3 Easy Tips on How to Grow Mint Indoors (Plus Interesting Facts!)

how to grow mint indoors

If you’re wondering how to grow mints indoors, you’re in luck! One of the best things about mint is that it is hard to kill.

Growing mint indoors is not only possible, but it’s also very easy.

In fact, experienced gardeners know not to plant it directly into the garden because it spreads rapidly through rhizomes, which are shallow underground runners that grow horizontally and send up shoots along the way.

Mint grows two to three feet tall and as wide as you let it creep horizontally.

It’s a great plant for new gardeners since it’s so easy. It is also ideal to grow as a houseplant.

If you’ve ever wondered how to grow mint indoors, I have good news. It’s ridiculously easy to grow mint indoors and you’ll never be without the amazing flavor and relaxing fragrance,

Mint plants originated in the Mediterranean but grow all around the world, except where the ground stays frozen all year.

The U.S. is the leading producer of mint in the world, producing over 70% of the world’s peppermint and spearmint.

At the turn of the century, Michigan was the largest producer of peppermint oil in the world. Now the state of Washington has passed Michigan and produces $80M dollars worth of mint oil every year from 150 growers.

how to grow mint indoors

Varieties Of Mint

The Mentha family of plants includes hundreds of varieties of mint. Many that grow near each other will cross to form new variations, and many of those are not even documented.

The leaves are typically serrated with an oblong shape and are one to two inches long. They are usually solid green except for a few variegated varieties like pineapple mint (M. suaveolens ‘Variegata’).

Some of the most widely used varieties are peppermint (Mentha x piperita), spearmint (M. spicata), chocolate mint (Mentha × piperita f. citrata ‘Chocolate’), orange mint (M. piperita citrata “orange”), and apple mint (M. suaveolens).

Interesting Facts About Mint

Mint is a fascinating plant with a long, colorful history. The word mint comes from Menthe, the name of a figure in Greek mythology. In ancient times mint was used at funerals to mask the smell of decomposition and has been found in Egyptian tombs from 3000 years ago.

It is also known to have been used by the Romans and Greeks in their baths and to flavor their food and cordials. The Hebrews used the herb for its fragrance in the synagogues.

Did you know it only takes about one drop of mint oil to flavor an entire tube of toothpaste? Or that common garden mint is actually spearmint? Or that peppermint is a cross of watermint and spearmint?

Benefits of Growing Mint Indoors

One of the best things about growing mint indoors in a sunny window is that it is close at hand for cooking and making tea.

Another wonderful thing about growing mint indoors is the fragrance. All you have to do is brush your hands against the leaves and the aroma will fill the air around you.

I also think that having it close at hand and within view makes it much more likely that you’ll use it often.

How to Plant Mint Indoors

You can plant mint indoors in soil or water.

To plant it, you’ll need a rooted cutting.

How to root a mint cutting:

1 | Clip a stem, strip the leaves, place it in water, and in a few days you’ll have roots.

2 | Change the water and allow the roots to keep growing for a week or so.

3 | Once there are lots of roots, plant the stem in a pot filled with quality potting soil and let it grow.

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Growing Mint Indoors with Low Light

Mint likes the sun and needs a few hours of it each day.

If you don’t have a sunny window, you’re going to need a grow light.

One of the best ways to grow mint indoors, especially if you don’t have a lot of light is to buy an Aerogarden and grow a kitchen herb garden right on your countertop.

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How to Take Care of Mint Indoors

If your indoor mint is potted in soil, you’ll need to water it regularly.

It’s hard to get it wrong with mint since it will tolerate a wide array of conditions, from “wet feet” caused by too much water, to near-drought conditions when there isn’t enough water.

But ideally, you’ll water your plant once a week, and give it a sunny window spot where it will grow indoors quite happily.

How to Grow Mint Indoors in Water

Growing your mint indoors in water is simple:

1 | Take cuttings (4-6 inches long works well) and strip off all but the top few leaves.

