Select a healthy stem from the parent plant and cut it just below a node.Like many other herbs, mint can easily be grown in many growing zones in the United States and throughout the world.Before we get into the specific steps, it should be noted that growing mint from cuttings can be a lengthy process, depending on the method used.If you use a growth hormone, it could take as long as a year until you can harvest and eat from your new mint plant.If you aren’t ready to propagate, you can store the sprigs in your fridge, wrapped in a plastic bag.At this point, you have the option of dipping the sprig’s bare stem into a rooting hormone.Using a growth hormone is optional, especially when it comes to a mint, which you’ll likely be consuming down the road.If you do want to use a growth hormone for a faster and healthier root system, you can purchase either the powder or gel form at your local garden center.Then, simply dip your stem into some water and tip into the growth hormone, and then into moist soil.If you aren’t using a growth hormone, you’ll want to establish a root structure before planting in soil.To do this, you can place your mint plant in a glass of water, with the 2″ of bare stem fully submerged.If not, you can achieve the same effect by putting a plastic bag over the plant and container.If you notice that the leaves start to turn yellow after a few weeks, it may be due to transplant shock (much like us humans, plants don’t like sudden change).Making sure the mint plant gets plenty of sunlight, water (keeping the top level of soil damp is great!).Get a hold of some mint (either from an existing plant or from your grocery store) Strip off leaves from each stems’ bottom 2″ Dip the stem in a growth hormone and plant in potting soil OR Place the stem in a glass of water for a few weeks until mature roots have grown before planting Store the stem and pot in a humid climate and water occasionally for 6-8 weeks Care for your new mint plant! .
Propagating Mint Plants From Cuttings Step-By-Step
Propagating mint is a great way to get free plants that you can use in your garden, as fillers in containers, or to share with friends.In this post, I’m going to show you how to grow mint plants from cuttings rooted in either water or soil.Plants rooted in soil are much stronger, and there’s a lower risk of them dying from transplant shock when you pot them up.On the other hand, it’s much easier to root mint cuttings in water, but the plants tend to be weaker.Mint cuttings will start to wilt very quickly after removing them from the plant, and you definitely don’t want them to dry out before propagating them.You can carefully pinch them off with your fingers, or use a sharp pair of pruners or bonsai shears so you won’t accidentally damage the stem.I like to use a glass vase so that it’s easy to see when the roots have developed, and to make sure the water level doesn’t get too low.I also like to make sure the vase I use is tall and narrow, rather than shallow and wide so that my cuttings will stay upright and won’t settle down into the water and rot.Although don’t keep your mint growing in water for too long or it can also worsen the risk of transplant shock.Mint propagation is a bit more difficult with this method, but it’s still pretty easy as long as you provide the right environment.It’s super easy to provide the perfect environment outside in the summer if you live in a humid climate like I do.But, if you live in a dry climate, or you want to try rooting the cuttings inside the house, then I recommend using some kind of a propagation kit.It speeds up the process, and helps to ensure your cuttings will grow a thick, healthy root system.You can put several cuttings into one large pot or your propagation chamber, but try to space them apart far enough so they don’t touch each other.If it’s not very humid where you live, and you’re not using a propagation box, then misting the cuttings regularly helps to encourage rooting.Start by giving them a weak dose of liquid fertilizer (fish emulsion and compost tea are great choices!). .
