The Pros and Cons of Growing Mint Indoors
Herbs really grow best in the open air in the full sun, but some herbs, and mint is one of them, will tolerate some shade. Because of this they can be grown indoors as well as out. This is good news if you like using mint in your cooking, because you’ll always have a supply of it ready to hand.
But there is a down-side to growing mint indoors. It won’t flourish as well indoors as it does outdoors. For this reason it will probably need to be replaced each year. But this isn’t a great problem though. Mint can be propagated easily from cuttings taken from your existing plants. The other option is to grow fresh mint each year from seed.
How to Succeed at Growing Mint Indoors
The rest of this article outlines the steps you should follow if you want to be successful growing mint indoors.
- Choose the right growing location for growing mint indoors
- Purchase a suitable container for your indoor mint
- set up a good growing environment
- Tend and feed your mint regularly
1. Choose the Right Location for Your Mint
Although mint can tolerate a little bit of shade, try and find a place in your house where there’s as much sun as possible. And you must also ensure that there’s adequate ventilation, especially on very hot days. Mint, like many other herbs enjoys a cool summer breeze when its hot.
2. Choose a Suitable Container for Your Mint
Choose a container that is suitable for several mint plants. A circular container 12 inches in diameter will easily hold five or six plants.
Don’t just grow one variety of mint. Buy several varieties for your container. Each variety of mint smells slightly different and has different color leaves and flowers. Mixing your plants will look good and create a wonderful smell.
When selecting the mint varieties for growing mint indoors I suggest you consider corsican mint, spearmint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint, ginger mint, cat mint, penny royal, lemon mint and wild mint. Mountain Valley Growers provides a very good overview of varieties of mint on its website.
Your container must have some drainage holes at the bottom. Place it in a tray which can be kept topped-up with water. The water will rise in the soil by capillary action and keep the soil moist. If you want to improve the appearance of the tray put pebbles in it.
3. Set Up a Good Growing Environment
Fill your container with a good quality potting compost. Use compost that has added nutrient. This will give your mint a good start. Alternatively, buy some nutrient granules and add these to the compost before you plant your mint. Make sure you mix the granules and the compost together well.
4. Tend and Feed Your Mint Regularly
Once you’ve planted your mint keep it well-watered. Mint likes a wet soil. But during the winter when the mint isn’t growing as fast, reduce the amount of watering. A good guide is to allow the soil to go moderately dry between each watering.
Feed your mint regularly with nutrient during the summer. Reduce the feeding over the winter months.
The Enjoyment of Growing Mint Indoors
It’s definitely worth growing mint indoors is definitely if you are a big user of mint. You’ll be able to use your mint throughout the year in your cooking, your drinks and in any medicines that you make using mint. It is possible to preserve mint by drying so that you can use it during the winter, but its much, much better if you’ve you got a supply of fresh mint which you can use.
You might also like to try growing other herbs like Spanish thyme and Indian borage indoors as well. These herbs have similar requirements to mint in that they can tolerate a certain amount of shade. Like mint they will also pervade your room with beautiful summer aromas when its cold and dark outside.
Happy herb gardening,