Have you ever savored the refreshing burst of flavor from a sprig of homegrown mint, plucked straight off your kitchen windowsill? Imagine being able to do this year-round, without stepping foot outside. That’s right, we’re talking about learning how to grow mint indoors.
Growing your own indoor herb garden not only serves up fresh leaves for your iced tea, but also brings an aromatic allure to any room.
The thought may seem daunting at first glance. After all, nurturig plants inside isn’t always as simple as popping them into some potting soil and hoping for the best…right?
In reality, though this is one of the easiest herbs to grow, and with just a little bit of know-how, anyone can become an adept cultivator of these flavorful greens.
Table Of Contents:
- Choosing the Right Mint Variety for Indoor Growing
- Selecting the Ideal Light Conditions for Indoor Mint
- Preparing the Pot and Potting Mix for Indoor Mint
- Proper Watering Techniques
- Importance of Temperature in Mint Growth
- Propagating Mint Plants Indoors
- Planting and Transplanting Mint Indoors
- Fertilizer 101: Feeding Your Indoor Mint Plant
- FAQs About How to Grow Mint Indoors
Choosing the Right Mint Variety for Indoor Growing
Think of mint and you might first imagine classic peppermint or spearmint. But, did you know there’s a whole world of flavors to explore with this versatile herb? You can grow different varieties like apple mint or chocolate mint.
If Willy Wonka had a greenhouse, these are definitely the types he’d be growing. Ask yourself the questions below to determine which variety is best for you.
How Will You Use Your Mint?
At the end of the day, think about how you will use your mint leaves. Then you can choose which variety to grow.
- Do you want to grow it for teas and other beverages?
- Will you use it in culinary dishes as well such as marinades, sauces, and salads?
- How about using it for aromatherapy and oils? Or even a natural insect repellent!
Peppermint and Spearmint: The Classics
Peppermint plants are known for their strong scent and refreshing flavor – think of that cool sensation in your mouth after brushing your teeth or chewing gum! But did you know peppermint has numerous health benefits  , too? It can aid digestion, relieve headaches, and even improve sleep!
Moving on from peppermint, we find ourselves in spearmint territory. With its sweet aroma and milder flavor profile (hello delicious mojitos!), spearmint offers its own set of wellness perks. From improving digestion to having anti-cancer properties  – yes really – this versatile herb deserves a spot on your windowsill as well!
These are the easiest to find as a transplant in a nursery (or even the grocery store) because they are so popular.
Their scientific names are:
- Peppermint: Mentha x piperata
- Spearmint: Mentha spicata
This is one of my favorite types. At one of my old jobs, this mint grew wild on the edges of a pond. You could smell it in the air before you even arrived! It was incredible.
When its green leaves are crushed, the smell intensifies and it gives off an aroma similar to chocolate liqueur. It tastes great in fresh iced tea or homemade ice cream.
Its scientific name is Mentha x piperita f. citrata ‘Chocolate’.
Of course, there are plenty of other varieties to explore as well, many having similar benefits to that of peppermint, but they also have unique flavors that can give a twist to any culinary dish or cocktail.
- Apple Mint: Mentha sauveolens
- Pineapple Mint: Mentha sauveolens ‘Variegata’
- Mojito Mint: Mentha x villosa
Selecting the Ideal Light Conditions for Indoor Mint
Mint, a vivacious herb that thinks it’s on a beach vacation year-round, loves sunlight. To keep your indoor mint happy and productive, make sure to position it near a window where it can soak up plenty of rays. But, don’t worry if you don’t have the ideal sunlight. It can do just as well in partial shade.
The chocolate mint I mentioned earlier was almost completely shaded and it was very prolific in the wild. The key is to watch your plant and make adjustments to lighting as necessary. Every plant is unique.
You can also use grow lights if you find your mint needs a little more sun.
Preparing the Pot and Potting Mix for Indoor Mint
First off: container size matters. Think of the pot as your mint’s new home – roomy is better for this particular herb. Opt for containers that are at least 10-12 inches in diameter. Mint is a fast-growing perennial so it should fill the pot out rather quickly. You can start out smaller though and pot up when the plant is ready.
And don’t forget those drainage holes – because nobody likes soggy roots. Here’s a guide on the best containers for herbs for more in-depth instructions.
Moving onto soil preparation. Just as we love fresh sheets, mints prefer fresh potting mix designed specifically for edible plants. This stuff is packed full of nutrients that will have your indoor mint saying “yum.”.
