Mint makes a delicious addition to refreshing summer meals and drinks, but it’s also a vigorous grower. If you plant it in your vegetable or herb garden, it may take over and get out of control! So what’s the best way to contain this hardy herb? In a container!
Planting in a container is also convenient since you can move the herb to proper lighting conditions throughout the day, grow it indoors, or keep it on the patio for easy access. With all that in mind, you may be wondering how to grow mint in containers. Fortunately, you’ll find all of the crucial steps outlined below!
Tools You’ll Need to Grow Mint
Once you’re ready to plant mint in containers, there are a few tools you’ll need. Fortunately, many gardeners will already have the following items in their arsenal. Check out the essentials below:
- Mint seeds, seedlings, or cuttings
- Germination mix
- Paper towel
- Garden trowel
- Watering can
- Seedling pots
- Pot with drainage
- High-quality potting mix
How to Grow Mint in Containers
Step 1: Choose Your Mint Variety
Though mint may seem like a simple flavor or scent, there are different varieties that each have their own aroma. It’s essential to choose one that is ideal for growing in your region so that it thrives in the conditions you can supply. Peppermint and spearmint do well in cold environments, for example. Always consult the directions on the seed packet or nursery container to ensure you’re treating the plant right!
Some varieties, such as pineapple mint, tend to creep, so it’s also important to keep them pruned, so they don’t outgrow their containers. Also, the variety you choose may determine whether it’s best for flavoring, cooking, or using in teas.
Step 2: Sow Your Seeds
You can purchase mint seeds from almost any garden center. To start the plants, germinate the seeds on a damp paper towel or germination mix. Spray with a mister daily until seedlings have developed and place on a bright windowsill for 10 to 15 days, allowing them to germinate fully.
Alternatively, you can grow mint from scraps by placing the stems in a container of water and allowing its roots to grow. This is propagation. Once the plant has developed a proper root system, plant it in the container. You can also purchase mint seedlings from a nursery and plant them at home. Skip this step if you’ve already got seedlings prepared!
Step 3: Prep Your Container and Plant the Mint
Once the seeds have germinated, it’s time to prepare your container. Opt for a clean 4-inch pot with a drainage hole. Start by filling it with high-quality, well-draining, and slightly acidic potting mix. Transplant your 2-inch seedling or plant the germinated seeds, covering the roots with soil.
Allow the pot to sit in a warm, sunny location until leaves develop. From there, you can cultivate and harvest the mint, as outlined below!
Step 4: Care for Your Mint
Though mint tends to be drought-tolerant, pots tend to dry out quickly, and regular watering is essential to growth. To determine how often to water the plants, consider how fast-draining the soil is, the temperature, the humidity, and when it last rained (if the container is outdoors). You can also use your finger to test how dry the soil is — if it’s dry about an inch down, it’s time to water!
When it comes to lighting, the plants also prefer full sun or partial shade, but it’s important to be careful of scorching leaves. Feeding your plants is just as important as soil, water, and light! You can apply a slow-release fertilizer every spring to the soil to supply nutrients and encourage growth.
Step 5: Harvest Time
Mint is a perennial, but it may die back during the winter. If it doesn’t, continue growing, harvesting, and pruning it year-round. Remember that you can restart your plant and compost the old one when its stems become woody and sparse. Do not reuse its soil in your garden, as mint roots may be dormant — once they reactivate, they can develop into new plants and spread (not ideal for contain-mint!).
To store mint, follow the rules for storing all fresh herbs. You can either consume it immediately, refrigerate, dry it, or freeze it. This will depend on your personal preferences!
Mint to Be!
While mint may make an excellent addition to your garden, it’s best to grow it in pots. Fortunately, this is a convenient and beneficial alternative. You’ll have easy access to the plants, and you can move them around to provide adequate lighting without the worry that they’ll take over your garden!
If you’ve been thinking about planting mint in containers, take this guide as a bit of encourage-mint and share how it goes down below!