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Peppermint is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint, a fast-growing herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant that can spread very quickly. It can grow as high as 3 feet tall. It has smooth stems, fibrous roots, dark green leaves with reddish veins, and purple flowers in bloom during the summer.

Carl Linnaeus first came across peppermint in 1753 in England and he thought it was a species, which was later corrected, designating peppermint as a hybrid.

Classification Information:
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. × piperita
Binomial name: Mentha × piperita

Peppermint Trivia

  • The common peppermint is Mentha piperita, but the Chinese peppermint is a different species: Mentha haplocalyx
  • Ancient Greeks use peppermint to cure hiccups
  • Peppermint is the number one selling flavor among non-chocolate hard candies.

Peppermint Buying Guide

If you are buying peppermint for cooking, you need to look for freshly-cut peppermint leaves. Head to the fresh produce section of the grocery or supermarket and if they have them in stock, it will be on the fruit and vegetable display refrigerator. There may be other mint products there like spearmint so make sure to read the label on the packaging. If there is a farm stand or farmers market near you, make it a point to visit it first and source your peppermint from local producers. Buy enough for immediate use, or buy a lot, preserve and store them for future use. Always check the condition of the leaves when buying. 

If you want to plant peppermint (which is a good idea because peppermint is easy to grow and having a potted peppermint at home means a ready supply of fresh leaves), a potted plant is usually sold in farmers market or farm stand. But your best bet is a garden nursery. If you are already in the grocery or supermarket, you’ll probably spot a potted peppermint plant sold there too. 

Peppermint Production & Farming in Texas

Peppermint naturally thrives in moist habitat, as such, it requires constant watering but it will suffer if it becomes water-logged. Make sure your peppermint has enough sun and enough time in the shade as well. Peppermint thrives well if the soil is slightly acidic with a pH ranging from 6.5 to 7.0. 

Peppermint is hardy in zones 3-8. This means in Texas, it is ideal to plant peppermint in Amarillo (Zone 6), Lubbock, El Paso (Zone 7), Dallas, Waco, Bryan College Station, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio (Zone 8).


Common peppermint pests include aphids, thrips, and spider mites. 

  • Aphids – Kills aphids destroying your spearmint using neem oil, insecticidal soap, or horticultural oil. You can also use the pesticide malathion, which is the most commonly used organophosphate insecticide in the United States, or rotenone, a selective, non-specific insecticide typically used in home gardens for insect control. Apply through foliar spraying.
  • Thrips – To kill thrips, there is a wide array of options to choose from: horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, anti-parasite spray spinosad, or pyrethrin pesticides with piperonyl butoxide.
  • Spider mites – To get rid of spider mites, use neem oil and apply it through foliar spraying. It contains azadirachtin which is effective against spider mites. You can also use horticultural oil (which also targets aphids and thrips). Pests die after exposure to horticultural oil due to suffocation since the oil blocks the spiracles through which insects breathe. Another effect of horticultural oils is disrupting the metabolism of insect eggs. Lastly, horticultural oils disrupt the insect’s ability to feed. As a result, the insect starves to death. Using pyrethrin spray is also an effective method against spider mites. Another option is spinosad, a mixture of two chemicals called spinosyn A and spinosyn D typically used to control a wide variety of pests.


Peppermint is indigenous to Europe and the Middle East. Because of the growth in popularity of peppermint among consumers who enjoyed everything and anything with peppermint flavor – from candies to cookies to schnapps – peppermint is now cultivated worldwide. The United States is one of the major producers of peppermint worldwide – Oregon and Washington are known as major peppermint production states in the US. Other countries that produce peppermint include India, Morocco, Argentina, Australia, France, Russia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Italy, and Switzerland.

Because it can grow and spread very fast, peppermint easily becomes a feral and invasive plant, which is often the case in places like Australia, the Galápagos Islands, and New Zealand. In the United States, peppermint has a history of turning into an invasive species, particularly in the Great Lakes region in 1843.


Freshly-cut and freshly-packaged peppermint are sold in the market or the produce section of the grocery in a sealed transparent clamshell plastic container. Dried and powdered peppermint come in plastic or glass bottles, or a plastic pack. You’ll find peppermint seeds sold in plastic packaging too.

Enjoying Peppermint

The flavor profile of peppermint is described as pungent with a hint of peppery taste and a cool aftertaste. While peppermint has nutritional value, excessive ingestion of peppermint is discouraged because it can result in mucosal irritation and cause discomfort similar to heartburn.


Put peppermint inside a plastic bag or wrap it in a paper cloth or towel before putting it inside the refrigerator. Use a freezer bag if you want to freeze it. A third option is filling ice cube trays with water and cut peppermint leaves.

You can dry peppermint too. Use the microwave to flash-dry the leaves (start by heating it for 20 seconds and adjust accordingly depending on how the drying is turning out). Once it is brittle, you can crush it and put it inside an herb bottle or any container with a lid. Store somewhere cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight. If you don’t have a microwave, try using a drying screen and place this in a warm, dry room to allow it to completely dry. 


Peppermint has a wide array of culinary uses. It is not just a popular tea, but it is also used in combination with other herbs and flavors to produce hot or cold beverages. Many sweet treats are popular for their peppermint flavor, like candies, cakes, cookies, and ice cream.


Peppermint has very low cholesterol content. It also has low saturated fat and sodium. Peppermint helps promote the overall health of the body because it contains vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, niacin, phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese.

  • Calcium: 243.00mg
  • Iron: 5.08mg
  • Potassium: 569mg
  • Sodium: 31mg

Nutritional Benefits:

Research is being conducted regarding the use of peppermint in managing IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Some of the other benefits of peppermint include providing relief from digestive problems (gas, indigestion), clogged sinuses, menstrual cramps, tension headaches, and migraines. Peppermint is also known to help boost energy, aid in weight loss, fight bacterial infections, and induce sleep for those suffering from insomnia.



  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 2.1 0$
  • Carbs: 0.4g 0%
  • Sugar: 0g 0%
  • Fiber: 0.2g 1%
  • Protein: 0.1g 0%
  • Fat: 0g 0%
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 1mg 0%
  • Vitamin C 1mg 2%
  • Vitamin A 127IU 3%
  • Calcium 7.3mg 1%
  • Iron 0.2mg 1%
  • Potassium 17.1mg 0%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 0%
  • Riboflavin 0mg 0%
  • Zinc 0mg 0%
  • Magnesium 2.4mg 1%
  • Folate 3.4mcg 1%

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