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Growing mint

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I have been told that mint is easy to grow at home. It has been mentioned that it is in fact so easy to grow that it will go "bamboo" on ya and take over the yard.

Given that in my area it seems to do rather well, I have decided to give it a shot in spite of it's invasive nature.

I'll likely start it indoors and move it to a large container outside once it's established. I've done some research on the web, but wondered...

...does anyone here "grow their own"?

Mint that is.

I'd like to hear any tips if ya got 'em.


That depends on the species and variety of mint grown. Some mint like common mint, lemon mint,peppermint and spearmint grow rather fast. mints like pineapple mint cinnaomon scented mint are very slow growers. I have had mixed reactions to choclate mint. Personally I like pineapple mint because of it's varigated leaves subtle pineapple flavor and slow growth . Also I noticed that the slower growing mints are not as invasive. There is a Mint called Corsican mint which I like and think it would be a great groundcover in a container and would look great in a container with a fairly large tiki the small dark leaves and musky-minty scent would be a good contrast to a large wooden style tiki

but hey that's my 2 cents!

Hey pele,
Plant it in a sunny spot and use good topsoil around it. Also water it everyday to get it going. Once it gets going, it does go wild. By summer's end, it will be full and green. I use it in iced tea or homemade spaghetti sauce. It's also good to use in a marinade (consisting of olive oil, garlic, mint, salt and pepper) for steaks or chicken when grilling. It will come up every spring even after a long, icy winter. If you have your lawn sprayed for weeds, make sure the mint doesn't get sprayed, though.



I had it growing like crazy outdoors, but no luck with it indoors (pineapple mint) once we moved to a garden-less home.


Most people who grow mint have it run away on them. Plant the whole pot containing the mint into the ground, but even this is not foolproof.

Don the Beachcomber was having trouble getting mint for garnishing his drinks so he smuggled a few mint seeds to Hawaii in the brim of his hat. In about a year his gardener was suppling mint to all his restaraunts.

[ Edited by: captnkirk on 2004-01-03 20:23 ]


Pele, what zone are you in? Although I haven't heard of a zone mint won't flourish in. I do know mint likes moisture. Eventhough I live in the Desert and I have several mint plants outside, yes, some growing where I don't want it. I have tried to kill the unwanted plants by ignoring them, stopped watering the area, mowing over it. The mint has won the battle so far. Once it's in a spot it's there for good.

On 2004-01-03 20:21, captnkirk wrote:
Plant the whole pot containing the mint into the ground, but even this is not foolproof.

If you grow the mint in its own container rather than in the ground, it shouldn't spread. I use that method to grow catnip indoors.

I grow the common mint for use in, and as a garnesh for drinks like the mai tai. Having Mint around at a moments notice is very cool. Booze keeps well, but if you have to buy the herbs, you will certainly be caught short. My mint tries to get out of control, but I have a party and make mojitos, mai tais, etc. and trim it way back. This may be an expensive form of "weed" control, but you make friends by doing it.




A galvanized washtub makes an excellent prison for the demon weed.

This thread deserves a bump.

Having just been to the store to buy a mint plant, I noticed what Home Depot called a "mint" mint (didn't catch the species) has a very different look than peppermint (mentha peperita). Neither of which seems to be what stores and bars are selling down here in FL (I really want to guess that retail variety is spearmint, aka. Mentha spicata, but don't have enough facts). Anyone favor a specific type of grown mint for drinks over the other types?

I bough both with the hopes of a taste test later on in the growing process. Got to find a spearmint now.

Just for fun (but way off topic), here's a link for all sort of Mint growing facts and some historic fun stuff. Yeah, its gears toward Houston, but the rest is still valid for us newbie green-thumbers.

NOTE: Edited to add genus & species of mint plants.

[ Edited by: I dream of tiki 2008-04-01 06:30 ]

I live in Washington DC, so I have to grow my mint in a window box on my balcony. Not only did it mostly take over the window box, but even after our particularly harsh winter, small sprouts were still there throughout.

Growing mint is about the easiest thing I've ever done. If anything, it's a bigger challenge to limit its growth. For people with gardens, I would suggest growing it in a pot anyway.


I remember mint growing like a weed in our yard as a kid. Yet, somehow, my wife managed to kill her mint plant. I swear she's the botanical Angel of Death.

