Growing mint from seed can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it requires a bit of patience and the right conditions. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to grow mint from seed.
Growing mint from seeds
There is nothing like a freshly picked sprig of mint to add a delicious zing to your mint for your teas, cocktails, and recipes.
Growing mint from seed may take a bit of time, but the reward of fresh, flavorful mint well worth the effort.
Mint is relatively easy to grow from seed, but is even easier to grow from a cutting, if you have access to a healthy parent plant.
>> Related post: How to Grow Mint from Cuttings
What mint to plant
There are many different types of mint, each with its own unique flavor and scent. Choose a variety that appeals to you and your cooking or gardening needs.
Some popular mint varieties include peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint, and apple mint.
Look for high-quality seeds from a reputable source. Poor-quality seeds may have a low germination rate or may not produce true-to-type plants.
If you prefer to avoid synthetic chemicals in your garden, choose organic mint seeds. Non-organic seeds may have been treated with fungicides or insecticides.
Decide when to plant mint
Mint seeds should be sown in the spring.
Mint can be sown indoors or outdoors, depending on the climate and growing conditions.
In colder climates, start seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost date. In warmer climates, seeds can be sown outdoors in the spring.
Where to plant mint
Mint prefers a location that receives full sun to partial shade, but it will tolerate some shade. It will happily grow in a garden bed or a container (indoors or out).
Mint can quickly spread and take over a garden. When planting mint in a garden bed, it is important to keep it contained. To control the spread of mint, plant it in a raised bed or plant it in a container and sink the container into the ground.
When growing mint in a container, choose a container that is at least 10 inches deep and wide. Fill the container with good-quality potting soil and place it in a location that receives full sun to partial shade.
>> Related post: How to Grow Mint Indoors
What soil to use for growing mint
Regardless of where you choose to grow mint, it is important to provide the plant with well-drained soil.
If your garden soil tends to be heavy, mix in some sand or perlite to improve drainage.
If you plan to grow mint in containers, use a good quality, well-draining potting soil mix. Avoid using garden soil, which can become compacted in containers and lead to poor drainage.
Mint is a fast-growing plant and will benefit from a little fertilizer. Mix a slow-release, balanced fertilizer into the soil before planting, following the package instructions for application rates.
Plant mint seeds
Sow mint seeds on the surface of the soil, lightly pressing them into the soil. Space the seeds about ½ inch apart. If you are sowing in a container, follow the seed packet instructions for spacing.
Mint seeds need light to germinate, so don’t cover them with soil. If you are starting seeds indoors, place the container in a bright, well-lit area. If you are sowing outdoors, choose a location with bright, filtered light.
Keep the soil moist and wait for them to germinate (will take 10 days or longer).
Once the seedlings have developed several leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots or into the ground.
Mint seedlings that have been raised indoors should be ‘hardened off’ before transplanting outside., This means p[lacing them outside for a few hours each day, then brining them back indoors over night for a week or two. This will allow them to become gradually acclimatized to the new outdoor growing conditions.
If transplanting into a pot make sure there is adequate space for root growth and choose a pot with drainage holes.
When the seedlings have been transplanted, water them thoroughly, and keep them moist, but not waterlogged, during the growing season.
Mint plant care
Mint likes to stay consistently moist, but not soaking wet. Water the plants when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so be careful not to overwater.
Pruning regularly can help keep the mint plants compact and encourage bushier growth.
Mint is relatively pest-resistant, but indoor mint plants can still be subject to pests like spider mites, aphids, and whiteflies. Keep an eye out for any signs of infestation and treat them promptly.
Tips and FAQ
Mint seed not germinating?
Mint seeds anywhere from 10 days up to 21 days to sprout, so if it hasn’t yet been that long, keep watering them as they may be just about to.
If it has been longer than this, consider whether they have dried out too much or whether they have not been getting enough light.
Mint seeds need light to germinate, so if you have buried them too deeply they may not germinate.
Mint leaves turning yellow?
This is a sign of root rot, which is caused by overwatering. Ensure that your mint is in well draining soil (and a pot with good drainage), and cut back on the watering alittle until the plant recovers.
- Mint seeds
- Potting mix or seed-raising mix
- Small herb pot or seedling pot
- Fill pot with potting mix to around ½ inch below the top.
- Place seeds on top of the soil – you can put more than one seed in the pot if you want a dense mint plant, but be sure to space them out around ½ inch between seeds.
- Pour a small amount of clean water over the surface so that the soil is damp.
- Place the pot on a saucer and in a place with bright light, but not in direct sun until the seedlings have sprouted [Note 1].
- Check the soil daily and water often enough to ensure that it does not dry out. After the mint seeds have sprouted, keep them in a bright location out of direct sunlight and water regularly.
- Transplant into a larger pot or into the ground once the seedlings are a few inches tall [Note 2].
- Sprouting time is around 10-21 days.
- Seedlings raised indoors should be hardened off before transplating into an outdoor garden bed. Place the mint seedlings outdoors for a few hours a day for a week or two before transplanting.