How to Grow Mint Indoors
Can Mint Be Grown Indoors? | Growing Mint Basics
Can you grow mint indoors? The answer: absolutely yes, you can.
From simple strains like peppermint and spearmint all the way to more exotic choices like chocolate, lemon, or orange mint, any of these are possibilities in your apartment or home.
Even better: mints don’t require much light to be vigorous, thriving, and a deliciously enjoyable part of your domicile.
With only minimal work, you’ll have a very useful houseplant that adds beauty, requires little maintenance, and that just can’t be kept down…literally.
Mints of all kinds are also great as just simple house companions. But they have a wide range of uses, too.
You can use them for cooking, making tea, home remedies, cleaning purposes, or to simply keep the air in your house fresh and fragrant.
Planting even one single mint plant of average size practically guarantees you years of these uses and tons of satisfaction. That’s because mints are amazingly robust growers, whether grown in large pots or small ones.
But keep in mind: successful mint plants for years and years is possible only if you plant, care, and harvest mint correctly.
Types of Mint You Can Grow Indoors | Different Mint Types
What I mean to say is there isn’t just one type of mint you can grow indoors—there’s actually quite a few.
If you thought you could only grow the classic spearmint or peppermint varieties indoors, you’re in for a surprise.
There are tons more types of mint beyond these two breeds to give your home versatility, variety, and excitement.
- Spearmint – Your standard mint variety with a flavor of clarity and sharpness. One of the easiest to grow and with the least amount of maintenance.
- Peppermint – Like spearmint, but with a slightly more peppery, earthy flavor. It is in fact a crossbreed between spearmint and the wild watermint.
- Apple Mint – A close relative to our above common mints. It is woolier in appearance, and also sometimes goes by the name pineapple mint.
- Catnip – That’s right: catnip is indeed a mint, or a mint relative. Grow it indoors to give your familiar felines a buzz once in a while – just be sure keep it out of their reach!
- Chocolate Mint – Chocolate mint is actually just a sub-variety of peppermint, only with an earthier flavor and brown stems. Grow it just like you would peppermint.
- Citrus Mints – These include orange and even grapefruit mints, which—like chocolate mint—are simply sub-varieties of peppermint that you can grow similarly.
Why Should You Grow Mint Indoors? | Growing Mint Benefits
There are lots of choices for what you can grow indoors.
This ranges from other herbs to houseplants that don’t mind low lighting—or simply getting their daily light from a nearby sunny window.
But what makes mint such a good choice?
For starters, growing it and caring for it is incredibly easy.
Mints will even put up with some neglect, making them an excellent choice for beginning growers—that is, they’ll forgive you if you make a few mistakes.
But what also makes mints so desirable: their usefulness. Here’s some examples:
- For flavoring and cooking. You’ll have fresh mint on hand for seasoning meals, flavoring marinades, or spiking cocktails with a minty flavor (think Moscow mules or mojitos).
- For minty-fresh tea. Simply pick a sprig from your plant, boil water, and make some mint tea for enjoyment or health purposes.
- For a home remedy. Mint tea, a fresh sprig, or simply chewing on a leaf can cure some minor ails—including stomach aches, nausea, and even minor tension headaches.
- As a breath freshener. Chew a leaf to have clean, pleasant breath.
- Add minty aromas to your living space. Just having a plant around in your living room, kitchen, or bedroom can have a pleasant, fragrant effect.
- It also just looks good. Mints of all types have no trouble growing tall, green, and lush—adding verdant life and vivacity to your home’s aesthetic.
What Do I Need to Grow Mint Indoors? | Mint Growing Tools
What might be the most amazing thing about growing mint: there’s hardly anything to it. You also don’t need much to make it happen.
In fact, you’ll find that— compared to how much info there is on mint’s benefits and background—the information on what tools you need and how to grow is delightfully brief.
For ease of growing, here is the most simplistic, basic list of things you’ll need:
- Small planter or pot (or pots, if growing multiple plants) – between 6 and 12 inches great to start
- Well-draining, but fertile, potting soil
- Small watering spray bottle or mister
- Small watering can
- Mint plant seeds, cuttings, transplants
Depending on how much effort you want to put into getting mint plants in your home or apartment, going with cuttings or transplants sourced online may be easiest.
For the dedicated plant grower with more time, starting mint from seeds is certainly possible and not too hard.
But it does require a little more work and patience before you get your full-grown mint plant.
Getting Started Planting and Growing Mint | Growing Mint Indoors
With all your tools ready to go for growing mint, getting into the growing steps for your first mint plant will be nothing but a breeze.
Steps will vary a little bit depending on whether you’re starting from seed or simply growing your mature mint plant out from a purchased cutting or transplant.
- Step 1. Fill your desired pot (or pots) with purchased soil. If planting from seed, make sure to fill container well up to the brim so seeds get adequate light to germinate.
- Step 2. Choose an ideal position for your mint plant. Next to any window in your home or apartment is fine, though a south- or west-facing one is preferred.
- Step 3. If starting mint from seed, follow seed packet instructions. Or, place them on top of the soil in your small pot, and only lightly sprinkle them on top with fine soil (¼ inch deep) and keep them consistently moist on a daily basis—but not pooling wet—for the following two weeks.
- Using a light water sprayer or mister is ideal at this stage. Seeds should sprout in 1 to 2 weeks, reaching maturity in at least 3 months, though these times depend on the variety of mint you are growing and other conditions. Make sure to keep them lightly moist during this entire period. As they get taller and larger, transitioning to a watering can is recommended.
- Step 4. If starting mint from cuttings or transplants (or, if you’re planning on transplanting your seedlings to larger pots), fill up larger sized pots with soil to make room for the root ball of your transplant.
- Dig an adequate-sized hole with your fingers (or a trowel) at the center of the soil in the pot. Place the root or base of your cutting or transplant into the hole.
- Cover the base with soil and pad it down lightly with your fingers, making sure the upper stems and leaves of the plant remain upright. Water base and roots of plants lightly immediately afterward with watering can.
- Water roots with watering can lightly at the base every day. After about a week, if the plant or cutting looks healthy, it has successfully established—and you can start watering it less, taking care of it like a mature plant.
Caring and Harvesting of Your New Mint Plant | Mint Plant Care and Use
Growing plants should be a walk in the park—and growing mint is no exception for those who want a hassle-free, no-fuss plant companion in their home.
After getting your mint plant established from either seed or transplant, caring for it is the truly easy part after just a little bit of effort.
Here’s some tips:
- Don’t feel you need to water your mint plant every day. Checking on it every day is just fine only to make sure that the soil isn’t drying out. If it is, use your watering can to moisten the soil around its roots. Generally speaking, watering your mint plants about once or twice a week is just fine—in fact, watering it less will make it less vulnerable to rot or disease.
- Give it the light it needs. Mints are known for their excellent tolerance to shade, though putting it by a window is still recommended. This is especially the case for young or small plants. The larger and leafier your mint plant gets, the better it will do farther away from a window or other light source indoors.
- Pick as many sprigs from your plant as you like to enjoy its home uses for natural remedies, cocktails, food, or seasonings. In fact, pinching off the top couple sets of leaves will encourage a bushier plant. It will create two new branches from that point. Just make sure to never harvest more than two thirds of the plant at any time per picking. Give it week or two to bounce back before harvesting again. Mint is a nearly unbeatable plant that can take anything—but it isn’t invincible, and it does have its limits.