How to Grow Mint Indoors: Easy Setup and Plant Care Guide
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Learning how to grow mint indoors is simple and useful. It’s one of those special herbs that you can use in just about anything.
It makes the perfect mojito, adds flavors to your favorite dish, and you can even use it to make an amazing herbal tea. No matter what you may be doing in the kitchen, there’s a good chance that mint is going to make it even better.
But mint is also notorious for how quickly it grows, spreading and even taking over whatever it’s planted in (which is not good if you have other herbs or plants growing in the same garden or pot!)
Knowing how quickly mint can get out of hand, you may be wondering how you’re going to be able to grow it without any headaches.
Solution: Set up an indoor mint garden!
In this article, you’ll find out how to grow mint indoors, and the simple care that goes with it.
Don’t miss out on having this wonder herb available all year long.
Let’s get started!
What Supplies Do You Need to Grow Mint Indoors?
There aren’t too many supplies you need to grow mint indoors, which is one of the reasons this herb is so popular among indoor gardeners. All you need is a pot, some potting soil, and existing mint plants or seeds.
If you’re growing your mint plant in the basement or somewhere that it can’t get the proper sunlight it needs, then you’ll also need a grow light.
Choosing the Best Pots for Indoor Mint
You’ll need a pot that is a minimum of 6 inches in diameter and has a drainage hole in the bottom of it. Avoid using any type of clay pot, as they typically dry out way too quickly. Other than that, feel free to choose any pot you like!
Here are a couple of suggestions to spark your imagination:
Potting Soil for Mint
Get yourself high-quality potting soil to fill your pot.
Don’t use regular garden soil or topsoil, since these tend to get compacted over time and don’t allow for good drainage. Without proper drainage, your mint plant’s roots can get water-logged, and it may die.
This indoor potting mix from Miracle-Gro is a top-selling fan favorite. If you’re looking for organic potting soil, check out this one!
Mint Plants or Seeds
Using a cutting taken from a healthy plant is the easiest and quickest way to get your indoor mint plant up and running. But you can grow mint plants indoors from seed as well.
Mint plants and seeds are readily available, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them at a big box store, nursery or garden supply store.
If you prefer to order seeds online, Botanical Interests is a fantastic source for high-quality heirloom mint seeds.
Further down in this post we’ll show you how much indirect light your mint plant will need. If you’re not getting any natural light, you’ll need to use a grow light to provide the necessary UV rays.
But don’t worry about buying a grow light that’ll break the bank- some of them can get expensive! We highly recommend this compact grow light that you can get on Amazon. It’ll be more than enough for your mint.
3 Methods to Growing Mint Indoors
Starting your own mint plant is a simple process. There are 3 ways that mint can be grown indoors.
- Growing mint from cuttings
- Growing mint from seed
- Growing mint with hydroponics or aquaponics
1. How to Grow Mint Indoors from Cuttings
Growing indoor mint from cuttings is the most popular option. You can grow your cutting in either soil or water.
Spring and early summer is typically the best time to harvest cuttings that will successfully take root.
If you’re unsure how to take a cutting or propagate, we’ve covered the steps of growing mint from cuttings in great detail in our photo tutorial on mint propagation.
So stop on by to see the process for yourself. We cover how to grow a new mint plant indoors in water and in soil. It’s super easy to do and produces a rooted cutting in just a few days.
2. How to Grow Mint Indoors from Seeds
Once you’ve got your seeds, plant them about 1/4 of an inch deep in your pot of soil. Make sure that you water your newly planted mint regularly, and try to keep the ambient temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
While sowing mint seeds isn’t hard, it’s a much slower process than using mint cuttings (unless you sing to your mint seeds every night!) You should see a mint seedling pop through the soil in 1 to 2 weeks.
As soon as your seed starts to sprout out of the soil, start adding a healthy dose of sunlight. You’ll have an abundance of mint plants in no time!
3. How to Grow Mint Indoors with Hydroponics or Aquaponics
Growing mint indoors from cuttings or seed isn’t for everyone. Sometimes we just want to just grow our own plants with as little work as possible, right? This is where hydroponics and aquaponics comes in.
The process of building your own hydroponic or aquaponic setup can be complicated and expensive. But both have grown in popularity over the years which has led to companies manufacturing pre-built systems that are very small and require little to no setup time.