Unless you're in an ideal climate, mint will not do as well in a pot as in the ground. And it'll take even more time and energy to grow it indoors.

Unlike Bamboo, though, mint 'rhizomes'(roots, really) grow on the surface of the ground (or very close under). If you discover and create a joy for tending to your garden space, you can very easily keep mint contained.

If you wish to spend less time in your garden, do like other have said (Talkie Tiki, for one) and choose a specialty (pineapple, apple, banana, cinnamon, orange) that's a slower-growing variety.

Here in Oakland, chocolate mint is a racehorse; so I wouldn't include it in this category. If anyone wants cuttings (of chocolate, orange, apple, banana, lemon, ginger, cinnamon, and peppermint), we've got 'em.

Moroccan mint is my favourite. What's that called in the US I wonder? :wink:

Mentha spicata 'Nana' or 'Moroccan'

The Stevenson Wedding Mug by Cheekytiki, 2006

[ Edited by: 54 house of bamboo 2008-04-01 10:15 ]

Spearmint (mentha spicata) is the type you want to use in mojitos, julips, and as the garnish in tiki drinks. I grow it in the front flower bed. Peppermint doesn't have as strong a scent or flavor, it seems to me. I had both going for a while, but it all died out during a hot, dry summer. When I replanted, I only went back with spearmint.


I grow my mint in a large pot on the back porch. This does well, except that it does limit its growth somewhat. I'm never quite able to get leaves as large as those used by the Mai-Kai, Trader Vic's, etc. But it's a trade-off I'm willing to make because it's simpler to maintain. The big thing about growing it in a pot is to keep it in semi-shade and make sure it doesn't dry out in the summer. And keep it pinched back too. As to varieties, I've stuck to peppermint and spearmint.

One thing I definitely do before plopping a mint sprig on top of my Mai-Tais and Zombies is to give it a good smack once to release the aroma.

I tried growing my own last summer in a couple of pots, but 1)The place I chose was too shady, 2)The place I chose was so out of the way, I sorta forgot about it.

This year, I'm making it a priority. I pledge to do a better job of growing mint.

About two years ago I received one of those Aerogrow hydroponic thingies as a gift. I use it to grow my mint year 'round indoors as the sun and temperatures are way to hot here in Florida in the spring & summer to grow mint outdoors year 'round.. I have had excellent luck with this and am able to grow mint with generous-sized leaves. I just buy packages of Ferry Morse seeds locally, and only use five of the seven planting spots to allow for vigorous growth, and have an extender for the light to allow for extra height. I use their nutrients to get the seeds started and then, once they start growing, switch to liquid Miracle Grow and they just take off!


Nothing beats homegrown mint but if you need large quantities I generally hit Thai groceries. They sell it in huge quantities insanely cheap. Vietnamese markets too, just be careful that it isn't "Vietnamese Mint." That one is great for pho, less so in a Mai Tai.

This year we are trying to grow our own, should be interesting.

I grow spearmint. The cultivar is "Kentucky Colonel"-it's a bit milder and sweeter than the usual spearmint and mine has pretty decent sized leaves. It is in a container-a large one-right outside my tikiroom door.

After reading about pineapple mint (I had forgotten about it!) and banana mint (never heard of that one!) I want to start some more mints.

Off topic, kinda: I just planted a piece of ginger from the grocery store. I've heard you can get it to grow this way. Some peeps say 'they' spray something on the rhizomes so they won't sprout, but I've been told otherwise by people who have grown it! So we'll see. Fresh ginger root, fresh mint, fresh limes...what next? Maybe my banana will fruit!


Hey Tacky!

I tried ginger, just stuck a grocery store root in the ground. It started to sprout but it was in an area where my fountain splashed it all the time - it got waterlogged and died :(

One week later...still no sprouts. But the mint is going crazy!

We aren't having the best weather right now-warm, cloudy, chance of rain. Must be a tropical storm. Hopefully the plants will still love it.

I think I'll try the ginger infused rum tomorrow-I just smelled it and it reminded me of Pinesol. I'm scared!!!


Once mint gets going it tries to take over like you see here. This was a 4 " mint plant 3 years ago and its speading into this upper bed.

