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8 Essential Tips for Growing Mint

Tips for Growing Mint Indoors

Get ready to serve up mojitos, mint juleps, and decadent mint desserts! Why? Because growing this herb indoors will leave you with plenty of fresh mints to use in your favorite recipes. Mint is one of the easiest and most popular perennial herbs to grow in the garden, but it's also easy to grow indoors. All it takes is a good light and a little knowledge. Whether you're looking to extend your growing season or don't have the space to garden outside, these tips will help you create a thriving indoor garden of mint plants.

1. Buy replacement plants instead of seeds

Growing transplants from the garden center will ensure that you start your indoor growing project with a real mint plant with all your expectations in mind. Growing mint from seed is unreliable because different varieties often cross-pollinate, leaving you with plants that don't have the characteristics you expect. Be sure to choose mint varieties you won't see at your local grocery store, such as apple mint, chocolate mint, and orange mint—after all, growing unique varieties is one of the benefits of growing your own mint plants.

2. Select the appropriate container

When you get your new mint plants home, pot them in a container at least 8 inches deep and one or two sizes larger than the original container. Most herbs do best when planted in pots at least 12 inches wide with room for root growth. Mint also grows well on hanging plants. Remember that a plant in a fine clay pot needs to be watered more than once in a plastic or ceramic pot because it dries out faster. Make sure the container you choose for your mint plant has holes in the bottom for drainage.

If you already have a mint plant in your garden and you want to extend the growing season, you can bring it indoors and replant it. Transplant your mint indoors before temperatures drop below 40℉ to protect it from cold damage.

3. Use fresh potting mix

Buy a potting soil mix designed for edible plants - one that allows good drainage and contains only a small amount of fertilizer. You can also mix your own potting soil from equal parts bagged and sterile compost, perlite, and coarse sand. The mix should provide both air space and adequate water retention to keep the roots healthy. Starting with fresh, sterile compost will help prevent the emergence of diseases, pests, and weeds.

4. Keep sprinkling the mint

Water your mint plant when the top of its container feels dry, or once a week. If there is excess water in the saucers under your pots, empty them to prevent excess moisture in the soil that can cause root rot. Soil that is too wet can encourage pest problems such as moldy mosquitoes. Mint, on the other hand, tolerates short droughts and bounces back quickly if it wilts. But if the plant dries out too much, the edges of the leaves turn brown and crisp.

5. Provide plenty of light

South-facing kitchen windows are usually a good place to grow mint indoors as it is comfortable while cooking and have enough light and air circulation. Rotate the pot a quarter of the way on a weekly basis so that all sides of the plant get four to six hours of bright sunlight. If you don't have enough sunlight indoors, place your mint plant under grow lights for 12 to 14 hours each day.

6. Increase air circulation

If you see fungal diseases like powdery mildew on your mint plant, it is a sign that the humidity around your plant is too high. To reduce some disease and pest problems that thrive in high humidity, use a small fan to gently move moist air around the plants.

7. Avoid temperature extremes

For the best indoor growing conditions, keep your house temperature between 65℉ degrees and 75℉. Avoid placing your potted mint on windowsills where temperatures fluctuate near heating vents or cooking appliances.

8. Harvest mint leaves before flowering

When the plant is at least 3 inches tall, you can start pinching the leaves to use in your favorite recipes for a little minty kick. The flavor is most intense before the plant blooms. Flowers do not openPinch them early so the plant will produce new buds.


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