Mint

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Botanical name: Mentha

Plant type: Herb

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Mint is a perennial with very fragrant, toothed leaves and tiny purple, pink, or white flowers. It has a fruity, aromatic taste. The mint family has many varieties, but it will take over your garden, so be careful where you plant it.

Planting

  • For growing outdoors, plant one or two purchased plants (or one or two cuttings from a friend) about 2 feet apart in moist soil. One or two plants will easily cover the ground. Mint should grow to be 1 or 2 feet tall.
  • In the garden, plant mint near cabbage and tomatoes.
  • If you don't want an entire bed of mint, buy some plants or take some cuttings from a friend and plant them in containers filled with potting mix enriched with compost. Remember to keep the plants in a sunny spot.

Care

  • Minimal care is needed for mint. For outdoor plants, use a light mulch. This will help keep the soil moist and keep the leaves clean.
  • For indoor plants, be sure to water them regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.

Pests

Harvest/Storage

  • Right before flowering, cut the stems 1 inch from the ground. You can harvest one mint plant two or three times in one growing season.
  • You can also just pick the leaves as you need them.
  • You can grow the plants indoors for fresh leaves throughout the winter. If you want to dry them, it's best to cut the leaves right before flowering. Store the dried leaves in an airtight container.

Recommended Varieties

  • Spearmint, which is the type most commonly used in cooking
  • Peppermint, for a strong aroma

Recipes

Wit & Wisdom

  • Mice dislike the smell of peppermint. Spread it liberally where you suspect the critters.
  • To relieve a tension headache, apply a compress of mint leaves to your forehead.

Comments

After finding a "peppermint"

By Tom F. on July 24

After finding a "peppermint" plant from my local plant store was not true peppermint I bought some real plants off the internet. I planted the two small plants in a 12" wide x 4" deep pot using Moisture Control Potting Mix. So far the plants have exploded and I just made some tea (not quite strong enough yet) with 15 leaves. I live in Michigan, what should I do with the pot and plant come cold weather? Should I bring it in the house and try to keep it growing or bury the pot in the ground and trim the plant down? Thanks.

Several folks say that mint

By Almanac Staff on July 25

Several folks say that mint can be grown indoors; bear in mind that it needs certain conditions in which to thrive: full to partial sunlight, temps from 55°F (night) to 70°F (day), air circulation, and humid—not dry—air. Putting a put in pan of shallow water or misting will help the humidity. Air circ is helped by keeping some space between the mint and other plants (ironically, grouping containers aids in increasing humidity; you need to find a happy medium). A fan also helps to circulate air. Temps are in your control.
If you prefer to plant it, it should come back in the spring. Mint is a perennial. Be aware that it spreads on runners (some people consider it to be invasive). For that reason, many people plant it in a pot that will contain it. Remember the old adage about spreaders: Year 1 it sleeps; year 2 it creeps; year 3 it leaps. Don't be fooled if it doesn't spread immediately; it will.
If planted outside, don't prune (cut down) your mint within six weeks of your first frost; the cuts would not have time to heal. Six weeks after would be fine.

I HAVE READ TIPS GALORE ABOUT

By TONYCARDIAL on July 5

I HAVE READ TIPS GALORE ABOUT HARVESTING MINT AND RECIPES FOR USAGE...
BUT, ARE THE STEMS GOOD FOR ANY THING, OR ARE THEY SIMPLY DISCARDED???

I've used stems and leaves

By Chocolate Mint Owner on July 21

I've used stems and leaves for brewing tea. The stem doesn't adversely affect the flavor, but it doesn't add anything either. If you're grinding up the mint like in the mint cookie recipe listed in the article or steeping it, leaving it on just makes it easier to keep all the leaves together.

I HAVE READ TIPS GALORE ABOUT

By TONYCARDIAL on July 5

I HAVE READ TIPS GALORE ABOUT HARVESTING MINT AND RECIPES FOR USAGE...
BUT, ARE THE STEMS GOOD FOR ANY THING, OR ARE THEY SIMPLY DISCARDED???

