A potted mint plant - why is it so popular?
Mint is one of the most common plants. It has been known to humanity since the ancient times. That’s when the precious healing properties of this plant were discovered, and mint was used for relieving stomach issues and soothing the nervous system. Interestingly enough, a potted mint plant is both effective and mild - so it can be used regardless of one’s age. It’s safe for small children and elderly.
Apart from the health benefits, a mint plant is also appreciated thanks to its unique taste. It’s very universal, so you can use it as an addition to:
- various hot and cold beverages,
Mint plant is used not just in cuisine, but also skin care. The market offers more and more products with mint - although you can also prepare mint-based masks and toners yourself.
Growing mint indoors - types of mint
Those who have never kept fresh herbs in the kitchen might think that potted mint is just a single species, which always looks and tastes the same. But in fact, the market offers many types of mint. Furthermore, some companies specialize in growing different mint varieties.
Spearmint is the most common type of mint plant. It’s the basic variety, usually picked by those who want to grow a regular herb in their homes. Peppermint is another popular type - it tastes much more pronounced than spearmint.
Other interesting types of mint offer different flavors, for instance:
- chocolate mint,
- lemon mint,
- banana mint,
- apple mint,
- lime mint,
- pineapple mint,
- ginger mint,
- strawberry mint.
The mentioned types of mint have not only an original taste, but also aroma. Some varieties have different colors as well.
How to grow mint in a container - basic needs
A potted mint plant requires special conditions to be able to grow properly. The soil is the most important element - it should be always moist. The place for the container is equally significant. It cannot be exposed to full sun. The plant prefers half-shade, that’s why putting it e.g. on a kitchen windowsill is a mistake. Instead, find another shelf in the kitchen, where you could place the container.
As for the pot, mint is a demanding plant. The container should be large enough for the roots to grow. This is the reason why mint purchased in a supermarket wilts or dries fairly quickly. Such plants are usually sold in microscopic containers. If you purchase one - remember to repot it, and perhaps you will save it.
The bottom of the container should be lined with gravel. Expanded clay should be good for this purpose as well. Thanks to it, the soil will remain damp, but water won’t stand in the container.
Mint plant care - growing mint in a pot
Regular watering is the basic requirement if you want to grow mint in a container. If the air inside is dry, you might have to do it every day. You can mist the plant’s leaves in winter. But make sure not to overwater it - otherwise, the roots might rot.
Many people think that indoor mint doesn’t need feeding. But it’s not entirely true. If you want the best results, fertilize the soil with nutrients from time to time. Vermicompost is an effective solution.
How to harvest mint plant?
It might seem that harvesting mint leaves isn’t something that needs special instructions. But it turns out that many people do it incorrectly. As a result, after some time, the mint plant is left with empty twigs.
How to harvest mint properly? Never pick only the leaves. Always start from the upper part of the plant, including the stems. Thanks to this, the plant will develop new branches.
Growing mint plant on a balcony - is it a good idea?
Do you have no room inside and are wondering if you can grow mint in containers on the balcony? Of course, but you have to remember about a few basic rules. First, pick a good spot for the plant. Potted mint doesn’t like full sun, so it cannot be placed just anywhere. Northern or western balcony is the best option. If you have no choice in this regard - just make sure to provide some shade to the plant.
Just like when growing a mint plant indoor, a mint in a pot on a balcony needs a good container. It should be large. Remember about so-called drainage layer at its bottom - use small stones or gravelite.
How to propagate mint plant?
There are two ways of mint plant propagation. Rooting cuts is the most popular method. Alternatively, you can use mint seeds.
Many people throw their mint plants after one season, only to purchase a new one. As it turns out, you can keep mint as a perennial. Overwintering is important, in this case - keep it in a cool place and water from time to time. In winter, the upper part of mint dies off. But it’s completely natural - don’t worry about it.
Mint plant - the most common diseases
A mint plant grown in a container is a quite durable plant, so diseases are rare. It doesn’t mean they don’t appear at all, however. Fungi are the most common issues - especially powdery mildew. How to recognize it? You might notice white powder on the leaves and stems. You can protect the plant against this danger. The disease is a result of too frequent watering. Make sure to keep it in moderation - the soil should be damp but not overwatered.
As for mint plants kept on balconies, they might develop so-called rust. It’s another type of fungus - but it’s not a result of watering. The infection is spread on the wind. How to recognize rust on a mint plant? The upper parts of leaves are slightly yellow, and the bottom - coarse. If you notice this problem - unfortunately, the mint has to go in the trash.
📍 How to care for a mint plant?
Mint care involves putting it in the right spot - in half-shade. The plant also needs damp soil. You can use vermicompost from time to time. Correct trimming is another important aspect.
📍 Where to buy potted mint?
You can find potted mint in basically any supermarket. But it's recommended to purchase seedlings in a gardening shop. This way, you can be sure the plant is healthy.
📍 How to water mint plant in a container?
The soil in the container should be constantly damp. Make sure to water the mint plant regularly - even every day. You can mist the leaves in winter if the air is dry.
📍 How much does a potted mint plant cost?
A potted mint is not expensive. Depending on the variety you pick, prepare to spend $3-$5.