How to Root and Grow Healthy Mint Plants from Cuttings
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How to Grow Mint Indoors: 3 Growing Methods for Year-round
Mint (Mentha species) is a perennial that produces new foliage all year long if the stems are not killed by frost, making it one of the easiest herbs to grow inside.Unlike many other herbs, mint is very easy to grow indoors, as long as you give the plant enough light and consistent moisture (more on both of these in a later section).I love mint’s crinkly green leaves and how the stems of some varieties tumble down over the sides of the pot.We grow them for their flavors, and what could be better than snipping your own fresh, homegrown mint leaves to make a cup of hot tea on a cold day?Since mint is constantly making new stems and leaves, you’ll always have a few sprigs ready for harvest.Whenever I need a little pick-me-up on a dreary day, I simply pinch off a leaf, rub it between my thumb and index finger, and inhale.Aside from the occasional fungus gnat, I’ve never had any houseplant pests attack my mint plants.For me, the easiest route is to purchase a starter plant at my favorite local nursery.However, if it’s autumn or winter and you’re just learning how to grow mint indoors, you might find your local nursery out of stock.If this is the case for you, consider starting a new mint houseplant from a root division or a stem cutting.Mint grows fast, so even if you start with a tiny division, before you know it, the plant will fill your pot.To maximize the growth of your indoor mint plant, you’ll need to provide it with a few things.If you don’t have a sunny, north-facing window that receives sun through the better part of the day, consider purchasing a small grow light to install over your mint plant.If you don’t have a sunny, north-facing window that receives sun through the better part of the day, consider purchasing a small grow light to install over your mint plant.Water the plant only when the soil feels dry to the touch and the pot is light.Unlike other houseplants, indoor mint will still be actively growing through the winter months, so feeding it is a good idea.Regular “haircuts” are necessary to keep your mint plant bushy and to encourage new growth.Use a pair of herb scissors or needle-nose pruners to trim the stems back on a regular basis, ideally once every few weeks.However, keeping a few water-rooted stems in a jar above the sink means you’ll be able to make the occasional harvest.They will quickly develop roots and can be grown in the water-filled jar for a few weeks or months, depending on the growing conditions.In fact, mint is a great crop to grow using a commercially made or a DIY hydroponic system.The lack of soil definitely translates to less mess, but hydroponic systems are more expensive than soil-based growing.To harvest your indoor mint plants, remove individual leaves as needed, or clip off entire stems for drying or fresh use.Don’t be afraid to cut the plant back substantially a few times a year. .
How to Grow Mint from Seed
Perfect for beginning gardeners, mint is the easiest of all herbs to grow, a perennial hardy in Zones 4-9.In addition to flavoring food and drinks, it serves as a natural pest deterrent in the vegetable, herb, or flower garden, and chewing the leaves not only freshens the breath but is said to calm an upset stomach.Both are super easy to grow, taking off like crazy to perfume home or garden all season.But as a hardy perennial, they can be started anytime until about 2 months before the first frost of fall, or year-round for indoor use.If you are sowing directly into the garden, consider placing a row cover over the seeds until they sprout.However, it is famously unfussy, so chances are it will not only survive but flourish in any light from full sun to deep shade, and any quality of soil provided the drainage is decent.However, it is famously unfussy, so chances are it will not only survive but flourish in any light from full sun to deep shade, and any quality of soil provided the drainage is decent.If you want it in the garden but without the rapid spread, set it into a container instead, and use a saucer at the base to prevent the roots from growing into the soil below. .
How to Grow and Care for Mint
wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Loamy, moist, well-drained Soil pH Acidic, neutral Bloom Time Summer Hardiness Zones 3–11, USA (depends on species) Native Area North America, Africa, Australia Toxicity Toxic to animals.Mint fares best in a damp, moist area with well-draining soil, but also in a spot that's in either full sun or part shade.Your primary maintenance task with mint might be to trim back your plant to prevent its runners from spreading to unwanted places.Mint plants prefer part shade, though they will grow in full sun if you water them frequently.Mint also can survive in fairly shady conditions, though it might be leggy and not produce as many or as flavorful of leaves.Maintaining lightly moist but not soggy soil is the ideal environment for mint.If you notice the foliage of your mint wilting, that's typically a sign the plant needs more moisture.Temperature tolerance depends on the species you are growing, but in general, mint plants are widely adaptable.Spearmint (Mentha spicata) handles the heat well and can grow in USDA hardiness zone 11.If you are growing your mint indoors, increase humidity by misting the plant between waterings or set the container on a water-filled tray of pebbles.Mentha x. piperita: Peppermint features a sweet, minty flavor and grows in USDA zones 3 to 11.Peppermint features a sweet, minty flavor and grows in USDA zones 3 to 11.Mentha × piperita f.
