Ask a Question forum: How do mint plants get different smells?

Views: 493, Replies: 14 » Jump to the end
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
Image
bhart90
May 14, 2016 8:05 AM CST
I have received my bunch from ebay, and my GOOOODDDDD each one is so accurate with their label. How do you even DO THAT? I have strawberry mint and chocolate mint that is sooo obvious!

I must know how!
Brenden
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
May 14, 2016 10:28 AM CST
It's just a guess, but in the process of plant evolution, the plant might produce those scents to attract or repel pollinators or as a survival tool, eg. to make themselves unattractive to grazing animals like rabbits and deer. The ones that taste bad to those animals survive and reproduce and the others die out.

They have distinctive essential oils in the leaves that combine to smell like other plants/fruits. There are lemon-y ones and pineapple-y ones and many others, too. Basils have different flavors and scents, as well.

When people discover a plant that smells or tastes appealing, they choose to cultivate it so those plants become more widely available. Then they get cross-bred to produce even more combinations of scents or other attributes. There are probably aromatic herbs that smell awful, too but people wouldn't generally choose to grow those.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
May 14, 2016 10:32 AM CST
? Shrug! I see the Mentha x piperita 'Chocolate' in our database but we don't seem to have Mentha spicata 'Strawberry' in our database.

Hope they grow good for you. Thumbs up

Edited to add:
Oops, I see that the Strawberry Mint is in the database:
Mint (Mentha spicata 'Strawberry')

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - May 17, 2016 10:15 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1148336 (3)
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
Image
bhart90
May 14, 2016 10:40 AM CST
Trust me. The strawberry is legit. It almost smells like cold strawberry slushy or ice cream amazing . ..
Brenden

purslanegarden
May 17, 2016 8:42 AM CST
I like the pineapple sage. It really smells like pineapple.

Other than guessing that someone cultivated them to be that way a long time ago, I would imagine the other case is that the plants were naturally like this. When the first person who smelled it said, 'this smells like chocolate', then it got that as the common name. So it might be more like the plant smelled like that first, and then it got its name, instead of someone deciding one day, 'i will use government and public funding to make a mint that smells like chocolate.'

Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
Image
bhart90
May 17, 2016 9:02 AM CST
Haha, makes sense
Brenden
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Moonhowl
May 17, 2016 9:54 AM CST
Thought you might find this link interesting... breeding a new mint, Hillary's Sweet Lemon Mint

http://www.google.com/patents/USPP9197
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
Image
bhart90
May 17, 2016 10:48 AM CST
That's yours?
Brenden
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Moonhowl
May 17, 2016 10:58 AM CST
No, it is not my brainchild. I stumbled across the link while looking for something else and thought it was interesting. It lends itself to the possibility/idea of breeding "designer fragrance" mints.
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
Image
bhart90
May 17, 2016 10:59 AM CST
Crazy world nonetheless thanks!
Brenden
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
Image
critterologist
May 17, 2016 11:12 AM CST
What ebay seller did you get yours from? (Sounds like you're pretty happy with the plants as well as with their scents)
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
Image
bhart90
May 22, 2016 11:00 AM CST
critterologist said:What ebay seller did you get yours from? (Sounds like you're pretty happy with the plants as well as with their scents)


http://www.ebay.com/usr/grocoplants?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l...
Brenden
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
Image
critterologist
May 22, 2016 12:49 PM CST
thx!

One tip -- don't let your hybrid mints go to seed, or you could end up with lots of seedlings that aren't quite the same... which could be fun, but you probably want to keep a "pure" pot going too
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
Image
bhart90
May 22, 2016 10:20 PM CST
Yea, this will be something to tackle, maybe I'll have window boxes fsrrr from each other
Brenden
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
Image
critterologist
May 23, 2016 10:35 AM CST
just cut them back after they start to flower. you really don't want them to seed from self-crossing, either.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "Pacific Blue Ice"