How to Grow Mint From Cuttings

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In this tutorial, we will learn how to grow mint from cuttings. Mint is a very simple plant to grow that you can enjoy year round. If you plant it in a container, you’ll be able to bring it indoors for the winter and as long as you provide it with good lighting it will keep growing. There is nothing like a cup of hot tea with fresh mint and some honey when it’s super cold outside! Let me show you how to propagate mint. 

I have three plants from the mint family growing in my garden: spearmint, peppermint, and lemon balm. The pictures below are from the garden I had when we lived in town. Now that we are in the country, I keep my mint in containers.

They were super easy to move! I didn’t have to dig the plants that I had in the garden in town, instead, I just started new plants from cuttings like you will see below.

I grow them mainly for tea, but I also add spearmint to salads. My tea is very simple… Boiling water, a spring of mint, and half a teaspoon of honey. No tea bag.

How to Grow Mint From Cuttings

Let me show you in a step by step picture tutorial how to grow mint from cuttings. Propagating mint is very easy. You can have a mint plant by next week! #howtogrowmintfromcuttings #growingmint #propagatingmint

Of course you can get a small mint plant at the local plant nursery, but if you know of someone that has mint in their garden, or if you come across a mint plant somewhere all you have to do is grab a couple of stems and you are on your way to having your own mint plant. I’ll show you how easy propagating mint is.

What Does it Mean to Propagate Mint?

Propagating is an easy and simple way to get more plants from ones you already have (or someone else has…) by rooting a stem of the mother plant. 

Propagating ensures that the plant you get is identical to the mother plant. There are a few different ways to propagate plants and the technique you’ll choose will depend on the kind of plant you are going to propagate. Mint is very simple to propagate by rooting a stem cutting of the mother plant.  

Mint Varieties…

There are so many varieties of mint! You can choose from spearmint, peppermint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint, ginger mint, lavender mint and on and on…

In the mint family, called Lamiaceae, you’ll find many other herbs like lemon balm, oregano, lavender, basil, bee balm, catnip, basil, marjoram, rosemary, and more. 

Many of those plants can be propagated in the same way I’ll show here but I find that it’s a bit harder with other plants (like oregano and rosemary for example). Mint, by far, is the easiest plant I ever grew from cuttings. 

Growing Mint…

Spearmint growing in the garden

Mint grows best in rich soil that is high in organic matter. Mint loves a moist environment, however, the soil has to have good drainage.

Peppermint growing in the garden.

You can plant mint in full sun or a partially shady location in the garden. All types of mint spread vigorously, so make sure to give them enough room or simply plant them in containers. 

Lemon balm is growing in the garden.
Lemon Balm

In fact, growing mint in a container might be a good idea anyway even if you have enough room for it in the garden because it will take over the garden (especially spearmint and peppermint). It’s also a good idea because then you can move it indoors in the winter (here are 10 tips for growing herbs in containers).  

I am gardening in zone 7B, and as you can see, my mint was planted in the garden but it was a small garden for the mint family only. 

Mint actually loves the cooler temperatures (50 – 60 F), but as the temperatures drop, I keep piling dry leaves on the plants (here is information about leaf mold, leaf mulch, and leaf compost). At the end of the winter, they look pretty bad and I often wonder if they are going to be able to recover, but they always do.

If you plant your mint in a pot, you can easily move it indoors in the winter and place it by a sunny window. It will keep growing just fine and you’ll get fresh mint year around (here are 8 herbs you can grow indoors). 

So now let’s see how you can easily start your own mint plant…

Growing Mint From Cuttings (in Other Words Propagating Mint)…

How to grow mint from cuttings

1. Cut a stem of mint – Find a nice looking mint plant. It doesn’t matter if it grows inside or outside or if it grows in the ground or in a pot. You are just looking for a healthy, green, vibrant plant.

Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut a stem of new growth, about 4 inches long…

Mint cuttings

2. Clean lower leaves – clean the lower leaves from the cutting so you are left with an inch of bare stem. Use the leaves you removed to make a hot or cold cup of tea!

Mint cuttings rooting in a glass of water

 3. Place cutting in water – place your mint cutting in a glass of water on the kitchen counter or another well-lit location in your house, a window sill will work great.

I usually have this glass of water on the kitchen counter to use for tea. I prefer keeping the plants alive like that than storing them in the refrigerator.

If you ever bought mint at the grocery store in one of those flat plastic containers and placed the container in the fridge, you probably noticed that the mint turns black pretty quickly. It’s because it doesn’t like the low temperatures. It’s much better to take it out of the container and place the stems in a glass of water instead. They might even root for you.

