How to Grow Mint Indoors For Healthy Harvest Year-Round

If you try growing mint outdoors in your garden beds, you might be surprised by how invasive and vigorous the herb can grow.

Before long, your mint plant can take over an entire bed, so it’s no surprise that it also does well in pots and indoors. Learning how to grow mint indoors can provide you with fresh mint all year and save your back from frequent harvesting.

  • Choose a container that holds 2-3 gallons of soil; that will give your indoor mint plant plenty of space to grow.
  • Mint grows best in a high-quality potting mix, but you can make your own mix.
  • Starting mint from seeds can be a bit complicated; using a cutting or a plant bought from a local nursery will be the easiest option.
  • Mint need 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day, but remember that you can rotate windows and locations as the season changes.
  • Make sure you keep your plant well-watered but not soggy.

Mint thrives in garden beds, and it can grow well in indoors as well. Its prolific nature makes it an excellent choice for all gardeners, especially if you love the flavor and scent. Keep reading to learn how to grow mint indoors.

How to Grow Mint Indoors – Getting Started

How To Grow Mint Indoors - Getting Started

Mint is a great first plant for new indoor herb gardeners. Here are the steps to get started on growing mint indoors.

1: Choose Mint Varieties To Grow Indoors

The fantastic thing about growing mint is that there are several varieties available for you to try. They all have that classic, minty scent, but they also have differences. It might be a subtle or obvious scent difference.

Here are a few mint varieties you can grow indoors.

Spearmint

The most common variety found is spearmint. If you see a plant at your local nursery labeled “mint,” it’s more than likely spearmint. Spearmint contains less menthol than peppermint, so that you can use it in savory dishes or teas.

Peppermint

Chances are you’re more familiar with peppermint, which is a blend between spearmint and watermint. It’s been used as an herbal medicine for centuries. It’s best known for its sharp, fresh taste with an icy sensation, so it works great in desserts, ice cream, or teas.

Apple Mint

While not as common, apple mint has fuzzy, fragrant leaves and a fruity, minty flavor. You can use it in teas – both iced and hot – or jelly.

Chocolate Mint

If you want a unique variety, try growing chocolate mint. It has hints of chocolate combined with mint like the Olive Garden mints without the sugar. You can use chocolate mints in bread, teas, or desserts.

Orange Mint

This variety has a mild, citrusy flavoring blended with the mint flavor, so it works well in sauces, teas, and even salads.

Lavender Mint

If you want to make bath and body products, lavender mint could be a fantastic choice. It has floral overtones with the minty scent. Not only can you use it in teas, but it also works for homemade soaps, lotions, shampoo, and lip balm.

2. Choose a Container with a wide surface

The first thing that you need to do is find a suitable container or pot. Since you’re growing your mint indoors, you might want to take extra care to find something that matches your home’s decor. It can be part of the decor as well!

  • The container should have adequate drainage to reduce the risk of soggy soil, leading to root rot.
  • Typically, you need a medium-sized pot; 2-3 gallons is an appropriate size.

2. Fill Your Pot With Loose, well-drained potting mix

Next, you should fill your selected container with good quality potting soil. The choice is either a regular commercial potting mix you find at a store or a homemade blend.

  • If you want to make your own soil, you need sand, peat, and perlite. The typical recommendation is 4-6 parts peat moss, 1 part perlite, and 1 part sand or vermiculite. YOu also could add ½ cup of bone meal.
  • Another option is to mix 1 part peat moss, 1 part compost, 1 part garden soil, and 1 part perlite.

3. Place The Plant in An Area With Indirect Light

Place The Plant In An Area With Indirect Light

Unlike other plants, mint is actually a shade-loving herb which doesn’t need to be kept in direct sunlight. Mint thrives even if you keep it in an area that receives indirect light at an east-facing window during the springtime.

  • Typically, you’ll want to move the pot to either south or west-facing window in the summer and fall.
  • Ensure that wherever you keep your plant, the temperature stays around 65-70℉ throughout the day or 55-60℉ at night.
  • It needs a minimum of 3-4 hours of sunlight.

4. Seeds or Plant – Which Is Better?

While you can start mint from seeds, the success rate is lower than you would hope; mint seedlings are a bit picky. So, if you aren’t an experienced seed grower, I would suggest that you grab a plant from your local nurseries.

Later, that one plant can be propagated into several plants.

  • While mint seeds are cheap, they have a low viability ratio. They require more attention for germination than other plants.
  • If you decide that you want to grow the plants from seeds, you need a fertile seed starting mix that is always kept moist. Using a mister or a spray bottle is the best way to prevent over-watering.
  • Your local nursery will have varieties that grow well in your region. Many mint plants are perennial and will continue to come back each year if you grow one suited for your particular area.

5. Planting Mint Seedlings In The Container

Planting Mint Seedlings In The Container

It’s finally time to plant! You have your seedling – either from a cutting given to you, a new plant, or seedlings you sprouted at home – and it’s time to put that into your prepared pot.

