Keep fresh mint right at your fingertips all year long by growing mint indoors & outdoors. Mint plants are vigorous growers that come in a variety of exquisite flavors and captivating scents.
They are relatively easy plants to grow and are exceptional culinary additions to have on hand, and well, their fragrance and taste are simply divine. Their leaves and oils have many uses, from edibles to medicinal purposes, and are frequently used as fragrances in beauty products.
Discover the tips and tricks for how to grow mint indoors & outdoors so that you can enjoy all of the benefits of mint all year long.
Ideal Soil Composition & pH for Growing Mint
Mint prefers soil that is rich in organic material and well-draining. Mint plants grow best in a slightly acidic soil that measures between 6.5 and 7.0 on the pH scale. Amend the soil with organic material and well-decomposed compost for in-ground planting. For container planting, both indoors and outdoors, use premium potting soil.
Mint Growing Conditions
Whether growing mint indoors or outdoors, full sun conditions are a must. Mint enjoys several hours of direct sunlight for optimal growth. But, as vigorous growers, they can also tolerate some shade.
- Growing Mint Indoors: Plant mint in a sunny window on the south or east side of your home.
- Growing Mint Outdoors: Find a spot where the sun shines brightly for at least 6-8 hours per day.
How to Plant Mint Indoors & Outside
Mint seeds are tiny and may be grown indoors and transplanted outside after frost or planted as a potted plant. They can also be purchased and transplanted to indoor and outdoor containers or in-ground.
Starting Mint Seeds Indoors
- Sow seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost in your area.
- Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and covers seeds lightly with soil.
- Keep the soil moist with an ideal temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mint seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
- Transplant to pots indoors or outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
Planting Mint Seeds Outdoors
- Sow seeds outdoors after the last frost date in your region.
- Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and covers lightly with soil.
- Keep the soil moist.
- Mint seeds will germinate in 7-14 days.
- Thin seedlings to 18 inches apart when they have three or four true leaves.
Buying & Transplanting Mint
Mint plants can be readily purchased from nurseries and garden centers and can sometimes be found on grocery store shelves. Transplant young plants into pots indoors or outdoors after the danger of first has passed.
Growing Mint in Pots, Raised Beds, & In-Ground Gardens
You might be wondering how to grow mint indoors & outdoors and where to grow it. Mint is versatile and can be grown indoors in pots and outdoors in containers or in-ground as long as it’s in a sunny spot.
- While mint can grow just about anywhere, we suggest that you plant mint in isolated containers. Mint multiplies through tunneling roots that spread out horizontally. It can be very invasive and get out of control in your garden bed very quickly, impeding on surrounding plants.
- Mint plants grow better in pots with ample surface area rather than significant soil depth.
- Note that if you intend to grow mint in-ground or in raised beds with other plants, consider burying a barrier around the plant so that the roots cannot spread out horizontally.
- When planting outdoors in containers, planting small amounts in lightweight pots can allow you the option of bringing those pots indoors, so they can continue to grow throughout the winter months.
How to Water Mint
Water regularly, but do not overwater mint plants. They do not like to be soggy. Plants should receive about one inch of water per week. Water plants in the morning so that the foliage has time to dry before nightfall to minimize disease problems.
Nutrients Needed for Growing Mint
Mint plants are vigorous growing herbs that do not need a lot of fertilization. Feed mint plants with a slow-release organic fertilizer once a year, preferably as the plant wakes up from dormancy or upon initial planting. Do not overfertilize your mint plants; otherwise, they can become gangly or can even die back.
How To Prune Mint
Whether you’re growing mint indoors or outdoors, pruning your mint plants should regularly result in a harvest of minty leaves that are tender and flavorful. Left unpruned, mint plants can become woody and lose their zest.
You’ll likely be pruning your plants regularly if you are using them for culinary reasons. All that you need to do is to snip the tops of the plants to shape them. Mint will then grow more full, vibrant, and flavorful.
If growing mint outdoors, prune the plant back vigorously at the end of the growing season. For those in very hot climates, dormancy may occur in the hot summer months, while in colder climates will likely be during the late fall and early winter.
- Consider planting mint in a container and allowing it to go to flower. Plants in the mint family are critical in the ecosystem for pollinators. Honey bees flock to mint plants and use the rich nectar to make honey.
Harvest this herb in much of the way that you prune the plant. Plants grow best when harvested regularly. Younger leaves have better flavor than older leaves.
- Harvest all at once by cutting the entire plant back before flowering. This works well if you plan to dry your mint.
- Harvest plant leaves individually as you need them.
- Snip leafy stems as you need them.
Common Mint Plant Pests & Diseases
Regular pruning will help keep pests and diseases at bay. Any insect pests can easily be picked off or hosed off with a sharp spray of the hose. Diseased leaves can also be removed and disposed of individually.
Pests and diseases that plague mint plants include:
- Leaf Spot
- Powdery Mildew
*Note: In some regions, these leaf miner “trap” plants are considered invasive.
Recommended Mint Varieties to Grow
There are lots of different mint varieties that vary in flavor and essence. Try some of these tantalizing types of mint plants and enjoy growing mint indoors & outdoors.
- Chocolate Peppermint’
- ‘Pineapple Mint’
- ‘Orange Bergamot Mint’
- ‘Lemon Bergamont Mint’