Mint is a great plant to grow in your kitchen or garden because it has many uses. Most people use mint in their cooking. It can also be used to help your house smell nice, or to ward off pests in your garden.
But, how long does it take mint to grow? Maybe you’ve heard that mint spreads very quickly, and you’re wondering if that applies to seeds and seedlings as well. If you’ve ever wanted to grow mint, you’ll find everything you need right here.
Below, I cover whether mint is easy to grow, how big it grows and exactly how long it takes to grow whether you plant a seed or cutting. I also give you tips to help mint grow as fast as possible as well as how to stop it from spreading and how to harvest it.
Is Mint Easy To Grow?
Mint is a very hardy plant and is one of the easiest herbs to grow. If you’ve never grown a plant before, mint is one of the best options. Here is a good guide for everything you need to know about growing mint.
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How Big Does Mint Grow?
Mint is not a very tall plant, and can only grow up to 3 feet tall. Most plants will stay between 1-2 feet tall. However, mint is a profuse spreader. Mint can spread outward at a rate of 4 inches per month. It will continue to grow for as long as you allow it.
Why does mint spread so quickly? This is owed to their underground rhizomes.
Unlike regular roots, mint grows using rhizomes. Rhizomes are thick and tough, growing horizontally through the soil.
Yes, rhizomes can spread out quickly, but that’s not all. When rhizomes spread, they’re actually creating new plants. Although the large mint plant in your garden appears to be one plant, it’s actually not. New plants will sprout up from the rhizomes so that you’re dealing with multiple plants in one.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Mint?
Overall, it will take mint 90 days to grow to full maturity from a seed. Being a mature mint plant means that it will have reached its full height, which is about 1-2 feet.
Notice that I said it will have reached its full “height”, not growth potential. Mint is a creeping spreader and will continue to grow outwards as long as you allow it. Just because the plant has reached its full “height” does not mean its done growing for good.
As far as spreading goes, mint can grow up to 4 inches a month. This means that a single plant can grow to 1-2 feet wide in just 6 months.
How Long Does Mint Take To Germinate?
When grown in temperatures between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit, mint seeds can germinate in just 10-15 days.
How Fast Does Mint Grow From Seed?
As I said, mint can grow from a seed in just 10-15 days. From there, it can grow 4 inches every month. The plant will reach full maturity in about 90 days, but it will continue growing.
How Long Does It Take Mint To Grow From Cuttings?
Similar to sprouting seeds, mint will take about 1-2 weeks to grow from cuttings. This is the timeframe in which you’ll begin to see roots sprout from the cuttings. From there, they will grow just like any other mint plant, at a rate of 4 inches per month.
Tips To Help Mint Grow As Fast As Possible
Have you noticed that your mint is growing slower than it should? Mint is supposed to be a quick spreader, right? So, why isn’t it growing like you expected it to? How do you get it to grow faster?
It’s Too Cold
Mint does great in cooler weather — particularly temperatures in the 60s and 70s. But, it cannot grow well in very cold temperatures. Between late fall and early spring is when mint naturally begins to slow down and goes dormant.
In this case, you just have to wait until spring when the temperatures warm back up. Your mint plant will naturally bounce back.
Not Enough Nitrogen
Mint likes a lot of nitrogen in the soil because it helps with leaf growth. If the soil is devoid of nitrogen, you may notice that it’s not growing as well.
If you believe your mint is lacking nitrogen in the soil, you can add some. Simply purchase some liquid nitrogen fertilizer to use every two weeks.
The Pot Is Too Small
Pots are a great way to keep your mint from growing out of control. Still, a pot that is too small can hinder the growth of your mint.
Having a smaller pot can also lead to your mint plant becoming underwatered or lacking nitrogen. Less soil means that water will dry out quicker and the leaves may begin to wilt. Also, any nitrogen in the soil will be completely depleted in a small pot.
If you want your mint to grow faster, it’s good practice to upgrade the pot every 1-2 years.
You don’t even necessarily need to move your plant to a larger pot. Sometimes, all you need to do is remove the plant and trim it back. Trim off the dead roots and stems and replace it in the pot with fresh soil.
