how to plant correctly mint shoot

lotaera(6)September 25, 2009

Tell me please how to plant correctly a mint shoot that has leaves but no roots.

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I only have Chocolate Mint, but I have taken cuttings, approx. 6"-8", stripped the lower leaves and stuck them in a pot with moist potting mix. Then I set them in the shade and kept them moist(not wet)until I noticed new growth. About a week after I started them, we had a rain storm and most of the soil washed out of the pots and I could see roots already, so they should root for you fairly quickly. My original plant has even tried to root itself where the branches meet the soil next to the pot.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 1:19PM
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tiger2462(5 - 6)

Hello!! I have like 15 varieties of mint. Very easy to root. Like the post above or if you want to be sure it roots you can put it in water. Set it in a window and watch the roots grow. SOme are quick like 3-5 days others may take longer.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 8:09PM
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My AppleMint plant recently put out a runner that was threatening to take root in nearby pots. I'm not sure what it's called but each point where leaves grow from the stem I will call a joint. Stalks only grow from joints. Roots can grow anywhere along the stalk (I think) but mostly only grow at the joints. I'm not saying this is the correct way but here is what I did:

Behind the first joint leaving the pot I cut the runner (all cuts were made using scissors). I carefully cut off every leaf from the runner except the last two and the bud after that. The older end had some stalks already growing at the joints so I cut that segment with a single joint in it. The rest I cut in segments containing two joints each except the last piece which was the last joint and the bud. I placed the 5 pieces of the runner in a plate of water in a southwest facing window, changing the water and washing the plate daily. Once a week starting on day one I added fertilizer to the water approximately 300ppm by weight (3:1:3 + micronutrients).

After two weeks all segments had roots. The single joint sengment with the stalks had the biggest roots. The second segment and the last segment with the buds had about the same and the other two had only tiny roots.

It might be interesting to know that one day after the first week I was being lazy and didn't change the water and when I got home that second day of the same water it was nearly all evaporated (just some adhering through tension where the plant touched the plate). The roots seemed to have grown double. I didn't measure or anything so maybe it was my imagination but, it seems to me, giving barely enough water stimulates root growth.

Next time I do it I will be leaving the leaves on each joint and maybe let the runner grow out longer in order to get more joints with vertical stalks. Also, I will adjust the amount of water so that it nearly evaporates in a single day.

After two weeks in the plate I planted all pieces evenly spaced in a single pot, which is maybe 4 inches wide and 8 inches tall, about 1.5 inches deep. I think this was too deep because as of yesterday nothing was breaking the surface until I carefully brushed away about half an inch of dirt which exposes two buds. I think this is nearing the end of week 4 since I cut the runner.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 1:02AM
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Please advise on my problem with my Swiss mint plant. I bought it this summer, it was standing on the balcony. Now I keep at home, but look at it, it has almost no leaves. What is happening with it? Is it dying? How can I bring it back to life?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 1:25PM
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treelover(z8b SoCtrlTX)

loori: That's what happened to my apple mint that I had outside. It did fine last winter and all this year--with regular pruning--till recently when it gradually dropped almost all its leaves and I ended up with a bunch of sticks.