If you’re unfamiliar with either one, here’s a quick breakdown of each:
Hydroponics is the technique of growing plants in nutrient-enriched water rather than soil. Because nutrients, oxygen and moisture are readily accessible in a hydroponic system, growth rates and yields are accelerated.
There are many different variations of hydroponic systems, but they all follow the same basic principles.
Here are 2 different hydroponic systems that we highly recommend:
We actually own both of these systems and even did a head-to-head comparison on both. You won’t be disappointed with either one!
Broken down into its simplest terms, aquaponics combines a fish tank with a plant growing bed, and each component provides nourishment for the other. Here’s a small aquaponics tank that we recommend:
It’s a pretty fascinating concept!
RELATED: If you’re interested in learning more, stop by our post on Aquaponics vs Hydroponics, where we go into more detail and have helpful visuals.
The initial cost for one of these systems is more than what it costs to grow mint from cuttings or seeds. But with all the benefits that both systems offer, the extra cost might be worth it at the end of the day.
Caring for Your Indoor Mint Plant
Mint plants grow very well indoors. But as with anything that you grow, there are certain care requirements that you’ll need to look at so your mint thrives.
And most homes probably already have the ideal lighting conditions, temperature, and humidity levels that allow the mint to flourish.
It’s always best to know for certain though, so let’s look into the things you’ll need to keep your mint plant alive indoors as long as possible:
How often do you water mint indoors? Make sure to give your mint plant regular drinks to keep it happy and hydrated.
But no plant does well with over-watering, so check the soil moisture first. Touch the soil to see how it feels. If there is moist soil on the surface, hold off on watering for now. When it feels dry, it’s time for some water.
How much sun does a mint plant need? Mint is unique in the sense that it will thrive with indirect sunlight. This means that mint can be in partial shade and still do exceptionally well, so it’s perfect for an indoor growing environment.
Where you put your mint plants indoors depends on the season. Place your plant in an east-facing window for the spring and summer and a west-facing window for the winter and fall. Done!
Mint loves a moderate ambient temperature, so aim for between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and a minimum of 55-60 degrees during the night.
Try to keep your mint away from any areas that may have a cool draft, or your plant could have a negative response due to the extra environmental stress.
Most indoor plants don’t appreciate overly dry air, and mint is no different.
However, mint isn’t overly picky about ambient humidity. So as long as you’re comfortable with the moisture level in the air, your mint plant probably is too.
If you live in a very dry climate or use a furnace during the winter, you may want to place a dish of water near your mint to add extra humidity. Keep refilling the dish as the water evaporates.
Fertilizing Indoor Mint
A high dose of fertilizer is not required as long as you plant your mint in rich, organic soil. In fact, it should develop nicely without the use of any fertilizer at all!
If you decide to feed your plant with fertilizer to give it a little boost, use it sparingly. High doses of fertilizer can cause the herb to lose its pleasant minty flavor.
Fertilize your indoor mint plant once every three weeks from mid-spring through late summer.
If you’re growing your mint plant in the winter, wait to fertilize it every six weeks.
A few organic fertilizers that we’d recommend would be Dr. Earth’s organic blend or Espoma’s organic concentrated plant food. Just remember to go lightly with either one, diluting the dosage to about half-strength.
Pruning & Harvesting Mint
Mint is a fast-growing plant, so you’ll need to trim it often to keep it healthy and avoid becoming leggy.
To encourage fresh growth and create a bushier plant, prune your mint 1-2 times each month. To minimize stress, don’t prune more than one-third of the plant at once.
Younger mint leaves have the best flavor. If you wait too long to trim your mint and it begins to flower, the plant will divert more of its resources to creating seed than to producing the flavorful oils.
Pruning mint is straightforward. Simply cut 3-4 inches off the top of the taller and leggier stems using clean scissors or pruning shears.
You can dry the stems, or you can harvest mint leaves off the stems you just cut.
If it’s not time to prune your mint yet but you need to harvest a few mint leaves, go ahead and pinch off the leaves of the main plant with your fingers.
Pruning mint is quite simple, but here’s a good video to watch through if you’re more visual:
Benefits of Growing Mint Indoors
So what do you stand to gain from a flourishing new mint plant at your disposal? A lot!
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits mint has to offer.
Versatile Kitchen Herb
The primary reason to grow mint is for the amazing flavor that it gives you. What’s better than being able to snip your very own homegrown, fresh mint leaves to give your food or drink the flavor boost you’re searching for?
