Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Mint



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Mint is a perennial with very fragrant, toothed leaves and tiny purple, pink, or white flowers. It has a fruity, aromatic taste.

There are many varieties of mint—all fragrant, whether shiny or fuzzy, smooth or crinkled, bright green or variegated. However, you can always tell a member of the mint family by its square stem. Rolling it between your fingers, you’ll notice a pungent scent and think of candy, sweet teas, or maybe even mint juleps.

As well as kitchen companions, mints are used as garden accents, ground covers, air fresheners, and herbal medicines. They’re as beautiful as they are functional, and they’re foolproof to grow, thriving in sun and shade all over North America. In fact, mint can be vigorous spreaders, so be careful where you plant it.


  • Mints are vigorous perennials that thrive in light soil with good drainage.
  • Ideally, they prefer a moist but well-drained site, something like their native habitat along stream banks.
  • Most will tolerate some shade, and the variegated types may require some protection from direct sun.
  • 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.
  • For the best growth in confined areas such as containers, topdress plants with a thin layer of compost or organic fertilizer every few months. Aboveground pots will need winter protection in cold climates.
  • In the garden, plant mint near cabbage and tomatoes.


  • 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.
  • At first, mints develop into well-behaved–looking, bushy, upright clumps, but they soon set out to conquer new territory with horizontal runners and underground rhizomes. Unless you block the advance, a pert peppermint plant can turn into a sprawling 4-foot giant in just 1 year. It’s not the stuff of horror movies, however. Mints benefit from picking and pruning. They are shallow-rooted and easy to pull out, so there’s no reason to worry, as long as you provide physical barriers such as walls, walkways, or containers.

Photo Credit: Juta/Shutterstock



  • Frequent harvesting is the key to keeping mint plants at their best. Young leaves have more flavor than old ones, and mint can be harvested as soon as it comes up in spring. Although fresh is best and sprigs keep for a few days in water, mint leaves can be frozen or air-dried in bunches.
  • 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.

Propagating Mint

The best way to propagate mints is by taking cuttings from those that you like best. It’s easy—take 6-inch cuttings of rooted stems and plant them horizontally in the soil. Mint stems will also root in a glass of water. Start with a small cutting from an established plant. Any gardening friend will give you a cutting of a favorite mint.

Photo Credit: Joannawnuk/Shutterstock

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

“If any man can name … all the varieties of mint, he must know how many fish swim in the Indian Ocean.”  –Walafrid Strabo (c. 808–849)


Cooking Notes

Serious cooks generally prefer spearmint for savory dishes and peppermint for desserts. For a delicate mint taste in fruit salads, yogurt, or tea, try apple or orange mint. Mint lurks in the background in Middle Eastern salads, such as tabouli, and does well with lamb. It also goes with peas, zucchini, fresh beans, marinades for summer vegetables, cold soups, fruit salads, and cheese.

See our recipe for a delicious (and healthy) Mango Mint Smoothie!

Credit: Anna Shepulova/Shutterstock

Tip! Make flavored ice cubes by freezing trays of strong mint tea, then use the ice cubes for your drinks!

Reader Comments

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I have and love the spearmint

I have and love the spearmint, but it has become very adventurous in spreading through places I never thought it would. It takes the scenic route and appears thick and lush in a new location, easy to pull out but the roots are quite firm and it comes back. So take it very seriously when they say careful where you put it! I rub the fresh leaves on my temples when I get a headache and I think it does help, we don't use any aspirin etc around here. In the spring a little beetle was leaving tiny hole marks on the leaves but it did not bother the plant, only a little unsightly and they are gone by now.

I recently (about a month ago

I recently (about a month ago) planted a sweet mint plant in my medium-sized window box alongside my small pepper plant and English thyme. It's grown very fast, and seems to have settled on a height of about 12 inches. However, I've noticed the past few days that several of the leaves near the bottom of the plant are turning brown around the edges. I live in Colorado, and the past week or so has been very hot (low 90's F) in addition to being dry, so I've taken to watering the window box twice a day. My window faces SW so the plants get sun mostly in the afternoon. Is this just an overwatering problem or something else? And should I trim off these brown leaves or the entire lower stems?

