Mint in pots or in ground?

soxfan777September 11, 2010

Hi, there!

I have some pots of mint that I grew from cuttings this year and are well established now... I have a big pot of Orange mint and a very small pot of "regular" mint and a small pot of "lemon balm"... I don't know what the sizes are techically called, but I can go by the amount of dirt in the pot... the ORANGE mint is probably 2-3 gallons and the others (regular and lemon) are probably less than a half gallon.

I've been searching around on these forums, and I'm getting the sense that maybe I SHOULDN'T plant them in the garden like I'd planned to... But can I just leave the pots on the deck over the winter? They're terracotta, so will they crack? Should I bring them inside and put them in the basement? I don't know what to do so that I can save the mint for next year!

I'm going to plant the thyme, chives, and lavendar in the garden for now and then see what you gardeners say about the mint. Also, I have rosemary and salad burnet. They're perennials, too, right? Thanks! I appreciate the advice of more seasoned gardeners...

(Southern NH, not sure the name of my "zone"... I'm green, can you tell?).

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Yes terra cotta pots will freeze and crack. They are pourous and soak up water. The plants roots would freeze too.

Lemon Balm is no problem if you put it in the ground. Just make sure you cut off the flower heads so it doesn't go to seed or you'll have it coming up all over. In fact don't let any of them go to seed unless you want to be pulling out plants in the spring. A haircut with clippers is called for.

With your other mints you can put them in the ground if you contain them. If you can get a hold of a couple of those black plastic pots that shrubs come in, they are ideal or any pail or pot that is about 10 inches deep and you can cut the bottom out of. Cut out the bottom and sink the pots into the ground leaving the rims about 3/4 inch above the ground. Now plant your mint inside the pot/pail.

You will have to thin them out every spring so they don't get rootbound, but they won't become invasive

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 12:21PM
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I agree with Oilpainter - plant the mint in pots which are sunk into the ground with the rim sticking out (so the plants don't spread over the edges)

Here is a link that might be useful: growing mint

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 12:26PM
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I plant my mints in very large (about 30 gallon) tufa pots which stay outside all winter and don't crack or break. They are fairly expensive but well worth it in my opinion.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 4:09PM
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reyna1(Zone 8)

I have most of mine in pots away from the soil.
I have spearmint growing wild in a small partition. It grew there from a potted spearmint that was in a tiny pot on the ground. A root must have escaped through the bottom. Needless to say I have about a 3-4' spearmint plant now that is growing wild. It's okay as I like it where it's grown. Just letting you know that no matter where you put it - its likely to escape!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 4:37PM
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You can make your own tufa pots. All you need is peat and ready mix cement and a pail or pot for a mold. I'm sure you can find directions on line. I have a friend who makes them and she's used them for planters and even made a fountain out of them

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 2:12PM
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pippimac(New Zealand)

Don't know if it's NZ lemon balm or climate that's different, but it's a major thug in gardens here.
Like its pushy cousins, it spreads through stolons as well as seeds. Makes great tea though!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 6:22AM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

I live in the south, and a lot of things in the mint family are invasive.
However, my experience with putting applemint in a pot in garden grew right out of that pot in no time. Didn't put the rim above soil line, but not sure that would've helped.
Like the beebalm it keeps spreading and spreading....
I put my peppermint outside of garden, but it doesn't seem to like it's location ( not enough sun I think) and it's not doing as well-but still spreading. Need to move it this fall. However, it will be outside of raised, established beds, in a place it can go wild.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 1:46PM
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