Introduction: Unlimited Mojito Garnish! (mint)
This spring I am on a quest to grow so much mint that I don't know what to do with it. Mostly for mojitos, I won't lie.
Turns out that growing mint is actually super easy, and really rewarding!
Step 1: First Up
The first thing you will need is a mint plant. Buy one from your local supermarket (be warned that if you intend to keep it alive, you will need to give it a bigger pot and more soil!) Alternatively, borrow some off a friend, hop on facebook marketplace and see if anybody has a spare cutting, or send me a message if you are within the UK and I will send you one for shipping costs!
Ideally it should be a strong plant, with a fairly thick stem, and the same variety of mint that you wish to grow (eg, spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, etc) I have, however, had success in growing from plants that didn't look too healthy.
The one pictured is a plant that I grew from a cutting of another plant, so its not super big or bushy, but that's fine.
Step 2: Nodes
Once a mint plant has been acquired, look at it side-on. Most of the leaves will come off the stem in pairs. The part that attaches the leaf to the stem is called a leaf node.
Chop the top of the plant off, as far down as you would like. I found that the bigger the cutting (10cm+) the faster it grows roots, but again, work with what you have got, I've made healthy plants from 4cm cuttings. you need at least one set of leaf nodes on your cutting.
The picture shows the size of cutting that I took. It's a little on the smaller side, but I didn't want to strip my existing plant bare. It also shows what is left of the plant. It might feel wrong to chop the top off your plant, but it actually encourages new growth, and helps the plant become bushier and less leggy. It will grow back quickly.
Step 3: Strip
Strip your cutting of most of the leaves. Take all of the leaves from the bottom nodes, leaving just the 3 or 4 small ones right at the top, and one large one at the top if you choose.
Use the mint leaves to make a mojito, mint extract, ice cream, minty lemonade, mint hot chocolate, etc.
Step 4: Water
Place your cutting in a jam jar/tumbler/shot glass of water. Using a transparent container is ideal, as it allows you to see root growth. Ensure that none of the remaining leaves are submerged, as it causes them to rot.
Alternatively, make one of these super easy, recycled cutting boxes so that you can grow loads at one time (They look really pretty too!)
place your cutting on a warm and sunny windowsill and make sure you change the water regularly, twice a week is usually good. I keep mine in the kitchen - this way, every time i use the sink, I am reminded to check on my mintybois.
Step 5: Wait
Wait for roots!
Sometimes it will be just days before you see roots starting to form (they look like thick, long white hair) and sometimes it will take a full month. Be patient.
When your roots are looking long, or bushy, its time to plant
Pop it in a pot (or an eco friendly and free pot https://www.instructables.com/id/Eco-friendly-Compostable-Plant-Pot-Seedling-Pot/ ) with some compost and water when it's looking a little thirsty.
As it grows, pinch off leaves to encourage new growth. You can even take cuttings from it (and have a limitless supply of mint!)
Step 6: Name Your Mint and Watch It Grow!
Give your minty a name, a drink, and move him into a bigger pot when he is getting big!
In the UK, Mint likes to be on a window ledge, or in a greenhouse. Certainly bring it inside for winter/frost/colder months.
Take cuttings and give them away to friends/family/colleagues/enemies because you can, and it's nice to share!!
Participated in the