browning mint

It’s hard to know, but it could be the excessive heat. They prefer temperatures around 60 to 80F. When such days occur, it might help to provide a little shade. Mints do like moist soil, but not overly so. During hot days, it may appreciate watering twice a day, but check the soil first to make sure that it isn’t soggy. Overwatering often appears on the plant as yellowing wilting leaves that feel soft, and also soggy soil. Underwatering, the leaves are crisp and brown, with dry soil. If the plants are very crowded, your mint might also be under stress, as the roots like to spread. Also make sure they haven’t been overfertilized, which sometimes turns leaves brown.
You can trim off just the browning leaves.

growing mint outdoors in the north

Our mint was grown outside. In the fall, we mowed it over in the fall. It cleaned and freshen the lawn mower. It always came back vigorously in the spring. No matter how cold or how much snow.and was 6 inches tall during the summer months. We never covered it with mulch or anything else.

I bought mint about three

I bought mint about three weeks ago and planted it in a big pot then put it in my kitchen window, it's growing nice but there's some powdery mildew on almost all the leaves.
Please can you advise me on what I should do to stop it.
Thank you very much

Sadly, powdery mildew is

Sadly, powdery mildew is difficult to control, not least because, apparently there are several types (species) of it. It may have developed at the source—the (likely) greenhouse in which it was grown (forced, possibly) and prepped for sale. One source suggests that while in a greenhouse, mint plants are constantly “washed” with overhead irrigation. Once that ceases for more than a few days, the humidity of that environment opens the risk of mildew. (It can not germinate when plants are wet.) Why are you only seeing it now, you might wonder? Well, it can take up to a week for it to develop into a visible colony. You can try removing the infected plant parts. Increase air circ around the plant. However, we must advise that survival rate is low, success with mint indoors will be a challenge. Your best bet is to grow it outdoors in the ground or in a pot, in season. It is a perennial, but like most perennials, it goes dormant—and it will go dormant; you can not fool Mother Nature. We wish we had better news…

powdery mildew

I have always used store bought milk and put it into a spray bottle and every evening at sundown I would spray it onto my plants. Works wonders. I use it every year in my pumpkin patch as well and have saved many plants that already had the powdery mildew. Definately give it a try!

Would love some advice. I

Would love some advice. I went away for a few days and my mint died. Should I keep on watering it now throughout the winter? I live in a hot climate so winter isn't super rainy at the moment.
Thanks in advance

Very helpful! I just

Very helpful! I just purchased a small plant from Walmart in memory of my Dad who use to grow mint for my grandmother's herbal remedies. I plan to let it grow as wild as it wants along my porch :)

Thanks! this really helped me

Thanks to whoever wrote this, this truly helped me with my science proyect


I recently purchased a small mint plant from Walmart, I transplanted it from the original container to larger one and placed it outside. I live in TN. where it will get seaonal weather. I plan to plant it in the ground in a flower bed of it's own so it will have good drainaige. I have snipped top leaves and enjoyed the flavor in hot and cold tea, I am so happy to have found the mint and plan to buy more. Mint has been a favorite of mine for many years. God has provided us with so many natural herbs.


Is there an author that can be credited for this article on mint that my daughter may cite in a research paper?

The author is “The Old Farmer

The author is “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” and reference the page URL.

Mint doesn't help my collard/cabbage! >:(

So I'm going into my second fall as a first time planter. I did well this spring/summer harvesting a boat load of collard and cabbage. Now all these green eggs and green caterpillar like and moths have devoured them under leaves on top and literally the root and stem is mushed and stinks. I have chocolate mint by it the first time now I have regular mint and same thing has happened. Should I remove all that soil, plant something else or you have a better suggestion. Same is happening with my red Russian kale and curly kale. So depressing lol. I hear cold pressed neem oil. Just a farmer in need!!

Thanks in advance-


chocolate mint might not have a strong enough odor, try spearmint or peppermint, they're more "smelly" ;)

Mint growing

Finely slice mint leaves and add to your salads.

How much if at all,and when

How much if at all,and when do you water mint plants that are wintering in pots in my greenhouse? *( I live in Northern Idaho,and cannot get into the greenhouse until March,due to snow)

when to water mint

Mints are perennials. While they might survive the winter in your greenhouse, it is also possible that they will be “cooked” (die)—assuming like most glass structures your greenhouse heats up in the sunlight. You would be better off putting the plants, pots and all, into holes in the ground, surrounded by soil. (If the plants are pot bound now, consider transferring them into larger pots them before setting them into the ground. That way, if they do set roots, they will do it within the pot first.) That way, they will experience a “natural” winter: rain, snow, snow melt, etc. If you lift the pots in late winter/early spring before roots start spreading out, you should be able to avoid introducing the plant into the yard or garden. Then continue to care for them as potted plants, including putting them back into the smaller pots if you like (clip the roots, if nec to get the plants to fit).

