Mint is a vigorously growing herb that comes in countless different varieties. It’s essential for any herb garden and will grow just as well potted up inside by a sunny window. The fresh menthol fragrance it exudes will freshen up your home and help to keep away pests and critters in the garden.
Mint leaves are a wonderful addition to numerous meals and they make a delicious tea that can soothe your stomach and support a satisfying slumber. The plant is hardy, resilient and grows robustly, developing into a strong shrubby perennial that returns year after year.
The benefits and advantages of mint are apparent, so of course you want to keep your plants perky and happy. And in order to get the most out of your mint plant, we’re going to answer one of the most frequently asked questions: How often should I water my mint?
For first-time mint gardeners, it can be a tricky chore to get just right. That’s why we’re going to examine how to water mint in every environment: In the garden, indoors, outside in containers, as well as seeds and seedlings. Consider this article your complete guide to watering mint plants.
So grab your watering can and let’s get down to it!
Mint generally thrives in moist conditions and will do well with plenty of water. However, your mint should not be left to stand for extended periods of time in damp soil. Your garden soil or potting medium should be well-draining. Another couple of points to keep in mind:
- Mint kept in containers will need more frequent waterings as they will tend to dry out more quickly.
- Mint in the garden should receive 1-2 inches of water per week.
- Water deep and thoroughly, letting the soil dry out before the next watering.
- Try to avoid getting water on the leaves, as this could lead to burning or the spread of disease.
Now let’s get into the specific details of different growing environments.
Watering Mint in the Garden
The biggest factor to consider when growing mint outside in your garden is the weather.
You’ll have to water frequently if there are drought conditions during the summer months. In extreme cases, your mint may need to be watered every day. If the top inch of the soil surrounding the plant is dry, it’s safe to give it a thorough watering.
If the weather is cool and rainy, or your mint is growing in shade, it will require less frequent watering. Based on the temperature, sun exposure and amount of rain received you can go without water for a few days, up to a week or more. To determine if you need to water dig into the soil with your finger or use a moisture meter.
As mentioned above, only water your mint plants when the top inch of the soil has dried out. Whether that’s every day or once a week, the moisture level of the soil is more important than how often you water.
Mint makes a wonderful companion plant in the garden. Try growing it alongside cantaloupe, arugula, and onions.
Watering Mint Indoors
When growing mint indoors a container with drainage holes and a well-draining potting mix are both crucial.
Because mint likes moist conditions, the medium should be able to retain moisture while wicking away any excess water. The same general rule applies for mint grown indoors; the medium should be allowed to dry out in between waterings.
In most cases during the growing seasons of spring, summer and fall you can give your mint a thorough watering twice a week. As it grows rapidly, mint will appreciate the constant moisture and respond by producing vibrant, fragrant green leaves.
During hot weather, your mint may need more frequent watering. It’s always important to keep an eye on the moisture level of the soil and be careful not to overwater.
As winter is approaching, start to slowly scale back the amount of water you give your mint. The growth rate of mint will rapidly decline and it won’t need nearly as much water. Watering once a week or once every other week should be plenty during the short, cold days of winter.
With more repetitions over time, you’ll become familiar with your individual plant’s needs.
A west-facing window makes a great place to provide your indoor mint plant with plenty of bright light.
Watering Mint in Pots
Mint plants do especially well grown in containers. It’s a great idea for outdoor garden spaces because left alone, the aggressive growing mint can easily take over entire garden beds. Scattering containers of mint plants throughout your garden space will help keep away all types of pests.
Pots have a limited amount of soil and roots that quickly warm up under the sun. Therefore, they require more frequent watering than mint kept indoors or planted directly in the garden.
You should check the moisture level of your potted mint on a daily basis, especially during hot weather. Be prepared to water your potted mint plants once, and sometimes even twice, a day during the peak heat of summer. When the top inch of the container dries out, give your mint plant a deep watering.
Variables like climate, size of the pot, location of the pot (sun or shade) and soil type will ultimately dictate how often you need to water your potted plant. That’s why it’s crucial to pay close attention to all your potted plants.
Check out this article for some other great container gardening ideas.
How Often to Water Mint Seeds and Seedlings
Mint seeds will need to stay moist at all times in order to germinate. They should be slightly covered with a seed starting mix and misted well so that the surface of the medium is soaked. Mist the seeds well every day to ensure they retain moisture.
Your seed starting tray or pots can even be covered with plastic wrap to trap in the warmth and humidity to make sure the seeds don’t dry out. The plastic covering should be removed when the seeds sprout.
Once the seedlings grow to be about an inch tall water every other day, but make sure the soil remains moist. Make sure the seed starting mix drains well so that you can water it daily without drowning the seedlings. The surface of the seed starting mix should be allowed to dry out slightly before watering again.
