Mint plants are really easy to grow, either in pots or in the garden. However, there are a few important things you should look for when growing mint. Typically, lots of beginning gardeners don’t know how to care for mint plant. So, in this post, I’ll give you the ultimate guide so that you can successfully grow your mint.
What to Look for When Choosing Mint Plants
Growing mint from seed can be an experiment for beginner gardeners. Because mint’s germination period is usually slow and initial growth can even be slower. Hence, it is advisable to sow mint seeds indoors several months before the last frost date. Due to this, most gardeners purchase mint through nurseries that offer pre-planted plants. These rooted mint cuttings are much more straightforward to maintain and will often produce more foliage than seed-started mints within the first year.
Here are some important things you should keep in mind when choosing mint to plant indoors or in the garden:
Variety: Are the mint plants labeled? There is a wide range of mint varieties available to the home gardener, so make sure you know what type of mint you have!
Health: Visually check the mint plants to see if there are any signs of disease. If it has any brown-orange spots on the lower foliage, then you shouldn’t use this plant. Such mottled spots are a common sign of mint rust, a disease needed to be destroyed or burned.
Pests: Inspect for any chewed parts or discoloration on the mint leaves. Large holes in the foliage are usually a sign of fissures, while small colored spots can be a sign of aphids, fleas, or spider mites. Actually, you can control all of these pests with proper care. Keep reading to know how to care for mint plants.
How To Care For Mint Plant
Growing mint plants and caring for them is not too difficult if you follow these tips.
- Minimal care is required for mint. You can use light mulch for outdoor mint plants. This not only keeps the soil humid but also makes the mint leaves cleaner.
- Remember to water indoor mint plants regularly to keep the soil evenly humid.
- Once the frost threat passes, you can start growing mint plants in the ground.
- Water mint plants throughout the season if needed as mint plants prefer completely moist soil. So, depending on the weather condition where you live and the location of the mint plant, you might need to water them on a daily basis.
- You can and should harvest your mint leaves regularly during the season. By doing this, you are promoting the mint plant to grow bushier. To harvest mint, use your fingers to cut away the new growth on the top of the plant. Pinch the part that grows above the button about 1/3 of the mint stem’s bottom.
- At the end of the season, aboveground mint can be covered with mulch for wintering. For mints planted in pots, you will need to dig them up and divide the roots. If you don’t, the mint will ultimately become so rooted that it will die on its own.
The Do and Don’t of Growing Mint Plant
Like cilantro and basil, mint is considered one of the easiest herbs to plant. Nevertheless, its roots, known as the “jogger tree,” are extremely invasive. You can imagine that they grow fast, quickly sprouting new leaves and new plants. If you are not careful, your mint plant quickly takes the place of a flower bed or garden. Keep reading to know the do’s and don’ts of growing mint:
- When selecting a place for your mint plant, it is best to look for a location that will receive morning sun and partial afternoon shade.
- You can grow mint in containers or pots, both indoors and outdoors.
- When growing mint plants in a flower bed, make sure you submerge a pot (container, mesh bag, or rim at least 5 inches deep). This way, the rim is higher than the ground when potted. The silver’s fast-growing roots, as a result, will be contained there. Otherwise, the mint plants will invade your garden and lawn in a nasty weed fashion.
- Always harvest mint sprigs before they flower.
- You can pink flower buds when they appear to prolong the harvest season.
- If you grow mint in a garden bed, cover it with mulch to prevent it from spreading.
- Place mint plants 15 cm apart and thin them out often.
- If you grow mint plants indoors, place your pot in a location that receives good morning light. Also, keep them far away from drying heating items or elements.
- Grow mint plants in an open bed unless you immerse a vessel containing the plant’s wild-growing roots.
- If you plan to grow mint plants in a bed with a submerged container. Make sure it doesn’t crack. Otherwise, the “runners” can find their way and keep spreading.
- Grow mint plants in ultra-humid conditions so they don’t dry out.
Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about how to care for mint plant so that you will grow mint indoors and outdoors properly.
Ideally, growing mint in a sunny place, either indoors or in the ground. Mints usually require at least 6 to 7 hours of sunlight each day to grow properly.
In fact, mint can grow successfully in different types of soils and light conditions. However, they need to be provided with enough and regular moisture. They also require unsaturated and well-drained oil for normal growth. Mint plants often need around 1 to 2 inches of water per week, depending on conditions.
There are different reasons causing your mint plant to die. If mint dies in a pot, it might be because the pot is too small or because there is a lack of drainage holes in the bottom so excess water cannot drain out. Long-legged plants, few leaves due to lack of sunlight or too much fertilizer are also popular reasons that make your mint plant can’t thrive.
Mint plants are the kind of plant that prefers being moist but not too wet. If the ground is dry to the touch, it needs to be watered. If not, try to keep it evenly moist. Dampness is another crucial factor. So, make sure you mist the plant between waterings or place the pot on a pebbles or cobblestone tray filled with water.
Sprinkle the soil with some time-release fertilizer (optional). Fully water the mint plant. Lastly, pinch two to four leaves on the top of each mint. This way, the mint branch sprouts and becomes bushy.
There are various reasons why your mint leaves turn brown, such as low dampness, wrong watering, and diseases such as fungal infections. Less probable reasons could be lack of nutrients, sunburn, or root restriction.
That’s useful tips on how to care for mint plants. I hope that you get some knowledge to take care of your mint. I’d also love to hear about your mint growing and caring experience. Don’t forget to share it with me and other readers in the comment box!