Artic Mint

I believe I have Artic Mint, with tall stems & small purple flowers. Is this mint edible??

Spearmint help

I recently bought a spearmint plant and planted it in a pot indoors. it seems to be doing very well but i notice it keeps growing taller and sprouting new leaves but the leaves dont see to grow very much and the big leaves i do have are spotting brown a bit at the tips. Any ideas?

Snaky tracks on mint leaves

Hi there,

I've been finding on some of my mint's leaves these odd, snaky tracks, almost like burns, but in a narrow, windy strip. They're on both my spearmint and peppermint, and I've found some on oregano as well. What causes these, and what might I do about them?



That sounds like the work of a leafminer. Barriers and repellents, beneficial insects, biological pesticides, and soaps and oils are recommended. It is not a pest that will necessarily compromise the plant’s health; it is more of an aesthetic nuisance.

Mint flowers

What can I do with the flowers of my mints plants?

Mint Flowers

If you want to continue harvesting mint, you need to cut off the flowers. If you want the seed, you can keep the flowers. Bees will also enjoy the flowers if you’d like to keep them.

Sweet Mint

Hi. Thanks for all this information. I have a "sweet mint" plant. Is there a difference to the peppermint or other mint plant or is it the same?

sweet mint

There seem to be several claims. Mentha x piperita (peppermint), M. spicata (spearmint) , M. suaveolens (apple or woolly mint), and M. arvensis (wild or field mint), have all been called sweet mint. Best guess, the name commercially might usually refer to some form of spearmint. M. arvensis grows in the wild, but not as common to find commercially. One vendor sells sweet mint but separates it from basic peppermint and spearmint - unfortunately, no botanical name listed.

When will mint come back?

I live in Michigan and planted some mint taken from my parents garden into a well drained planter. They did well last year, but I haven't seen any sign that it will come back this year. When does mint typically start coming back for my zone?


Michigan is in Zones 4 to 6. Depending on where you are, emergence time will vary. It will also depend on local conditions and plant health. Best guess would be that you should see signs within the next 3 weeks. If nothing shows, it might be that the plants suffered from disease or pests, or water/freezing issues. Although most varieties of mint are quite hardy, some are more delicate and might struggle overwintering, depending on conditions. If you hadn’t already, in future you might provide winter protection, such as moving the planter to an unheated garage, or covering the soil with a thick layer of mulch, or placing the entire container in a leaf bag and covering with leaves along the sides and top, so that any strong cold snaps would have less of a chance of hurting the dormant plant.

Growing mint in Arizona

My husband and I bought a house in southeastern arizona about 10 years ago. There was already mint planted in the front of the house. I don't know what kind of mint it is but I have never even watered it and it grows beautifully.

Mint plants

I live in the desert southwest, and wondered if mint would grow well in the heat? Also would like to purchase a couple of plants, do you sell them?

mint in the southwest

Yes, you can grow mint in the desert southwest. Although mint prefers it cool and moist, it tolerates a wide range of conditions. The key is to keep the soil moist and to provide shade during hot afternoons, such as by using a shade cloth. You can also plant in part shade.

We do not sell plants, but you might check local garden centers or online for mailorder nurseries that sell to your area.

I have a mint plant and it's

I have a mint plant and it's growing like crazy but the leaves keep turning brown its in a pot and i water it just about every day what do what am I doing wrong

brown leaves on mint

Brown leaves could mean several things. Best guess is that it is getting too much water. Even though it likes moist soil, make sure that the soil is not waterlogged. Test the soil: if it feels dry, or almost dry, then water. If it is moist or soggy, do not water; cut back on the watering schedule a bit and remove the brown leaves. Make sure there is a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. Other causes could be viruses or fungal diseases, or pests, overcrowded roots, etc.

So Easy

I could not find an organic mint plant or seeds and wanted to get some plants started over the winter inside, zone 9. Low and behold, I stuck some sprigs from the grocery store in a glass of water. Two weeks later and the roots are crazy. Now I need to figure out how I wish to plant them in the garden. A whole pot? Just an edging that goes deep? 2nd option sounds prettier, maybe. Going to plant with lavender around a lemon tree for protection. I'm glad I didn't bother with seeds!

