Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Egyptian Mint
Mentha niliaca

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mentha (MEN-thuh) (Info)
Species: niliaca (nil-ee-AK-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Mentha sylvestris

One vendor has this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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to view:

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #1 of Mentha niliaca by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #2 of Mentha niliaca by Xenomorf

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #3 of Mentha niliaca by kennedyh


3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive azsilvia On Apr 1, 2014, azsilvia from Tempe, AZ wrote:

An excellent robust mint. In my area this mint gets taller than other varieties and has aggresive runners to it must be contained or it will spread and take over as much real estate as it can. Attractive to bees and other pollinators.

Flavor is a little milder than peppermint or spearmint. Makes delightful tea. With as fast a grower as Egyptian Mint is you will have plenty of leaves to dry for tea!

I must disagree with the description that this mint has smooth leaves. The leaves are fuzzy, especially as they emerge, and the fuzz gives this mint a greyish-green color making it readily identifiable from other mints in the garden.

Positive drecenra On Aug 22, 2008, drecenra from Orting, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Bought this from a local nursery and planted it in a barrel half. It got tall, then died back in winter. This spring, it covered almost half the barrel. I use it in my tea, and it tastes great. Regular pruning will make it branch out more. My first mint and still one of my favorites.

Positive noeshia On May 17, 2007, noeshia from Valdosta, GA wrote:

I've had this plant for at least two years(more likly to be three really), and it's done fairly well in it's pot all that time.I've never gotten mine to bloom, but I'm hoping that this year it may come out with a few.
Like other mints keep it pinched back fairly often so that it will branch out and spread faster.If pinched often it'll fill a pot attractively.You also have the added benefit of fragrant mint cuttings that could be dried for tea.Or used to propagate another plant.
My plant was obtained from a garden center near my house where the owner had let it grow wild in his beds for show.He loves sharing information and gave me several mints and other herbs like this,allthough it took me a while to find the plant's proper names.It seems to be little known and underused,but Egyptian mint could be a nice perrenial bedding flower in small herb gardens in our area(it dies back in the winter here unless brought indoors).I really wish more people would take it up for some variety.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Tempe, Arizona
Valdosta, Georgia
Franklinton, Louisiana
Orting, Washington

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