Mint is a cheerful, refreshing plant to add to any home herb garden. Mint leaves have a strong fragrance and can add a wonderful flavor to savory meats, sweet desserts, herbal mint teas, and even fresh cocktails like mojitos.
Due to the mint family’s popularity as culinary herbs, many people opt to keep fresh mint as houseplants in their kitchens. It is easy to grow mint indoors, but sometimes keeping it contained and happy in an indoor pot has its challenges.
Here are some of our best tips for how to take care of a mint plant so that you always have sprigs of fresh mint on hand.
How Do you Keep Mint Plants Alive?
The biggest challenge with keeping mint plants alive is preventing them from growing out of control. You’ll want to harvest the leaves and prune your plant regularly. Trim the stems as soon as your plant starts to get spindly or “leggy.” Frequently trimming can encourage new growth and cause your mint plant to grow bushier instead of forming long vines.
What Temperature is Best for Mint Plants?
Mint plants are happy at room temperature. They do best in temperature ranges between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep your mint plant indoors in temperature-controlled rooms or outdoors in an area that gets part shade in the warmer months. Keep your plant away from drafty areas or heater vents.
How Much Sunlight Do Mint Plants Need?
Mint plants need indirect sunlight. Place them in a sunny windowsill in your home or in an area of your yard that gets partial shade. Be sure to bring any outdoor plants inside for the colder winter months, as mint is not frost-resistant.
It is also important to water your mint plants regularly. Mint plants can tolerate a wider variety of sunlight conditions, provided that they regularly get the right amount of watering. Mint is a high-growth plant, so that it can require a lot of water.
Do Mint Plants Like their Soil Most?
Mint plants like their soil moist but not soaked. You should monitor your plant’s soil daily to ensure that it does not get too wet or too dried out. Early morning is the best time to check your mint’s soil. That way, you can ensure that the plant will have enough moisture as it gets funnier and warmer throughout the day.
If the soil feels wet, you don’t need to water it that day. Do not add any additional water, or your plant might start to wilt and suffer from root rot. If the soil feels dry, the plant needs water. On average, mint plants need about one to two inches of water in total each week.
How Often Should you Water Mint Plants?
Mint may need less watering during the fall and winter months when temperatures are cooler, and the plant is growing more slowly. Instead of needing watering almost every day, they might only need watering once a week or so.
Mint plants love moisture, so it can be a good idea to mist your plants in between watering’s. Misting prevents the root system from drying out. Misting might be most effective during the spring and summer months when it is warmer, and the plant is putting out a lot of new growth.
Because mint plants require frequent watering but don’t like wet, mint needs a pot with good drainage. Choose a pot with suitable drainage holes. Use rich potting soil that allows for good drainage.
Different Types of Mint Plants
There are many varieties of mint to choose from, including peppermint, spearmint, apple mint, chocolate mint, orange mint, pineapple mint, and more!
Mint can grow wild, so it is essential to keep mint indoors or in a pot unless you want it to take over your entire garden bed or use it as ground cover. Mint is considered an invasive species, so even if you are planting mint outdoors, it is always a good idea to plant it in a pot or a raised bed to help contain the root system.
What Bugs Does Mint Keep Away?
Spearmint and peppermint are the types of mint that work best for keeping the bugs away. The scent of mint, also known as menthol, works as an excellent natural bug repellent. It can repel aphids, spider mites, ants, spiders, and even pesky mosquitoes!
Simply growing a mint plant indoors might help keep bugs away from your home. Mint essential oil works best as a natural bug repellent because it is more potent and concentrated.
How to Create Bug Repellent for Your Plant
You can create your own bug repellent bags at home by picking some mint leaves from your plant, crushing them up, and placing them in a small sachet or tea bag. Hang the bag wherever you’d like to deter pests.
You can also make your mint essential oil by boiling the mint leaves in water and then letting the mixture sit overnight. Strain out the leaves from the liquid. Mix the essential oil liquid with rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, or vinegar to make a bug repellent spray.
You can also rub crushed mint leaves directly onto your skin or your pets’ fur to protect them from bugs. Chewing mint while you’re outdoors might help keep bugs away from your face (and keep your breath smelling fresh!).
In summary, mint plants offer a lot of benefits for plant owners to enjoy. From keeping bugs away to making your breath smell great, mint plants have many benefits. Finally, mint plants might have some challenges to take care of, so reference these tips above if you have any questions!