Growing Mint

I live in zone 8-9. Can I grow mint outside in full sun 100 plus degree temperature? Can I grow it in the house, medium light?

growing mint

Mint can be grown in Zones 8 and 9, but in hot summers, you’ll need to have it in partial shade and be sure that it is kept moist (but not waterlogged). Morning sun and afternoon partial shade is good.

Mint can be grown in pots indoors, but will need adequate light. Try a sunny window, and turn the plant every few days; if your plant is not happy, then you might try adding some artificial grow lights, found at garden centers, to supplement. Keep the plant moist, but not waterlogged, and you might mist it every so often.



Why should you plant it near cabbages and tomatoes? Is it because it tolerates the same soil conditions or can it deter insects and pests? Thank you

Mint is known to deter white

Mint is known to deter white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles, and aphids.

my mint wont grow leaves

I really need help because my mint seed did germinate but none of them grow leaves. they just grow thin around 1inch and then died because no leaves. I live in tropical island with 32C temperature and high humidity. but I tried to keep the pots in shaded area where the light still reach all day. what should I do to make them grow leaves?

Seedlings need lots of light

Seedlings need lots of light (14 to 16 hours is ideal). Use tepid water to keep the soil moist (and do not overwater). Ventilation and air circulation is very important. Moving air helps strengthen the stems.

Can mint grow during the

Can mint grow during the rainy reason? Will the rains destroy it?

I grow lemon mint from seeds

I grow lemon mint from seeds and it does germinate about 2/3 days but it doesn't stay long. within a week the stem weak and start to fall. Few batches i tried and the symptom same.

Method :

1. Paper towel. After transplant it dead without any chances to live.
2. Green house. Few batches I studied how to make it live but i'm stuck.

I tried reducing, increasing amount of water and it still died around 1/2 weeks.

I put it in a small pot with transparent plastic covered. Putting it to warm place (up the fridge). After it germinate, I put under the shade of daylight and put back up the fridge during night time. I keep on repeating this but it choose to die.

Anyone can advise me. My place temperature is 25 - 35 annually.

Seedlings need lots of light

Seedlings need lots of light (14 to 16 hours is ideal). If you don’t have enough natural light fluorescent shop lights work well. Use tepid water to keep the soil moist (do not overwater). Ventilation and air circulation is important. Moving air helps strengthen the stems. You can use a small fan. If using plastic to start the seeds remove as soon as seeds germinate.

Planting mint this spring

I know mint is an aggressive plant so my plans are to plant it in an old tractor tire I have that is filled with black dirt, composted cow manure, and peat. I have been growing peppers in this for the last two seasons. My question is will this keep the mint in its place? It is about 40 feet from my 4 raised beds and no where near my two gardens. Will its roots grow out the bottom of this tire and spread out into the grass?


Even if your mint is growing in a raised bed, such as a tire, if there is no barrier at the bottom, the roots (runners) will find their way underground and spread, working their way under the tire to the rest of the lawn. In many cases, mints spread aggressively. It’s best to plant them in a pot (you could even place the pot in the center of the tire); you could also sink the pot down so that the rim is just above the soil.


I have 2 types of mint in my herb garden - normal and lemon . Both I had put a small sprig and two years later they have grown into mini jungles .Though I use them daily in my herb tea . If you don't want this , then be careful and plant them in pots.

I have a funny story. I

I have a funny story. I planted mint in a pot and kind of buried the pot for insulation. My friend pulled the pot up and I heard this terrible ripping sound. My roots had gone under the pot into that ground. That year my pot did nothing and I thought my mint was dead. Nop, it had moved down into the ground under the pot and now I have a yard full of wonderful smelling mint. And very few bugs.

What to do?

I've been reading a lot of these comments to figure out what I should do. I live in Nebraska. Have 2 mint & 1 chocolate mint outside on my apartment balcony. After this weekend's icy weather, I checked on my plant and all 3 look sad. Leaves and hanging down, some are brown, and stems look like something stepped on the plant and they didn't go back up after that (weight of the ice probably). I don't have a place to plant them since I live in an apartment (not on ground floor) & I know my allergies will be affected if I bring the plants indoors. Do I just keep the plants outside and hope they come back in the spring? Each plant is in a plastic pot with draining holes. Suggestions for any ideas/tips... I do like mint in my water & hot chocolate so would like to take care of them and have them back in the spring!

