A step by step guide to growing mint from cuttings, seeds
Who don’t love mint? ofcourse everybody loves mint and here is the complete guide of growing mint from cuttings and seeds using pots/containers or indoor of your home garden. It is also very easy to grow in backyards, raised beds, balconies, and terrace. Mint is a herb which is versatile and tasty. This comes in several varieties, each of which is simple to maintain and lasts for several years if proper care is taken. The plant is somewhat invasive, anyways, and this may compete with the plants which are closer to it for resources if it is allowed to grow without any restriction. For growing mint, you will either require to plant it in pots or containers or search and find a way to restrict the growth of its roots below the ground surface. What are we waiting for? let us start growing mint from cuttings and seeds in your home garden.
Varieties for growing the Mint from cuttings and seed:
- Go for peppermint if you wish to have a strong and brighter flavour for tea or for normal use.
- You can consider spearmint if your patio, garden or windowsill gets plenty of sunlight and heat all across the year.
- Pineapple mint can be planted if you are required to plant beside other types of plants. This mint variety is less invasive.
- You can consider growing lemon mint if you love to have a citrus flavour which is refreshing in iced tea or lemonade.
- Apple mint can be tried for a subtle flavour with apple hints. This mint variety is well-known in drinks and fresh salads.
Obtaining the Mint for growing the Mint from cuttings:
- Take a cutting from a mint plant which is pre-existing. Mint is tough to grow from seed and it is completely impossible for few varieties such as peppermint. Take off a sprig which is of length 4 inches about a half-inch above a junction to let new branches to come up in its place.
- The sprig will not be required to have too many leaves and almost all sprigs will do have. The sprig has to be placed in a glass of water and remove any of the leaves which are falling below the waterline.
- In a week, you will see small white roots appearing underwater. You will have to be patient for some more days to one more week to let the development of leaves until they reach a decent length.
- Now, you will have to add water to glass as required. Ensure that you are changing the water for every 4 to 5 days for the prevention of rot.
- If you want to grow mint from cuttings, buy a mint seedling or a mint plant which is small. You will be able to find the seedlings of mint at most of the nurseries and gardening stores present in your locality. There are several varieties of mint, like chocolate mint, sweet mint, lemon mint, peppermint, lemon mint. Spearmint is mostly used for cooking. Mint is a plant which grows and spreads fast and it is perfect for growing if you are a beginner.
- Search and find a runner from a current mint plant. Runners are the stems which are long and grow away from the current mint plant and establish their roots in the ground. These can be dug up in a careful manner and should be transplanted. If you have a friend who is growing mint, then those plants will be having runners which can be transplanted.
Plantation as part of growing Mint from cuttings, seeds
- Select a perfect time for the plantation of mint. Ideally, you can go ahead with the plantation of mint at the time of spring or in the autumn if you are residing in the climatic conditions which are frost-free. Though the mint plant is resilient, it is always best to start growing it under the best conditions.
- The seedling has to be transplanted into a container or pot. Potting mint is a well-known method to grow it as you will be able to monitor it easily in this way, and as well as keep it near your kitchen so you can make use of it frequently. Mint will spread rapidly, and its roots tend to choke out the roots of all other plants present in your garden. As a result of this, it is always best to plant mint in a pot without any other plants. Make use of a 12 to 16-inch wide container for one plant.
- Now, you will have to add a polymer which retains water to the potting soil so that it will stay moist and will not get dried up. You can also make use of perlite or vermiculite rather than a polymer.
- The seedling or rooted sprig has to be planted with the roots just below the surface of the soil. If you are going with the plantation of multiple seedlings, then consider planting them at a distance of 6 inches from each other. This will give every seedling sufficient space for growth.
- Select a spot with a good amount of sunlight. When you are planting your mint, you will be required to select an area which receives early morning sun and partial shade in the afternoon. You will have to make sure that the plant is getting some amount of light without getting dried completely. Mint will grow its best in the soil which is deep and moist. So, you will have to maintain the soil that way. You can also consider placing your mint pot in the indoor location, on a windowsill, as long as it is in the spot that will receive a sufficient amount of sunlight.
- If you are considering to plant the mint in the ground, then you will have to make use of a damp area which receives partial shade or full sun. The optimal conditions for the growth of mint in the ground will need a soil which is fertile with a pH between 6 and 7. Though the mint can be grown on its own without any problem, a little amount of fertilizer every few weeks will not cause any damage. Ensure that the soil is in a moist condition by placing some amount of mulch around the roots of the plant for protecting them.
