How to grow & care for mint
Mint (Mentha spicata) is a very aromatic, low-growing and spreading herb that’s easy to grow. In fact sometimes it grows so well that it can rapidly take over - so it’s best to grow mint in its own pot, garden bed or planter.
Mint loves a full sun to shade spot in a moist soil - the more sunny the spot, the more moisture your mint will need. Mint does not like long periods of dry, so make sure it's planted somewhere it can receive regular water during the driest months.
There are many different varieties of mint including the common garden mint, spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, apple mint and basil mint just to name a few! Each has a unique flavour and aroma that corresponds to their names.
Top 5 steps to growing mint
- Grow mint in a full sun to shade position with a moist soil
- Mint can easily be grown from seeds, cuttings or potted plants.
- Mint is a vigorous grower and can take over! Give mint its own dedicated pot, planter or garden bed to contain it.
- Harvest mint leaves as you need them - they can be used fresh or dried.
- Mint can die back in winter in cooler climates, cut it back to ground level and top dress with Scotts Osmocote® Controlled Release Fertiliser: Tomato, Vegetable & Herb + an open organic mulch in spring and it will bounce back as the weather warms up.
- Mint seeds, cuttings or potted plant
- Scotts Osmocote® Compost Premium Soil Improver
- Scotts Osmocote® Controlled Release Fertiliser: Tomato, Vegetable & Herb
- If growing in pots, Scotts Osmocote® Plus Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Potting Mix and a suitable pot
- If growing from cuttings, Scotts Osmocote® Seed & Cutting Mix and some small pots
- Garden trowel
- Defender™ Snail & Slug Pellets
Mint is most commonly grown from potted plants or cuttings, but seeds are also available.
Choose a full sun to shade spot with a moist soil. Dig the hole twice as wide as the original nursery pot and the same depth. Mix a small amount of Scotts Osmocote® Compost Premium Soil Improver and Scotts Osmocote® Controlled Release Fertiliser: Tomato, Vegetable & Herb through the original soil at the base of the planting hole.
Planting in the garden
If planting mint into your garden make sure it’s in a contained space or seperate garden bed as it can easily take over and smother other plants!
Plant mint into prepared soil by removing it from the nursery pot and placing it into the centre of the planting hole. Tease the roots gently before placing in the hole if they are pot bound. Water it in well and mulch around the plant to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Let your new mint plant establish and put on fresh growth before you start harvesting. Mint leaves can be harvested using sharp scissors whenever you need them. The soft new growing tips are the most tender, but any leaves can be harvested.
Mint leaves can be dried using a dehydrator or the air drying method. If air drying mint, hang bunches upside down in a well ventilated, dry spot until the leaves are crisp and completely dry. Store in an airtight container until needed.
Growing from seeds
Mint seeds can be sown year round - just avoid extreme heat or cold conditions. Sow mint seeds into punnets or small pots filled with Scotts Osmocote® Seed & Cutting Mix. Sprinkle the seeds on the surface and cover with a 1cm thick layer of more potting mix. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy while the seeds germinate which will take 10-14 days.
Transplant your mint seedlings into their final growing spot once they are about 10cm tall.
Add mulch around your mint plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Growing from cuttings
Mint strikes easily from cuttings. Take a tip cutting from an established mint plant and get it to root by placing it in a glass filled with water on a windowsill.
Once your cutting has established roots it can be transplanted into a pot or your chosen garden space to establish and grow.
Planting in pots
It’s recommended you grow mint in pots to keep its vigorous growth contained. Mint will grow in medium to large pots at least 30cm wide by the same depth.
Fill the pot with Scotts Osmocote® Plus Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Potting Mix, before removing the mint plant from its nursery pot and planting into the prepared pot. Backfill around the root ball and water in well.
If growing from seeds you can direct sow the mint seeds onto the potting mix in your chosen pot. Lightly cover with a 1cm layer of more potting mix and keep moist until they germinate in 10-14 days.
Add a light layer of open organic mulch to retain moisture during the warmer months.
Harvest & Maintenance
Harvest sprigs or individual mint leaves when you need them using sharp scissors. Regular harvesting will help keep the plant compact and neat.
Mint doesn’t need a lot of fertiliser, but will benefit from a dose of Scotts Osmocote® Controlled Release Fertiliser: Tomato, Vegetable & Herb in spring.
Pests & Diseases
Mint is rarely attacked by pests or diseases. If slugs and snails become a problem use beer traps (saucers filled with beer) or sprinkle Defender™ Snail & Slug Pellets around your plants.