Spearmint is winter hardy and

Spearmint and peppermint are winter hardy and will most likely survive outside on the balcony with some protection. The chocolate mint is more tender and may not make it. Put the pots close together in a cardboard box or some other bigger container. Add straw under and around the pots and cover the pots with straw. You can also add a blanket over the top of the box.

i have a mint plant outside

i have a mint plant outside my house but im not sure which one it is but i get lots of bees in it im not sure how to harvest it and it has soooooo many flowers on it i live in a zone 6 climate
also is it just me or does mint smell kind of skunky? is that smell normal?

It could be a type of catmint

It could be a type of catmint (Nepeta). There are hundreds of kinds.  Some, like catnip, attract cats and others, like your stinky one, repel cats and even insects such as mosquitoes.

Mint plant outside

My daughter planted a chocolate mint outside and we got it from a nursery so I know that's what it is. The pictures are the same, it's obvious. To me, it smells sort of skunky when people brush against it, not chocolaty, sweet, or minty at all. No one else in the family notices it, just me. And it's not as strong as a real skunk or as lasting (thankfully!) but it could be the chocolate mint. I also have bee balm, spearmint, peppermint, orange mint, and catnip planted and none of those smell skunky to me, but the chocolate does every time.

I live in Minnesota and never

I live in Minnesota and never planted peppermint before. Is it like rhubarb where you can only harvest it put to a certain time of the year or can you go to freeze?

Peppermint is hardy to Zone

Peppermint is hardy to Zone 3, but invasive. In Minnesota, you can plant peppermint in a weather-resistant container and sink it into the garden to its rim. Leave this over winter. You can harvest leaves throughout the growing season, or cut the plant back to just above one or two sets of leaves, just before the plant flowers (flavor is best then). Do this up to three times per growing season; it will grow back. You can dry or freeze the leaves, as well.

We recently have had mice in

We recently have had mice in the house which we never have had before. I am wondering... If I planted mint in containers and placed them around my garden on the ground (or where I think mice have gotten into the house) would the potted mint plants deter mice or does the mint plant need to be actually growing in the ground in order for them to smell it and stay away. Please help because mice in the house is NOT acceptable!! Thanks!

Many folks find that

Many folks find that peppermint oil will deter a mouse because of its strong aroma.  
In gardens, plant herbs such as lavender around borders to keep pests out. This is a form of "companion planting."
You can try to make an herbal spray treatment to spray around plants or around your kitchen. Just add herbs to a jar of water and let it sit in the sun for a few days. Pour into a spray bottle and spray daily. 
However, the mice are not likely to actually leave real shelter if they have nowhere to go. You also need to make sure all cracks in the house are sealed, especially rooms where food is kept. All food should be off the floor and keep a clean cleaning around the house including weeds or woodpiles. If you happen to live in a country area, the goal is just to make the mice manageable because they can fit under any crack less than 1/4-inch thick.
For the mice inside the house, you may need to resort to trapping if you feel strongly about living together; otherwise, they will die inside the house.

Find all the holes and

Find all the holes and openings in your house and stuff them with steel wool. Mice hate this and will not attempt to get through. Look under your stove, air condition vents, dishwasher connections etc! The extra addition of the mint around the perimeters will work great. You should be in great shape as long as you find and stuff all openings!

Hi I have a mint plant that

Hi I have a mint plant that mixed with sand and potting soil and he's outside so harvest from him regularly and I also water him well. he is growing beautifully. we have a really harsh winter is here in Georgia and I am not sure where I should place him during the winter do they grow in the ground through harsh cold moist freezing winters or a place inside of a sunny window. I'm not sure. Please help??

Mint is perennial, so it

Mint is perennial, so it should come back next season. If it is in a pot, you could put it into a garage or basement for the coldest days in winter. If in ground, it will be fine.

I live in a subtropical and

I live in a subtropical and very humid country. I bought two pots of mint plants from a nursery. Within a month, I found they were dying. When I moved them to larger pots, I realized the pots they had been in previously were completed filled with roots, which were twisted and wrapped around each other so tightly I couldn't even pull them apart. I tried to loosen them up a little then replanted them in the much larger pots. Now about a month later, they've mostly died, except for a few stems that survived and the leaves still look OK. Should I give up on it and just start again with some new plants? Dig out all those old roots and throw them away? Or just let it keep going and see if it will somehow survive and produce mint for me again in the months to come? In other words, are those old roots going to rot if I keep watering them, or could they come back to life?