- The container has to be submerged if you are planting mint in a flower bed. If you are choosing this method, you should submerge the mint in a container like a pot or a mesh bag which is having a depth of at least 5 inches. You will have to leave behind the rim of a container above the level of ground so that the root system of the plant can be contained. If you are not doing this, your mint will get spread in a rapid way into the places you do not want it to be.
- You can also consider planting mint in a raised bed container, in a bare place in your garden which you like to fill in, or section off some part of your garden with timbers or bricks for the creation of a barrier for the mint.
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Growing Mint from cuttings and seeds in containers:
- Growing mint from cuttings or seeds is as easy as other herbs at home.
- Choose the pots which have a diameter of at least 8 inches and a depth of 12 inches. This will provide enough room for a mint plant. Make sure that you are avoiding shallow containers, else, the roots of mint get spread out the drainage hole at the bottom of the container. This will make the plant weak or leads to root spread if the pot or container is kept closer to the bare soil.
- Although potting soil generally allows the healthy growth of mint, a potting mixture which is soil-less and based on peat which also consists of perlite and vermiculite will allow sufficient amount of drainage by restoring sufficient moisture for healthy growth.
- Mint will spread quickly, so you will only require to keep one mint in a pot with a depth of 10 inches. Seedlings and transplants of mint will need plantation in the container at the same depth they were actually growing at in their previous containers. Seeds have to be planted at a depth of ¼ th inch.
- Two or three seeds can be sown in each container to make sure that germination takes place and then consider thinning out the excess plants when they start to grow. The soil has to be kept moist and should be maintained in the temperatures closer to 21°C until the mint seeds undergo the process of germination which generally takes 7 to 10 days.
- A spot which will receive 6 or more hours of sunlight on daily basis will give enough; light for the growth of lush, although containers which are kept in the outdoor locations will be able to tolerate some amount of partial shade in the afternoon.
- Containers get dried out more quickly than the raised garden beds, so touch the soil every day and feel it so that you can water the top inch of the soil if it feels dry.
- The mint plant will have sufficient water when the excess amount of moisture gets drained from the pot’s bottom. Mint will produce the best flavour will less fertilization. You can mix one teaspoon of slow-release fertilizer with an n-p-k ratio of 16-16-16 before the plantation and then each spring will provide enough nutrients to the young plants for each growing season.
- The main benefit of growing mint in containers is that it can be restricted from spreading.
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Caring while grwoing Mint from cuttings:
- You will have to water your mint often. In the first year, you will be required to water it more often. The soil has to be tested with your finger for the determination of how dry it is. The soil has to be kept damp but makes sure that you are not soaking it. If your mint is placed in direct sun, you will have to water it in a more frequent manner. Make sure that you are checking it often that it is getting a sufficient amount of water.
- The top of the plant has to be trimmed. This helps you to maintain the height of the plant and the leaves can be kept full and nice at the sides of the plant. This will also lead to a better harvest. When you are checking your plant to see if it requires water, see if the plant has become too tall.
- Trim the flower buds of the mint to maintain the plant compact. Small flowers of a mint plant will bloom typically from the months of June to September. You will have to trim the buds prior they have an opportunity to open so that the plant will not grow out of control. Pinching off the flower buds of the plant when they appear will also lead to an extension of the harvesting season of the plant.
- Your mint plant has to be split for every 2 to 3 years. You should be doing this only if you are raising it in a pot or container. After some years, your mint plant will be equal to the container size which will cause cramping in its roots. Then, immediately take it off from the pot and in a careful manner, split apart the mint into several plants. Lifting your mint and replanting it for every 2 to 3 years will help in keeping the scent and flavour of the mint strong and nice.
- Your mint has to be treated with a fungicide spray if it gets infected by any rust. Rust is a fungus which creates patches which are orange-brown in colour on the lower section of the leaves of the plants. This is one of the few diseases that mint is prone to.
- You will have to monitor your mint plant for pests and diseases. Your mint plant will fall prey for the diseases like mint anthracnose or verticillium wilt and it may also undergo infestation from insects like root borers, root weevils, spider mites or flea beetles. This occurrence is not that likely, anyways, as the mint has a strong odour, it will ward off most of the insects and pests. You will have to just give a good amount of air circulation and soil which is drained well to maintain your plants in a healthy manner. If you are noticing any insects, you should spray them off by making use of a garden hose.