citrata 'Chocolate': Chocolate mint, a first cousin of peppermint and has leaves with a minty-chocolate flavor and aroma.Mentha spicata: Spearmint is excellent for flavoring teas and salads and is one of the better mints to use as a landscape ground cover.Spearmint is excellent for flavoring teas and salads and is one of the better mints to use as a landscape ground cover.You can start harvesting mint leaves once the plant has multiple stems that are six to eight inches long.Mature mint can be harvested in summer and fall before the shoots die back.Be mindful about where you place the container because long stems touching surrounding soil might take root.Place a double layer of landscaping cloth inside the pot over the drainage holes to prevent the roots from sneaking out of the container and into the surrounding soil.To relieve yourself of major pruning maintenance, grow your mint in a confined location, such as in a pot or between paved areas.Propagation is best done in the late spring to early summer when the plant is actively growing and before it has bloomed.Use sterilized scissors or pruning shears to cut a healthy piece of stem four to six inches long.Once roots grow to a few inches long, plant the cutting in potting soil.Once your container of mint becomes root-bound and you see roots popping up above the soil, it's often simplest to take a cutting and start a new plant rather than repotting.However, stressed plants can be bothered by common garden pests, including whiteflies, spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs.Mint plants can sometimes contract rust, which appears as small orange spots on the undersides of leaves. .
How to Grow and Care for Mint Plants
With its sweet fragrance, sparkling flavor, and pretty flowers, mint makes a delightful addition to any garden.And its renowned taste and aroma are found in a myriad of products around the home from air fresheners to mouthwash.Bees and other pollinators flock to the enchanting spires and tufts of flowers that bloom in pastel shades of blue, mauve, pink, or white.This lush, rewarding herb can be successfully cultivated in containers and garden beds to stop it spreading – and you’ll love the fresh-flavored results!The genus contains approximately 20 species and numerous natural hybrids that occur in the overlap areas of different growing ranges.In their natural environment, plants thrive along marsh edges, in meadows, along stream banks, and woodland fringes – growing 12 to 36 inches tall at maturity.Most species are native to temperate regions of Africa, Asia, or Europe, with a few indigenous to Australia (M. australis), and North America (M.
arvensis and M. canadensis).The presence of pungent essential oils gives Mentha its attractive fragrance that fills the surrounding area with a sweet perfume.Plants are easily identified by their bright scent and refreshing taste, and by the square stems typical of Lamiaceae family members.Blooms appear from mid to late summer, and are highly attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.Fast growing, plants send out runners (stolons) above and below ground to quickly establish large, lush colonies.According to an article by Monica H.
Carlsen et al, published in the BMC Nutrition Journal, Mentha has a very high antioxidant capacity, and has long been recognized for its aromatic, medicinal, and therapeutic properties.The Roman historian Pliny the Elder reported many uses including scenting bathwater and perfumes as well as flavoring beverages, sauces, and wine.For centuries, all plant parts – flowers, leaves, roots, and stems – have been used in folk medicine to treat a number of health issues, including gastrointestinal distress and respiratory illnesses.Although mint grows wild in North America, root stock was introduced by English settlers, and by the 1790s crops for distillation of the essential oil were commercially grown in Massachusetts.Today, Mentha is an important commercial crop in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho with the oils used primarily to flavor candy, chewing gum, cough drops, mouthwash, and toothpaste.And, being an avid cross breeder, seeds produce variable results – often with different taste and appearance than that of the parent plants.Commercial growers propagate vegetatively, and root division or stem cuttings give the best results for home gardeners.Fill small 2- to 4-inch pots or trays with a soil mix of 1/3 well aged compost, 1/3 vermiculite or peat moss, and 1/3 landscape sand.Place stems in a small glass of water, and set in a light, airy windowsill until healthy roots have formed.Ensure pots have plenty of material covering the drainage holes such as coconut coir, pebbles, or broken pottery to prevent the roots from sitting in water.Mentha plants tolerate a light frost, but the top growth will eventually die back in winter.In autumn, cut back stems to the ground and cover with a 2-inch layer of mulch if your winters are harsh.It is known to repel ants, cockroaches, deer, mice, spiders, and squirrels which makes it a useful companion plant for other crops.Grow mint in containers of rich, well-draining soil amended with 1/3 organic matter such as aged compost.Ensure pots have plenty of drainage material – such as broken pottery, gravel, or pebbles – at the bottom and keep soil moist but not wet.The spores overwinter in plant debris, so clean beds well in fall and remember to rotate crops.Mint rust is another fungus that causes small brown, orange, or yellow pustules on undersides of leaves.Powdery mildew is another fungus that can also show up in moist, damp conditions, coating leaves and stems in a fuzzy dusting that weakens and damages plants.Thin plants if needed to improve air circulation and don’t water until the top 1-inch of soil is dry.How and When to Harvest The quality of the volatile oils that give mint its characteristic flavor is best during the long days of summer when plants receive 14 hours of daylight or more.When leaves are dry and crumbly, in 1 to 2 weeks, strip them from the stem and store in airtight containers in a cool, dark cupboard.After the leaves are frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and place in airtight containers in the freezer where they will last up to 3 months.Fresh mint makes a lovely complement to fish, lamb, and poultry and can spruce up lightly steamed veggies like baby carrots, peas, and new potatoes.Allow a few pots to bloom and place throughout the garden – they’ll repel unfriendly pests and attract beneficial insects. .