If your growing space is hot with plenty of circulating air, it may be necessary to water seedlings every day. However, once the seedlings are well established they will probably only need water every other day or every two days.
Mint tends to enjoy moist soil but won’t tolerate stagnant, standing water around its roots. This makes watering mint a little tricky to get the hang of at first. Watch out for these signals of distress in your mint plants.
It’s easy to tell when your mint needs more water.
- Droopy leaves and an overall wilted stature of the plant will signify an underwatered plant.
- Color of the leaves might fade from a lush, deep green to a light yellowish shade of green.
If your mint has been underwatered and it’s in a container, you can perk it back up by giving it a heavy watering and setting it in a shady area until it recovers.
Mint that is planted in the ground in full sun areas should be mulched to retain moisture and help reduce evaporation.
Too much water and constantly damp soil around your mint plant can lead to root rot and other troublesome diseases. Avoid this at all costs by making sure your soil drains well and dries out slightly in between waterings. Symptoms of overwatering include:
- Yellow leaves
- Wilting leaves
- Mildew on the leaves
- Unhealthy and dying leaves
- Dark, discolored roots
- Rotten smell
If you experience any of these symptoms, check the moisture level of the soil. If it’s damp make sure it gets plenty of time to dry out before watering again. You can dig up or repot your mint plant into a more well-lit area with better-draining soil. Inspect the roots and trim off any that are rotten or discolored.
There are numerous species and hybrid cultivars in the genus Mentha; one of the reasons that make it such a fun, fascinating and exciting plant to grow.
Some mint varieties thrive in moist conditions. Try growing some of these if you live in a region that has a high water table, receives a lot of precipitation or is near bodies of water.
Peppermint prefers soil that stays evenly moist and will tolerate damp conditions better than other types of mint. It is a cross of watermint and spearmint and possesses a pleasant fragrance and pungent taste that works well for teas and desserts. Peppermint grows rapidly and can easily be propagated with cuttings.
Watermint (Mentha aquatica)
The name says it all; this variety loves moist, humid conditions. Watermint grows natively along riversides and other naturally wet areas. It is wise to grow watermint in containers, as it grows aggressively by sending out stolons that can quickly overtake a garden space. Make sure its soil is well watered and it’s in a humid atmosphere.
The light purply-pink flowers of banana mint bloom straight through the summer, attracting bees and butterflies, among other beneficial bugs. The leaves of this unique variety give off a lovely banana aroma. It can be used to complement a number of sweet-tasting dishes. Prune and harvest this fruity herb often and keep it in an area that stays moist and gets partial shade.
Varieties of Mint That Are Drought Tolerant
These types of mints will tolerate dry air and soil better than others. Grow these varieties if you live in warm, dry regions or, simply if you are absentminded and want a forgiving plant when it comes to maintenance and care.
Also known as silver mint, this unique variety has prickly foliage, produces spikes of stunning pink flowers and can grow up to 4 feet tall. Horse mint is known for its many medicinal uses. It’s drought tolerant and will grow well in full sun and poor soil.
Catmint (Nepeta racemosa)
While the herb commonly known as catmint does not belong to the Mentha genus, it is of the same Lamiaceae family as other standard mint varieties. It is a useful landscaping plant to utilize as a wonderful ground cover in garden beds or along walking paths. The perennial grows vigorously year after year and blossoms with light purple flowers from late spring through fall. It’s resilient against pests, invites beneficial pollinators and is quite drought-tolerant once established.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Another member of the Lamiaceae family that has similar growth habits to standard mint varieties, lemon balm is a favorite in the garden. It tolerates dry conditions well once established. Lemon balm is a perennial that grows vigorously, smells incredible and makes a wonderful herbal tea.
A Final Word on Watering Mint Mindfully
In general, mint is a plant that appreciates evenly moist, well-drained soil. It enjoys plenty of water to balance out its preference for abundant sunshine and warmth. By knowing the ins and outs of watering your mint in different environments, you’ll have success wherever you choose to grow it. Always pay attention to the instructions for your particular variety and tend to it accordingly.
Given mint’s ability to attract intriguing pollinators, deter pests and emit fantastic fragrances with the slightest contact, you’ll have no problem visiting it often for enjoyment. And while you’re at it, keep your mint well-watered and watch it thrive.
