How to Successfully Grow Mint Plants and Tips for Starting Cuttings


Mint is a versatile and aromatic herb that not only adds flavor to your dishes but also offers numerous medicinal benefits. Whether you're a gardening enthusiast or a novice, growing mint can be a rewarding experience. In this article, we'll explore the different types of mint, step-by-step instructions on how to grow mint successfully, essential care tips, methods for preventing it from spreading, propagating mint from cuttings, and the best practices for harvesting and using mint in various ways.

Types of Mint

Mint belongs to the vast Lamiaceae family, boasting over 7000 species and 230 genera, including basil, oregano, lemon balm, and sage. Here are some popular types of mint:

  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita): Known for its classic and bold "candy cane" flavor.
  • Spearmint (Mentha spicata): Offers a mild and sweet taste, often used in cooking.
  • Chocolate Mint (Mentha × piperita ‘Chocolate Mint'): Smells like a chocolate peppermint patty.
  • Pineapple Mint (Mentha suaveolens ‘Variegata'): Features variegated leaves with a fruity, minty flavor and a hint of pineapple.

To ensure the best results, it's recommended to start with cuttings or divisions from fragrant plants rather than growing from seeds.

How to Grow Mint

Mint plants are relatively easy to grow. Follow these steps to ensure successful growth:

Prepare the Soil

  • Work organic matter, like compost, into the soil to improve drainage and fertility.
  • If you're growing mint in a container, ensure proper soil preparation.


  • Sow seeds about 1/4 inch deep in the soil.
  • For cuttings or divisions, plant them 18 to 24 inches apart to allow for spreading.


  • Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid waterlogging.
  • Mint prefers slightly damp conditions.


  • Most mints are hardy perennials, but some are frost-tender.
  • Regularly prune to release mint oils that deter pests.

Caring for Mint

Mint is generally low-maintenance, but here are some essential care tips:


  • Mint appreciates regular watering, especially during dry periods.


  • Apply a layer of mulch to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.


  • Mint doesn't require heavy feeding; apply balanced fertilizer in the spring for growth support.


  • Regularly prune to prevent leggy growth and encourage bushiness.

How to Keep Mint from Spreading

Mint can be invasive, so consider these strategies to control its growth:

  • Use containers or pots with drainage holes.
  • Employ raised beds or root barriers.
  • Grow mint in designated areas where it can act as groundcover.

Growing Mint from Cuttings - 2 Ways

You can easily propagate mint from cuttings. Here are two methods:

Propagation in Water:

  • Cut a 3-5 inch stem and strip leaves from the bottom.
  • Place the cutting in a jar or vase with the stem immersed in water.
  • Transfer to soil once roots develop.

Starting Cuttings Directly in the Soil:

  • Strip leaves from the stem and plant it in soil.
  • Keep the soil moist and mist the mint if you're in a dry climate.

How to Transplant Mint

Transplanting mint can be done once the cutting is thriving:

  • Harden it off by gradually exposing it to outdoor conditions.
  • Plant it in a suitable location, ensuring it won't spread uncontrollably.

Harvesting Mint

Harvesting mint at the right time ensures optimal flavor and growth:

  • Harvest in the morning when oils are concentrated.
  • Use clean, sharp scissors or shears to clip leaves above a leaf node.

Uses of Mint

Mint has diverse applications:

  • Culinary Uses: Add fresh mint leaves to salads, desserts, beverages, and savory dishes.
  • Medicinal Uses: Mint aids digestion, relieves headaches, and soothes respiratory issues.
  • Aromatherapy: Crushed mint leaves offer a refreshing aroma for natural air fresheners.


Growing mint can be a delightful addition to your garden and culinary endeavors. With the right care, you can enjoy a steady supply of fresh, aromatic mint leaves for various purposes, from cooking to aromatherapy. So, start your mint-growing journey and reap the benefits of this versatile herb.


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