Growing Mint - A Step-by-Step Tutorial

When growing mint, spearmint and peppermint are the two varieties most people choose, and are the ones I generally grow. 

There are about 15-20 you could try if available at your local nursery. Basil, apple, orange, pineapple and ginger are just some of the delicious sounding types.

Tips and Advice on How to Grow Mint Plants

picture of mint

All varieties are hardy perennials, and once planted spread prolifically and if left unchecked can takeover your herb beds!

I prefer to grow them in containers, this way the roots are contained and can't spread.

If planting in the herb bed chop the bottom off a large pot and bury in the ground.

Plant your mint in the centre and this will contain the spread.

They prefer full sun but will grow very well in partial shade. 

Growing From Seeds:

It's not recommended cultivating from seed as they won't grow "true" and the flavour will be lacking. Much better from cuttings or root division.

Growing Mint From Cuttings:

  • Anytime through March to June, take a cutting about 3-4 inches (7-10cm) long and remove the lower leaves and the growing tip
  • Cut just under a removed leaf node
  • Fill a small pot with a compost perlite mixture and push in the stem
  • Water and keep moist whilst waiting for it to take
  • Plant outside once it's established

Growing Mint From Root Divsion:

Like most hardy herbs, after a few years they get a little woody and produce runners. So in spring dig up an older plant and gently tease the roots apart in to 3-4 divisions.

Replant in containers or the garden. Mint also tends to spread very readily, so doing this will contain it.

Cultivating Outdoors:

Keep your varieties away from each other. If growing spearmint add some fertilizer prior to planting. If growing peppermint this is not necessary. Keep mint plants well watered.

Container Growing:

  • Position your containers in a sunny spot or partial shade and fill with a general potting compost
  • Plant your divisions, cuttings or purchased mint plants and water
  • Keep the soil moist and feed regularly with a liquid fertilizer

Pests and Diseases:

There are no real problems with pests.

They can be susceptible to mint rust which looks like small rusty spots on the leaves. If you see this, you should remove and burn the infected leaves immediately. If this doesn't stop the spread, dig up the plants and roots and burn.

This is another reason I prefer cultivating them in containers. If I happened to get rust, it's much easier to stop it spreading.

Harvesting Mint:

You can pick sprigs and leaves for using fresh or for drying or freezing throughout the  season. The more you pick, the more new growth you get.

You can also use the leaves to make a healthy drink. Click here for my recipe.

Mint Plant Care:

Spring: Take cuttings and divisions from established plants. Summer: Cut back plants for fresh growth. Take more cuttings. Autumn: Cut back any plants in the garden and containers. Add some mulch or straw for protection. Winter: Dig in some fertilizer ready for spring plantings.

Click the Images For Other Cultivating Herbs Pages

Tips on Growing Sage

How to Grow Basil

Cultivating Parsley Plants

Return to Growing Herbs 

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