Mint is easy to grow and hard to kill — which makes it one of the best plants for a beginning gardener! You can buy a plant at the store or grow your own from cuttings.
Peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint… there are so many types of mint in the world! As a refreshing glass of cold tea, as a condiment in Middle Eastern and Thai dishes, in ice cream, mint is a worldwide favorite. It's especially known for its soothing effect on the stomach.
In general, it may be my favorite herb. It is such a nostalgic plant for me. All through my growing up years, I loved to visit my grandparents' home in the country near St. Joseph, Missouri.
A large patch of spearmint grew behind their clothesline, and I delighted to pluck fresh leaves from the plant and munch on them as I wandered around their property.
I later convinced my dad to plant spearmint and peppermint at home when I was no older than six. We planted both out near our lilac bushes. The peppermint lasted only about ten years, but my spearmint kept growing until last fall when my dad redid part of his backyard. That plant blessed my family with mint for at least 24 years!
When I moved to Mexico in my late teens, I really missed my mint plants. A few years ago, when I drove to my favorite farm for their bi-weekly market, I came home with spearmint and planted the cuttings in my small garden space — simply moistening the ground, trimming the ends of the mint, and placing it in the ground. Sure enough, it grew and grew and grew!
One day, while thinning my mint, I decided to go into the business of selling spearmint plants to my friends. I found little pots and clipped off a few sections of my plants to propagate and sell. There are at least 20 households that now have spearmint or peppermint from my two plants. It's amazing how much a simple plant can give!
Here are two methods for growing your own mint from cuttings. My personal favorite is the first, but I have grown mint from both of these methods at different times of the year (any time except the dead of winter).
Since mint is a very fast-growing plant, it's a good idea to keep it in a pot or some sort of container with boundaries so it doesn't take over your garden or yard. If you are growing more than one type of mint, it is important to keep them separate. Otherwise, they will eventually mix and have an off-flavor. Don't ask how I know. 😉
Cut the stem just below a node (where a leaf grows) on the plant. Remove all but the top leaves. Stick a few cuttings into a small pot with moist soil. Keep out of direct sunlight for about a week to allow it to root and adjust to its new environment. As the mint grows, replant in a larger pot or in the ground.
Cut the mint stem just below a node (where a leaf grows) on the plant. Remove all but the top leaves. Stick a few cuttings into a glass jar with about one inch of water. Keep out of direct sunlight and change the water everyday. In approximately one week, roots will begin to grow. Replant the mint in a small pot with moist soil. As the mint grows, replant in a larger pot or in the ground.
Have you tried either of these methods? How did they work for you? Please feel free to share your tips!
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