A basic recipe for making your own soil is to mix equal parts of peat moss or coconut coir, perlite or vermiculite, and well-aged compost. Here’s a deep dive into the best soil for herbs in containers.
Proper Watering Techniques
But wait. Just as you wouldn’t want to roast under the sun without some refreshing water nearby, neither does your mint plant. Watering is crucial in maintaining its lush green leaves and vigorous growth. So remember this golden rule: When the soil feels dry, give your mint a drink.
Frequent watering doesn’t mean creating a mini flood though. You just need to moisten the soil enough so that those roots stay happily hydrated. Try bottom watering as well to prevent soil compaction.
We all enjoy a good drink now and then – especially in dry conditions. The same goes for our leafy friends; water them when the soil feels dry.
Importance of Temperature in Mint Growth
The temperature also plays into how comfortable your leafy friend will feel indoors. Picture yourself sipping iced tea at room temperatures between 60°F to 75°F – pretty ideal right? Well, guess what…that’s roughly how Ms. Mint likes her surroundings too. You do have a little flexibility with the temperature though.
In winter, the temperature in my house drops to 50 – 55 degrees at night (our main source of heat is a wood stove which isn’t stoked at 2am because I need my beauty sleep 😴 ) and my mint still does fine.
Keep reading for more tips on growing conditions if you’re keen on raising VIP (Very Important Plant) status mints.
Propagating Mint Plants Indoors
If you’ve ever been baffled by the magic trick that is plant propagation, hold on to your gardening gloves. It’s time to demystify it with our favorite herb – mint.
Mint can be propagated from either a root division or a stem cutting. Both methods are pretty straightforward and offer an affordable way to expand your indoor garden.
Personally, I wouldn’t even bother with mint cuttings. You can dig up a small division and pot it up or get a little from a friend. Mint is so hardy, just planting a piece of root will start growing new shoots in a few weeks.
I even accidentally left a pot of mint outside when it snowed, and within two weeks of bringing it inside, it started growing again.
Here’s a side-by-side of the before and after pics below.
Planting and Transplanting Mint Indoors
If you’re transplanting mint, it’s as easy to handle as a Sunday morning.
The trick with mint transplants is gentleness – think of them like newborn kittens. 🐈 Handle your stems with care when potting your plant to ensure their survival in the new environment.
When it comes time for transplantation, be sure not to tug too hard on those stubborn roots
Fertilizer 101: Feeding Your Indoor Mint Plant
Keeping your indoor mint plant healthy means more than just singing it lullabies at night (though who are we to judge?). A key component is the right balance and amount of fertilizer.
Fertilizing indoor mint is less complicated than choosing what series to binge-watch next on Netflix. Use an organic or slow-release fertilizer designed for herbs. Remember moderation is key here; overfeeding leads to unhappy plants with lackluster flavor.
The back of the fertilizer bag should provide instructions on how often to feed your mint.
➡️ In general, you want to fertilize during active growing periods which usually kick off in early spring and wrap up by late summer. If you are keeping them inside though, this extends the growing season.
So keep an eye out if your plants are sluggish in growth or are turning yellow in the leaves. Those are two telltale signs they may need some nutrients if you have ruled out other causes.
FAQs About How to Grow Mint Indoors
How do you keep mint alive indoors?
Mint needs a sunny window with full or partial sunlight. Water when the top soil feels dry and avoid overwatering. Also, ensure temperatures between 60°F to 75°F, but there is some flexibility.
Does mint need full sun?
Nope, not really. Mint thrives in both full sun and partial shade but prefers indirect sunlight when grown indoors.
How do you pick mint to keep it growing?
Pick leaves often from the top of your plant which encourages bushy growth. Avoid stripping leaves from one stem completely though.
How do you prune mint indoors?
To prune indoor mints effectively, cut back stems regularly just above a pair of healthy leaves or nodes to promote dense growth.
Unlocking the secrets of how to grow mint indoors is a journey, but it’s one that pays off in flavor and freshness. You’ve discovered how to select your favorite variety from apple mint to chocolate mint.
You’ve learned about their need for plenty of sunlight or artificial light, watering when soil feels dry, and maintaining optimal temperatures between 65°F to 75°F.
We’ve dived into preparing potting mix and choosing containers with good drainage. And we talked propagation – using stem cuttings or root divisions.
Above all else, you’re now equipped with the know-how needed for successful indoor cultivation: transplanting mints properly, and providing enough light and water consistently while avoiding extremes that can stress out these delicate plants. So get started on your homegrown adventure today!
Let us know how your mint is doing in the comments below!
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All the best,
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