2 | Place the cutting/s stem side down in a container with a few inches of clean water. In four to five days, you should see roots starting to form.

3 | You will need to change the water every 3-4 days or you have to add fertilizer. It’s one or the other because the plant needs nutrients, which it can get from freshwater or from fertilizer.

How to Grow Mint Indoors From a Cutting

To grow mint from a cutting you’ll need to find a healthy plant from which you can snip a three to five-inch stem, using clean, sharp scissors.

Remove all the leaves except the ones at the top, place the stem in water to root, and then plant it. 

How to Harvest Mint

When growing mint you can cut off the entire plant just above the bottom sets of leaves. This refreshes the entire plant and gets rid of any old yellowing growth.

You can also harvest just a few mint leaves at any time by removing a stem and stripping its leaves or simply holding the stem in place and gently plucking single leaves.

However, it’s really best to frequently remove the tops of the stems, since that will encourage the plant to grow and branch out for a bushier form.

You can store your mint stems in a glass of water for 3-5 days or wrap them in a damp paper towel, and store them in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week.

How to Pick Mint Leaves without Killing Plants

One concern that gardeners have is picking mint leaves, but keeping the plant healthy enough to continue producing.

You can cut mint down to a few inches above the soil and it will regrow as long as you leave a set of leaves.

In fact, the more you harvest mint the better it grows.

Cut the tips of the stems off or harvest the whole plant at once, but cutting off everything down to just above the bottom set of leaves tells the mint to regrow and branch out.

What to Do with your Indoor Mint Harvest:

COOKING:

  • Use fresh mint leaves with chicken, fish and lamb, and vegetables like carrots, peas and potatoes.
  • Toss it in green salads.
  • Add it to yogurt and garlic for mediterranean dishes.
  • Make a middle eastern Tabouli salad with mint, parsley and bulghur wheat.
  • Add it to watermelon or other fruits salads.
  • Elevate your green salads with mint for a deliciously different experience.
  • Mint is a great addition to mango salsa.
  • Make a delicious ice cream.
  • Make mint jelly and mint sauce (staples in many cultures).
  • Mint sugar can be made by adding fresh mint leaves to sugar and putting it through the food processor.
  • You can also make mint extract to use in desserts.

DRINKS:

  • Make mint and cucumber infused water.
  • Add mint leaves to your ice cubes.
  • Make a peppermint or spearmint simple syrup to add to cocktails.
  • How about a Mint Julep to cool you down on a hot summer day?
  • Other liquors are made from mint, like creme de menthe liqueurs and peppermint schnapps.
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MEDICINAL USES:

  • One study showed, “A four-week treatment with peppermint oil improves abdominal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.” Research also tells us that the act of smelling mint improves memory, makes you more alert and less fatigued.
  • Mint contains Vitamin A, which is good for your eyes and improves night vision.
  • Mint protects your cells with Vitamin C; and uses Vitamin B2 to break down proteins and carbohydrates.
  • It also contains calcium, copper, and magnesium.
  • It boosts the immune system, and can be used to treat bad breath, indigestion, morning sickness, allergies, congestion, acne, and dandruff.
  • You can dry mint leaves and add them to your bath with epsom salts for a refreshing and tension-relieving soak.
  • Dry peppermint and keep it on hand to make tea for upset stomachs.

OTHER USEFUL PRODUCTS USING MINT:

Mint is an ingredient in soaps, mouthwash, dye, natural insecticides, and doggie treats.

To make the dog treats combine yogurt, parsley, and peppermint and freeze the mixture in ice cube trays to create cool summer treats that will also leave their breath smelling fresh.

You can also add long sprigs of mint to cut flower bouquets as a foliage filler with added fragrances you’ll love.

Although growing mint in the garden is tried and true, growing it inside on the kitchen counter might just change your life. It will be there reminding you with its pretty greenery and gorgeous smell to harvest a few leaves for tea or to float in your bathwater.

Try growing mint indoors, you will be glad you did!

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3 Easy Tips on How to Grow Mint Indoors (Plus Interesting Facts!)