Mint is a popular herb that’s readily grown around the world. It provides a fresh, rejuvenating flavor that goes well with several dishes. Learning to propagate mint is easy.
You can easily buy mint from the store or farmer’s markets, but this can cost you more money than it’s worth. Fortunately, you can grow mint easily within your garden.
If you want to do so, you can choose to grow mint from seeds, but growing mint from a cutting is a much more fun experience. But how do you propagate mint in the first place? Keep reading, as we’ll cover how to do so in this article.
Can You Grow Mint From A Cutting?
Yes, it is possible to grow mint from a cutting. Known as propagating, this process involves creating a plant that is genetically identical to its parent.
Some plants are tricky to propagate, but as long as you take care, you may be successful in creating your very own mint plant.
Before you begin, do take note that growing from a cutting will take a long time. In some cases, you might need to wait up to a year before you can eat from your mint bush.
How To Use A Cutting To Grow Mint
Things You’ll Need:
- Either a little pot with drainage holes (around 3’’) or a growing area with potting soil
- Optional Rooting Hormone
Step 1 – Obtain Your Mint Cutting
Before you begin, you’ll need your first mint cutting.
If you’re already growing mint, you just need to snip off a few sprigs from your plant. They don’t need to be full branches, but do make sure that these are healthy and non-flowering, around 4-6” long.
It’s best to take a cutting when the stems start looking woody on the ends. This takes place when the season gets colder, but you can still do so at any time in the growing season.
If you’re not currently growing mint, you can ask others if they are willing to share their supply. If this isn’t possible, you can also purchase mint bunches from farmers’ markets or the store. It’s best to obtain cuttings from the original plant, but if you’re just starting, it’s perfectly fine to take sprigs from a purchased one.
Optimal planting time varies depending on where you live, but in most cases, early fall is the best time, as the stems become woody and sturdy at the base.
Step 2 – Remove Leaves From The Cutting’s Lower End
After you’ve taken your sprig of mint, take the leaves approximately 2” off of the lower end. This will act as the base where roots will grow.
If you’re prepared to propagate immediately, snip the tip of the cutting at a 45° angle. If you want to continue later, place your cuttings in a plastic bag and keep them in the fridge.
Step 3 – Using Growth Hormone (OPTIONAL)
If you wish, you can apply growth hormone to your cutting’s stem. Hormones can help your plant grow healthier roots quicker, but they aren’t necessary.
Growth hormones tend to come in powders or gels. You can purchase these from your local gardening center. To use the substance, wet your cutting’s stem with some water, then dip the same end into the growth hormone.
If you do use a growth hormone, do bear in mind that hormone-treated plants may need up to a year before they can be eaten safely.
Step 4 – Begin Growing The Roots
If you’re using a growth hormone, make sure that you plant the stem in potting soil so that water can pass through it easily. As these cuttings are in small sprigs, planting them in a little pot or pack will ensure you can move them if necessary.
Without a growth hormone, you should begin growing roots before you plant your cutting. Begin placing the cutting in a glass of water. The bottom 2” of the stem should be completely underwater.
It should take 3-4 weeks to start seeing a root structure, which will look like roots growing out of the stem.
You can begin planting after the mint sprig has grown some older roots. As you do so, ensure that the cutting’s stem is well surrounded by soil. This will encourage the roots to grow within the soil.
Only begin planting when the soil temperature is 60-70°F. Any earlier than this will prevent the cutting from growing roots. Mint thrives in cool weather. Planting any later can make the heat stop the plant from growing.
Step 5 – Wait For The Plant To Grow
The time it takes for mint to grow varies depending on when you started growing it. In most cases, you should start seeing your mint plant growing in between 6-8 weeks.
Your mint plant will best grow in a humid environment, such as a greenhouse. If you don’t have a greenhouse, you can mimic the same conditions by using a plastic bag.
Simply place the bag over the plant and its pot. You may be able to keep the plant outside, but this does depend on the climate that you live in.
Keep an eye out for yellow leaves.
If these start appearing after a few weeks, this is probably due to transplant shock. This happens when the plant isn’t ready for immediate changes. If this occurs, just cut the yellow leaves off and wait for new ones to grow.
Step 6 – Taking Care Of Your Mint Plant
After you follow these steps, your mint plant should be well on its way! To make sure it grows efficiently, make sure that you take good care of it. This involves ensuring that you provide your mint plant with sunlight and water. It’s easy to overwater your plants, so only dampen the top bit of soil.
You can transplant your mint plant into the ground once it starts growing out of its original container. It’s best to do this in cool conditions, like during the evening or on a cloudy day. As long as you keep taking care of your plant, you should have a lasting supply of mint on your hands.