Mint is one of my favorite herbs to grow because of it’s wonderful smell. And unlike the “old days” when the only type of mint available was peppermint and spearmint, today’s mint come in a variety of other flavors such as chocolate mint and apple mint. While you can buy mint from your local garden center, mint is also easy to grow using a start from your neighbors garden. Propagating mint is so easy that you’ll never want to pay for mint again.
Two ways of propagating mint from another plant
One of the easiest ways to propagate mint is by taking a cutting from another plant. This is done by cutting a sprig about 1/2 an inch above a junction and placing the sprig in a glass of water. Within one to two weeks, the sprig will begin to develop white roots and can be transplanted into a container.
The second way of propagating mint is to dig up “baby mint” plants from an established plant. I use a trowel for this job and generally try to dig up a cluster of small mint plants that have sprouted 6-12 inches away from the main plant. The cluster may be attached to the main plant with a root which can easily be cut with a garden scissors.
Transplanting the starts
Whether you’ve propagated your starts from a cutting or by digging up babies, your new mint plant should be transplanted into a container filled with high quality potting mix and watered regularly. Good potting mix will encourage new root growth; placing the mint in a container instead of directly into the ground will prevent the plant from invading an entire bed.
Something surprising about mint is that it has more uses than just for flavoring iced tea. Mint is a fantastic companion plant in the vegetable garden and can be used for repelling ants, aphids, white cabbage butterflies, and flea beetles. Since mint does spread rapidly, I plant most of my mint along the perimeter of my vegetable garden where it is easy to keep under control.
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