Trimming up mint (Spearmint, peppermint)

gborosteveJune 11, 2006

I love my mints. All were in window boxes until today. I taken three 18" planters and divided the mints between them. In one I have chocolate and orange, one has peppermint and Kentucky Colonel mint (I again have to mention how incredible this particular mint is!), the other has spearmint and peppermint. Told you I like mint, lol.

Anyway, because they were restricted in the space they could grow, the stalks on some of the spearmint and peppermint have become long and stringy with the leafs being kind of small.

Should I cut them back and allow the plant to put out new shoots? If so, how long should that take? And how far should I cut them back?

The chocolate and orange mint are fine and I can already tell will grow into luscious bush-like plants. But the spearmint and peppermint look like they need a little help after being restricted in space for so long. They are now planted in an excellent soil medium and have very good drainage.

Any advice would be great appreciated. Thank you.

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Having mint means you're always going to be doing something with them! Potting and repotting and re-repotting for starters - because those root systems are really aggressive and they stop for nobody. Every time you repot, you have the opportunity of making new plants. As soon as the roots start going round and round the pot, that's time to start again. But before that happens, you'll get nice bushy mints. You can cut back the stems to ground level, and that will encourage the plants to make more stems and leaves and give the roots a bit of a rest, but in the end, repotting, and larger pots, is probably the only way to go. I reckon a nice Olympic-sized swimming pool is about as big a pot as you need!!

If the stems are really long and leggy, and the leaves are mainly at the tips of the stems, then you might need to give the plants a bit more light.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 5:31AM
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Thanks. They've been repotted in VERY large and deep planters and will do well in them, I suspect. All they probably need from me at this point is trimming them back (just the peppermint and spearmint) and letting them bush out. Poor things were so cramped in the window boxes I had.

The chocolate and orange mint, in one planter, are doing great and I can already tell are going to become one lush, bushy plant...just like I like mint to be.


Thanks again for the advice.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 1:51PM
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One mint per pot, or one will outcompete the other!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 6:03PM
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Mint can be cut clean back to 2-3" from the soil and in a few weeks you won't remember it was cut back at all!

BTW guys my Lemon Balm finally showed up...late is better than never I guess LOL!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 1:15AM
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That's great to know because last night (well actually around 2 am, lol) I was out hacking away at the spearmint and peppermint. I just couldn't stand the scraggly way it looked anymore. Looking forward to the new growth.

Nice to hear about your lemon balm. Mine is doing wonderfully. I planted a bed of lemon thyme underneath it. Seemed complimentary.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 1:00PM
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My new growth leaves on my spearmiont plant are mucj larger than the original leaves. Should I cut the smaller old ones first?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 8:39PM
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