Here is my pineapple and spearmint in containers. Looks cool next to the door and smells good too.

I have no idea how to grow mint. I know a lovely plant that goes very well with drinks in Tiki mugs. You take these....errr...wait a minute...forget I mentioned it....really....I was never here...err...I....uhhh....(step, step, step, step,....door slam).

You can't use THOSE leaves as a garnish, you could put an eye out! :lol:

I'm growing mint at home for the first time. A type called Orange Mint. I was told to plant it under the garden hose spigot (mine leaks a bit) so it will get a little extra moisture. I live in Michigan and it seems to be doing great.

Alright here is a dumb question for ya. First time mint grower. Is there a proper way to pick mint? Most likely with a freshly made Mai Tai in ones hand. Seriously is there a way to pick the mint sprigs that doesn't effect the plant and allows it to keep growing? Or is it like a weed and just don't worry about it and pick a hand full? Thanks, I'll take my answer of the air.

"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-05-22 14:16 ]

Just in case there are others who um, aren't veteran mint growers....

Just pinch off a sprig here and there as you need it. It will branch every place you pinch it.

Pinch your mint regularly to keep the plant from getting leggy-you know, long stalks with leaves farther apart. So garnish all your drinks, cuz you'll need to in order to keep up with your mint growth once it really gets going.

My Kentucky Colonel mint is in a phase of growing humongi leaves. I'm pinching back some of the smaller leafed stalks and letting the gargantuan leaves grow to see how big they'll get!

time to go um, pinch some mint.....

Tacky the mint pincher

I'm definitely a mint grower. Spearmint. I use so much during the summer, however, that I do often have to resort to going to Vietnamese shops to buy my mint. I guess the key is to let the mint cultivate and grow crazy first, before picking it.

The only other kind I would recommend for cocktails and in Italian cooking would be Applemint, which is a hybrid of Spearmint (most mint plants are), and which tastes more spearmint-y (albeit more mild) than apple-y. And yes, once the mint plant starts cultivating it will grow like crazy. During the winter the leaves, etc. may and probably will die off, pending which region you live in and where you locate the mint plants. Heavy snow over long accumulation will certainly kill the leaves off, etc. However, should they die off, the roots will still be healthy and you will see them return in spring (no matter what region you're in).

I would disagree about mint requiring lots of sunshine. I've had mint flourish in shaded, moist areas. Another thing is mint sprigs placed in shallow water in a clear glass will often produce roots, after a time (and for this they do require some sunlight). So should you run out during the autumn or winter this is a splendid way to initiate the production of more mint (indoors, of course). Once again, let it grow crazy first before you start picking. Picking too much too soon will hinder its growth.

Bongo's Mint Farm:

I don't really know what kind of mint I'm growing... but it works very well as a garnish for my drinks at home. Smells and looks great. I water it from a leilani tiki mug.


On 2009-06-08 04:39, Bongo Bungalow wrote:
Bongo's Mint Farm:

I don't really know what kind of mint I'm growing... but it works very well as a garnish for my drinks at home. Smells and looks great. I water it from a leilani tiki mug.

Hard to say from the photo, but the leaves look similar to the peppermint we have growing. I also have pineapple mint (which does OK) and just recently planted spearmint. So we should have mint covered.

The mint I had in the sunny spot in the ground -- died. The mint I put in a pot in a semi-sunny area -- died.

Because of my lack of success planting mint in the sun, I opted to plant it in two different spots on the east side of my house which gets morning sun and is pretty shady. The 1st spot gets partial sun the 2nd spot get almost all shade. The mint in the shade is throwing out runners and growing like crazy, it's more than doubled in size. The mint in the partial sun is thriving, but it's not as happy and only about 1/2 the size of the the mint in the shade.

It's SPRING! and my mint garden has sprouted back! If only this climate would support a lime tree.



Just remember mint is an invasive plant. If you do not plant it in a separate pot or take measures to contain it it will spread every where. Short of killing the entire lawn with herbicide, nothing you do will stop it.

garden full of mint... where is the problem? :D

Here's my story with mint. I was unemployed last summer, mint seemed like a logical idea. I planted chocolate mint, spearmint, peppermint, pineapple mint, and orange mint. Most of these went in 6 inch bowls, though the pepper and spearment were put in a long planter. Both were placed in a planter that got decent nighttime shade, watered once with miracle gro, and then left to its own devices.