I HAVE READ TIPS GALORE ABOUT

By TONYCARDIAL on July 5

I HAVE READ TIPS GALORE ABOUT HARVESTING MINT AND RECIPES FOR USAGE...
BUT, ARE THE STEMS GOOD FOR ANY THING, OR ARE THEY SIMPLY DISCARDED???

I HAVE READ TIPS GALORE ABOUT

By TONYCARDIAL on July 5

I HAVE READ TIPS GALORE ABOUT HARVESTING MINT AND RECIPES FOR USAGE...
BUT, ARE THE STEMS GOOD FOR ANY THING, OR ARE THEY SIMPLY DISCARDED???

I brought two chocolate mint

By Angee

I brought two chocolate mint from a local nursery a week and half ago, and have been growing them under same condition and care in their original pot, before I move both of them in one big pot. I have noticed one is growing beautifully upright and nice big green leafs, but the other one is growing many branches side ways, different directions with smaller and slightly darker leaves. Now I'm afraid to put them in one pot, not sure if one would ruin the other one. What is wrong with the uglier plant? Anyway to fix it? Thank you :)

It's got offshoots,, is

By Christine Elizabeth Bell

It's got offshoots,, is trying to expand. I

When exactly is mint planted

By Leane

When exactly is mint planted and harvested?

Mint seedlings can be planted

By Almanac Staff

Mint seedlings can be planted any time during the growing season, but it is best to do so in spring to help the plants to establish themselves before winter; in frost-free climates, you can plant in early fall.
 
As soon as the plants develop several large leaves, you can harvest lightly, taking a few leaves each time (but don't strip the plant of leaves, leave plenty behind), all the growing season. Best time to harvest for flavor is in the morning. The flavor changes when the plants flower, so keep pinching off any flower buds (unless you are planning a large harvest, in which case, see below). Also pinch the growing tips periodically to deter flowering and promote bushy growth.
 
As an alternative, you can do one or more larger harvests. In this case, wait a year or two for a newly planted plant to establish. Then just before the plant flowers (which is when the flavor is more intense), cut the plant about 6 inches from the base, leaving several leaves. The plant may grow back one or two times during the season for more harvesting.
 
 

i have 2 small spearmint

By SkierAnne

i have 2 small spearmint plants in containers on my terrace with low light in NYC - they seem to be doing fine except one plant has tiny white flies when i shake the plant and the other (right next to it) does not

i use the leaves to put into my water bottle for a fresh different taste - if i shake the leaves and wash them in cold water are they safe to then put into my water bottles ?

some leaves seem a little bitten into and i simple toss those without putting them in my water bottles

any thoughts because if the insects will hurt me if i put the leaves in drinking water i'll just toss the plants - or is there something safe i can put on them to get rid of the little flying things ?

thanks for any suggestions

Will taller plants still grow

By Dale Morrison

Will taller plants still grow up through mint plants? Like roses or dahlias?
Thanks.

What other plants will work

By Cindy Carr

What other plants will work well in the same bed with mint and not get choked out?

We tend to plant mint in its

By Almanac Staff

We tend to plant mint in its own bed or container. In a bed, a good tip is to submerge a pot in the ground.
Herbs such as oregano and prostrate rosemary may be able to hold their own. Let us know what you discover!

I have a slope that's

By GeekOnTheHill

I have a slope that's impossible to mow, and I actually want the mint to take over. I'd like it to choke out everything, including the grass.

Can you recommend an attractive, aggressive, invasive, low-growing mint for this purpose? I'm thinking chocolate mint, based on last year's experimentation.

I'm in Zone 3, by the way.

Thanks,

Richard

I would recommend Bowles

By ChemTurtle

I would recommend Bowles Mint. It is very aggressive and easily chokes out other plants. Bugs also dislike the smell and will keep away from Bowles Mint, most of the time.

I planted mint in the same

By Melissa Frampton

I planted mint in the same box as my roses. The mint is taking over. Will it choke out and kill my roses?

Dear melissa have u tired

By kittengirl87

Dear melissa have u tired triming your mint at least once a week? u can take the stems u cut and save them in a vase inside for winter.

