Before you grow mint indoors, learn how to grow indoors from seeds to lighting and much more.
The benefits are many. Not only taking care of plants can be very rewarding for your happiness and mental health, if you decide to plant certain plants, you’ll also have the opportunity to control, even if in a little portion, some of the food supply that goes into your dishes.
Have you ever considered growing mint indoors?
If you want to know all about it, including the best conditions that will make your plant thrive and get some tips about how to make the most out of your mint plants, keep reading this essential quite on growing mint indoors.
Can Mint Be Grown Indoors?
The quick answer to this question is yes, you can grow mint indoors. Mint is one of the easiest culinary herbs to grow, both indoors and outside.
This makes it a particularly good plant for those that are just starting with gardening. What makes mint so good is that it is not only simple to harvest, it is also pretty hard to kill.
That will make fresh mint available to you at almost anytime, without having to invest too much time in maintenance or special care for the plant. For instance, you can grow mint in a simple pot of soil.
It is very important that whatever the container you decide to use, it has the appropriate drainage to ensure healthy plant growth, but we will talk more about that later.
What are you waiting for? Mint can be used in a variety of dishes (and tasty drinks too!), so it is surely a plant you might want to have at your house! Let’s review some ways you can grow your mint plant easily at your home.
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Growing Mint Indoors from Seeds
You can easily grow mint starting from the seeds. It is pretty simple, just follow these steps and you’ll see it flourishing in little time:
- Select a container and fill it with potting soil mix or special seed starting mix if you wish.
- Water the soil thoroughly.
- Sprinkle the seeds on the top of the soil, without exaggerating with the quantities: you want to avoid overcrowding.
- Then cover the seeds with a 1/4th inch of the same potting soil mix. Press gently the soil with your hands.
- Water the soil enough to make it damp.
- Place the container in a warm spot or on top of a germination heating pad and cover it with a plastic bag.
- Usually, after about 7 days or longer, you’ll notice the first seedings coming out. As soon as you notice that, take the plastic bag away and move your mint somewhere where it will get at least seven hours of sunlight per day. Alternatively, you can place it under a source of artificial light, but we will talk about this later on.
- The most important thing, for taking good care of the plant, is that you keep the soil moist at all times, as mint plants do not thrive on dry soil.
Growing Mint from Cuttings Indoors
You can even grow mint from cuttings! All you need to do is buy some fresh mint at the grocery store and follow these steps to regrow it at home:
- Take several cuttings of mint (4-6 inches long) and make your cut below the small bump where the leaves start growing, which is referred to as a node.
- Remove the bottom leaves.
- Place your cuttings into the potting mix about 1.5 inches deep and press down the soil surrounding the cuttings that you planted. The cuttings should not be placed closer than 2 inches apart from each other.
- Water the cuttings and get the surface soil wet. Be careful at not pouring water directly on your cuttings as it may cause dislocation from the soil.
- Keep your cuttings under natural light or artificial lights for approximately 2 weeks while keeping the soil constantly moist (but not soaking wet!).
- Generally, within two weeks you’ll see your cuttings growing!
- In more or less one month, the cuttings will have gotten strong and healthy enough to harvest.
And here it is, now you know how to grow mint indoors from seeds and cuttings. As you can see the process is not particularly hard. Just follow the instructions and you’ll always have mint at your disposition!
Growing Mint in Water Indoors
You may also opt for growing your mint in water. It is possible and a good way to try alternative growing methods, which you may apply to other plants.
You simply have to take cuttings of 5-6 inches long either from one of your mint plants which are ready to be harvested or you can buy some cuttings at the grocery store.
Remove the leaves underneath the node and place your cuttings in a glass or bottle filled with water. Place the container somewhere that will receive natural sunlight for 7-8 hours a day.
Remember to change the water every other day. In a few days, leaves will start growing from your cuttings. You can either decide to plant the cuttings in a bigger container with soil or just use the mint leaves and keep growing your mint in the water!
Growing Mint in Natural Light Indoors
Mint requires at least 6-7 hours of natural light every day to grow well. Mint plants prefer direct sun rather than partial shade. If you can’t place it on a balcony, try to place them near a window that will receive sunlight for most of the day,
Growing Mint with Artificial Light Indoors
During the wintertime, you might not get enough sunlight, but the good news is that you can still grow your mint plants indoors with artificial lighting.
If you decide to grow mint with artificial lights, you’ll have different options to choose from. Fluorescent lights are a common and widely available option to replace the sunlight when a sunny window is not available
There are two main types of fluorescent lights:
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL)
- High-Intensity Discharge Bulbs (HID)
CFLs need to be placed closer to the plant than HID because of the lower intensity. The general rule of thumb is to use CFLs for seedings and to light younger plants but not for flowering or more mature plants.
The drawback fo using HID is that while they promote optimal growth, they usually require a lot more energy compared to the average household light bulb, which might be reflected in your expenses at the end of the month.
Alternatively, you can use an LED Plant Growth Light. These LED lights are rising in popularity and it is getting easier to find them nowadays.
Using LED lights to have several benefits, including not having to pay more in the electricity bills, as these light bulbs are more environmentally friendly than the traditional bulbs.
Spearmint VS Peppermint: What’s the Difference?
There are more than 600 different varieties of mint, but the majority of them have such little differences between them, that unless you are an expert you won’t be able to notice them.
In general, you can interchangeably use them most of the different types of mint for culinary uses. There are some however that have more distinct differences.
For example, have you ever wondered what’s the difference between spearmint and peppermint? And does the care for these plants differ?
Physically, the two plants appear to be very similar. However, Spearmint has a sweeter taste, while peppermint’s flavor is more pronounced and stronger. This is because peppermint has a much higher content (40% more) in menthol than spearmint.
Taking Care Of Your Mint Plants
There is not much difference in terms of taking care of those two plants. Mint plants, in general, thrive in rich, moist soil and do not require too much care.
Mint plants are almost pestiferous and are harsh survivors. You might want to rotate the plant every four days to make it maintain a more even appearance, as plants will tend to grow towards the light.
In terms of potting soil to grow your spearmint or peppermint indoors, you can either buy some at a garden center or make your own.
To make potting soil mix, you simply have to combine (in equal parts) garden soil, fine sand, coconut coir peat, and vermicompost or composted manure. This is just a recommendation as mint will grow anywhere.
Because mint is such a fast-growing plant, you need to choose a container that is large enough and that will fit the size of the plant you are planning in having.
Usually, for regular culinary uses, a 5 liter pots will be just fine. What is important is that the container has appropriate drainage to ensure the healthy and adequate growth of the plant.
Now you know that it is possible (and easy) to grow your mint plants indoors.
Why not starting to grow some to always have mint when you need it in the kitchen? It will not only be useful, but it will also help to make your house look a bit more “green”!