Regarding the growing of mints

There are many kinds of mints out in the market, from the pure species to the hybrid species. However, taking care of them and propagating them are pretty similar things. And since mints are not hard plants to take care of, one need to watch out only for these few things:

1. Soil – mints prefer moist soil (they’re water gluttoners), so use a soil mix which does not compact over time, yet can retain water enough for them;

2. Watering – daily or twice-daily (if the weather is extremely warm) watering is essential to make sure your mints don’t dry out;

3. Roots – prune back hard on the roots once a year, and repot with new soil. Mint roots tend to compact up in pots so much that over time, the roots tend to strangle themselves and kill the plant sometimes;

4. Diseases – the most common one I’ve encountered is mint rust. For mint rust, it’s recommended you prune back hard on the affected leaves and do a total soil change after washing the root ball thoroughly. Give the plant plenty of water and sun. Most of the time, people tell me that they water twice a day (for apartment dwellers) which I think might be a contributing factor to the fungus that causes the rust. There have been some good results in changing the soil, cutting down on watering, and giving the mint the sunniest spot you can. Alternatively, you might want to spray it with commercial fungicide after pruning, or dilute about two tablespoons of evaporated milk in 1.5L of water and use as a foliar spray;

5. Pests – the most common pest is the red spider mite. If your mints are for ornamental purposes only, then you might want to use commercial pesticides. However, using home-made white oil is sufficient. Or else, do frequent hand-washing of your mint leaves with soap suds and then rinse them off. If the spider mites problem isn’t checked, the leaves will become scarred like this:

6. Sunlight – mints love sunlight. Give them as much water and as much sun as you can and they’ll grow very healthily.

Regarding propagation, since most mints are hybrids, it means that either a) the seeds (if the hybrids produce any) are not viable nor true to type, or b) the plants won’t produce seeds at all. As such, the best propagation method will be through stem cutting, and water rooting before transferring the mints to soil.


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