How To Propagate Mint: Experts Latest Advice

Discover the secrets to successfully propagate mint with this expert advice. Learn the basics, choose the right method, and grow healthy mint plants.

Understanding the Basics of Mint Propagation

Propagating mint is typically done through vegetative means as mint grows quickly and abundantly. The ideal growing conditions for mint include full sunlight, moist but well-drained soil and temperatures above 50 °F. The easiest propagation method is through stem cuttings.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

propagate mint, soil, brown sand with shadow of person
Photo by Jan Kopřiva / Unsplash

Choosing the Best Method for Mint Propagation

There are several methods for propagating mint, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

The easiest method is through stem cuttings. It has a high success rate and is easy to do. Simply take 4 – 8 inch cuttings in spring or summer, remove the lower leaves, dip in rooting hormone and plant in moist soil. New roots should form within 2 – 4 weeks.

Root cuttings can also be used. Root pieces with 3 – 4 fleshy root sections and several shoots are planted. It has a lower success rate compared to stem cuttings but requires less labor.

Layering involves bending a stem and burying a section so it forms roots while still attached to the mother plant. This ensures a high survival rate but takes longer than cuttings.

Division is ideal for established plants. The root system is divided into sections with 2 – 3
stems each and replanted.

Propagation MethodDifficultySuccess RateTime to Root/Grow
Stem CuttingsEasyHigh (80-90%)2 – 4 weeks
Root CuttingsMediumMedium (60-70%)6 – 8 weeks
LayeringMediumHigh (80-90%)4 – 6 months
DivisionEasyHigh (90-100%)Grows immediately
propagate mint, cuttings, sliced avocados on top of brown wooden chopping board in top view photography
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

Preparing the Soil and Selecting Healthy Mint Cuttings

The soil used for propagating mint must allow for ample drainage while still retaining enough moisture for new roots to establish. A loose, well-aerated mixture of potting soil,compost and sand works well. Perlite or vermiculite can be incorporated to improve drainage and aeration.

The cuttings you select for propagation should be strong and healthy. Choose stems that are 6 to 8 inches long in the spring or summer. The best stems are those with plenty of nodes from where new roots and shoots will form.

Avoid weak,spindly stems or stems with wilted or discolored leaves. Remove any lower leaves to reduce moisture loss. The cut-end of the stems should be at a 45 degree angle to maximize surface area for root growth.

Some key things to check for include:

  • Intact stems. Check for cracks, splits and signs of disease.
  • Green,healthy leaves. Yellow or brown leaves indicate the cuttings are too old.
  • Abundant nodes and branches. More nodes mean more roots and shoots.
  • Few flowers. Stems with flower buds often have less energy to form new roots.

A simple setup using plastic pots or seed starter trays and the right soil mix will give your mint cuttings the best chance of success. Water the soil before inserting the cuttings and keep the soil moist but not soggy as the roots develop.

propagate mint, soil, brown and white concrete floor
Photo by Mike van den Bos / Unsplash

Step-by-Step Guide to Propagate Mint Successfully

Follow these simple steps to successfully propagate your own mint plants:

  1. Prepare your soil mix -Combine 2 parts potting soil,1 part compost and 1 part perlite or sand in your container.Water the soil mix well before planting.

  2. Select healthy stems -Choose 6 to 8 inch long stems with plenty of branches and green,healthy leaves. Remove lower leaves to reduce moisture loss.

  3. Dip in rooting hormone -Use a rooting hormone like liquid root to coat the end of the stems. This will help promote root growth.

  4. Plant the cuttings -Insert the stems 2 to 3 inches deep in the soil mix. Space cuttings 3 to 4 inches apart.

  5. Keep soil moist -Use a spray bottle to mist the soil surface and cuttings daily to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Adding a plastic dome can help maintain humidity.

  6. Wait for roots to grow -Check the soil after 2 to 4 weeks for signs of new roots. There should be white root tips emerging from the stem nodes near the soil.

  7. Transplant rooted cuttings -Gently remove newly rooted cuttings and transplant individually into pots with fresh potting soil.

  8. Grow and harvest -Move the new mint plants to an area with full sunlight. Harvest leaves from the plants as soon as they reach 4 to 6 inches tall.

Following these steps will give you the best chance at successfully propagating your own mint plants from cuttings. Be patient and keep an eye out for signs of roots as they develop.

propagate mint, soil, brown sand with brown soil
Photo by Kamal Zabitov / Unsplash

More Helpful Guide

Frequently Asked Question

How do you use mint essential oil?

Mint essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy, skin and hair products. It can also be mixed with water or other oils and taken internally but should be diluted first.

How do you take care of a mint plant?

Care for mint by planting it in rich, moist soil. Water when top inch of soil is dry. Prune flower buds to prolong harvest. Cut back before flowers develop. Divide roots every few years.

What insects or pests affect mint?

Aphids, spider mites, whiteflies and mint rust are common mint pests. Good air circulation and prevention of overcrowding helps reduce pests. Neem oil or insecticidal soap can treat infestations.

How do you dry mint leaves?

To dry mint, wash and pat dry fresh mint leaves. Remove leaves from stems. Place leaves in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake leaves at lowest oven temp until crispy, about 30 mins.

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