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Mint: How To Care For and Plant This Fragrant Herb

I love mint & use this delightful herb almost every day. Find out how to care for it & see how to plant mint in a pot. Oh, the fragrance!

Mint Plant Care & Pruning

I love pretty much any herb. I do a lot of cooking and have a raised bed of herbs in the back yard that I can pick from all year long whenever my little heart desires. Of all the herbs, mint is my very favorite. I use it almost every day to add to a pitcher of water with sliced lemons for that added pop of flavor.

My mint doesn’t share growing grounds with the other herbs. It’s planted in a terra cotta container otherwise it would take over raised bed as well as part of the garden. That’s how mint grows – vigorously without regards for any of the space around it. If you’re new to the world of planting mint and don’t want a total takeover, here are 2 words: contain it.

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Here I am removing the old mint from the pot. You can see how those underground stems have wrapped themselves around in a circle. In my experience, it grows fast but not very deep.

My mints, thai basil and some type of spearmint,  had been planted in that pot for 4 or 5 years.  I had rejuvenated them twice by cutting them back and replanting a small portion but I decided enough was enough.  The unknown spearmint had completely crowded out the thai basil mint.  The planting was in the beginning stages of mint rust so time to take action.

I hoped to salvage some of the leaves but ended up throwing away both the foliage and roots (I’m an avid composter but always avoid anything with a disease or pests).

All about mint & how I planted my new Cuban & Syrian Mints:

Here’s what mint likes:

Light:

Sun to part sun.

Water:

Average. Mint is not drought tolerant.

Fertilizer:

A 2″ application of organic compost or worm castings in the spring is all it needs.

Soil:

Well drained with amendments (see above) added in.

USDA Zone:

3-11 depending on the variety of mint. Some mints are more cold tolerant, some are more heat tolerant.

Propagation:

Mint easily roots in water or can be grown from seed.

Diseases & Pests:

Mint doesn’t like these (duh, obviously) but yours may or may not get: rust, wilt or anthracnose. Also spider mites, aphids or cutworms.

There are SO many varieties of mint it makes my head spin.  How in the world is a girl supposed to choose just 1 spearmint?!  Regardless of all the choices, this is a plant with purpose.  It’s found in the culinary, medicinal, cosmetic and fragrance industries as well as in homes everywhere.  I know 1 thing for sure: I’ll always have it in my garden.  In a pot that is!

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It looks a little bare right now, but just you wait.  That pot will be full of mint in no time!

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6 comments:

  1. I planted mint in a raised bed last year but it didn’t do very well. This year it is showing signs of life again . The bed is about 3×5 and my son planted some ???? Flower seeds at the same time last year and everything is coming up now, don’t have any idea what is going to happen next. I will let you know.

  2. Hi Mary – Mint is pretty vigorous so I bet it’ll hold it’s own. I’m sure you’ll get some surprises! Nell

  3. how much water does mint need

  4. Hi Mya – Mint doesn’t need a lot of care but it does need to be watered on a regular basis. Don’t let it dry out for too long at all. How often depends on the growing conditions. Nell

  5. Yes mam I was wondering I planted some mint seeds . They are growing when do they start to smell good?

  6. Hi Lauren – Mint usually smells good as soon as the leaves get big enough to pinch. Some varieties of mint have a much stronger scent than others. Nell

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