Mint plants bought from

Mint plants bought from nursery could be old plants, hence the entire pot is just roots and some stems and leaves.
1) cut the stem and put the cuttings in the original pot with soil gravel but ensure water drainage and airation
2) make mint root mulch for the mint cutting growth
3) observe further and adjust to the new situation
4) buy a new pot and try again

Hello, I have a peppermint


I have a peppermint plant that suddently grew one massive dark offshoot with a thick purple stem and small leaves. What is this called? Should I trim it so the rest of my plant grows (everything else seems to grow slower now).

It could possibly be a sport,

It could possibly be a sport, which is a genetic mutation (which plant breeders sometimes use to create new cultivars). Or, it could be a reversion--when a stem produces characteristics of the parent plant instead; some mutations (such as variegation in certain cases) are not stable, and will sometimes revert back to a parent characteristic. Another possibiity is that the change was caused by a virus or environmental condition. Unless you are a knowledgeable plant breeder and this is a mutation, then it is probably best to prune it out--especially if it is caused by a virus.

I live in Vermont. When we

I live in Vermont. When we moved in half of my backyard was mint. I corralled it well and have enjoyed the beauty and aroma of the mint for about 4 years. When winter transitions to spring I cut away the dead leaves and stems to about the ground. Every year I say, "oh geez I think I killed the mint" but eventually it arrives and goes nuts for the summer. It's memorial day and we still have no mint. We had a severely long and cold winter, but the other perennials in the garden are nearing full size while the mint hasn't even peeked out. Did I kill the mint? Should I buy another plant?

It's hard to know what might

It's hard to know what might be going on, but mint is usually quite hardy. A few varieties, such as Corsican mint, are less cold tolerant. Peppermint is one of the hardiest. Was the area covered by mulch or fall leaves? If the soil was bare at any time during a deep freeze, it is possible that the roots have died back, at least somewhat. You might try keeping the area moist (but not waterlogged) and waiting a little longer to see if the plants recover. However, if you want to be sure you have some mint this season, you might add at least one more plant.
It might also be possible that your mint has been attacked by a pest or disease. Mint flea beetle larvae, for example, feed on mint roots (the eggs overwinter and the larvae hatch in spring). Dig up a small area to see if you can spot the roots and check their health. Look for holes in the roots, where a larva might be inside. For more information, see:

Can I take some of the

Can I take some of the existing baby mint plants and re-plant them on another container? Any tips on doing this to ensure the baby plants survive?

I have both spearmint and

I have both spearmint and peppermint. I tried both cutting from their mother plant and placed it in a container with water. The spearmint grew roots 2days but the peppermint still haven't 5 days now. I just planted the spearmint that has grown its roots to a soil and container and doing fine.

Thank you! After some

Thank you! After some research, it looks like I have a spearmint plant. So hopefully they will grow in another day or two.

. This is the first time I

. This is the first time I am trying to grow mint and I have some questions:
When does it flower? Do I need to cut off the buds?
How long does it take to grow more than a foot?
I'm guessing I cut down the central part a bit to encourage thickness?
How big does it have to be to make tea from it? I always find the basic care for plants but I can never find answers to those specific questions. Can anyone help?

I planted spearmint for the

I planted spearmint for the first time and have been pinching off pieces for tea for several weeks. The spearmint is much hardier looking than the mint. I'm going to grow some indoors this winter.

I planted some mint in a

I planted some mint in a container in my garden several years ago. Had the top of the container sticking out of the ground an inch or two to prevent the shoots from going over the top and spreading. It THRIVED!! Too much! It gets sun all day than shade in the evening. A few years ago it started invading the rest of my flower garden. I'm going crazy trying to get rid of it. Any suggestions as to how I can get rid of it without completely up-rooting my whole flower garden to do it? If I have to I'm willing to start over just to get rid of it at this point! It's preventing my other flowers from thriving and flowering. Thank you!

