Are you wondering how to grow mint? We’re here to help.
Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow and is extremely versatile as you can use it for cooking, for scent and even for medicinal purposes. It is an essential ingredient in many recipes and is great for enhancing the taste of many dishes, whether it’s chopped into fresh summer salads, added to desserts, or simply popped into the pot with new potatoes. It will also add a refreshing twist to a summer drink and is perfect packed into a mojito for those upcoming summer parties.
Mint is also believed to have medicinal properties and the peppermint variety submerged in hot water and drunk as tea is commonly thought to aid digestion.
See: Kitchen garden ideas – easy ways to get started
Mint is grown for its aromatic scent, too, and is often used by florists for adding extra fragrance to a bouquet – why not try adding some stems to a bunch of flowers picked from your garden?
There are hundreds of mint varieties to grow, each with slightly different properties. Spearmint is most commonly used in cooking, but peppermint is the best to grow for use in mint tea.
In this guide, we take you through the easy steps to growing mint so that you can have a bountiful crop, all summer long.
How can I grow mint at home?
Mint is easy to grow at home; it is the perfect herb for the novice gardener and you don’t even need a garden. It can be grown in a small pot on the windowsill, in containers on the patio, or in a border in the garden.
Mint will grow best planted in a sunny but sheltered spot and in neutral to alkaline free draining soil. However, it is a very forgiving and adaptive plant, so can tolerate shade and dry or damp conditions.
How to grow mint
Mint can be grown from seed, but is easy to propagate from cuttings. In his programme Gardeners World the gardening expert Monty Don recommends growing mint this way, suggesting to ‘get hold of a plant – ideally someone can give you one, or you can buy a plant from a supermarket – then, cut a couple of stems, pop them into water, and, after a few days they will start to grow roots.’
Here's the process in three simple steps:
1. Cut a series of 8cm stems from a mint plant and remove the bottom leaves.
2. Place the stems in a glass of water and position in a sheltered place such as a windowsill – the stems should root in days.
3. Once there is a good network of roots, pot each cutting up into an 8cm pot filled with a mix of compost and grit and grow on.
See: Small vegetable garden ideas – from layout designs to the best crops to grow
What is the best way to grow mint?
Without doubt the best way to grow mint is in a container. It is an invasive plant with vigorous rhizomatous roots that spread outwards easily which, if not restricted, can cause the plant to get out of hand and become a weed. To keep the plant under control, mint is best grown in a pot to contain its roots.
‘It even pays to grow mint in a container in a border,’ advises the celebrity gardener Monty Don in his monthly blog. ‘An old bucket with holes in the bottom is ideal as this will allow the roots to grow down as far as they like but to restrict their lateral spread.’
If planting mint in a border, dig a hole big enough to sink a large pot or bucket with drainage holes in the bottom. Place the pot in the hole and infill with a soil and compost mixture, then plant in the mint, firm in well and water.
Does mint grow better inside or outside?
Mint can be grown outside in a border or in containers on a patio, and, even if you don’t have a garden, you can still grow a good crop in pots on a windowsill.
As mint is a herbaceous perennial, if growing outside, then it will die back in winter. If you are growing it outside then it will begin to get straggly at the end of autumn. To prolong its growth, after it has flowered, consider cutting it right back to just above soil level to encourage fresh shoots for fall picking.
See: How to grow garlic – a step by step guide to growing from cloves
Alternatively, in his book The Complete Gardener, Monty Don suggests splitting your plant and potting up a section of root at the end of summer to bring inside or into a greenhouse where the warmer environment will keep the plant growing during the winter months, albeit less vigorously.
Lover of all things vintage, floral and country, Pippa has been working in interiors media for 10 years. A graduate of Art History, and Style Editor for Period Living magazine, she is a nostalgic soul who is passionate about historic architecture and traditional craftsmanship. When she's writing about homes and gardens you'll find her pottering on her Gloucestershire allotment, Pippa's Plot, where she grows flowers for styling her own home and interiors shoots.
Dining room color ideas – 12 paint inspiration shades, from neutrals to navy
Dare to be different with your dining room color ideas, and create an unforgettable atmosphere for your guests
By Thea Babington-Stitt •
32 kitchen lighting ideas – to set the scene for cooking, eating and entertaining
Our kitchen lighting ideas and expert advice offer cleverly planned illumination inspiration that will bring your room out of the shadows
By Ailis Brennan •
How to prune wisteria – and the best time to do it
Learn how to prune wisteria for a healthier plant with maximum blooms
By Melanie Griffiths •
How to prune clematis – everything you need to know for beautiful blooms
Discover how to prune clematis to ensure a beautiful flush of blooms every year
By Holly Reaney •
How to prune azaleas – and when to leave them alone
Find out when and how to prune azaleas to enjoy the best from these colorful flowering shrubs
By Rachel Crow •
How to prune a lemon tree
Learn how to prune a lemon tree to maximize fruit production and keep the plant in good shape
By Melanie Griffiths •
How to prune basil – and the best time to do it
Find out how to prune basil plants the right way for healthy, bushy plants that last longer
By Rachel Crow •
How to prune raspberries
Learn how to prune summer and autumn fruiting raspberries to ensure a bumper crop
By Pippa Blenkinsop •
How to prune lilac
Discover how to prune lilac to keep it look great and flowering every year
By Holly Reaney •
How to prune an apple tree – and when to do it
Keep apple trees in great shape to improve your harvest. Find out how to prune an apple tree with advice from experts
By Karen Darlow •