Mint is an aromatic herb that is easy to grow. You can grow it outside in a garden, or indoors, in your home. And it will come in handy for culinary purposes and a range of other applications.
To grow mint in pots indoors, you need to think about:
- Where to place mint in pots indoors.
- Which container and growing medium to choose.
- Which mint variety to grow indoors.
- How to care for mint inside your home.
- And how to harvest mint in pots indoors.
Choosing Where to Grow Mint Indoors
Mint is a very easy plant to grow. But when growing indoors it is important to provide it with the right environmental conditions.
Primarily this means light. Mint requires less light than some other herbs grown indoors, but will still require grow lights if it does not get at least six hours of sun each day. With enough light, either natural or from grow lights, mint can be grown indoors year-round.
Outdoors, mint will appreciate partial shade but inside you should place it in quite a bright spot. An east-facing window, for example, can be ideal in spring and summer.
Mint also needs a humid location so it could be a good candidate to place near a kitchen sink, or in another humid position.
Mint can cope with a wide range of temperatures, though its precise hardiness will depend on the variety you are growing. Try not to place mint somewhere excessively warm, or in a position where temperatures tend to fluctuate too extremely.
Selecting a Container and Growing Medium
When choosing a container for mint, it is important to remember that mint requires a consistently moist environment and does not like to dry out too much. But while it likes a moist growing medium, it also likes free-draining conditions and will not thrive if conditions get too wet.
There are a range of different containers in which mint might be grown. an unglazed clay pot can be ideal for mint because excess moisture can permeate through its walls. Remember, any container you choose should have drainage holes at the base. There are many reclaimed container options for an eco-friendly and sustainable way of life.
Occasionally mint might be combined with other herbs or other plants. It can thrive alongside other herbs that like a moist yet free-draining situation.
But it is a herb that spreads easily and so it is often best to confine mint in a pot of its own so that it does not spread too much and outcompete its neighbors.
Where mint is planted in a larger planter alongside other herbs, you might bury a pot for mint inside the larger container to confine mint to that particular area. This will stop it from spreading quickly and taking over to the detriment of other plants growing in the planter.
Remember, when filling your container, whichever option you choose, that mint needs moist yet free-draining conditions. Make sure you choose a suitable potting mix. A rich mix with plenty of organic matter is essential, and ideally, it should have a slightly acidic to neutral pH.
Mint Varieties to Grow in Pots Indoors
Of course, another decision that you will have to make if you want to grow mint in pots indoors is which variety or varieties to grow. There are many, many species and cultivars to consider, including:
- chocolate mint
- apple mint
- pineapple mint
- orange mint
- banana mint
- strawberry mint
- lemon mint
- ginger mint
Though this list still only represents a small number of the many different mints that you might try. You can have a lot of fun as a home grower sowing, growing, and sampling different mint varieties to see how different they smell and taste.
Caring for Indoor Mint in Containers
When growing mint, one of the most important elements of its care is watering.
It is important, to achieve the best results, to keep mint within the ‘goldilocks zone’ – not giving too much water, nor too little, but getting things just right. Remember, your goal is to keep the growing medium moist but not waterlogged, or rot can set in.
Water in the morning where possible, and try to direct water to where it is needed, at the base of the plant not on its foliage.
During the winter, when humidity may be low in a heated space indoors, it can be a good idea to mist your basil to raise humidity levels.
You can also raise humidity by grouping other houseplants or indoor herbs close by, or by placing mint in a pot on top of a saucer filled with pebbles and water.
Mint likes a fertile environment and so when growing mint in pots indoors it is a good idea to feed your plant once a month or so throughout the growing season with an organic liquid plant feed such as compost tea. This treatment should help it continue to grow strongly.
Mint over-vigorous growth is more likely than weak growth when growing most mint varieties. But you can easily trim back the plants to keep them in check, wherever they are grown.
Mint can be repotted once it becomes root-bound. Or you can take cuttings from the plant for new plants which will have better flavor. Mint can also be grown from seed, and you can experiment with new strains as different varieties will cross-pollinate.
Harvesting Mint Grown in Pots Indoors
Harvesting mint is also part of its care. As you harvest, snipping leaves and stems as needed throughout the year, you will also keep the mint plant in check. Just make sure that you do not harvest more than a third of your plant at any one time and it should continue to thrive.
Harvesting regularly will encourage fresh new foliage growth, and keep your plant performing well. This should not be a problem as you will no doubt find plenty of uses for the mint that you grow indoors, both in recipes in your kitchen and around your home.