The smell of mint is often enough to make your mouth water. It’s an herb that pairs well with many dishes and adds some flavor to tea, lemonade, and other beverages. Even if you don’t ingest it, you can use the plant to make your home smell fresher than ever. By reading these steps, you can find out how to grow mint in your own home. It won’t be long before you’re cutting fresh sprigs from your plant and enjoying the herb.
What You Need to Grow Mint at Home
As with most herbs, mint is as easy to grow as it is useful. You don’t need too many materials or any experience to grow it. Although you can grow it in an outdoor garden, you can just as easily grow mint inside your home.
There are several advantages to growing mint indoors. For one,the herb is easily accessible when you do your cooking. It also decreases the chance of pests or disease affecting your plant. Mint also tends to be extremely invasive, so it often takes over outdoor garden beds.
This tutorial will teach you how to grow the herb indoors, but the process is similar for both growing methods. If you want your mint outside, follow this guide and then transplant your herb to your garden.
Before you get started, head to the store and buy the following:
- Mint seeds
- Peat pots
- Seed starter
- Medium pot
- Potting soil
How to Grow Mint at Home
These steps will get you on your way to growing mint:
1. Choose Your Type of Mint
Before you can get started, you need to choose what type of mint you want to grow. With over 600 plants in the mint genus, there’s a large selection available.
It’s crucial to understand the difference between two of the most common types of mint. Although spearmint and peppermint look and smell similar, they have different flavors. Spearmint tends to be sweeter, while peppermint tends to be stronger. The menthol is much more apparent in peppermint.
Once you pick your type of mint, you can buy your seeds. Regardless of the type you choose, you can follow the subsequent steps.
Pro Tip: Head to a local farm or grocery store and try out each type of mint before you make a decision.
2. Plant Your Seeds
To get started, take out your peat pots and starter soil. Even if you only want one mint plant, you should start off with two or three peat pots. Some of your seeds may not germinate, so having multiple pots sets you up for success.
Fill the pots with the soil, almost filling them to the top. Once your pots are ready, place two or three seeds in each pot. Push them into the dirt and cover them with a little soil. If you want the seeds to germinate, place them on a sunny windowsill.
3. Get Your Pot Ready
It takes your mint seeds about a week to germinate. As you wait for your seeds to sprout, you should prepare your pot.
Your mint plant will only be as good as the pot it’s in. So, you should make a little extra effort to get your vessel ready. For the best results, you should use a window box that drains well. This is because mint roots are known as runners. They need space to spread out, and a small container won’t work well.
The box needs to go in a windowsill that gets plenty of sunlight. The room should never get below 60 degrees, or the conditions will be too cold for the plant.
Pro Tip: Clay pots take moisture away from the soil. If you choose to use a clay pot, you need to water your mint frequently.
3. Transplant Your Seedlings
Once your seeds have sprouted and you can see an inch or two of green, it’s time to transplant them to your container. A peat pot makes this easier than ever because you don’t need to disrupt the roots. Simply dig a small hole in the soil of your large pot. Once that’s done, place the peat pot in the hole.
You don’t need to completely cover the pot, but you should make sure it’s covered enough that the soil surrounds the peat pot. Even if you have multiple peat pots, avoid putting more than one in each container. Each plant will spread quickly.
4. Harvest Your Plant
In only a few weeks, your mint plant should be thriving. If you want to encourage it to become fuller, you should occasionally cut leaves from the plant. Just be sure to cut from the stem tips. Whether you plan on using your mint for cooking or drinking, this is also how you should harvest your plant.
Flower buds will slow down the growth of your plant. Therefore, you should get in the habit of cutting off flower buds as they grow. A fully flowered mint plant may be close to the end of its life. Typically, a well-maintained plant will last for approximately three years.
5. Propagate New Plants
If you want more mint plants, you can easily grow them from your existing plant. Cuttings from mint start to root when they are placed in water. To get started, take a three inch mint stem cutting and remove all of the lower leaves. Place it in water and wait about seven days, then be sure to keep the cutting out of sunlight.
When roots start to grow, you can move your mint to the soil of a container. You can also place cuttings directly in soil before roots develop, but first they need to be dipped in rooting hormone.
Ready, Set, Get Growing
Growing your own mint comes with many benefits, including some health benefits. By growing it in your home, you have all-day access to the plant. You can use it to flavor your teas, make an extract, or use it in your cooking. Does growing your own mint sound appealing to you? If so, it’s time to get started.
Feel free to comment below about your own experiences with mint, or share your thoughts on this article. Then, share this article with your friends and family.