  • Pre-moisten your soil, but not by much, and add a few inches of soil into your pot.
  • Then, if you are using a plant from the nursery, gently loosen some of the soil from around the roots, which will enable the roots to start to grow and establish once planted.
  • Place the mint seedling into the pot, and while holding it in place with one hand, fill the rest of the pot with the potting soil you created. Pat down firmly to ensure it stays in place.
  • Then, water deeply, until it comes out of the bottom holes. I typically do this over the sink to avoid any messes.

What About Growing Mint in Water?

Growing Mint In Water

It’s true; some gardeners have had success growing mint in water instead of the typical soil inside of a pot. If that seems appealing to you or you want to try a fun experiment with your kids, you need to do it.

  • Take a cutting from an established mint plant that measures 5-6 inches in length. Remove the bottom leaves.
  • Put your cutting into a water-filled glass or a bottle.
  • Keep it in a sunny place, and soon, your plant will start to grow.

Caring for Mint Plants Indoors

Caring For Mint Plants Indoors

Plants grown inside do require daily, continual care. You can’t plant them and forget about them; they’ll quickly die in these conditions.

1. Keep The Soil Moist, But Not Soaking Wet

An essential part of continual indoor mint plant care is watering. Mint plants like to be kept moist, but they don’t want to be too wet or soggy. Wet feet – aka roots – can cause severe damage to your plants.

  • The easiest way to figure out if your plants need water is to put your finger into the soil. If it’s dry two inches down, it’s time to water.
  • Humidity is an essential part of watering for mint plants. All you need to do is mist the plant between waterings, or put a container of pebbles and water near the plants.

2. Rotate Your Plants

If you’re new to growing plants indoors, you might not realize or know the importance of rotating your plants.

Plants bend towards the light; it’s common, so they can quickly become lopsided as they search for the light.

To reduce the bending, turn your plant every three to four days. Doing so maintains an even, straight appearance without any floppy leaves or lopsidedness.

3. Fertilizing Needs

Typically, indoor mint plants don’t need fertilization; they multiply and spread without any extra applications, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fertilize. If you’re already doing so with your other indoor plants, no harm will come from a small fertilizer dose.

  • Mint plants benefit from an all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer or fish emulsion. Make sure to apply the fertilizer at half-strength.
  • Never over-fertilize your plants; it can cause the mint to lose some of its flavors.
  • Another option is to use compost or manure as a mulch and spread it over the soil’s top layer.

Harvesting Mint Plants

Harvesting Mint Plants

The best part of growing mint is harvesting it. There is no difficult method or a specific time when you have to gather it.

Instead, all you have to do is remove leaves and sprigs as you need them or as often as you want to dry sprigs. Most importantly, don’t let the flowers bloom; they need to be pinched off whenever you see them.

Common Pests & Diseases

Common Pests & Diseases

Mint plants are vulnerable to a range of diseases and insects, but growing them inside does eliminate most of the problems. They won’t be exposed to as many dangers as the plants that grow outside.

Here are a few examples of problems your mint plants might face.

Mint Rust

Here is a fungal disease that causes small, bright orange, yellow, or brown pustules on the leaves’ undersides. It can cause large areas of the leaf tissue to die back or drop from the plant.

Unfortunately, if your plant has mint rust, you will need to remove the infected plants and rhizomes to stop the spread. Heat treatment of the roots might be able to control the disease; this treatment requires you to immerse the roots in hot water, around 111℉, for 10 minutes.

Aphids

These are small, soft-bodied insects that stick to the underside of the leaves. When you have a large aphid infestation, they cause yellow or deformed leaves with necrotic spots on the leaves. Aphids release a sticky substance that is called honeydew; it can encourage the growth of sooty mold.

A few aphids aren’t an issue, but you can try knocking them off with a jet of water or washing your plant in the sink if you have an infestation. Insecticides are typically only used if the infestation is bad.

Cutworms

This pest can sever the stems of young plants at the soil line or eat holes into the leaves’ surface. They’re typically most active at night.

You need to make sure there is no plant debris in the pot and try putting a plastic or foil collar around the plant stem to protect it. Another option is to spread diatomaceous earth around the base of your plants.

Thrips

You might find that your plant leaves are covered in coarse stippling or have a silvery appearance. Thrips leave behind black feces that speckle the leaves. They’re small, slender insects only measuring about 1.5 mm.

While thrips are unlikely when you have indoor grown plants, insecticides can be used if they somehow find your plants. Reflective mulches also deter their visitation to your plants.

Spider Mites

If you have spider mites, you might have leaves stippled with yellow or a bronze look. Typically, they leave behind a webbing that covers the leaves. You might even see the mites; they look like tiny moving dots on your leaves’ underside. You might need a hand lens to see them.

Since your plant is inside, you can wash them off under running water. Another option is to use insecticidal soap on the leaves of your plants.

Final Thoughts

Growing mint indoors in pots is preferred overgrowing the plants in the garden bed unless you want it to take over the entire space, choking out your other plants.

If not, you also can learn how to grow mint indoors, which lets you enjoy fresh mint all year round.

Updated on by Amber Noyes

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