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How to Prune Your Mint Plant

Mint is a wonderful herb to add to your garden. It’s best as a potted plant or separated from other plants because it grows like crazy. That, coincidentally, makes it a fantastic groundcover!

If you prefer to keep your mint plant in check, it grows well in a container. You can decide how big your plant becomes simply by choosing a pot size.

There are different times in the year when you may need to prune your mint plant, depending on its size and age.

This guide to how to prune mint will help you to determine when to cut back your mint, the best way to cut to promote new growth, and what to do with your harvest.

How to Prune Mint Plants

Potted mint plants, especially those grown indoors, can be picked at during their entire growing season. If you just need to use some mint in a recipe or for your tea, just pinch off a few leaves with your fingernails.

To promote new growth quickly, pick a small harvest a few times per month during the growing season. It’s best to pinch back the first sets of newer leaves at the top of the stems.

Make sure to pinch right at the base of the leaf, careful not to damage the stem. Use your fingernail for a clean cut.

The exceptions to regular trimming are young plants that have not yet reached four inches in height. Let your mint establish its roots before you give it a cut.

Read More – The Delightful Herb Called Wild Bergamot!

how-to-prune-mint
Mint is a tremendously hardy perennial that grows beautiful violet or purple flowers. Mint plants are fun and stress-free to prune because they’re prolific growers. New leaf growth also has the mintiest flavor. Another reason to prune your mint plant’s sprigs and leaves often and regularly!

Mint Harvest Season

Mint thrives well in all types of climates. In climates that don’t experience frost, mint will grow year-round. In zones that get below freezing, it will go dormant and begin growing again in the spring.

Read More – What Herbs to Grow Together So They Grow the Best!

Mint in Zones 3-7

If you’ll be enjoying a white holiday season, your mint plant will need to be harvested sometime between July and September. Look for flower buds, and cut your mint before they bloom.

It’s important to pinch off the buds if you do not harvest your plant. This will promote growth in the next growing season.

Even if you don’t harvest, you will still need to prepare your mint for the winter. Most gardeners will agree that cutting it down is the best way to do this. Plants that are kept to die off will suffer breakage from cold weather and heavy snow.

Read More – Tips to Get Your Herb Garden Growing Fast!

Mint in Zones 8-13

For those who have a year-round growing season, you can harvest your mint every three to four months. Look for buds that indicate blooming will commence soon. Usually, this is three months after the plant’s last harvest.

At this time, the leaves are at their strongest flavor because they are packed with essential oils. If you’re not ready to harvest, keep your mint growing by pinching back the flower buds before they bloom.

Read More – Our Honest Review of The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies!

Mint Harvest How-To

harvesting-dried-herbs
Mint is one of the easiest herbs to prune! It grows with vigor – so you have leverage when pruning and harvesting the tender mint leaves. After your mint plant begins growing – harvest mint leaves as you wish – and harvest at will!

Your mint plant is full of life. You can smell its beautiful aroma from feet away. It’s time to harvest the delicious leaves and preserve them for later use.

1. Harvest Your Mint At Its Peak

Wait until you see buds form, indicating that the mint will soon bloom. If your plant is young and does not flower yet, harvest when the plant reaches 90 days of maturity. You’ll notice that it’s very aromatic and has a vibrant green color.

If the leaves begin to yellow and it has a subtler smell, it has passed its peak.

2. Check for Pests or Diseases

Look over your mint for eaten leaves or discoloration.

If you need to rid of pests, use an organic method only. Do not use pesticides, as the plant will absorb them and you will have to wait for another harvest season. Organic methods may be used, but wait a week before harvest.

Read More – 13+ Wonderful Herbs That Like Full Sun!

3. Cut Plant Stems Down to Just an Inch or Two

Use a good pair of shears for cutting. Make sure to leave an inch or two of each stem so your mint will regrow.

4. Dry Your Mint for Storage

To preserve your mint for later use, loosely hang stems upside down.

Use a string to tie around each stem for easier hanging, and so the leaves aren’t crowded. It’s important that they receive good airflow so your mint doesn’t develop mold.

Choose a dry, well-ventilated, and warm area for curing (hanging). Keep mint stems out of the sun, as this can reduce the flavor and promote mold growth.

5. Store the Dried Leaves In an Airtight Container for up to a Year

Keep your herbs out of the sunlight and in a dry, cool spot. Separate leaves from the stems, and store them in an airtight container.

Keep them whole until you are ready to use them, so they retain their flavor for longer.

Best Mint Plant Seeds for Regular Pruning – and Harvesting!

We love mint for delicious iced tea brews, pasta salads, and even seafood dishes!

Mint is also famously easy to prune. So much so that peppermint can even become a garden invader if not managed.

Another problem is that there are over 600 mint cultivars! How are we supposed to choose the best mint for regular pruning? And home growing?

No worries!

We assembled a lovely list of the best mint plant seeds for new homesteaders and herb gardens.

These mint cultivars are relatively easy to grow – and will provide ample pruning opportunities.

We hope you enjoy them!

