Growing mint indoors: What you need to know

Having a sprig of mint handy at all times is a great thing for your home. Mint is known to promote smooth digestion as well as help reduce swelling in the body. This popular and fast-growing herb provides calming relief when you get a sinus infection, and it alleviates some symptoms when you have a cold. This is because mint carries an antiviral component that can soothe you when you’re under the weather and can also help treat headaches. An additional benefit is that it can freshen your breath.

If you don’t want to head to the store every few days to nab a few mint leaves, you should consider growing it at home. This herb can be grown indoors if you apply a few basic practices.

Mint plant growing in a ceramic pot
y Dhinakrit Buasri/Shutterstock.com

Can mint be rooted in water?

If you are not aware, mint does not necessarily need soil to produce leaves — at least initially. If you’d like to know how to grow mint indoors using water alone, you’re in luck. This process is commonly referred to as propagation. Take a few cuttings of a mint plant and place them in a glass or jar – ideally one that’s clear for visibility. This container does not need any more than about 2.5 centimeters of water at the bottom. You need to change the water every day. You can allow the cuttings to sprout roots, which takes about a week on average.

Once the roots are a couple of inches long, it is best to transplant the cuttings to a pot with soil to continue growth.

How much sun does a mint plant need indoors?

Your mint plant should not stay shaded all the time but rather be placed by a window for sunlight. The optimal amount of sunlight would be about three to four hours a day. It needs to be direct sunlight in addition to proper air circulation. If you’ve got a window box or wide sill, these are excellent placement points. If you are in a season with less direct light, rotate your plant as needed to ensure proper exposure.

How long should you keep mint in water?

This is a question best answered in two parts: It depends on the length of time in unchanged water and the length of time in water before transferring to soil. The longest a mint plant can grow in water before it needs to be changed is about three days. For best results, you may try covering the plant with plastic and keeping it in the refrigerator. Ideally, you really should change the water daily. Overall, when your mint plant has an inch or two of root growth, it is time to transfer it to soil. This takes a week in common circumstances.

After you’ve planted the roots, you may wonder how often do you need to water mint plant pots. A mint plant needs a lot of water, so you should hydrate it one to two times a day.

When should you plant mint?

Technically speaking, if you are growing your mint inside, there isn’t one particular season to grow it. Most people plant mint indoors in the late winter and place it near a window for sunlight. If your garden is outdoors, mid-spring is an excellent time to plant mint. Remember: The one time of year when a mint plant may struggle is around the first frost of fall. This is because the sunlight at that time of year is usually weaker, and your plant won’t receive the needed nourishment.

Mint leaves in a tall drink glass with a woman nearby
Dan Packham/Shutterstock.com

Whether you like it in your tea or mojito, or use it for extract, mint is a versatile plant to have on hand in the kitchen. When it comes to caring for this plant indoors, it is easier than you think. Just make sure your mint gets a minimum amount of direct sunlight daily along with good air circulation. Plus, mint is best placed on a window sill or near a balcony ledge. If you follow these basic steps as outlined above, you’ll be able to enjoy the versatile uses and pleasant aroma of mint around your kitchen every day.

Editors' Recommendations