There's nothing quite like the taste of fresh mint. From cooking to infusing water or lemonade or brewing tea, mint has so many uses in the home. Learn to grow mint indoors so that you'll have easy access to fresh mint leaves for everything from garnishing a mojito to adding to your favorite salads. Mint (Mentha) is actually one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. (It's also easy to grow outdoors ... so easy that some might call it invasive, but that's a story for another time.) Find out how you can easily grow mint in your home and be able to harvest mint leaves any time you want.
How to Grow Mint Indoors in Water
It's so easy to grow mint indoors that you actually don't even need soil. The absolute easier way to grow mint is simply by placing mint cuttings in a small glass or jar. As long as the container is placed in an area that provides the plant with at least four hours of sunlight on a daily basis, the cuttings will sprout roots within a few weeks and continue to grow for several months, though it won't last forever. If you want to keep mint going in water indefinitely, periodically snip a few new cuttings as the stems grow and put them in the water to root.
How to Grow Mint Indoors in Pots
You can also grow mint indoors in pots. The best option is to root a few cuttings in water, then transfer them to containers once they develop roots. Mint spreads rapidly (read aggressively), so it will expand to fill any size container you use. Consider how much mint you want and choose accordingly. Plant rooted mint cuttings in a well-draining potting mix and place it in an area where it will get several hours of sunlight each day. Mint likes to stay moist. Water it thoroughly as soon as you pot it, then add water whenever the top of the soil feels dry when you touch it.
How to Start Mint Indoors From Seed
Don't have access to mint cuttings? No problem. You can start mint from seeds. Mint has a reputation for being hard to start from seed, but it's really not - as long as you know that mint seeds need light to germinate. This means that they should be surface sowed rather than covered with soil. Simply put potting soil in a seed starting tray, or the container you plan to use for your mint plant. Sprinkle seeds on the surface and lightly press them into the soil, but don't cover them. Place the container in a sunny window. Mist the seeds and continue to do so daily so they stay moist. Seedlings will usually sprout within two weeks. You can transplant them to a larger pot once they have at least four leaves.
Tip: New mint plants do need to stay planted in soil in a container. You can't just move them to water. Once they get large enough to take cuttings of at least five to six inches, you can then root those cuttings in water if you want more plants, or if you just want to grow mint in water.
Tips for Growing Mint Indoors
Ready to start growing your own mint indoors? Great! All varieties of mint can make great houseplants/indoor herbs. Keep the following tips in mind as you get started:
- Do you mostly want indoor mint for culinary purposes? Keep a small pot or jar with mint on your kitchen windowsill so it has easy access to sunlight, and you have easy access to snip leaves.
- Mint likes a good bit of humidity, so it's a good idea to periodically mist the leaves with water. Every week or so is generally good, though if your house is really dry it may be helpful to mist more often.
- In soil, mint roots spread aggressively, creating new plants as they grow. If your mint is growing in a container, you'll need to periodically move it to a larger container.
- Mint will eventually outgrow any container you put it in if you don't divide it, so it's a good idea to periodically divide it into separate plants to share with your mint-loving friends.
- If you get so much that you decide to plant mint outdoors, do so with care. Unless you want it to take over, it's best to keep mint in containers, even outdoors.
Words of Wisdom About Growing Mint
Growing mint indoors is a great way to enjoy fresh herbs all year. I highly recommend giving this a try, even if you're new to growing herbs (or anything at all). I'd also like to share a bit of friendly advice. If you don't want to deal with frequently repotting or dividing indoor mint plants, stick with growing the herb in water. Mint's motto is 'have soil, will spread.' This is firsthand experience talking here. My biggest gardening regret is planting mint directly in a few garden beds when I first got started gardening. It simply won't stop growing and spreading. Even when I think I've gotten all of the roots out, it still comes back. Learn from my mistake and stick with growing mint indoors, or at least keep it constrained to containers.