When you’re in the kitchen cooking or making drinks, nothing is more convenient than having fresh herbs right there at your fingertips. No more emergency trips to the grocery store!
On top of that, since mint is constantly sprouting new stems and leaves, so you’ll have no problem harvesting a few sprigs now and then.
Beautiful Color and Structure
As a bonus to planting mint indoors, you may be surprised to find that mint makes for a surprisingly attractive houseplant.
Almost any plant can add an element of natural beauty to your home. But with its vibrant green color and dense foliage, mint goes above and beyond as far as herbs are concerned.
Mint is a perennial that will provide you with new foliage year-round. Hello, winter color!
Another reason to get started growing mint right now is the incredible fragrance it emits.
If you are ever having an ‘off’ type of day (and who doesn’t have one of those every so often?) just rub your fingers on a mint leaf and take a whiff.
Mint’s bracing aroma not only invigorates you and gives you the energy boost that you need, but it just plain smells great too!
And if you are really in need of a boost, try tossing in a few mint leaves into your bath. In addition to smelling amazing, it will double as a much-needed muscle-soothing soak as well.
Provides Vitamins and Minerals
Although they’re present in very small amounts, mint contains several essential nutrients (and why not take them wherever you can get them?)
Here are a few of the vitamins and minerals in mint:
- Vitamin A
According to Healthline, there is also some evidence that mint can help ease the discomforts of certain digestive problems.
Easy to Grow
So having fresh mint around all the time sounds great, but does that involve a tedious care routine for you?
The good news is that mint is extremely easy to grow. In fact, mint grows so readily that it can evolve into an invasive garden pest if not kept under strict control.
With its only predator being the frost during the winter months, mint is one of the easier herbs to grow indoors.
Once you make sure that your indoor mint plants are getting a decent amount of sunlight and has a consistent amount of moisture, you’re pretty much set!
Common Mint Varieties
The mint family belongs to the Mentha genus, and there are over 20 different mint varieties out there. One thing that makes mint so great for growing indoors is that just about every single variety is hardy and easy to grow.
Some of these varieties have very unique flavors, so make sure to taste them yourself. After all, you want to be confident that you’ll actually use the particular type of mint you’re growing!
Here are just a few types of mint that you may want to consider:
Peppermint: Peppermint is a very popular type of mint known for its cooling, refreshing taste.
Whether it’s food items, drinks, candies or breath mints, you’ve probably encountered peppermint before.
Spearmint: Boasting a sweet taste, spearmint is often the main flavor of mouthwash, toothpaste, candy, and chewing gum.
As an added benefit of growing it in your home, you’ll be able to add it to your teas and other drinks for an extra tasty treat.
Pineapple Mint: Pineapple mint is a unique variety you may not have heard of, and it’s popular for Polynesian or Caribbean recipes.
Pineapple mint is often used in fresh applications since it starts to lose its aromas after it’s been cooked. It’s a great addition to different syrups and oils as well.
Chocolate Mint: Fun fact about chocolate mint: It is not a real mint species, but rather a hybrid mint species.
As for how chocolate mint tastes, it’s somewhat up for debate. Some say that there are hints of chocolate, while others say that it is spearmint all the way.
If you need an example of what to expect when you eat chocolate mint, think about the first bite of chocolate/mint cookies or candies. If you’re a fan of these treats, chocolate mint is a must-try for you!
Apple Mint: Apple mint is a fun choice because it doesn’t taste like your average mint, but more like that of an apple.
What’s more, when you allow your apple mint to bloom, it produces spears of lovely white and pink flowers. This alone is more than enough reason to have a couple plants of growing in your kitchen!
Keep in mind that there are many other varieties of mint available to choose from. This is just a list of the more popular types of mint that people grow indoors.
Frequently Asked Questions on How to Grow Mint Indoors
Mint is a tasty addition to many drinks and food dishes, and it also has several health benefits to offer. Not only that, it’s much easier to grow inside your home than many of the other types of herbs and plants.
Why not give an indoor herb garden a try?
When you follow the tips outlined above, you should have no problem producing more mint than you know what to do with. (Don’t worry- your friends and family members will probably always appreciate a gift of fresh mint!)
So now that you know how to grow mint indoors, go forth and start your own indoor mint farm. Happy minting!
Let us know what you think! Have you ever tried growing mint before? What was your experience like?
Tell us about it in the comments!