Potting Up Mint

Mint can be grown from seed but is such an aggressive spreader that most gardeners would be happy to share some cuttings - as long as you promise to keep it in check. Many community gardens only allow mint in pots because it tends to take over. Mint is easily identified by the aroma and flavor of the leaves. Fresh mint is great in teas and drinks (mojitos!) and is an important part of many Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian dishes.

A few years ago I decided to take a chance and planted a little mint in my flower garden. I chose a spot with poor soil, bright sun, and heavy competition from rudbeckias. I pull it out when I catch it migrating, but would recommend growing in a pot for anyone who doesn't enjoy weeding. For my basement herb garden I found this renegade mint near the corner of the flower garden.

You can just gently pull it out, keeping the roots attached when possible.

Mint will sprout all along the root. I trimmed it up so the pieces had some leaves and would fit it the pot. I used potting soil and a plastic pot.

Mint roots tend to stay pretty shallow and I buried them horizontally so the new shoots would grow to the surface. I marked these with arrows. The shallow sprouting-root-stem business, aka "runners", is the secret to mint's garden domination.

I pinched the tips off the stems to encourage branching and watered thoroughly. My basement herb garden is almost complete!