What is Pineapple Mint?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Pineapple mint is a variety of mint that many consider one of the most attractive in the mint family. Growing to a height of almost a foot (30.48 cm), pineapple mint has green leaves that are edged by a white or cream color. This mint is also noted for its unusual flavor and fragrance. When touched or brushed it gives off a light pineapple scent, and when used in foods, it will impart a slight mint and pineapple taste. For this reason, it may be a delicious addition to fruit salad, or to pineapple glazes for things like ham.

Pineapple mint may be used as a glaze for ham.
Pineapple mint may be used as a glaze for ham.

The scientific name of pineapple mint is Mentha suaveolens variegata, and it is a cultivar of apple mint, which is believed to have first been grown in Europe and Asia. In most parts of the world, you won’t have trouble growing pineapple mint if you plant it in moist soil, in a partial sun/partial shade environment. However, once you get it started, you may have trouble getting rid of it. Most forms of mint are notoriously aggressive and can take over an untended garden within a few years.

Pineapple mint may be featured in a mojito drink.
Pineapple mint may be featured in a mojito drink.

Yet, there may be some advantage to the prolific spread of pineapple mint. If you want to fill an area with pretty plants that you might occasionally use in cooking, mint can be a terrific choice, and the pineapple variety in particular provides what many consider beautiful foliage. You’ll also get superior scent from this variety, though some favor more “minty” scents that aren’t mingled with tropical pineapple aromas.

If you’d like to cut down on its spread, you might consider growing this mint variation in pots. It makes a great addition to your pot garden and will provide you with an interesting herb for cooking. If you garden mostly in pots that are situated on dirt, you may still need to weed assiduously around the pots in early spring, and the mint may also easily jump from one pot to another. Still it’s a more manageable method for growing mint without dealing with too much rapid spread of the plant.

One of the most fashionable uses of pineapple mint in modern times is in the popular mojito drink. This is a combination of crushed mint, sugar, rum, lime, and carbonated water. By using the pineapple variant of mint, you’ll add a completely different taste factor to the drink, and pineapple flavoring is particularly excellent in combination with rum, as any fan of the pina colada can tell you.

Pineapple mint adds a unique flavor to fruit salad.
Pineapple mint adds a unique flavor to fruit salad.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


@anamur-- And doesn't pineapple mint look so pretty? I have regular mint in my garden too and if it weren't for the minty scent, I wouldn't be able to tell apart the mint from the other plants and weeds that grow around it. But that's not the case with pineapple mint. I love how its leaves are outlined with a creamy color, it looks like flowers to me.

@SarahGen-- You made that sorbet sound amazing! I'm not much into alcohol, but I'd love to make the sorbet with just pineapple and pineapple mint. I haven't tried this yet but I bet pineapple mint would be great in smoothies and jellies too. I make strawberry and pineapple jelly almost every year, I think I will add pineapple mint in some of my jellies this year and see how it comes out.


@JessicaLynn-- If you like pineapple mint mojitos, then you will love pineapple mint sorbet. And if you want, you can add rum to make a pineapple mint mojito sorbet which is perfect for summer nights.

I learned the pineapple mint sorbet recipe from my friend and that's how I found out about pineapple mint in the first place. This sorbet is made with pineapple, lime and pineapple mint. It's the most refreshing sorbet I've ever had, so it's perfect for the summer season.

And if you're having a party or a get together at home, you can make this sorbet with a little bit of rum and decorate with fresh pineapple mint. It becomes a dessert and mojito in one.


@Azuza-- Of all my potted herbs and spices, I love the pineapple mint the most because it spreads so easily. I also grow my herbs in pots at home. But I tend to travel a lot and I spend the summer months at my parent's house and I cannot take my plants with me.

The good thing about pineapple mint is that even if there is one single piece of mint remaining in the pot, as soon as I water it, it will offshoot multiple ones. This way, I never completely lose my source of pineapple mint.

I also like that this kind of mint is slightly milder than regular mint. It's even better for cooking because the mint flavor doesn't overpower the other flavors in the dish.


I've actually had a pineapple mint mojito, and it was delicious! It actually tasted a lot different than a mojito made using spearmint herbs. You can actually taste the pineapple flavor, and it's very refreshing.

I'm a huge fan of all kinds of mint though, so it's not surprising that I would like pineapple mint. Mojitos are one of my favorite drinks, especially when made with fresh mint.


@Azuza - My mom has an herb garden in pots on her back porch too. She grow basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, lemon balm, and about five different kinds of mint.

Until my mom started her garden, I had no idea how many different kinds of mint there actually are. My mom grows pineapple mint herb, spearmint, peppermint, apple mint, and one other kind of mint I can't remember. We use all the varieties of mint pretty frequently, especially the pineapple mint, which we add to fruit salad all the time in the summer.


It is a little bit inconvenient that spearmint plants (and pineapple mint plants) spread out so easily and take over a garden. However, it's also good that mint is so hardy. That means that even someone who doesn't have a green thumb can grow it.

I'm pretty much the death of every plant I've ever gotten, except my mint plants I keep in pots on my porch. All I do is water them, and they flourish and get bigger every year. I love making tea out of all the different kinds of mints and adding it to salad too.

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