The chocolate mint took off. It overran its pot, sending feelers down to the ground pretty damn quick. This is a menthol-y mint. Biting the leaves numbed the tongue, but worked well in drinks. I hacked away at these to prevent them from getting to leggy.

Peppermint and spearmint did allright; could have been better, could have been worse. I remember these grew relatively slowly.

Orange mint tasted like basil, smelled like oranges. I didn't use this in drinks too much, but it was decent in cooking.

Pineapple mint did not smell like pineapple; it is apple mint that has a recessive albino gene that causes variegation. Again, didn't use in drinks all too often as it lacked a good minty punch, but it was otherwise allright.

I'd say chocolate mint was by far the most impressive, both in terms of sheer leaf size and taste.

acknowledging that mint does have weedlike properties, i do have to admit that where it has grown out into our grass, i love to mow in those locations coz the lawnmower produces a zone of MINT SMELL when you run over it.


I did not like Chocolate mint in drinks. It does grow vigorously. Better than spearmint, but the good smell of it quickly goes away and is rather bitter in a drink.


On 2009-05-12 10:27, Ojaitimo wrote:
Once mint gets going it tries to take over like you see here. This was a 4 " mint plant 3 years ago and its speading into this upper bed.

Here is my pineapple and spearmint in containers. Looks cool next to the door and smells good too.

I have the mint as in the bottom pic growing in my yard, the top of the sprigs are rounded. The underside of the leaves look kinda "hairy".What kind of mint is it? thanks.

[ Edited by: Tiki pop 2010-07-05 08:39 ]


It might be peppermint. I have some too. Some of the leaves are solid color, and some are mottled white and green.


Thought I'd revive this thread, to ask for a recommendation for a big, leafy mint that will grow well indoors over a Midwest winter. I've been growing mint in pots indoors/out for a few seasons now, and the Spearmint I have doesn't grow as large as the sprigs I'd get in cocktails from a decent Tiki joint. Thoughts?

I've tried growing mint both outdoors and indoors but the leaves were never very big. I've had very good luck buying a bunch at Safeway, wrapping the stalks in a wet paper towel, and storing it in a plastic produce bag in the refrigerator. For $2-$3 I get big beautiful leaf garnish more generous than any Tiki joint serves. It keeps around 3 weeks.

I considered buying a $30 herb saver but Amazon reviews stated that the paper towel method works just as well and I think they are right. you can store a lot more mint that way as well.

I put mint in my garden, not caring that it would take over, last season. This year I had more mint than I could ever use. It is still producing all winter and summer.

I have learned, just the generic mint from Home Depot is fine. The leaves on mine were baseball sized sometimes. It took over my garden in 1 year from one little plant.

I live in San Diego, so I think it might be an ideal climate for mint here. So, mint likes water, but it doesn't matter to it as much as sun. Sun will keep it going forever. If you were growing all winter in the midwest, I would suggest a small grow light. I would have it on for 8 hours a day. I think that this would produce the most mint for you.

I use mint in a lot of drinks and it is great to have everlasting mint. You can freeze it too and use it anytime. Also, if you do NOT wash it, it will last longer than washed mint. You can pluck it and throw it in the fridge for weeks, just wash it off when you plan to use it. Once mint gets going there is no stopping it.


In the name of Tiki, a grow light may be in order, and hope the ATF won't raid the house!

If they do raid the house, make 'em a Mai Tai and everything will once again be right in the world! :drink:

Use larger pots then what you might use for other herbs
you will get a much larger leaf, plenty of sun is important
cold temps will kill the plant above ground, but can grow again in the spring
I like English Mint myself, but also grow Pineapple mint.

This is a timely topic for me. Knowing a mai tai party was on the horizon, I got three sprouted mint plants (Kentucky Colonel) from a greenhouse that was selling on ebay. I sat them on my kitchen counter directly under a fluorescent light, each little plant in its own 6" plastic pot. 3 weeks later, they've grown quite a bit, but I have small leaves and long stems, and some of the bottom leaves have dead spots. No idea if it's too much water, too little light, or both.

Too little light would be my guess.

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