Monty Don gives advice on planting mint on Gardeners' World
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Fresh mint is a staple summer herb used in everything from summer salads to cocktails and dips. This fragrant leaf is known for its vigorous growth and can be grown easily in small pots from established cuttings. Here’s the best method for growing potted mint plants to secure fresh, flavoursome pickings all summer long.
How to grow mint from cuttings
Mint plants are one of the most versatile, hardy herbs to have in the garden, and are incredibly easy to grow from cuttings.
Not only is fresh mint hard to kill, but it will also supply an abundance of fragrant leaves in just a short amount of time.
Roots will often appear as little as one week after cutting if propagated from a healthy, established plant.
Here’s how to start your own young mint plant in spring for a flush of summer leaves.
Cut the fresh top growth
Cuttings can be taken from a healthy mint plant at any time of the year, but it is easier to do it in spring when the established plant is actively growing.
Gardeners’ World said: “Mint plants give the best flavour and fragrance from new growth and are renowned for their vigour.
“Take cuttings in spring and you’ll have young mint plants bursting with flavour, ripe for pickings to last you all summer.”
You should always take cuttings of around 8cm long from the fresh top growth, removing the lower leaves and cutting the stem just below the leaf node.
Root the cutting
Establishing a root can be done using just a glass jar and some water, all you need to do is place the stem of the cutting in an empty glass container and fill it with water up to the bottom of the leaves.
You should position the cutting in a light, airy place indoors until the roots have appeared.
This will take around 10 to 14 days for a full root system to establish, after which it will be ready to pot up into a larger container.
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Pot the cutting
Fill a small or medium-sized pot with peat-free, multipurpose compost.
Dig a small hole in the soil and position the rooted stem.
Firm this around the stems and water well, topping up with compost if necessary.
Once your cutting has started to grow, you should keep an eye on the pot and trim top growth regularly.
This should be done to reduce the surface area from which the plant can lose water.
Transplant the cutting
The fresh pot should be kept indoors for a week after planting, during which time you should make sure the compost stays moist.
After this period, the hardy herb can be moved outside into its final growing position.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society, mint will do well in full sun or partial shade, though you should avoid areas exposed to long periods of afternoon sun.
Check the plant
While mint is notoriously hard to kill, it could be damaged by fungus or mint rust.
Keep an eye out for “rusty spots” on the underside of mint leaves as the plant grows.
Gardeners’ World recommended destroying the plant if it is obviously affected.
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