As a general rule, it's best to water mint plants every two to three days during the growing season. This will ensure that your plants stay healthy and have lush mint leaves all summer long. During hot weather, potted mint may need more frequent watering - up to once a day - in order to keep their soil moist.How often do you water mint indoors? ›
Be sure to frequently water your mint plants at home. Mint likes growing in moist soil. Keep the soil damp but not soggy. Typically your will water your indoor mint plants about 2 times per week.How wet should mint soil be? ›
Water your mint during dry spells to keep the soil lightly moist, adding more water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Maintaining lightly moist—but not soggy—soil is the ideal environment for mint. If you notice the foliage of your mint wilting, that's typically a sign the plant needs more moisture.Does mint like to be misted? ›
Keep mint evenly moist. Do not let mint dry out. Provide extra humidity by misting the plant with water every few days. Give the mint indirect light with supplemental lighting for 12-13 hours per day.How do you water an indoor mint plant? ›
Water your mint plant when the top of its container's soil feels dry, or about once a week. If there is extra water in the saucers under your pots, empty it out to prevent excessive sogginess in the soil, which can cause root rot. Soil that says too wet can also encourage insect issues such as fungus gnats.What does overwatered mint look like? ›
If you suspect that your mint plant is overwatered, look out for these signs: wilting leaves, yellowing leaves, root rot (white or brown roots), and an unpleasant mildew odor. If you notice any of these signs, reduce watering frequency and make sure the soil is completely dry before adding more water.Should I water mint everyday? ›
Mint plants require the soil to be evenly moist but not saturated to prevent wilting and avoid root rot. If the top inch of the soil feels dry, give your mint plants a good soak. Typically water 2 times per week. Increase watering in high temperatures or if mint wilts.Does mint like a lot of water? ›
Spearmint, Mojito mint, Peppermint, Chocolate mint and Apple mint are some examples of Mints and they all really love water and do not like to dry up! It's hard to overwater it, but even a water-loving plant can get overwatered. Always feel the soil before watering - it should feel damp but not wet.Can mint be overwatered? ›
Yes, it can. Like most other plants, mint can be overwatered and as a result, suffer from severe damage such as root rot (which we'll get into later). As I briefly mentioned earlier, you should only be watering your mint plant twice a week, only increasing its water intake if the top layer of soil is dry.How do I keep my mint plant happy? ›
Keep soil consistently moist and water when the top inch becomes dry. Promote excellent leaf production by regularly feeding with a water-soluble plant food. Once plants are established, harvest mint leaves regularly by pinching off the stems.
Water the plant only when the soil feels dry to the touch and the pot is light. To water indoor mint plants, move the pot to the sink or bathtub, turn on the water, and let it flush through the soil and exit the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.Do you water mint from bottom? ›
To water outdoor mint, make sure the soil is evenly moist, but not waterlogged. It's important to avoid overhead watering, as this can encourage fungal growth and increase the risk of disease. Instead, water the mint at the base of the plant to keep the leaves dry.How do you know when to water mint? ›
Generally speaking, the best way to determine how often to water your mint plant is to check the top half-inch of soil for dampness. As a rule of thumb, if it's dried out, give the mint plant some water. If it's still damp or moist in the top half-inch, then no need to water the mint plant.Does mint need moisture? ›
Mint needs lots of water to thrive, so it may be necessary to even water plants in your garden bed. Regular watering is a very important care measure, but be careful to avoid waterlogging.How do you tell if Underwatering vs overwatering? ›
If the soil is wet, it's overwatered - if it's dry, it's underwatered. Browning edges: Another symptom that can go both ways. Determine which by feeling the leaf showing browning: if it feels crispy and light, it is underwatered. If it feels soft and limp, it is overwatered.Does mint need a lot of sun? ›
Mint grows best in full sun to partial shade, should be planted early in the growing season and is generally hardy to -20° F. Mint prefers moist soil conditions, but excess water will promote root and leaf diseases.How do you fix overwatered mint? ›
- Move your plant to a shady area even if it is a full-sun plant. ...
- Check your pot for proper drainage and, if possible, create additional air space around the roots. ...
- Water only when the soil is dry to the touch, but do not let it get too dry. ...
- Treat with a fungicide.
When leaves curl or 'cup' at the tips and the margins, the plant is trying to retain moisture. Any form of downwards curling usually indicates overwatering or overfeeding. Using a flush product removes excess nutrients from your plants and growing media to help fix overfeeding issues.Can you leave mint in water overnight? ›
Making mint water is as simple as it sounds. Just soak about 15-20 mint leaves in a bottle of water and leave it for a couple of hours. To achieve the best results, you can leave the mint to be absorbed in water overnight. Add lemon slices to it to add a citrusy punch, though it is completely optional.How long does a mint plant live? ›
Mint is a herbaceous perennial, so it dies back over winter, then re-sprouts every spring, living for many years. It is very easy to make new plants by taking root cuttings and by division.