Terra-cotta chimney-flue liners full of mint and other herbs add architectural interest to a quiet corner.Here, amid motley patches of other herbs, the robust mints have made a home.By July, I can stroll chest-deep through huge, healthy patches of peppermint, spearmint, and apple mint.For drinks or desserts, or to pair with savory foods, mint’s clean and bracing flavor has earned it a place in many recipes.Because mints cross and hybridize easily, it is best to propagate them by taking cuttings, dividing roots, or buying plants rather than starting them from seed.Peppermint (Mentha piperita), with its head-clearing aroma and expansive, menthol-cool flavor, gets the decided nod for tea, for dessert, and for taming spicy fare.Peppermint is popular in Middle Eastern, African, and Southeast-Asian cuisines because its cooling effect offsets the fiery ingredients.Peppermint leaves are dark green, smooth, and have tiny serrations along the edges, as the photo at right shows.Because its flavor isn’t as overpowering as peppermint’s, spearmint accentuates the subtle, natural sweetness of meats and vegetables.Like most terra-cotta, the flue liners can spall—that is, they flake off in pieces with repeated exposure to rain, snow, and freezing.Finally, positioning your fingers like mine in the photo at left, pinch off the top two to four leaves on each plant. .
How to Grow and Care for Peppermint Plants
), or the idea of peppermint tea sends you running to the kettle, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t grow this marvelous herb at home.Peppermint has a pungent, peppery bite with a cool aftertaste that sets it apart from other types of mint.Peppermint is a natural mint hybrid that grows wild throughout Europe, North America, and Australia.The name comes from the Latin word Mintha, the Greek name of a nymph who was transformed into a mint plant (it’s a whole story) and piper, meaning pepper.The “pepper” part of its name is particularly apt since it has a spicy, pungent flavor derived from a unique combination of menthol, menthone, and menthyl acetate, as well as limonene and other terpenoids.Like most mint varieties, the history of peppermint is a little unclear because it can be found growing wild in many parts of the world.In his book “The New Healing Herbs: The Essential Guide to More than 130 of Nature’s Most Potent Herbal Remedies,” available on Amazon, journalist Michael Castleman notes that both peppermint and spearmint were considered to be the same plant until 1696, when English botanist John Ray differentiated the two plants.For centuries, peppermint has been distilled to extract its essential oil for use in flavorings and herbal remedies.The earliest record of its medicinal use comes from the ancient Egyptian text Ebers Papyrus.Today, extracts are used to aid digestion and ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and when applied to the skin they may help alleviate headaches, itching, and sore muscles.Peppermint was first cultivated commercially in the US in the 19th century, after English settlers brought stolons with them to Massachusetts in 1812.Early mint farmers were forced to gradually move across the country until the only commercial growing land that wasn’t infected with the fungus was largely in the west.Peppermint is a an important commercial crop in the US, and is primarily grown in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wisconsin, and Indiana.About 90 percent of the peppermint grown in the US is in the Pacific Northwest, which has the kind of climate it loves: moist, with cool nights and warm days, and more than 14 hours of sunlight during the summer months.Any seeds claiming to be peppermint will likely be a type of spearmint that may turn out to have an unpleasant flavor and scent.Peppermint is so vigorous that some commercial growers plow up their plants in the fall to chop up the roots and stolons and spread them around.Rooting stem cuttings is the preferred propagation method for commercial growers because it’s reliable and easy.Take a four to six-inch cutting from the top of a healthy stem and remove the leaves from the lower half.Dip the cut end into a food-safe powdered rooting hormone, and then place the stem in a glass of water.Find a bright, airy location, out of direct sunlight, and change the water every two to three days.Harden them off over the course of a week or so by placing the pot outside in the sun for a few hours and then bring it back indoors.Peppermint reproduces vegetatively by sending