Hi, Crazy: Welcome to the

Hi, Crazy: Welcome to the Minter's Remorse Club, although it does sound to us as though you still retain some measure of sanity -- which you will need. A lot depends on how big an area you are talking about. Unfortunately, flower gardens are especially difficult to fumintigate (we just made that word up, so don't go looking for it). Short of just pulling everything up, the way to start is around the edges of your plot, or even around edges of specific mint colonies beyond which you are sure that it has not spread. Start killing all the way around the edge. You can apply boiling water; or a 5:5:2 mixture of vinegar:water:dish soap; or even newspapers or flagstones to block light. Give it a day, then start pulling up, being as careful as possible to get everything. The problem is the rhizomes, which spread laterally and look like white shoelaces or pieces of spaghetti. You need to get every bit. When you start your next session farther inside your perimeter, recheck where you did before, clawing up the soil again to make sure you didn't miss anything. Work your way inward in each area. It's a long, long process, but you certainly get to know your garden well! Good luck!

I am interested in growing

I am interested in growing some peppermint next to my house; however, I do not want it to get out of control. Several times you have suggested planting the mint in containers. Are there a certain type of container to use for this? Thanks!

It's best if the container or

It's best if the container or does no have drainage holes. If it does have holes cover them up with plastic or duct tape from the inside. Plastic or ceramic pots work well. Fill with dirt and plant the mint. Then bury the container in the garden bed.

Hello, I have two organic

Hello, I have two organic mint plants I bought today from my local farmer's market. They are in the little plastic black boxes still. What is the best way to grow them indoors/outdoors? (So they can be indoors because it gets veryyyy dry and hot here during the days, but winters freeze)

Plant the mint in a container

Plant the mint in a container that you can move indoors when it gets too hot outside. Mint is perennial and will survive cold winters.

I have been looking for mint

I have been looking for mint to grow, (in the Philippines), for 6 months, and finally i have found some plants, albeit a bit on the small side. I was wondering, as we have no winter as such, definitely no frost for sure, will the constant heat affect my plants in any adverse way? Many thanks Marcus

I am a resident of Dist-

I am a resident of Dist- Burdwan, Westbengal. I have a Farm here. I want to cultivate Mint commercially. where from I can get Seeds/ roots. Pls help.

I have a pet rat at home and

I have a pet rat at home and she love to eat my mint when i wasnt looking (i looked back to see her munching on my mint through the bars on the cage)

I planted chocolate mint in

I planted chocolate mint in flower pots and put them outside to grow. It's winter time now. I am hoping that they spring back to life this season.

If the pots didn't stay

If the pots didn't stay frozen solid for more than a few days, I'm sure they'll be fine. In the future, it is best to plant mint in the ground if you expect a hard freeze or bring the pots inside.

You can plant mint in a ceramic pot in the ground to prevent the spread of roots, to make the plant less invasive. Just be sure to check for runners too.

I have bought a potted mint

I have bought a potted mint plant from a nursery. I put it near my window which is directly under the sun. However, the plant withered completely on the second day. I watered the plant regularly and have shifted the plant near to my television where there is lesser sunlight. Do I have to throw away the plant? Is there anyway to revive it?

Hi Angelia, Keep the soil

Hi Angelia,
Keep the soil evenly moist (not too wet) and cut off any dead stems and leaves. The plant may grow new stems from the roots.

Hello, Would greatly


Would greatly appreciate if someone could offer some help with the below:

I have a pot containing a very dense network of mint roots lying a bit deep beneath the surface of the soil, although some of the roots point straight up--I shook the surface layer of the soil up a bit to see how they're doing.

My question is what can I do to have that network give off stems and eventually leaves? Because those roots have been dormant for a little over a year now, although they used to support a shrub with branches so long and entangled I had to cut it off completely.



My mint has been great all

My mint has been great all summer, but now is bitter and not good at all. I have it planted in several different areas pots and in the ground and all are nasty tasting. Any suggestions?

Hi, Becky, Just as everything

Hi, Becky, Just as everything has a season, it sounds like that of your mint has passed.
When mint begins flower and then go to seed, the leaves—the harvest—begin to become bitter.
Mint is a perennial, however, so hope—and this herb—spring eternal.

I have had my mint plant for

I have had my mint plant for two weeks. I keep it indoors in damp soil with lots of light. All of the leaves are turning brown and dry. What is wrong and what do I do?

Hi Judy, Make sure the pot

Hi Judy,
Make sure the pot has drainage holes and water when the soil has just started to dry. Also make sure that you use a well draining potting mix. Move the pot to a spot that is not in direct sunlight.

I grow mine outside for now

I grow mine outside for now (will take them indoors as it gets cooler) & they're doing great. I only water them once a week though. Maybe you're watering them too much if the soil is always moist.

