How To Grow Mint Indoors & Care Guide

Mint is one of the most popular herbs grown by indoor gardeners.

And with good reason:

It tastes great, smells good, and grows fast.

But that’s not all. Because science also continues to prove the many benefits it has for your health.

Interested in getting started?

Let’s take a closer look at growing mint indoors.

How To Grow Mint Indoors

Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors as a potted plant. This is how I like to do it:

Getting Started: Propagating Mint From Cuttings

The easiest way to start growing mint indoors is to take a cutting from an existing plant.

Snip off a 3-4 inch sprig, cutting it about 1 ½ inches above a leaf node. Remove the leaves on the lower part of the stem and place it in a glass of water.

After a week or so you’ll start to see small white roots growing beneath the water. Allow them to develop for several days before moving the plant to soil.

Keep an eye on the water level in the glass, topping up if necessary.

If you prefer, you can also root mint in soil without first placing it in water.

After removing the lower leaves, you cover the cut part of the stem in rooting hormone and insert it into a small pot of moist soil. Place a plastic bag over the pot to help preserve the moisture.

Roots are usually growing after 10 days and you can replant it in a larger pot if necessary.

Alternative 1: Getting Started From Seed

Can’t find a plant to take a cutting from?

Then it’s worth knowing that you can grow some varieties of mint from seed.

But there’s a drawback with doing this:

You can expect the failure rate to be much higher than when propagating from a cutting.

Germination also requires a lot more care and attention. Plant the seeds in fertile and moist soil and place them in a sunny location. Making sure to keep the soil moist, but taking care not to over-water.

After germination, the small seedlings that grow are fragile. So take care when watering them.

Mint can take some time to establish itself when grown from seed.

Alternative 2: Purchasing A Mint Seedling

Because it can be so difficult to grow mint plants from seed it’s often better to start with a seedling if you can’t get a cutting.

Have a look in your local nursery for one that’s already grown to about 3-4 inches in height.

Container & Soil

When choosing a container make sure to use one with drainage holes. Because although mint likes water it won’t do well in soggy soil.

Mint is shallow-rooted and spreads laterally through rhizomes and stolons. So, Iit’s best to choose a wide container rather than a deep one.

Aim to get a pot around 8-12 inches in diameter. Either plastic or terracotta will work. But keep in mind that terracotta loses moisture quicker, so you’ll need to pay closer attention to the moisture content of the soil.

Fill the container with potting soil mixed with some perlite and compost. Aim for about 50% potting soil and 25% perlite 25% compost. You can use vermiculite or garden sand instead of perlite. Because you want the soil to drain well, make sure not to pack it in too tightly.

Mint grows best in soil with a pH of 6-7, but they are adaptive plants and can still grow outside of this range. Use a pH meter to test the soil if you want to make sure that conditions are optimal.

Planting Your Mint

Use your fingers to make a small space in the soil. Take your cutting out of the water and carefully place it into the soil. Then gently move the soil to cover the base of the stem and the roots.

Give it a good watering after straight after you plant it.

Soil Moisture & Watering

If you’re growing mint indoors you need to make sure you keep the soil moist

How often you need to water depends on the conditions in which it’s growing.

Try to water it at least every 2-3 days. But you may need to increase the frequency if your climate is very dry or the plant is exposed to a lot of sunlight.

Bear in mind that if you’ve chosen to use a clay pot then the soil might dry out faster. So test the soil each day with your finger to make sure that it’s still moist and water as required.

Aim to give it around 1-2 cups of water at a time.

If the pot is standing in a tray to colect excess water, remember to empty it before you water again.

Location & Light

Mint grows best when it gets at least 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day, and ideally closer to 6. But it can also grow in indirect sunlight if placed near a sunny window.

Try to keep it on a windowsill or balcony where it can get the best sun exposure. The traditional advice when growing mint is to expose it to the morning sun and the afternoon shade.

Remember that the longer it spends in the hot sun the quicker it will dry out and the more often you will need to water it.

Mint plants will attempt to grow in the direction of the sunlight, so rotate the pot 180 degrees once a week to help it to grow evenly.

But what if low light is a problem?

If you can’t find a suitable place there are other options for indoor growers. Fluorescent grow lights can be used to either supplement the available sunlight or completely replace it.


It’s not absolutely necessary to use fertilizer when growing mint indoors. Most mint plants will grow without it. But it can improve it’s growth.

Use a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer and apply it a couple of times per month. Mix it to half strength and apply the mixture to the soil so that it’s soaked all the way down to the bottom. Wait a few weeks before starting to add fertilizer to a newly potted mint plant.

Be careful not to use too much fertilizer when growing mint indoors because it can affect the flavor of your mint.

How To Care For Your Indoor Mint Plant

Flushing & Salt Build Up

Fertlizer and water contain salts that build up in the soil over time, causing harm to your mint plant. The first visible sign you’ll notice will be a white deposit on the surface of the soil.

You can flush the salt out of the soil by placing the container in the sink and running approximately 8-10 gallons of water through it (when using a container of an 8-12 inch diameter size). Allow the wter to drain through the holes in the bottom carrying the dissolved salt build up with it.

You can do this once a month if required.


If you cut the tips of the plant frequently it will grow more leaves and become a bushier plant. Removing any dried and spindly stems will also help to keep the plant in good shape.

Cut off the flower buds before they have a chance to open to prolong the productive life of the plant.


Once your new mint plant is established you can start to pluck the leaves as and when you need them. The young leaves have the best flavor. So frequent harvesting keeps the plant at its most useful, as new leaves grow to replace those removed.

Make sure not to harvest more than ⅓ of the plant in one go as it can cause the plant to go into shock and temporarily stop its growth.

Managing Mint Rust

Unfortunately, even if you’re growing mint indoors you can run into some problems.

Occasionally, mint is affected by a fungal disease known as mint rust. The visible signs of this infection are spots on the leaves and stem that are a rusty-orange color, hence the name.

You should remove those plants and throw them away because they will eventually turn black and die. You also need to remove infected rhizomes.

After disposing of an infected mint plant make sure to wash the container with disinfectant and add new soil before attempting to grow new healthy plants.

Peppermint and spearmint are the types of mint most commonly affected by this fungus.

So there you have it, everything you need to know to start enjoying fresh mint leaves whenever you want.

There are many different varieties that you can choose to cultivate. With some of the most popular being spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate mint.

With just a little care and attention you can enjoy all the benefits of growing mint indoors.

It’s an easy herb to get started with when growing an indoor herb garden. Which makes it a great choice if you’re living in an apartment or don’t have an outdoors garden.

Do you have any experience growing it in your home? Let us know in the comments section.

Leave a Comment