Hi, I just got my mint a few

By Jessica Walters

Hi, I just got my mint a few weeks ago and planted it inside. It was doing well and then the leaves started to drop down and then curl up at the end toward the sun. What am I doing wrong??? Does it need fertilizer???

Dear Jessica Walter nothing

By kittengirl87

Dear Jessica Walter
nothing is wrong with your plant it is just growing i have had my mint for only to months and it is doing like what u have described. nothing is wrong its just growing bigger but ever now and then if the branches r long enough u may have to trim them.

I have propagated lots of

By Raymond Mesa

I have propagated lots of mint plants, need a humidity dome, or use a bottle cut bottom of place in pot in need light but not direct light after a few weeks roots will grow them remove bottle allow it to adjust to cool weather don't put in direct sunlight into roots grow stronger after a week are 2 place in sunlight after a while process become second nature ... Message for more info I have had success with growing these

Make sure the soil is moist

By Almanac Staff

Make sure the soil is moist and doesn't dry out. Put the container where it will receive good morning light and make sure that it's not close to heating vents that will dry the soil. No need for fertilizer right now.

Thank you.

By Jessica Walters

Thank you.

It's more than halfway into

By Cei

It's more than halfway into winter, here, and my mint bed looks completely dead. The mint's about...oh three or so years old, now, and I like it quite a lot, so I pretty much let it be in terms of care, beyond watering and feeding occasionally. Is there anything I can do to save my mint? Does it need to be saved? Or is it time to get a new plant?

In cold regions mint dies

By Almanac Staff

In cold regions mint dies back in the winter and usually grows back in the spring. Wait and see before you get new plants.

I have grown mint plants in

By Raymond Mesa

I have grown mint plants in winter, mine grow so much even with cold fronts... I have had ice on some plants like jalaponeo, and my mint was next to it I am sure it froze to but did not die because it was next to house and it blocked some of the weather plus pray helped just saying it can be grown in cold weather but it is harder

Soil I was wondering what the

By Anonymous

Soil
I was wondering what the recomended potting soil for peppermint was. The page says loamy but it there any specific brand or type that peppermints take to best?

Loamy soil just means nice

By Almanac Staff

Loamy soil just means nice balanced soil. Usually loamy soil is loose, not too compacted nor too sandy. When growing mint in containers, use any quality potting soil. Ask your garden center. When planted in the ground, mints prefer healthy organic soil without too many fertilizers. This can
be accomplished by tilling in a generous amount of
organic matter to the area to be planted. Home
or commercial bagged compost is the most readily
available form of organic amendment available.

I'm new to gardening, and

By CherAletheia

I'm new to gardening, and I've brought two pots of peppermint before just because I like the aroma. But 1 pot died in 2 weeks and the other died in a month. And the funny thing is, the plants are covered in ants. And I couldn't figured out why, because mint are suppose to repel ants. Is it because of the environment? I lived in Malaysia and it's usually sunny and rainy 365days in a year.

Should I cut back mint in the

By Cpw99362

Should I cut back mint in the fall to keep its growth compact next season? Or is it best to cut back in early spring?

Before winter, cut each plant

By Almanac Staff

Before winter, cut each plant back to the ground to
discourage pests and diseases.  During the growing season, cut mint back about 3 times within 1 inch of the soil, just before the plant blooms. It's hard to over-prune mint once established.

how do you turn fresh mint

By dudesowner

how do you turn fresh mint into a oil, or would i be best to make it into a tea for my horse. it helps with their digestive system.

Mint is indeed great for a

By Almanac Staff

Mint is indeed great for a horse's digestive track. For horses, we would dry the mint and then mix into feed.  For you, a mint tea might be just the thing! It's easy to make mint tea. Boil water, remove from heat, add mint leaves (15 leaves per two cups water), and steep for a few minutes. Add sweetener if desired.

I am very alergic to bees and

By Debby Schultz

I am very alergic to bees and have horses/pasture/barn/arena... and live in the mountains. I've considered planting mint everywhere and am ok if it spreads. Can you offer any advice?