out runners, aka stolons, in the summer after flowering.To identify a stolon, look for what appears to be an above-ground root or horizontal stem extending from the parent plant.You can always take a larger division – as long as you leave about six inches of root behind, your plant will come back quickly.Peppermint is an incredibly adaptable plant, but ideally it prefers a cool, moist climate with well-draining, loose, organically-rich soil.I’ve even grown it as a groundcover in full shade, but the flavor was noticeably diminished.Variegated cultivars require protection from the heat of the midday sun, or the white and cream areas of the foliage can become scorched.That said, the oil concentration is stronger if you let the soil dry out a little between waterings as harvest time nears.If you live in a hot or dry area, add a layer of organic mulch like grass clippings, straw, or leaves.Be aware that the soil in containers tends to dry out much more quickly than it does in the garden – so be vigilant with your watering schedule.Peppermint can also grow indoors in containers with one caveat: it will rapidly outgrow small pots.A half-gallon container is the minimum size I’d recommend for one plant, and even then, it will become rootbound pretty rapidly, depending on the growing conditions.Keep plants in check through pruning and dividing Cultivars to Select As mentioned, peppermint will not grow from seed.It has a slightly fruity taste, which makes it ideal for use in drinks and cocktails, or as a garnish on summer salads.‘Variegata’ You can manage this by either planting it in a spot that gets afternoon shade, or growing it in a container so you can move it out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.The problem is, it’s even more susceptible to disease and has a slower growth habit than M. x piperita var.One of the things I love about mint besides its flavor and scent is that it’s less bothered by pests and disease than some other plants.You can identify a looper because of the way it arches the middle of the body as it moves, so its back and front legs meet.It can vary in appearance, with coloring that ranges from pale green to black, and it may have yellow lines along its body.They start to appear in late June or early July, nibbling on the leaves of your mint plants.Mint cutworms are the largest of the bunch, measuring one to two inches long, with yellow, tan, or green bodies and black spots.Spotted cutworms are about an inch long and are dark brown or black, with triangular markings on their backs.Variegated cutworms are the same size and are brown or tan with white or yellow irregular markings.They do the same damage as armyworms, nibbling on leaves, but they don’t tend to cut plants off at the base like some other types of cutworms.Flea beetles are common garden pests that chew holes through plant leaves.The mint flea beetle (Longitarsus waterhousei) loves plants in the Mentha genus.The larvae feed on the roots and tunnel into the rhizomes, stunting growth and causing plants to wilt.The two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) is a tiny arachnid that is usually found on the underside of plant leaves.Then, if you spot them on your plants, blast them with a strong spray of water from the hose to knock them loose.As a side note, I will say that in my two decades of growing mint, peppermint and its cultivars tend to have problems with rust and powdery mildew more often than spearmint, so be diligent about prevention.If the disease continues to spread, pull your peppermint plants and don’t grow anything in the Mentha genus in that area for at least five years.This disease causes round, powdery lesions on foliage that can look a bit like your plant has been dusted in flour.This helps to control its spread and gives you a last-minute batch of tasty herbs for the coming winter.If you plan to use your leaves within the week, you can wrap them in a damp paper towel and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.You can also lay the leaves out on a cookie sheet and bake them on the lowest setting of your oven until they’re crisp.I lay the stems out on a screen for a few days in a dry, protected area with good air circulation.Drying the leaves mellows out the menthol flavor a bit, so you lose some of that pungent, peppery bite.I can’t even imagine the winter holidays at my house without peppermint bark and ice cream.Add a handful of fresh or dried leaves to a teapot and allow to steep for a few minutes for a refreshing hot drink. .