  1. Peppermint Herb Mint Seeds (Mentha Piperita) | Seed Needs
  2. Peppermint Herb Mint Seeds (Mentha Piperita) | Seed Needs
    $7.99 ($4.00 / Count)

    Peppermint is one of our favorite heirlooms for pruning that dates back centuries. Peppermint is a cross combination between water mint and spearmint. The leaves have a strong scent and crush perfectly into meat dishes or refreshing iced teas.

    Their leaves are beautiful - and about one to two inches long. The plants grow to about two feet tall. Peppermint leaves also have smooth red-colored stems and purplish blooms. And they're easy to prune!

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    08/19/2022 11:58 am GMT
  3. Catmint Herb Seeds (Nepeta Mussinii) | Seed Needs
  4. Catmint Herb Seeds (Nepeta Mussinii) | Seed Needs
    $8.99

    Want an aromatic and attractive herb perfect for spicy and minty flavors? Add catmint to your list of seeds to sow! Catmint is a perennial herb with beautiful blooms. Catmint reaches about two to three feet tall. The plant produces tiny leaves, and the stems are somewhat spindly. These seeds are non-GMO and derive from open pollination.

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    08/19/2022 02:19 am GMT
  5. Culinary Herbs Seed Vault | Home Grown
  6. Culinary Herbs Seed Vault | Home Grown
    $22.99 ($1.53 / Count)

    Want to start a massive and flourishing herb garden for cheap? Peppermint and mint are only two of the herbs you get in this herb seed ensemble. You also get basil, chives, arugula, dill, garlic chive, lavender, and oregano seeds. The herb seeds are non-GMO heirlooms - and the reviews are also stellar.

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    08/19/2022 01:01 am GMT
  7. Mint Seed Collection | Seed Needs
  8. Mint Seed Collection | Seed Needs
    $9.99 ($2.50 / Count)

    Can't decide which mint cultivar is best for new herb gardens? Try a variety! This collection of mint seeds contains four mint cultivars. You get peppermint, lemon mint, pennyroyal mint, and spearmint. You'll probably notice that mosquitoes detest peppermint and spearmint. These mint seeds from Seeds Needs are non-GMO and derive from open pollination plants.

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    08/19/2022 01:56 am GMT
  9. Large Herbal Tea Garden Seed Collection | Sow Right Seeds
  10. Large Herbal Tea Garden Seed Collection | Sow Right Seeds
    $15.99 ($1.60 / Count)

    Here's a breathtaking tea and mint seed medley containing heirloom mint, lemon mint, peppermint, lemon balm, lavender, plus more herbs. The packet has easy-to-follow instructions so you can germinate the seeds without fuss. Sow Right Seeds operates with a solar-powered operation - guilt-free herb seeds! The seeds are also non-GMO.

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    08/19/2022 03:28 am GMT
  11. Lemon Mint Seeds (Monarda Citriodora) | Seed Needs
  12. Lemon Mint Seeds (Monarda Citriodora) | Seed Needs
    $4.99

    Lemon mint is one of the best-looking mint varieties. They grow to about one to two feet high. When lemon-mint blooms - they have breathtaking purple flowers. Lemon mint leaves are green and somewhat tiny. The best part is that lemon mint helps attract hummingbirds, honeybees, butterflies, and bumblebees.

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    08/19/2022 01:41 am GMT
  13. Coleus Chocolate Mint Seeds | Outsidepride
  14. Coleus Chocolate Mint Seeds | Outsidepride
    $6.49 ($0.32 / Count)

    Coleus mint is one of the weirdest varieties of mint on this list. It has deep-red or burgundy foliage, unlike other mints we've seen. Coleus mint grows perfectly in growing zones four through ten and makes for a perfect perennial plant for indoors. The leaves have a green trim - but expect a maroon-dominant theme.

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    08/19/2022 02:08 pm GMT
  15. Peppermint Stick Zinnia Seeds (Zinnia Elegans) | Seed Needs
  16. Peppermint Stick Zinnia Seeds (Zinnia Elegans) | Seed Needs
    $5.99

    Our list of the best mint plants for pruning wouldn't be complete without peppermint stick zinnia seeds! Peppermint stick isn't for eating - but it's still one of the most rewarding. Peppermint stick zinnia grows two to three feet tall, and the flowers are two inches - and kaleidoscopic. We love the beautiful blooms of pastel colors, spots, and stripes.

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    08/19/2022 09:38 am GMT
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Conclusion

We know that the cost of food keeps skyrocketing as of late.

That’s why we’re so passionate about gardening – especially herbs. And mint!

Once established, your mint plants will grow aggressively.

Pruning mint leaves becomes second nature because you can prune your mint when the leaves look and smell good!

We thank you so much for reading our mint pruning guide!

If you have questions about mint pruning – or if you have tips for harvesting the best mint leaves possible?

We invite you to share.

Thanks again for reading.

Have a great day – and happy pruning!

Author

  • Our expert gardener contributors offer invaluable advice and expertise about everything plant and garden! They're an amazing group of people who love sharing their tips and ideas with you. You'll often find them sharing specific skills and areas of gardening they're passionate about.

Pattie

Saturday 16th of July 2022

So it sounds like this article is only for outdoor mint plants. What about indoor mint plants? And for those of us not familiar with plant zones, this is confusing. Tried to google it but then I realized you are referring to outdoor planting. What is your advice on pruning indoor plants? Thank you!