How Far Apart To Plant Mint?


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In doing research on how best to layout my mints, I am coming across conflicting information.

Most sources say that you should not grow different varieties of mint near each other because the flavor / fragrance will change. The problem is, I have yet to find definite answers to two questions:

1) How far apart should different mint varieties be planted?

I have seen some people suggest 18 inches while I have also seen someone suggest several dozen feet.

2) What is it that causes the mint to change?

I have seen the following reasons for this including:
  • Roots touching
  • Leaves touching
  • Cross pollination
  • Oils blowing on the wind
 
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There was a woman on the radio who has a huge collection, she said that grown in the same container they 'revert to standard mint'. To me that suggests roots touching, roots have big effects on the way the top grows, and even in separate containers any of the others could still happen. Note however, "In the same container", I would always grow mint in a container, it is so rampant and spreads so quickly. Even if you plant them separately it won't take long for them to reach each other without stringent control measures, so maybe eighteen inches would work initially, but go opposite ends of the garden to be sure over time.
My pots of mint are growing nicely, I picked some tonight to go in the peas and new potatoes.
 
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I agree with Oliver. Frankly would say it doesn't matter. Soon you will have one huge mass of mint anyway unless you are ruthlesss in keeping down. One way to stop it's spread is cutting the bottom off large plastic plant pots or buckets and siking into the soil to stop the roots spreading too far. (Also works well with othroot suckering plants, like Passion Flower, wisteria, etc.) If you plant them together or near each other, one will probably eventually choke out the others.
 

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