Not Enough Water
As I said before, underwatering can cause your mint plant to wilt and have stunted growth. This can especially be a problem in the summer months when the temperature is extra hot.
Always make sure that the soil is moist. Mint needs lots of water, but shouldn’t be oversaturated. Make sure to water your plant whenever you notice the top 1 inch of soil is dry to the touch.
Too Much Light
Mint is capable of growing in full sun, but it’s not ideal. Partial shade is what’s best for mint. If it’s forced to grow in full sun, it may not grow as well.
Too Much Shade
Just as too much light can damage your plant, so can too much shade. Mint needs plenty of light to grow healthy. When it doesn’t get enough light, its growth will be stunted. If your plant isn’t getting enough light, make sure to move it where there is more sun.
Not Enough Trimming
Believe it or not, but plants grow best when they’re regularly pruned. If you don’t trim your plant on a regular basis, it will not grow to its full potential.
Untrimmed plants will become leggy and will grow leaves that are too large. This combination will prevent new growth from occurring.
For best results, mint should be pruned at least 3 times over the growing season. You’ll want to take off about 2-3 inches of the stem. Just make sure not to trim more than 1/3 of the plant or it might not grow back properly.
When To Harvest Mint
If you’re growing your mint inside, you can harvest at any time of the year. If you’re growing your mint outside, it can be harvested between late spring and early fall. Generally, you can harvest mint plants a total of 3 times throughout the growing season.
One thing to keep in mind is that you only want to harvest mature plants. If you’ve just planted a new mint plant, you’re going to have to wait awhile before you can make your first harvest.
You should wait to harvest your new mint plant until the stems have reached 6-8 inches. This will take about 2 months if you’re growing your mint from a seed.
How To Harvest Mint
There are a couple different ways to harvest your mint plant. It all depends on what you’re looking to achieve.
Some people will harvest the entire plant. This means that you will be cutting all of the stems down to only 1 inch. This method allows you to collect all the leaves while preventing your plant from growing out of control.
However, I don’t recommend this option. I don’t recommend harvesting more than 1/3 of the plant at a time. Harvesting the whole plant at once can irreparably damage the plant. It might not grow back properly.
Instead, you should harvest and prune on a regular basis, never taking more than 1/3 of the plant at once. Regularly snipping sprigs and leaves will keep your plant in check and will help it grow healthy. Removing old sprigs will help new growth to establish
How To Stop Mint From Spreading?
Many people are afraid to grow mint in their gardens because of how quickly it spreads. When left unchecked, it can easily take over an entire garden. Fortunately, though, mint is very easy to manage if you plan ahead.
The easiest and best way to prevent mint from spreading is to put up boundaries. Yes, the rhizomes can spread quickly, but they can only grow horizontally. It’s not really possible for rhizomes to grow vertically.
So, if you set up a boundary that the rhizome can’t grow around, you’ll stop the mint from spreading. There are a few ways you can do this.
Some people will get fence-like barriers and bury them in the ground. This is a great option, but you need to make sure you bury the barrier deep enough. 18-24 inches underground is usually ideal.
Other people simply use pots as barriers. That’s right, you can literally plant a pot into the ground and it will prevent your mint from spreading.
Simply dig a hole in the ground where you’d like the pot to go and place the pot inside. You can then plant the mint inside the pot just like you would if you were growing it inside.
How Long Does Mint Last?
We’re not exactly sure how long mint can live, but the odds look good. Mint is a perennial plant which means that it can grow back year after if it’s taken care of properly.
Because it’s a perennial plant and a prolific spreader, it stands to reason that the plant could live for several years.
Mint is a very fast growing plant. The quickness for which it spreads begins as a seed and doesn’t stop as an adult. If you allow it to go unchecked, mint can spread for as long as it likes.
Maybe you aren’t experiencing this. Maybe your mint plant isn’t growing nearly as quickly as you expected it to. There are reasons for this as well, and most of them can be corrected. The best way to ensure your mint is growing properly is to simply provide it with everything it needs.