Your Guide To: Mint Plant Care

Everything you need to know when caring this much-loved potted herb.

Fragrant and sweet, sprigs of mint elevate everything that comes out of your kitchen, from cocktails to couscous to pork chops. Use fresh or dried, as a garnish or a flavor note, this fast-growing and easy-to-maintain herb will become the powerhouse ingredient you won't know how you cooked without.

Mint also adds a pop of vivid green to your kitchen counter or windowsill. Bunches of verdant, aromatic mint right off the stem add unique energy that makes every space happier.

How to Keep a Mint Plant Happy

Mint has been used for centuries by many cultures for its bright, cooling taste. Mint has also been valued as an all-natural cleaning ingredient as well as for its stomach-soothing properties. Mint grows wild in temperate climates all over the world, which goes to show how easy it is to cultivate and maintain.

How Much Lighting Does a Mint Plant Need?

Mint plants traditionally live outdoors. That means that mint needs as much light as possible to thrive in your indoor space. Direct sunlight on a space close to a window will work well for mint. If it doesn't seem to be getting enough light, you can add a fluorescent lamp or even a grow light to its environment to help.

How Do I know When To Water My Mint Plant?

Mint plants need less water than you might think, but they do need to be watered consistently. As a rule of thumb, this herb needs water every week. You'll need to monitor the soil to know for sure what your mint plant needs.

Every few days, test the soil by feeling the top inch or two of soil with your fingertip (or, better yet, take all the guesswork out of watering with a Plant Moisture Indicator from our Accessories shop).

When the top two inches of soil are dry to the touch, saturate your mint plant's potting soil with water from a small container or watering can. Pour water out slowly, moving in a clockwise motion so that you can evenly water your plant's roots. Any excess water will drip into the tray at the bottom of your plant.

Mint plants don't like for their roots sit in water, so remove the extra water from the tray before returning your plant to its place.

How Do I Use Plant Food for My Mint Plant?

Plant food is an important part of fostering healthy growth and new leaves as your plant gets used to its new digs.

For a kitchen-sized mint plant in a container that's between 5 and 6 inches in diameter, insert 3 new plant food spikes (included with your plant purchase) into the soil once every month during the spring and summer. During the fall and winter, when your mint plant is dormant, you can feed your plant every two months. Plants experience seasons even when they are living indoors.

What Is a Mint Plant's Ideal Environment?

Mint plants do well when they can absorb some water from the air. You can add some wet pebbles or gravel to your mint plant's saucer to give it a humidity boost. Occasionally misting your mint plant is also beneficial.

Keep the average room temperature in your home between 65 and 80 degrees, and keep your mint plant out of drafty areas for best growth.

How Do I Prune and Maintain My Mint Plant?

A kitchen-sized mint plant will grow several inches every year. Mint can actually benefit from occasional pruning, so it makes sense to have pruning shears on hand to prune back old leaves and make room for new growth. Leaves that are yellowed, brown, or damaged can be pruned back at any time.

Remember to rotate your plant a quarter turn every time you water it to make sure that light is being distributed evenly to each part of your mint plant — our plant trivet set makes this easy and stylish, too.

How Do I Harvest My Mint Plant?

Our mint plants arrive ready to harvest. Mint that grows wild outside can develop white or purple flowers, but indoor mint plants are unlikely to produce blooms, especially if they are harvested as often as they should be.

You can pluck a sprig of mint and use the aromatic, serrated leaves while they are still fresh. You can also set a sprig of mint on your kitchen counter to let it dry out a bit, or use a food dehydrator to create mint that is more like what you'd find in a spice jar. The only way the process could be simpler is if you use a tool like our Pull and Pinch Herb Harvester to quickly and easily separate mint leaves from their stems.

How to Address Common Mint Plant Issues

  • Dropping leaves can mean that your mint plant isn't getting enough light. Try moving it closer to its primary light source, or consider adding a fluorescent lamp to your mint 's environment.
  • Aphids and other pests are particularly drawn to mint plants, especially if you give your plant some sunshine outside during the warmer months. If you notice aphids gathering on your mint plant's leaves, a stream of water from a garden hose can be used to knock them off.

How Do I Propagate Mint?

Propagating mint from cuttings is fairly simple and easy.

  1. Grab a small pot with proper drainage holes and fill it with potting soil and then thoroughly moisten the soil.
  2. Using sharp scissors or garden shears, cut a healthy stem from your existing mint plant that is 3-5inches and has several leaves on it.
  3. Remove the leaves from the lower end of the stem and dip the entire bare stem of the step in rooting hormone.
  4. Make a hole in the potting soil, place the stem in the hole and gently press the soil around it.
  5. Keep the pot in indirect light until you see signs of new growth. Water as needed to keep the soil moist and mist the plant daily until it's rooted.

After the last step, you can follow all of the mint plant care instructions we outlined in this guide.

What to Do If You Still Have Questions

If your mint plant doesn't seem to feel at home in your space, we're here to help! You can chat with a live Greendigs representative on our website. You can also shoot us an email at [email protected].