Mint is an attractive, useful herb and the aroma is nothing short of amazing. Unfortunately, it isn’t always well behaved and when it's grown in the garden, this pretty little plant tends to be a bit of a bully.
Mint container growing is an option if you’re concerned about the aggressive nature of this rambunctious plant or if you just don’t have space for an herb garden. Place potted mint plants on your front step where you can snip the leaves as needed or grow mint in containers indoors.
Caring for Container-Grown Mint
It’s possible to grow mint from seed, although germination is undependable. If you want to give it a try, plant seeds for growing indoors any time of year, but be sure they have plenty of warmth and sunlight. If you’re not interested in planting seeds, purchase a small mint plant at a nursery that specializes in herbs. This is the easiest and most dependable way to grow mint in pots.
Fill a container with quality potting mix. Any type of container is fine as long as it has a drainage hole in the bottom and measures at least 12 inches (31 cm.) in diameter. Mix a little time-release fertilizer into the soil before planting mint, and again every spring. Don’t overfeed container grown mint, as too much fertilizer can diminish the pungent flavor.
Once the plant is safely in the pot, put it where it receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. Mint tolerates a little shade but thrives in full sunlight.
Water container-grown mint whenever the top inch (2.5 cm.) of potting mix feels dry to the touch. Mint can tolerate a bit of dry soil but not long periods of drought. If you’re growing potted mint plants outdoors check the pot daily during hot, dry weather.
Pinch the tips of mint regularly to promote bushier, fuller growth. If the plant begins to look spindly, cut it back by at least half. You can safely trim potted mint plants to within about an inch (2.5 cm.) above the soil. Remove blooms as soon as they appear. Allowing the plant to bloom will reduce the potency and quality of the mint.
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A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.
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