I've no experience with Swiss mint . . . could it, and apple mint, be short-lived plants?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 2:19PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Loori - I'm not familiar with 'Swiss mint' but if it is a mint (and it looks rather like one) the problem is most likely that you are trying to grow it indoors. Mint is a hardy perennial which needs to grow outdoors. It is natural for it to die down in the winter and to reemerge from the roots in the spring. The plant in your photo needs light and cooler temps by the look of it. It is also looking as if it might have been overwatered. It would be happiest planted in the garden and left alone over the winter. It will come back up in the spring. Mints are not short lived plants but you can't expect them to be green and growing all year round. They need a winter break.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:29AM
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Do you advise to keep it at my balcony in winter and to wait for it to come back in spring? My balcony has no roof, so my plant will experience all the rain, frost and snow during the winter period, is it natural for it?
At the same time I was reading about growing herbs indoors, in the kitchen. Why can't I have mint leaves in winter? Is it impossible?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 10:33AM
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Loori, what growing zone are you in, where are you located? The severity of your winter determines if your plant will survive outside in a container. I tried leaving 3 different mints in a planter box one winter and all died. It gets well below zero here and there wasn't enough soil to insulate the plants.
If you have a very sunny window, you can try growing your mint indoors, but as Flora mentioned it needs a lot of light. It will get leggy(reaching for the light), and the intensity of flavor may be diminished.
If your winters are mild, why don't you try both methods...take a few cuttings and root them into a pot for indoors, and leave the mother plant on your balcony for the winter.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 1:54PM
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I cut a 15 cm long shoot with many leaves and put it into a glass of water about 5 days ago. Now I have an almost dried out shoot with no signs of roots. The parent plant you have seen on the photo.
The winter temperatures in my country are rather mild, though in February there are rather cold periods with temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. I live in Latvia. As you are saying that your mint died outdoors with rather mild temperatures, so it seems that my mint can die too.
What would you say about my dying shoot and potted mint plant?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 1:27PM
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Actually the temperature here in the winter is extremely cold...sometimes reaching 30 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, or about minus 35 degrees Celsius. My mints froze solid to the roots. If your winters don't reach freezing, your mint should survive. The foliage will die back, but the roots will put out new growth in the spring.
It looks like your plant has too little light and maybe too much moisture. Trim the stems back by about one third, place those cuttings in a pot of moist(not wet)soil and place them in an area protected from rain and direct sun until you see new growth. Take the drainage saucer out from under your mother plant and place it where it will get more light. Unless your plant has pests/insects, you should see improved growth. I hope this helps. Keep us informed of your progress.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 5:23PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Loori - I have looked up 'Swiss mint' and it seems to be a variety of Mentha piperata - peppermint. In order to grow it successfully it is useful to think about what this plant's natural conditions would be. In its native habitats M piperata would obviously live outdoors with ample light. It likes moisture but not stagnant water. It is a perennial so it is designed by nature to die down in the winter and regrow from its roots in spring. In the UK it goes down to overwintering green stolons and does not completely disappear like M spicata. It is a European native and is happy in temperate and continental climates so is quite capable of enduring very low winter temperatures. Bearing all this in mind try to think of the best place you have for your plant. If you have a garden outside planting it in the soil would be best. If you only have a balcony I would put it out there. If the pot is likely to freeze through for any length of time I would wrap it in something insulating when frost is expected just in case. Although mint can be kept indoors in the winter it will shorten the life of the plant because it will get no winter rest and it will be struggling against poor light, overheating and probably too much water. I have a pot of mint outside my kitchen door and it is left out all winter. temps last winter went to -5C once or twice but that is unusual for here. 7c would not bother your mint at all. (Remember most people on this forum are in the US so when they say 0 degrees they are talking Fahrenheit ie VERY cold.)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 7:23AM
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Basing on your advice I've made up my mind to keep my potted mint and the other 2 flower-containers on the balcony. To protect them I will insulate them,I just wonder what material to use for this purpose. I have a special garden polythene, may I use it by wrapping the containers and a pot? If I wrap a pot may I bend the stem towards the soil and wrap it all around?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 9:21AM
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Please reply to my previous post! The temperatures are falling.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 5:38AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

The stems which are on your mint at the moment will not usually regrow next year. The plant will die down to the base in the winter. So there is no reason to bend stems down. Just wait until they die off and then trim them down to the ground. You can then wrap your pot if you think it's going to be below zero long enough to freeze the soil in the pot. Use anything - bubble wrap from parcels, old clothes, newspaper. It really doesn't matter. I don't wrap mine. I think the winter is milder here.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 9:19AM
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I'm planning on planting spearmint. I also bought some mint at the the grocery store, (labeled just "mint".) Anybody have an idea what type of mint this might be?
In zone 9 will container get too hot? Should I find a shady spot away from anything where invasion won't be a problem? Is there a variety of spearmint or any other mint that is best suited for heat?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 12:52PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

tracy - I would suggest you start a new thread with a heading which outlines your questions. People may not be looking at this one anymore. Sorry I can't help you - Arizona is not my area of expertise!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 8:06AM
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Hello again. The winter is over and I do not know how to bring back to life my Swiss mint plant in the pot on the balcony (with no roof), which was dug into the soil in a bigger pot and passed a rather cold winter in it. Today I took away a polyethylene cover from the bigger pot and saw a withered plant covered with mould from one side only. Now I wonder what to do with this mould and how to bring life into the mint plant. The temperature outside is about 10 degrees Celsius, rain is occasional. Please give some advice.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 5:12AM
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