Mint isn't a huge attractor

By Almanac Staff

Mint isn't a huge attractor bees but it does flower and the blossoms will attract the bees. I will add -- have you ever observed bees when they are collecting pollen? They are completely unconcerned about people. This type of bee--which is busy collecting pollen--is not aggressive towards humans (unlike some stinging insects). However, the more mint you plant, the more bees you'll get. So keep this is mind.

I have some lovely spearmint

By Roxanna Abela

I have some lovely spearmint and peppermint plants that are getting really leggy and they just started flowering. Is it to late to trim them back? Or to harvest them with out causing stress on the plants?

You should trim the mint

By Almanac Staff

You should trim the mint flowers before the buds open to keep the plant compact. Trim them off now and keep trimming to help keep the plant compact. Harvest the tips regularly, too.
If you are getting leggy plants, this suggests that they aren't getting enough sunshine.

If you cut the buds off the

By Raymond Mesa

If you cut the buds off the plant can spend more energy into growing, if you propagate the cuttings because they root real easy you can grow even more

I've been raising a

By Myou

I've been raising a peppermint plant for most of summer now and maybe a bit back into spring. It doesn't seem to be growing much and I can't figure out why.

I keep it's soil moist and give it lots of sun during the day. It's in the same kind of potting soil I bought it in. And it's still got plenty of space in the pot it's in. It looks healthy but it just ain't growing.

The pot may be too small for

By Almanac Staff

The pot may be too small for the plant. Mint roots need lots of room. If you remove the plant from the pot you'll see a tangle of roots. Get a pot twice the size of the one it's in now. If your plant has flowers pinch them off so that the energy will go into growing new leaves.

Thanks a ton! Some flowers my

By Myou

Thanks a ton! Some flowers my little brother bought just died because the people who was watching them didn't take care of em right so we couldn't save them. So I have a nice big pot to spare. I'm going to be buying new potting soil soon too so I'll move the lil guy then. And no I haven't got any flower, probably because the plant ain't had room to grow none, thanks again.

Oh wait, one more question!! It says on here that loamy soil is best for mint plants. I didn't know for sure what that was and looked it up and found that there were all different types of it. What's the best recommended soil for mints? I just wanna do my plants right.

Something is eating my mint

By Jules21

Something is eating my mint plant... i don't see anything growing around it but leaves seem to look bitten and to have holes. what can i do?

Unfortunately, there are a

By Almanac Staff

Unfortunately, there are a variety of pests that enjoy eating mint. Neem oil is a great insecticide that is safe to use on any plant of any kind. It helps reduce disease issues, too. For more information, here is a helpful herb guide:
http://www.hort.uconn.edu/ipm/greenhs/htms/herbmanl.pdf

Ants and Mint

By Anonymous

Every Spring, we get ants in our bathroom. Everyone tells me that ants don't like mint, but the funny part is, they have to make their way through a huge mint bed to get to the bathroom. Upon closer inspection, they not only made their way across the mint bed, but were living in it--it had several tiny ant hills throughout the patch. I used diatomaceous earth to get rid of the ants and have completely dug up the mint bed.

A warning to those who plant mint in pots and bury the pots to contain the roots: Make absolutely sure there is no drainage hole in the pot--root runners will find their way into the surrounding soil if there is. And, do not allow the plant to go to seed--mint seeds are very tiny and hard to catch, and will reseed in your garden the following year.

For ants try a mixture of

By Raie

For ants try a mixture of cinnamon and cayenne, you can just sprinkle it on, or make a solution and spray it around the area they like to visit.

Great critter repellent

By Anonymous

You can try food grade diatomaceous earth. Insects do not like it because it dries them out. It is all natural, cheap, and even humans can ingest it for various purposes. This is often put in farm animal grains to kill intestinal worms AND to kill insects that may try to live in their foods. Works wonders, I hear from the local pet shelter, in controlling fleas if sprinkled on fur and in beddings (this shelter gives some orally to animals to rid them of parasites). Sprinkled on and around plants, helps control insects without harming humans or pets! Make sure it is food grade. Non-food grade is not the same and is deadly to people and animals!

