Pineapple Mint

Growing Pineapple Mint Herbs in Northeast Florida Herb Gardens

(Mentha suaveolens variegata) 

Variegated Pineapple Mint S & J Nursery

Pineapple Mint ( Mentha suaveolens variegata) For Northeast Florida Uses and Origins:

Pineapple mint is a selection of apple mint or woolly mint with a beautiful creamy white variegated edge to the leaves. It’s highly ornamental foliage makes it ideal for mixed herb and flower containers. Although a bit more difficult to grow than some other mints, is an easy to grow perennial plant for the North Florida landscape, providing it is planted in moist well draining soils in partial shade conditions.

pineapple mint has a wonderfully fruity scent and flavor. The bright green and white leaves are elongated and slightly rounded at the tips. The leaves are covered on the top surface with small hairs and have a soft downy fuzz on the undersides of the leaves. Pineapple Mint can be used for making mint tea, for mint jellies, meat marinades, salads, perfect for mint sauce, chew the leaves for minty fresh breath, use them to make mint oil, herb vinegars or herb oils, or just throw crushed mint leaves into your hot bath for Mint aromatherapy to make a relaxing and rejuvenating bath water after a long day. Its fruity mint flavor make it ideal for adding to fruit salad mixes.

Growing Season for Northeast Florida Pineapple Mint Plants / Mentha suaveolens variegata:

Almost all types of mint herb plants are hardy perennial plant selections for Florida gardeners. Grow them year round. Plant Pineapple mint from S & J Nursery containers or bury a stem or root division from a friend. Pineapple mint grows quickly here in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden.

Sun Exposure for Pineapple Mint in Northeast Florida, Jacksonville and St. Augustine area landscapes:

Plant Pineapple Mint plants in areas where it will receive morning sun and afternoon shade for best results in Jacksonville and St. Augustine area gardens. Partial shade is preferred to full sun locations that can be a bit overpowering on pineapple mint herb plants during the heat of the summer. Filtered light under taller canopy trees will work nicely as well.

Pineapple Mint makes an excellent indoor house plant in a nice window location. When planting Pineapple mint herb plants on a porch, patio, or as an indoor house plant, place them in a location to receive at least 4 hours of light each day.

Soil Preference for Pineapple Mint Herb Plants in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida Area Gardens:

Moist, but well draining soils. Pineapple mint is not particular about the components of the soil that it is planted into, as long as it is moist and well drained.

When planting Pineapple Mint into the ground, amend the soil generously with compost. It acts as a sponge and helps to keep the soil moist and well drained.

Mint herb plants make a great container plant as well, as the plant and root system take up very little room. Mint roots are very shallow in the soil, almost right at the surface so there is no need for a deep pot. You may want to consider adding a soil moisture retention granule like soil moist to your potting soil mix to help conserve water, the smaller the container that your mint plant is potted into, the quicker the soil will dry out.

Water and Fertilizer Requirements of Pineapple Mint Herb Plants:

Newly planted Pineapple mint herb plants will require watering every day for the first few days, taper back watering to three times a week, then twice a week for in-ground plants, and three to four times a week for potted containers.

In general herbs require little in the way of fertilizer. To much fertilizer with herbs can be worse than not enough. Over fertilization can lead to lush green growth with a reduced quantity of volatile oils in the leaves. Reduced oils, means reduced flavor and aroma in your herbs.

However, in Florida’s sandy soils you may find your plants in some need of some help, particularly if compost wasn’t added to the soil when planting.

Granular Fertilizer for Herb Plants:

 On water loving herbs like Celery or Mint, I like to add granular Milorganite® fertilizer to the compost when potting or planting my herbs. Milorganite helps the soil retain moisture and fertilizes your plant with great quality organic bio solids. Milorganite will not burn the new fiber hair roots on newly planted herbs from its S & J Nursery container.

Foliar spray Fertilizer for Herb Plants:

Fertilize with a mixture of liquid fish emulsions and seaweed at one ounce of each per gallon of water. Put into a sprayer and water every other week or as needed with the mixed solution.

If you find your plant struggling at any point, make up a batch of compost tea and water generously. Repeat as needed weekly or biweekly.

Size of Pineapple Mint Herb Plants When Mature:

Pineapple mint is an semi-upright growing mint herb plant. The mature size on an Pineapple Mint plant will be between 8-12 inches high. (they may tend to grow even higher in other areas). Mint will root into the surrounding soil anywhere the foliage has contact and continue growing and spreading if left unchecked. Many gardeners confine mint by planting into raised beds or potted containers.

Sowing Pineapple Mint Herb Plant Seeds into Northeast Florida Soils:

Mint seeds are often sterile and those that are not sterile have a high level of variability to the seedlings they will produce, they do not ‘come true’ from seed. So you often don’t get a mint plant similar to the one you were hoping for when you plant mint seeds. For that reason, pineapple mint is propagated by divisions of existing clumps or by sticking cuttings into moist soil for them to root and grow.

Harvesting Pineapple Mint Herb foliage in the Northeast Florida Landscape:

Mint herb plants can be harvested year round, although the leaves should be at their best in spring and again in fall in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area landscape.

Fresh mint leaves are best when available, but still retain good flavor and color when stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for a few days.

If you have harvested more than you need to use, throw them into the blender with a little bit of water and pour the mixture into ice cube trays to freeze. Add to your tea for a refreshing burst of flavor.

Dried Mint leaves should be stored in an airtight container in a cool dark area.

Blooms of Pineapple Mint Herbs for Northeast Florida Landscape:

White blooms on pineapple mint plants emerge in summer.