Mint cuttings roots in water

 4. Change the water – change the water every couple of days to keep things fresh. You’ll start seeing roots in just a few days (usually around 5 – 7 days).

Mint cuttings with roots.

 5. Remove your mint cutting from the water – once the mint cutting has established roots at least half an inch long, you can remove it from the water and plant it.

A container for growing mint.

6. Plant your cuttings – it depends on what you are planning to do with your mint plant. If you just want it to establish in soil and then move it to the garden, you can use a small pot (3-4 inches). Maybe one of those Cow Pots that you can plant in the soil so transplanting to the garden is easier.

It’s better to let it establish a bit before you plant it in the garden, but mint is a pretty strong plant so if you really want you can try planting it in the garden right away.

I’ve decided to keep this peppermint that I am planting in a pot so I can move it indoors in the winter, so I am using a 6” pot. You can go as large as you want with the size of the container. As long as your mint is happy, it will keep spreading according to the size of the container it’s in.

So once you choose a pot, fill it with good potting soil. Most potting soils have fertilizer mixed in them so you should be good for the first six months or so. If you go with organic potting soil (or if you just want to give your plant extra food) you can add some worm castings. I used to raise red worms so I added my worm castings but now I get my castings on Amazon. This is, in my openion the best organic plant food there is!

Once your pot is filled with potting soil, stick a pencil in the center of the pot and move it around to create a hole like in the picture above.

Planting mint in container.

Plant your rooting mint in the hole. Be careful not to break the roots.

Mint plant in a pot. How to mint from cuttings.

Pack the soil around the plant and water well.

Place it in a well-lit location in your house, on the porch or in the garden somewhere. Keep the soil moist until you see new growth, then you can water when the soil feels dry (once or twice a week).

This is a great gardening chore for the winter. By the time spring rolls around you’ll have nice mint plants to plant in the garden. Also, if you start this five weeks or so before the holidays, you can give a potted herb as a gift. Plant it in a cute, small pot, or let your kids decorate a small clay pot, plant the cutting, wait for it to establish, add a nice ribbon around the pot and you have an awesome gift.

I love mint and enjoy growing it very much. It’s one of those plants that you just can’t kill. You don’t need to pay much attention to it once it’s established, just water it once in a while. I’ve never had pests bother my mint. I also love that once your plant takes off the more you harvest the more it grows.

If you are still looking for more information, here is a great post from  Traditional Cooking School on this same subject.

~Lady Lee~

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23 thoughts on “How to Grow Mint From Cuttings”

  1. Thank you for the rooting and planting tips. I got some mint from my Sister in law and I am going to follow your directions. We love a cup of strong mint tea!

    1. I am not sure that I understand your question… You can start spearmint the same exact way that you’ll start mint.

  2. Lady Lee, That was an outstanding essay on mint! Am in process of “relocating” a mixed bed of spearmint & choc. mint by the cutting, rooting, potting–>sunnier bed in the garden. Loved your easy-going style mixed with intellectual depth on the subject of mint plants. Very helpful and also inspiring. Thank you, Flip

  3. Mint does grow rapidly and can become an invasive plant! What I did is take (10!!) approx. 8 inch pots, the black, thin kind that small bushes and plants come in from the summer nursery or even Walmart! You can usually find these throw away type pots empty & in piles at your local nursery for nearly free, just ask.
    Planted a good starter of any mint in good soil in the pots, dug a hole to accept the pot in the location you want your mint, and these plants stay self contained growing to actual 2 foot high! by 3 foot wide mint BUSHES! And this way do not take over your garden and yard.
    I plant my mint bushes all around the patio and anywhere I want to deter most any bugs! Awesome stuff!

  4. Do you have any more tips on transplanting the cutting to soil? I am always successful in getting my cuttings to root, but I have never had success with it being transplanted into soil. Not sure what I am doing wrong.
    Thank you

    1. Transplant when it is on the cool side outside, not in the middle of the day when the sun is strong. It’s better in the early afternoon. Make sure you water well and mulch with straw. In my experience mulching with straw makes the difference between a live transplant and a dead one. The mulch keeps the soil moist and soft. I tried wood chips and leaves too in the past but it seems to me like the plants prefer the straw. Then, just make sure to water well for a couple of weeks until the plant is past the transplant shock.

    1. The same thing happened to me when I did it with mint I got at the store (did you get yours at the store or did you cut it from another plant?). I left mine in the water by a sunny window and after a couple of days it came back to life. Four or so days later it had an inch or so roots.

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