8 Essential Tips for Growing Mint Indoors

Here's how to grow mint indoors so you have easy access to this fragrant herb all year round.

picking mint

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Get ready to serve up mojitos, mint juleps, and decadent mint desserts! Why? Because you’ll have plenty of fresh mint to use in your favorite recipes when you grow this herb indoors. Mint is one of the easiest and most popular perennial herbs to grow out in the garden, but it's also easy to grow indoors, too. All it takes is a well-lit spot and a little know-how. Whether you want to extend your growing season or simply don’t have the space to garden outdoors, these tips will help you create a thriving indoor garden of mint plants.

1. Buy Transplants Instead of Seeds

Growing transplants from a garden center will ensure that you start your indoor growing project with an authentic mint plant that will produce with all of your expectations in mind. Mint is not reliable when grown from seed because different varieties often cross-pollinate and leave you with plants that might not have the characteristics you're expecting. Be sure to choose varieties of mint that you may never see at your local grocery store like 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 a Suitable Container

Once you get your new mint plants home, repot them into a container that's at least 8 inches deep and one or two sizes larger than the original container. Most herbs do best when they're planted in pots that are at least 12 inches across that allow room for root growth. Mint also grows well in hanging planters. Keep in mind that a plant in a porous clay pot needs water more often than one in a plastic or ceramic pot because it will dry out faster. And make sure the container you choose for your mint plant has holes in the bottom to allow water to drain out.

If you already have a mint plant growing outdoors in your garden, you can bring it indoors and repot it if you want to extend the growing season. Be sure to relocate your mint indoors before the temperature drops below 40℉ to protect it from cold damage.

3. Use Fresh Potting Mix

Purchase a potting soil mix that's designed for edible plants—one that allows for good drainage and contains only a small amount of fertilizer, if any. You can also mix your own potting soil from equal parts bagged and sterile compost, perlite, and coarse sand. The mix needs to offer both air space and enough water retention to keep roots healthy. Starting with a fresh, sterile mix will help prevent diseases, pests, and weeds from popping up.

4. Keep Mint Consistently Watered

Water your mint plant when the top of its container’s soil feels dry, or about once a week. If there is extra water in the saucers under your pots, empty it out to prevent excessive sogginess in the soil, which can cause root rot. Soil that says too wet can also encourage insect issues such as fungus gnats. On the flipside, mint can tolerate short dry spells, bouncing back quickly if it wilts. But if the plant dries out too much, the edges of the leaves will turn brown and crispy.

5. Provide Plenty of Light

A kitchen windowsill with a southern exposure is usually a good spot for growing mint indoors because it's in convenient reach while cooking and it's likely to have enough light and air circulation. Rotate the pot about a quarter turn on a weekly basis so that all sides of the plant receive four to six hours of bright sunlight. If there's not enough sunlight inside your home, place your mint plant under grow lights for 12 to 14 hours each day.

6. Increase Air Circulation

If you see fungal diseases on your mint plant such as powdery mildew, that's a sign that humidity around your plant is too high. Use a small fan to keep moist air moving gently around the plants to minimize certain disease and insect problems that thrive in high humidity.

7. Avoid Temperature Extremes

For the best indoor growing conditions, keep your home's temperatures between 65℉ degrees to 75℉. Avoid placing your potted mint on windowsills where temperatures are inconsistent, such as near heating vents or cooking appliances.

8. Harvest Mint Leaves Just Before Bloom

When the plant is at least 3 inches tall, you can begin pinching off leaves to use in your favorite recipes for a little minty kick. The flavor is most intense right before the plant blooms. Pinch off any blooms right before they open so the plant will make new buds.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I grow mint indoors from cuttings taken from an outside plant?

    Yes, you can take cuttings from a healthy outdoor mint plant to grow indoors. Just take 3- to 4-inch cuttings of stems, strip off lower leaves, and stick stems into moist potting mix. Cover your newly planted cuttings with a clear plastic bag to help conserve moisture.

  • Can I grow mint cuttings in water?

    Rooting your mint cuttings in water is as easy as rooting a plant in soil. Just place the stem's cut end into a cup of water and change the water every few days. Just know that you can’t grow mint in water forever, so when you see roots appear, plant your mint stems in some potting mix. Keep the soil moist and soon you’ll see more stems and leaves sprouting.

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