of Vitamins A and C, mint helps with vision and immune functions. The herb is also packed with antioxidants that protect against cell damage, boost the immune system, and form collagen in the body.

Nutritional labels are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.