Spearmint care

By Anonymous

I'm new to growing mint and I've researched how to take care of it, but none really go into detail of what I want to know. I first put my mint plant inside and it seemed to attract spiders and I don't know if that's a good thing, or if they are gonna ruin my plant. What do I do with the bad leaves? How many sprigs should I take out to keep it from growing but not falling on top of each other?

For spider mites: The trick

By Almanac Staff

For spider mites: The trick is to catch the mites very early. Douse the plant in water daily. If you see the mites, spray with insecticidal soap as directed. If the mites are too prolific, there's not a lot you can do. Trim down the central stem to encourage bushy growth. You want the mint to say compact and fill the pot. Pinch off bad leaves. You can truly harvest the mint any time; it grows so aggressively that you won't slow it down. Pick leaves from the top to encourage bushiness. Do not pick more than a third of the plant at a time.

mint taken over my garden

By Anonymous

how do I get rid of it without killing other plants in the same area?

ridding mint

By Almanac Staff

The short answer is carefully. In spring, start by uprooting the mint plants, while causing minimal disturbance to their neighbors. Do this as soon as you see the mint emerging, certainly before the mints produce flowers. Continue uprooting mint every time you see it. (If the plant's root can not produce leaves, it can not grow.) This might take a season or two, but eventually it should cease to appear.
If you want to keep a plant or two, contain the plant above ground or in a container below ground. It's worth having some around; it is a good ingredient in salads and other dishes.
We hope this helps!

Ant's

By Anonymous

I heard that the mint plant itself will repel ants. is this true? I'm pretty new to gardening/small farming and ants almost destroyed my garden earlier this year. The small reddish ones

I just found out an even more

By kylietry

I just found out an even more natural way to kill ants, though be careful around plants. Boil water and pour it on the ant hill soon it will be the ant apocalypse. Found it on youtube .

Boric acid mixed with peanut

By jhnshep

Boric acid mixed with peanut butter or concentrated milk (the sugery kind) put a few blobs along the paths that they make, they'll find it and because they take it back to the nest without eating it, it will then be mixed with the rest of the food in the nest and handed out in the evening's 'rations' killing the nest from the inside out seeing as the queen is spoon fed, may be a chemical solution and not to your tastes, but takes very little and is available from the chemist.

ants

By Anonymous

I use alum (Pickering spice) just sprinkle around the house where you see or suspect them to be, thay take it back to the nest and it dehydrates them
It works well
Sandra

Mint is known to prevent ants

By Almanac Staff

Mint is known to prevent ants from entering your home if planted around the foundation. If you plant mint in your garden sink containers into the ground as mint is very invasive.

spreading mint

By Anonymous

I plant mint in containers and then set the containers in the ground. No need to remove them in the fall. They winter over just fine and the containers help keep them from spreading like wildfire.

Have Lemon Mint- also- have

By Anonymous

Have Lemon Mint- also- have grown pineapple mint

mint

By Anonymous

I've had chocolate mint yum : )

Peppermint

By Anonymous

Since, I believe, Ground Hogs are of the rodent family, I wonder it will work to keep the Ground Hogs away?

No. They love mint, and have

By Lil m

No. They love mint, and have burrowed under my mint, and come out of the hole and stand on 2 legs to eat the tops off

groundhogs (woodchucks)

By Almanac Staff

Here are our best suggestions on how to control Groundhogs (Woodchucks): http://www.almanac.com/content/woodchucks

i remember reading years ago

By Anonymous

i remember reading years ago people putting chewing gum in the hole for moles ..maybe it was mint gum.. worth a try

moles and gum

By Anonymous

I've been told to use Juicy Fruit :)

I have chocolate mint that I

By sandykay0601

I have chocolate mint that I got one summer while on vacation. The condo we were staying in was a friend's and he said to get some of the mint out of the yard to take home to plant. Only one plant made it the long trip home. I planted it next to my house close to where the air conditioner drains. Take heed to the advice to be careful where you plant it. It has taken over my front yard! It is very hardy and will come back stronger every summer.

peppermint smell

By Anonymous

Mice may dislike but roaches associate the peppermint smell with a sweet treat

RE: peppermint smell

By Anonymous

Really? I read online mint oils are a natural roach repellent.

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