- You can also consider washing your leaves by making use of insecticidal soap.
- Also ensure that you are looking for pests under the leaves, too. This is a spot where they most likely hide.
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When and how to harvest Mint:
- You can harvest the leaves of the mint plant as you wish from the end of the spring through the starting stages of autumn. Make sure that you are not harvesting more than 1/3rd of the leaves at once and let the plant to regrow before you consider harvesting more. You can also just consider harvesting as much mint you require at a time.
- If you wish to air-dry your mint, then you will have to hang the stems of the mint plant in an upside-down position. Then set them apart into bundles and secure them by making use of a rubber band or string or you can also consider spreading them on a surface which is flat. When you feel that the stems and leaves are crispy and dry, pluck the leaves off the stems and store them in jars, plastic containers will air-tight lids or Ziploc bags.
- Consider harvesting as much mint you can before the frost which appears each year. The roots of the mint plant will thrive the frost and regrow the next spring, but the plant matter which is above the ground surface will die off. So, make sure that you are protecting the roots of your mint by covering the plants by making use of a mulch layer before winter comes. For the harvesting of leaves, you will have to first pinch off the stems. If your harvest is larger, then be patient until the blooming takes place in the plants and cut the entire plant which is just above the first and second leaves set.
- You can also consider harvesting a larger harvest of mint for about 3 times in one season.
Facts about growing Mint from cuttings:
- Watering the mint regularly is the most important this the mint requires. The soil has to be maintained in a moist condition all the time. You will require one or two mint plants, as it is so prone to spread. If you have decided to plant two, you will have to make sure that you are planting them at a distance of two feet from each other.
- You can consider growing mint indoors in a container or pot of soil or even in a water bottle. For beginners, you will need a pot or container with good drainage for the healthy growth of plants. The mint plant has to be placed in a pot by making use of a good potting mix. You can consider choosing a commercial soil type or the one with equal parts of peat, sand and perlite combined.
- You will have to lift your mint and replant it for every 2 to 3 years or more for keeping the flavour and scent of your patch strong. Mint is tolerant to frost and it generally dies back at the time of winter but grows back in spring.
- Most of the mint plants will be able to tolerate partial shade and the types which are variegated may need some protection from direct sunlight. For growing the mint in the outdoor locations, you will have to consider planting one or two plants which are purchased at a distance of 2 feet from each other in a soil which is moist. One or two mint plants will cover the ground easily. Mint will grow to a height of one or two feet.
- Mint will be able to grow in a successful manner in many soil varieties and any light conditions, but the only thing it requires is soil which is moist constantly with very good drainage. Mint plants love water, but they will not be able to grow in the soil which is soil. If you feel that the soil is dry, then consider adding water to the mint plant.
- Once you see the appearance of buds, you can consider pinching them or cutting the plants back. At the time of the second year, you can cut the plants 2 to 3 times. If you trim the mint plants to the ground prior to winter, it would help in the prevention of pests and diseases like anthracnose which would otherwise cause overwintering in the plants.
- Mint is a plant which is invasive in a terrible manner, mainly in the soil which is rich and moist. To make sure that it is not overtaking your garden, consider confining it to a bed by edging it with plastic or metal. The edging has to be buried up to a depth of at least 14 inches around the perimeter of the patch of the mint or you can simply consider growing mint plants in pots.
- Mint plants which are suffering due to flea beetles can be identified easily as the beetles will keep jumping from the leaves of the plant whenever they are disturbed. They will cause damage to the plant by chewing small holes across the leaves. These holes will mostly show up in the form of clusters.
- From seed to the stage of maturity, mint will take about 3 months. This means that it will reach its full height, usually of 1 or 2 feet and it will be prepared for harvest. At this point, you can consider cutting the mint down to 1 inch above the surface of the soil, and it will regrow for harvesting height again in one month or so.
- The mint which is grown in a container has to be fed with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer in the starting stages of spring when new growth starts. You will have to consider fertilizing your mint plant for every 4 to 6 weeks after that and all across the growing season. If you water the mint plants which are potted frequently, then it will wash away the nutrients in the soil.
That’s all folks about growing mint from cuttings and seeds. Keep growing herbs for healthy food.
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