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.
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.
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.