You gave it to much sun think

You gave it to much sun think about the shady places that later in the day will get sunny.

Hi, I have a pot containing a


I have a pot containing a very dense network of mint roots lying a bit deep beneath the surface of the soil, although some of the roots point straight up--I shook the surface layer of the soil up a bit to see how they're doing.

My question is what can I do to have that network give off stems and eventually leaves? Because those roots have been dormant for a little over a year now, although they used to support a shrub with branches so long and entangled I had to cut it off completely.

Thank you

Hi, I have planted mint


I have planted mint reading all your instructions but its not growing fast. Since a month its has the same set of leaves.

Please advice me what can be wrong with it.

I also found some powdery mildew two days ago and am spraying the solution of vinegar and water to get rid of it.

Hi, Nidhi, Powdery mildew

Hi, Nidhi, Powdery mildew thrives in hot, humid conditions. It's best to avoid watering from top down (including leaves) to reduce humidity. We are not familiar with a vinegar remedy for mildew. We do advise removing infected parts and spraying with a solution of 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 quart of water. Or use a fungicide. Certainly spreading mildew could be harming your plant. Then again, a month is not a long time to let a plant get established.
Because the vinegar may have permeated the plant and the soil, you might (might) try replanting it. After only a month, it may not yet be "at home" in its pot. This could be risky, but the plant might need a fresh start.
If the plant fails to thrive after a period of time, start again, consider the weather (per above), water only after it dries out from the previous watering, and give the plant time. If at all possible, try a disease-resistant plant.
We hope this helps.

For mildew, may I suggest a

For mildew, may I suggest a mild solution of baking soda with a drop or two of Dawn liquid soap. I have never tried vinegar.

I use vinegar as an

I use vinegar as an herbicide, I would spray vinegar and anymore of your plants.

sorry I would NOT spray

sorry I would NOT spray vinegar on anymore of your plants

I have already planted mint

I have already planted mint outside. It is already flowering, so now what do I do. I was not aware that I could not harvert while it was flowering.
Help me please. There is quite a bit of it now. Needs some thinning out or something.

You can harvest the mint

You can harvest the mint while it is flowering but the taste may not be as rich as before bloom. You can keep the mint in check by pulling up some of the plants. Mint can become very invaisive if not controlled. Also trim off the buds and flowers to keep the plants compact.

I am growing mint that I want

I am growing mint that I want to harvest. it says best time to harvest is just before flowering. question, when is that? when does it flower? what time of year? if I can harvest multiple times a year, does it flower often?

Mint generally flowers from

Mint generally flowers from the month of June through September. You'll see the buds forming and you'll just want to trim before the buds open. 

After finding a "peppermint"

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

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've used stems and leaves

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 brought two chocolate mint

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

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

You have two different kinds

You have two different kinds of mint. One sounds like spearmint or peppermint, the dark one is chocolate mint. At least, that's what it sounds like. Smell them, if they're different, they'll smell exactly like the gum, candy, or cookie they're used for. (And, of course, if they smell different, they're not the same kind.)

When exactly is mint planted

When exactly is mint planted and harvested?

Mint seedlings can be planted

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

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

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

What other plants will work

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

We tend to plant mint in its

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

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.



I would recommend Bowles

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

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

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

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???

Make sure the soil is moist

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.

Thank you.

I have propagated lots of

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

Dear Jessica Walter nothing

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.

It's more than halfway into

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

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

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

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

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

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.

I'm having the same ant issue

I'm having the same ant issue with my mint, growing in a pot outside on my deck in northeast florida. Did you figure out what's up with that?

Hi Amy, The ants may be

Hi Amy,
The ants may be living in the bottom of your pot. Remove the mint from the pot and shake off as much of the soil as you can. Rinse the pot with water and then repot the mint in fresh soil. You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the soil. It should get rid of the ants.

Should I cut back mint in the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:

Ants and Mint

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

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

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

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

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

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

ridding mint

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!


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

Mint is known to prevent ants

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.


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

Boric acid mixed with peanut

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.

I just found out an even more

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 .

spreading mint

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

Have Lemon Mint- also- have grown pineapple mint


I've had chocolate mint yum : )


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

i remember reading years ago

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

I've been told to use Juicy Fruit :)

groundhogs (woodchucks)

Here are our best suggestions on how to control Groundhogs (Woodchucks):

No. They love mint, and have

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

I have chocolate mint that I

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

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

RE: peppermint smell

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

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