How to grow mint

Mint is a common herb often described as invasive and a ‘thug’. A hardy, herbaceous perennial grows best in full sun and poor, moist soil.
How To

This herb is often used to garnish potatoes, peas and salads and the make the favourite roast lamb accompaniment, mint sauce.

How to grow mint from cuttings

You can grow mint from cuttings without the need to grow from seed.

Best times

Take stem tip cuttings from the mint in the spring or summer.

Picking the strongest tips

Choose tips that look strong, not ones that are weak or damaged. You need a short length of stem approximately 3 to 5 inches long. Cut the stem from the plant with secateurs.

Trim to the stem

Take the cutting and trim the bottom reducing the length of the stem to approximately 2 to 3 inches long. You can use secateurs or a sharp knife for this.


Remove a few of the bottom leaves and the dip the bare end of the cutting into a rooting gel or powder.


Insert the cutting into a small plant pot (6 inches) filled with compost or use cutting trays. You can put several cuttings around the edge of the pot, but keep space between the leaves.


Water well and keep covered. The cuttings will establish roots.


Once these have grown, carefully lift them from the pot and plant up into individual pots. In the spring or autumn, you can divide mint into multiple new plants.

How do I grow mint from seed?

In the spring you can also sow mint seeds by getting a small plant pot (5 inches) filled with compost – seed compost works best. Scatter the seeds over the compost and then sieve or sprinkle a fine layer of compost over the top of the seeds, water the seeds and then add a label. Cover with a plastic bag and watch the leaves develop, once the seedlings have grown to establish 2 pairs of leaves, prick out of the pot carefully and plant into individual pots. When these seedlings have developed roots and grown into small plants, transfer them into bigger pots or plant in the garden.

How can I grow mint in a pot?

You can restrict the spread of mint by growing it on the patio in containers or in the ground using sunken pots or old buckets. If you are planting in the ground, ensure you have good drainage by making holes in the bottom of whatever container you are using. Fill the patio or ground container with a loam and compost mix, then place the mint into the pot, fill the remaining sides with more compost and give the plant a good water. It is good practice to replace the compost each spring to replenish the nutrients and keep the plants healthy.

How do I harvest mint?

Pick mint leaves direct from the plant before the plant develops flowers. Dry the leaves out or freeze to store them, or you can infuse the leaves in vinegar.

Can I split a mint plant?

In the spring or autumn (avoiding extremes weather) dig out the mint plant from the ground with a garden fork, taking care not to damage roots. Divide the plant into sections using a spade. choose the healthy-looking plants with new shoots and replant these young plant sections into pots filled with compost and water well.

Can I propagate mint?

You can propagate mint in the spring, summer or autumn by creating cuttings, planting seeds or splitting existing mint plants.