How often to water mint plants: tips for growing mint


So you have your new plants and you’re wondering how often to water mint plants. Here are a few tips for growing mint!

mint leaves on a wooden board

I am a huge fan of growing herbs and mint plants are on the top of my list. Some say they are one of the easiest herbs to grow, but I don’t want you to feel bad if you haven’t had good luck with growing mint. I myself, have killed my mint before.

I started mint from seed and then accidently didn’t water it while on a trip and it well…died. It happens to the best of us. Now that I have learned a thing or two about mint I am excited to share my knowledge with you!

About mint plants

There are a few things you need to know about mint plants. They can be grown as indoor plants or as outdoor plants in your garden.

They are hardy perennials which means that they will come back each year. Even if you experience harsh winters. REMEMBER, if you have your mint plant outdoors, you can’t harvest from it during the winter.

Mint plants enjoy moist soils, especially when they are young plants. Mint plants are considered HIGHLY INVASIVE. If you plant them outdoors, then make sure they are somewhere that they can be contained.

DO NOT plant them next to other plants as the mint will take over. This is why some people grow them as ground cover or in pots.

There are several different mint varieties: chocolate mint, pineapple mint, spearmint, sweet mint, and peppermint.  

Growing conditions: tips for growing mint

Mint plants enjoy growing in full sun. They can tolerate partial shade if that is all you have, or if you are growing indoors. One thing to note.

potted mint plant with sun glowing on leaves. direct sun

When you consider how much sun your plant is getting, the requirement is counting DIRECT SUN, or sun that actually touches the leaves of your plant.

Many people tell me that their plant isn’t growing and they say they have full sun. Then I see that their plant wasn’t getting any direct sun. I think people don’t understand that the sun needs to touch the leaves.

So if you want to plant your mint plants indoors in a window-sill, make sure it is a sunny window that gets AT LEAST 4 hours of direct sun.

When growing indoor mint plants you will want to make sure that the bottom, of the pot you are using, has drainage holes. Proper drainage is important for any growing plant. Also make sure that the pot has a tray under it to catch any water that comes out.

Good fertile soil that is well-draining soil is also important. Not all soil is created equal and dense soil will lead to watering problems as well.

For growing indoors using a good quality potting mix is suggested. If you are growing outdoors, check to make sure your garden soil doesn’t hold water for too long.

Fertilize your plant every other month or so during the growing season, when growing potted plants and each spring for in ground mint plants. For planting suggestions, see below.

Uses for Mint

Mint has many different uses. Decide what you want to use your mint for before growing. That will help you decide where to grow your mint plants. Once you have your fresh mint you can use your sprig of mint for these various ways.

glass cup with ice, lemon an lime and mint leaves inside the cup with a window behind it and mint leaves and lemon slices below it
  • ground cover 
  • dried mint for mint tea
  • Adding fresh to ice water
  • garnish main dishes
  • spruce up salads
  • add to dressings
  • add to mint cookies

How often to water mint plants

When you are choosing how often to water mint plants there are a few things you need to know. First thing to consider is if your plant is an indoor plant or an out door plant.

Then consider your climate. One trick you can use in either situation is by touching the top inch of soil. If it is dry, your plant needs water.

If it is wet, your plant has enough water. If you have new mint plants, remember, they will need more water than an established mint plant. Newly planted mint plants need water on a regular basis.

Watering indoor mint plants

deep green mint leaves

Indoor plants usually need less water than outdoor plants. If you live in a dry climate you will have add a different amount of water than in a humid climate, even indoors.

Another factor for watering indoor mint plants is the amount of direct sun the plant receives. A plant that receives four hours of direct sun will need less water than a plant that gets eight or ten hours of direct sun.

Follow the tip I mentioned earlier, check the tope few inches of soil and add a little water as needed. DO NOT let your soil get soggy.

An established indoor mint plant could get away with the soil getting a little dry before the next watering. You may even get down to two waterings a week. Ease your indoor mint plant into that, and see how it responds.

Watering Outdoor mint plants

​Outdoor plants are exposed to the elements and therefore their soil dries out more quickly. Things like sun, wind, and arid climates can make it so that you need to water your mint plant almost daily.

As I mentioned before, an established plant needs a little less water and you may be able to water every other day or even every three days to keep it happy.

Here where I live, in the high desert, we get full sun, lots of wind, and have super dry air. We can’t count on rain for anything either.

I have good success watering my mint every other day, BUT my mint is in a partial shade area near our home. If it received full sun it would get watered every day along with the rest of my garden.

I also have it in a pot (to prevent it from spreading) but I have the pot in the ground to keep the soil from drying out too much. POTTED PLANTS will DRY OUT more quickly.

Where I live a potted plant in will need daily watering. When I lived in Virginia, USA, I could get away with every 2-3 days for watering. 

Avoid overwatering your mint plants

​I feel like overwatering is slightly worse than underwatering. It is a lot easier to add water than to take it away. Overwatered plants can experience root rot or fungal disease witch can be fatal to the plant. 

signs of overwatering:

  • wilting plant
  • base of the stems looking diseased or unhealthy
  • long standing puddles in garden bed or pot
  • fungus or moss growing in the wet soil 

Again, before watering, check the soil moisture level. If it feels wet AT ALL, then don’t water it that day. 

What should I do if I overwater my mint plant?

Sometimes if a mint plant is overwatered for too long there is no going back, but try these tips first and see if you can revive your mint plant.

  • Potted mint plants: gently remove the root ball from pot and let the water drain out. You can even gently squeeze some of the water out. Let the root ball sit, exposed to the air for a bit (as long as it doesn’t damage the root ball). Clean the pot just in case there is any fungal diseases that may spread to your plant. Then return the root ball back into the pot and don’t water again until the soil is dried out a little bit.
  • Mint in a garden bed: Turn off water to the mint plant and near the mint plants. There isn’t really much else you can do. If there are standing puddles around your plant and you are worried that the mint plant will die, You could dig it out (gather the whole root ball) and put it in a pot temporarily until the ground dries out. 

​How to plant mint seeds

mint plant seedlings

Mint seeds are very tiny. Smaller seeds are a little more difficult to germinate but it is possible. When planting the mint seeds the best way is to surface sow the seeds.

This means (using good quality soil mix) to sprinkle your seeds across the surface of the soil. Gently pat the seeds down into the soil and water.

DO NOT dump  water onto it. A light mist or spray is the best and will prevent from the seeds running off. The rule for planting ANY seed is that the soil has constant moisture.

Seeds cannot germinate if the soil is dry. So for the germinating process daily watering and sometimes twice a day for outdoor mint seeds is necessary until you have a seedling pop up!

How to harvest mint leaves

potted mint plants

Harvesting fresh leaves from your mint plants is pretty simple and actually promotes healthy plant growth.

I like to use two hands so I don’t rip the plant out of the soil. Use one hand to hold the base of the stem you want to remove (for stem cuttings) and use the other hand to pinch off the stem. You can even use scissors for this.

If you want a few leaves for your tea then simply remove the leaves. 

​I hope you have success in growing your own mint this year. It is a plant that will be fairly resilient once you have an established plant. Get yourself on a good watering schedule for your area and you should be good to go!

What are your favorite ways to use mint?

​Lets grow more HERBS!

Grow an INDOOR HERB garden

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