Have you ever wondered how to germinate peppermint seeds? What about how to grow peppermint seed indoors? Planting from seeds is supposed to be hard, right? It doesn’t have to be! Peppermint is a very hardy plant and is almost as easy to grow from a seed as it is to buy the plant. We’ll walk you through growing peppermint seeds step-by-step here.
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Why Grow Peppermint?
Growing peppermint in your garden or kitchen is a great way to have the fresh herb on hand at all times. Peppermint is one of the most popular kinds of mint used in tea, candies, and cooking. It’s smell is also great at brightening up any home, as well as deterring pests in the garden.
For more information on what makes peppermint so great, check out our full guide here.
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Should You Grow Peppermint From Seeds?
Growing peppermint seeds is a good way to propagate your own plant. Sure, you can go to the store and purchase a juvenile mint plant, but the experience won’t be as rewarding.
Also, growing mint from seeds is significantly cheaper than purchasing the plant itself. Seed packets are usually less than one dollar at most stores. Even better, if you or a friend have an existing plant, you can get the seeds for free.
Many people avoid planting from seeds because it can be tricky. Rest assured, though, that peppermint is very easy to propagate. Peppermint is a very hardy plant and can grow in almost any conditions.
When To Plant Peppermint Seeds
If you’re planning to grow your peppermint seeds indoors, you can start growing them at any time of year. Your house will be warm enough that the seeds will grow even through winter.
However, if you plant to grow your peppermint outside, the best time to plant is in the late spring. Late spring is when the environment will be moist and warm, but not too hot. These are ideal growing conditions for mint, and this is when they will grow the best and the healthiest.
Peppermint is a very hardy plant, so late spring is not the only time you can plant. Peppermint can be grown anytime between the last frost of spring and 2 months before the first frost of fall.
Rather than planting the seeds outside, you can also begin growing the seeds inside. After the last frost has passed, you can then transplant the seedlings into the ground. If you’re going to do this, you’ll want to start sowing your seeds about 8-10 weeks before the last predicted frost.
How To Get Peppermint Seeds
It’s really easy to get ahold of peppermint seeds. Many people buy them from the store. You can also harvest your own seeds if you have an existing peppermint plant or know someone who does.
From A Store
Purchasing seeds from a store is a good option if you’re looking for a specific kind of mint plant. You’re going to have many more options at the store than you would just harvesting from your own mint plant.
If you’re looking for a varied selection of mint plants, you’ll have better luck checking out an online store. Online stores like Burpee, Eden Brothers, and True Leaf Market all have a wide selection of plants to choose from.
If you prefer to support your local stores, that’s okay too. You just might not have as many options to choose from.
Farmers markets are the best places to get fresh seeds, and you’ll be supporting your local farms. Just keep in mind that farmers will generally only sell local crops.
Large stores like Walmart and grocery stores generally have a small gardening section as well. You should be able to find peppermint seeds here, but the selection likely won’t be as great.
One of the best places to purchase seed in person is at a home improvement store like Lowe’s or Home Depot. They generally have a large gardening section with a wider assortment of plants and seeds.
How To Harvest Mint Seeds
If you’d rather harvest your seeds than buy them, great! It’s not hard to harvest peppermint seeds. Better yet, it can be very rewarding to grow your own plant from seed to maturity.
The only downside to harvesting your own seeds is that you likely won’t be able to use them until the next growing season.
Peppermint seeds are harvested from the dying flowers that blossom on the plant. You can’t harvest the seeds until the flowers have died and dried out, which often doesn’t happen until the fall.
By then, it’s too late to grow seeds unless you plan to grow them inside.
Here’s a guide to harvest peppermint seeds:
- At the end of the growing season, prune off any dead flowers but leave a few of the flowers intact for later harvesting
- Leave the remaining flowers on the plant until they turn brown
- Once they turn brown, you can clip them and place them in a paper bag
- Leave the paper bag in a cool, dry place until the flowers dry out. It will take about 2 weeks for the flowers to dry
- Remove the flowers from the bag and crush them until they release their seeds
- Blow any excess flower petals away with your breath
- All done!
If you’re not going to use the seeds right away, you’ll also want to store them properly. You can use a small envelope to place the seeds inside. Make sure that you label and date the envelope so you don’t forget what you’ve harvested.
This is especially important if you harvest seeds from multiple plants. Then, store the envelope in a cool, dry area like a basement or your refrigerator.
Exactly How To Grow Peppermint From Seed In The Garden
There are a few less steps when it comes to planting peppermint in the garden versus in a pot. Still, the process is pretty similar.
- Make sure you have prepared soil in your garden that is fit for peppermint
- Place the seeds on the top of the soil – do not plant the seeds into the soil
- Cover the seeds lightly with a layer of vermiculite
- Water the soil frequently, making sure the soil is moist and not soggy
- Seeds will begin to sprout in 2 weeks
Exactly How To Plant Peppermint Seeds In A Pot
Starting your seeds inside takes a bit of extra work than just planting them directly outside.
However, beginning their life inside is usually better for the peppermint plants. They aren’t exposed to the harsh conditions of the outdoors and are more likely to sprout.
Here’s how to plant peppermint seeds inside:
- Get some small, individual pots or a seed flat. I personally think a seed flat is easier, especially if you’re growing more than one plant
- Place a small layer of prepared soil into the container
- Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep into the soil
- I recommend separating the seeds with a seed injector
- Without a seed injector, the seedlings will grow together and you’ll need to separate them later
- Keep the container in a warm and humid location
- I recommend keeping a lid over the container to hold the humidity in
- Remove the cover when you notice the seeds sprouting
- Mist the inside of the container a few times a week. Make sure that the soil always stays soft, but don’t let it get soggy
- Seeds will begin to sprout in about two weeks
- Once you notice two true leaves develop on all your seedlings, it’s time to harden them off
Hardening off is the process of getting your new seedlings ready for the outside climate. If you transplant the seeds directly into the ground without preparing them first, they can go into shock and die. Here’s how to harden your seedlings:
- Place the box of seedlings somewhere outside where they’ll also be sheltered. A good place is a slightly enclosed area that is shaded, like a porch
- You’re then going to leave the box outside for a few hours before bringing it back inside
- Repeat this every day for about a week
- Each day, gradually increase the amount of time your seedlings spend outside
- NEVER leave your seedlings outside overnight
- After the seedlings have spent a full day outside, you can move them to a sunny location
- At this point, you’re still hardening them, so they should remain in their container
- You’ll repeat the above process for another week, but use a sunny area rather than a shaded one
- Once they spend a full day in a sunny area, you can plant them into the ground
What To Do Next?
It’s not difficult to take care of peppermint because it’s a hardy plant. Here are some guidelines:
Temperature: Peppermint grows best in temperatures between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. It does best in cooler temperatures, but can survive hotter temperatures as well.
Light: Peppermint prefers partial shade.
Water: Peppermint likes lots of water, but not too much. Keep soil moist, but not soggy.
Fertilizer: Fertilizer is not necessary unless you notice your plant suffering from lack of nutrients.
For more detailed care information, check out our guide here.
Final Words on How to Plant Peppermint Seeds
As you can see, growing peppermint from seeds isn’t as hard as you probably anticipated. If you want to grow your seeds directly outside, no worries. Your plants should do just fine. If you want to be extra careful with your seeds and grow them inside, that’s great too. They’ll get your extra attention and love. No matter which you choose, you’ll be growing beautiful new peppermint plants in no time.
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