Mint will grow either in full sun or part shade, though it definitely benefits from afternoon shade in the hottest regions. It also adapts readily to a variety of soils, but the ideal is moist, well-drained, and rich with organic matter.Does mint like high humidity? ›
Mint is one plant that enjoys high humidity. So in between watering, lightly mist the leaves with a spray bottle. You can also set the container on top of a tray of pebbles immersed in water that will provide ambient humidity as the water evaporates.What is the disadvantage of mint water? ›
Rarely, the consumption of fresh mint leaves or mint oil can cause allergic reactions. When taken in large amounts, the menthol in mint may cause heartburn, nausea, abdominal pain, and dry mouth. If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, it is advisable to avoid peppermint.Why is water cold after mint? ›
Mint makes your mouth feel cold because of the menthol that naturally occurs in the mint plant. The nerves in your mouth have receptors called TMRP8 receptors that carry signals to the brain that they are feeling something cold.Can you revive wilted mint plant? ›
Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Remove any bruised or blackened leaves, and then submerge the wilted herbs, stems and all, into the ice bath. The cold water will shock the herbs back to life.Do coffee grounds help mint plants? ›
ANSWER: To put it bluntly, no—coffee grounds are not good for herbs, and they should be used with care around the plants that do benefit from them.What not to plant with mint? ›
Among the plants that should never be grown together with mint are oregano, rosemary, basil, lavender, sage, thyme, chamomile, parsley, and strawberry. Mint is a hardy plant and will actively pull nutrients away from other herbs when planted too closely – causing them stress and eventual death.Do you pick mint leaves from the top or bottom? ›
Always pick from the top down to the next growing shoot. ' Catherine Wallsgrove, owner of Pepperpot Nursery also adds that, 'Mint and rosemary are best cut back to just above a set of leaves on the stem, and not into the older woody parts.What is the best fertilizer for mint? ›
Compost is a type of organic fertilizer that may be made at home. It is one of the finest fertilizers for mint plants since it has extremely low fertilization requirements. Before planting mint plants, the soil is amended with compost or composted manure.Can you eat mint leaves raw? ›
Yes, mint leaves are edible, whether raw or cooked. When you think of mint, you probably think of peppermint. However, there are a variety of delicious mint variations that you can try.
How long to keep mint leaves in water? They should be fine for a couple of days. Simply remove them as soon as they get soggy.Do I need to water mint everyday? ›
Water mint plants twice a week with a thorough watering so that excess water trickles from the base of the pot or container. Mint plants require the soil to be evenly moist but not saturated to prevent wilting and avoid root rot. If the top inch of the soil feels dry, give your mint plants a good soak.How do you know if mint is overwatered? ›
- Yellowing or brown leaves.
- Weakened/soft stems that cause your mint plant to wilt.
- Stunted growth.
- Leaves start falling off.
- Mold appears on either the plant itself or the soil near it.
Mint grows best in full sun to partial shade, should be planted early in the growing season and is generally hardy to -20° F. Mint prefers moist soil conditions, but excess water will promote root and leaf diseases.Do mint plants need direct sunlight? ›
Mint is best planted in spring, although potted mint can be planted right through to autumn, except in hot dry spells. It is happy in full sun or partial shade.What does over watered mint look like? ›
If you suspect that your mint plant is overwatered, look out for these signs: wilting leaves, yellowing leaves, root rot (white or brown roots), and an unpleasant mildew odor. If you notice any of these signs, reduce watering frequency and make sure the soil is completely dry before adding more water.Can I water mint with tap water? ›
If the soil is hard and dry, it needs to be watered immediately. It is best to water water mint with rainwater and distilled water, because tap water may contain a lot of calcium, magnesium, and other mineral salts, and its long-term use tends to cause soil hardening.Is it OK if mint leaves turn brown in water? ›
Mint leaves turn brown quickly when they are placed in hot water because they lose chlorophyll, which is the reason for their natural, rich green color. They are still perfectly safe to eat and still provide flavor.Can mint handle hot weather? ›
Mint thrives in the heat when well-watered and will also recover from drought conditions quickly. When planting mint, consider segregating it from other herbs, since it tends to take over any area it's given.How do you take care of mint plants in pots? ›
Set one plant in a pot that's about 12 to 14 inches in diameter, preferably one that will withstand freezing winter temperatures. Choose a quality potting mix, and consider adding a water-retaining polymer at the rate recommended on the label. Keep the pot watered when the surface is dry, and enjoy cutting your mint.
Mint is one of the best choices for a shady spot. The culinary favorite grows so fast and so easily that if not carefully tended to, it can take over other plants. For best results, make mint a container plant or pot it before adding it to garden beds.Does mint grow well in pots? ›
Because it spreads by underground runners, mint can quickly start invading the neighboring areas. But it's an herb that grows well in containers, so you can keep it under control by putting it in at least a 12- to 16-inch-wide pot.