Mint is one of the most favored plants for urban gardening and is known for its vigorous growth.
Unlike the tough-to-grow houseplants, mint is extremely easy to grow as it doesn’t have any complicated growing needs.
Anyone can plant this aromatic herb in their homes regardless of their gardening expertise. Whether a person is a novice grower or a gardening maestro, they can grow mint without any hassle.
Mint tends to proliferate, spreading its runners in all directions in the ground. Its rapid growth is also a factor behind its immense popularity in residential gardens.
Although mint is generally grown in the open space of an in-home garden, it can be planted in a container just as easily.
All you need to do to ensure growth is to water it readily and provide indirect sunlight.
But before we get into the procedure of growing mint at home, let’s first look at the various types of this aromatic plant that one can grow.
What kind of mints can you grow indoors?
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, mint has about a dozen species and more than seven thousand plant varieties worldwide.
The plant fundamentally has a menthol-based aroma, but each type has a slight variation in taste.
Due to the refreshing aroma of mint, it is typically used to flavor chewing gums, toothpaste, and minty beverages such as mojitos and lemonades.
Apart from being used as a flavoring agent, mint is also used as a therapeutic remedy for a number of ailments such as gastrointestinal infections, inflammation, and gut disorders.
Even though the textured green herb comes in many varieties, only a handful of those are grown in homes.
The most common types are spearmint and peppermint, followed by apple mint, orange mint, and pineapple mint.
Since most people aren’t aware of the latter three mint options, they prefer to grow the former two varieties.
However, experienced gardeners are well aware of all the five common mint types.
Peppermint is the most popular mint variation. It has the highest amount of menthol in all the mint types, which is up to 40%.
Its strong flavor is what makes it a popular mint choice in all of the mint varieties.
Although it is the most recognized mint, it is not one of the native species but the outcome of an experiment.
In 1975, some experts in England created this aromatic mint by combining water-mint and spearmint.
The resultant mint was so flavorsome that it became the go-to mint choice for culinary experts and herbalists worldwide.
Like most mint varieties, peppermint is super easy to grow and enjoys frequent watering and partial light.
However, it is one of the few mint variations that respond well to direct sunlight and, in turn, produce copious amounts of oil.
Hence, if you put your peppermint pot directly under the sun, it will not be damaged.
Spearmint comes next to peppermint on the popularity scale of the different kinds of mints.
Unlike most mint types, leaves of spearmint have a pointed top; hence, the name spearmint.
Spearmint is one of the oldest known mint plants. It is mentioned in the Bible and is believed to be native to the Mediterranean.
Its menthol content is less than that of peppermint, making spearmint ideal for flavoring a wide variety of drinks and dishes.
It can be conveniently grown in urban gardens, in raised beds or planters. It thrives in indirect sunlight and craves frequent watering due to its need for moisturized soil.
Apple mint, also known as wooly mint, is a velvety mint variation that is less invasive than its other clan members.
It has a sweet taste that is much mild than the flavors of other mint types with no bitter aftertaste.
Apple mint enjoys the sun and thrives in readily moisturized soil. Aside from apple mint’s culinary uses, its appealing green appearance makes it an excellent aesthetic fixture to any windowsill.
Orange mint, as the name suggests, has a powerful citrusy aroma with lavender undertones. It is also referred to as bergamot mint and is known for lending scents to perfumes and colognes.
The slightly sour flavor of orange mint makes it ideal for breaking the sweetness in desserts, which makes it the top mint choice of most patissiers.
It works best with chocolate, cream, and other fruits as well. Growing orange mint at home is no different than growing any other kind of mint.
All it needs is periodic watering and some controlled sunlight.
Pineapple mint is touted as the most aesthetically appealing mint plant, thanks to its creamy variegated leaves.
Although it’s sometimes mistaken as apple mint, the two are different from one another. Apple mint is the parent plant of pineapple mint.
Pineapple mint has a unique appearance that is different from all other mint types, so it’s easily distinguishable.
It has a citrusy flavor with sweet undertones. Growing pineapple mint is pretty straightforward; a large pot, some indirect sunlight and frequent watering is all you need to grow this flavorsome herb.
Growing any type of mint requires a similar procedure. Here’s how you can grow mint in your home.
How to grow mint indoors?
Although you can grow mint by planting seeds, it would be better to use cuttings from existing mint plants.
Using mint cuttings yields healthier results and is a faster planting route. But if you are a first-timer, then you must not have any existing plants to cut stems so you can use mint seeds.
Another way to go about growing mint could be buying a healthy mint plant from a garden center and using its stems to sow your own mint plants.
Both methods will yield results sooner or later, so choose the one that is convenient for you.
Growing mint plant from stem cuttings
- Cut 5-6 inch long stems below the node of an existing mint plant. Remove all the leaves from the bottom two inches of the cuttings
- Place the cuttings in a jar or bottle filled with water. Keep the stems soaked for some time, allowing fresh roots to form and grow a few inches.
- Once you can see the roots, take them out of the water and plant them in containers pre-filler with a growing medium.
Growing mint plant from seeds
- Fill your pots with a growing medium
- Plant the seeds in the pre-filled pots
- And place it on a windowsill to provide sunlight
Planting a mint plant is the first stem of growing it. Although a mint plant doesn’t need rigorous maintenance, it does require frequent watering and some light.
Here is how you should care for your mint plants after planting the seeds or stem cuttings.
How to care for mint growing?
- Mint plants like moisture, so make sure that the growing medium you have used is damp all the time. With that said, don’t overwater your mint plants as that can lead to waterlogged soil.
- Rotate your mint plants every few days allowing each side to get equal exposure to sunlight. Mint is prone to phototropism, which means it tends to grow towards the light. Therefore, if a mint plant is not moved around, it will not grow proportionately and, as a result, have a lopsided appearance.
- Mint plants permeate the soil rapidly, growing faster than most herbs. So, they don’t need assistance from fertilizer and easily get all the necessary nutrients from the ground. Adding manure or compost to a mint plant can lead to an adulterated aroma.
- Regular pruning is advised for healthy growth in mint plants. Pinch your mint plants to promote healthy growth and reduce apical dominance-where the main stem dominates over the branches.
- Flowers in a mint plant can take away aroma from the leaves; therefore, remove any flowers that you see sprouting on your baby mints.
- Although mint plants do not have any complicated growing requirements, their growth can be enhanced by providing them a few atmospheric conditions.
Ideal Growing Conditions for a Mint Plant
Indirect Exposure to the Sun
Mint doesn’t prefer direct exposure to the sun and responds well under indirect sunlight.
Therefore, place your mint plants on east-facing windows during the summer and spring seasons and west-facing windows during the fall and winter seasons.
Moderate Ambient Temperature
Mint plants grow well in moderate surrounding temperatures.
Try to maintain the temperature around your mint plants between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
What about Humidity?
Like most indoor plants, mint plants are not fond of dry air. They like to be surrounded by a light mist.
So if you live in an arid region, mist your mint plants between watering sessions to provide them ideal growing conditions.
You can also place your plants within proximity to one another to boost the humidity. But be sure to keep a fair amount of distance between your planters.
If you want to start your urban gardening journey, then growing mint can be an excellent starting point.
It’s an easy-to-grow plant with minimal growing needs, giving you the perfect opportunity to master the art of gardening.