The taste of mint is a breath of fresh air, it reminds us of clean mouths, candy canes during the holidays, and delicious, refreshing beverages.
Mint is an awesome herb that we all encounter on a regular basis. If you are like me, though, a regular basis is not enough; I want MORE mint. This is why learning to grow it indoors, in a pot, was such an appealing idea.
This complete guide will teach you how to grow mint from seed, explaining how to plant, care for, and harvest mint in pots indoors.
What You Will Need
- Mint Seeds
- Pot/ Container
- Common Gardening Tools
- Fertilizer (optional)
Level of Difficulty: Is Mint Easy to Grow from Seed?
Yes, mint is actually one of the easiest plants to grow. It is hardy and adaptable to the point that some would even call it aggressive.
Because of this, mint is an excellent plant for beginners.
It is easy to care for, supplies a continual harvest, and does not require you to have a garden or own gardening tools.
You can grow mint easily from seed because you do not need to transplant the seedlings. You can sow mint seeds directly into soil.
Can You Grow Mint Indoors?
Yes, mint is an awesome container plant that thrives indoors.
Mint is not only easy to grow in containers, it’s actually preferable to grow it in containers since its aggressive growth can take over gardens.
It is an adaptable plant that does not need direct sunlight so it thrives indoors.
Growing mint indoors also has the added benefits of it making a wonderful, decorative plant, and it being closer to the kitchen for quick use.
Types of Mint
There are over 35,000 varieties of mint to choose from. To make it easier for you to wade through the massive amount of mints, here are the five best ones to grow indoors.
One of the most popular kinds of mint, this long-leafed variety has flat, smooth leaves, with apparent veins. It has the scent of candy canes and a cool, refreshing, taste that tingles the tongue.
Spearmint has bright green leaves with a rough, crinkled texture. The leave’s edges are spikey with rounded ends. Spearmint has a lighter taste than most mints that numbs the tongue while blasting it with coolness.
Chocolate mint has short leaves with darkly colored markings. It doesn’t taste like chocolate but rather has a sweet, slightly minty taste. It works well when added to chocolate desserts and treats.
This mint variety is tall with slightly smooth, heart-shaped leaves. It has a strong smell that is apparent before even picking it. Complimenting its smell, the leaves have a strong taste that works well in teas and salads.
This mint is notably fuzzy and has a fruity aroma that makes it stand out from other mints. It has a mild minty flavor that lacks zip. It works well in beverages and jellies.
When Should Mint Be Planted?
Mint enjoys warm weather so it should not be moved outside until the last frost is over and the soil has warmed.
If you are looking to transplant your seedlings outside, you can begin to grow them indoors in late winter. This hardy perennial can be started at any time up to 2 months before the last frost occurs.
However, if you live in a warmer area, they can be directly sown into your garden in mid-spring.
If you are growing your mint in a container though, you can start growing it inside at any time. If you ever feel like moving it outside so it can benefit from the outdoor humidity perhaps, make sure temperatures are at least 60 F outside.
How To Grow Mint From Seed in a Pot Indoors
Step One: Prepare for Planting
Pick a container for your mint that has adequate drainage. The ideal mint container should be at least 10 inches deep and 8 inches in diameter. If it is a square pot, it should be 6 inches wide, and 10 inches deep
Choose a soil or a potting mix to fill your container with. Mint likes soil that is slightly acidic, and has a pH between 5.5-7.5, but overall is not a picky plant.
Choose a spot for your mint. The best location would be an east-facing window in spring through summer, and west-facing window in fall through winter. Mint doesn’t need a lot of direct sunlight and actually grows well in low-light situations.
If your home’s indoor temperature is around 60-75 F, which many homes are anyways, your plant will thrive.
Step Two: Prepare Your Seeds (optional)
You may be wondering, “Should I soak mint seeds before planting?”
Yes, you can, but you don’t have to.
If you feel a rush to grow your mint, perhaps because you sense an impending mint emergency on the horizon, you can soak them to speed up germination.
The night before planting, soak your seeds in warm water for a few hours. The water should be warm, not hot, as high temperatures could hurt the seeds.
Once they are done soaking, let them sit on a paper towel.
You can plant them the next day.
If you don’t feel any rush for germinating your seeds though, you can just sow them directly into the soil.
Step Three: Plant Your Mint
You can sow mint seeds directly into soil.
Sow seeds ¼ inch deep into the soil, keeping in mind that the seeds need sunlight to germinate.
The seeds are tiny, so it is okay to just evenly spread them instead of individually planting. However, if you do spread them, you will need to thin out plants so they are 6 inches apart once the seeds grow.
The seeds should germinate in 10-15 days.
Step Four: Water Your Mint
Water your mint seeds thoroughly after planting.
You should water your mint with about 1.5 inches of water a week. Water in the morning, at the plant’s base, because overly wet leaves can cause your mint plant to contract fungal diseases.
After you water, the soil should be evenly moist-not soggy.
Pro Tip: Mint loves humidity. Try misting your plant between its waterings. You can also set your plant on a saucer with pebbles, rocks, or flat glass beads so that when water drips on to the saucer it supplies natural humidity.
Step Five: Care For Your Mint
Rotate your plant every few days so it does not grow lopsided.
Mint does not require fertilization, however, you can fertilize it using balanced fertilizers at half strength every few months.
Don’t allow your mint to flower. Flowering changes the hormones of the plant, altering mint’s taste for the worse. Remove flower buds and either dispose of them or add them to tea or potpourri.
Trim your plant regularly to promote new growth.
Pro Tip: Do not overfertilize. This can lessen mint’s flavor and lead to diseases developing.
Step Six: Harvest Your Mint
For a mint plant to reach maturity it takes 70 days, however, you can start harvesting once the plant begins producing leaves in abundance.
Mint is most flavorful when harvested in the morning. The younger the leaves, the more flavor.
Harvest by using scissors to cut the leaves off at their stem.
Never harvest more than 1/3 of the plant. It also should never experience deep cuttings more than once a month, and those should occur during its growing season.
Pro Tip: Your mint plant can have long-term endurance, growing for a few years indoors, continuing your harvest. Repot your mint every year to guarantee healthy root growth and to ensure that your plant’s soil stays healthy.
Step Seven: Enjoy!
Mint is an excellent addition to so many food and drink recipes!
Add mint to hot or cold tea, alcoholic beverages, salads, pasta dishes, roasted meat, you name it! There are so many meals you can add a little zip to by adding mint.
If your mint plant is producing more mint than you can use, you can easily store it in your fridge.
A fun way to store it is in ice cubes!
Freeze the leaves in water in an ice cube tray. You can then pop them into beverages to give them a slight, fresh minty taste.
Mint is an incredible plant to grow.
It has so many benefits- attracting bees, repelling pests, smelling nice, having a delicious, refreshing flavor, and even having medicinal properties.
That’s right, mint doesn’t just taste good, it is good for you! Mint can relieve digestive issues, treat headaches, and provide congestion relief, to name a few medicinal benefits.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned everything you would possibly need to know to successfully grow this wonder-herb!
If you liked this article, be sure to share, and comment below with your questions or thoughts!