We all love mint for various reasons. Most people love the taste and the fact that it can be used in endless ways in many dishes and drinks, while others swear by its medicinal properties. However, store-bought mint tends to wilt quickly, so many wonder if they can grow mint in water to have an endless supply.
You can grow mint in water forever if you feed it regularly or keep adding fresh cuttings, as mint can tolerate “wet feet.” However, if you don’t use fertilizer, a cutting will thrive in water for a few months before the leaves start yellowing and the plant stops growing for lack of nutrients.
Mint is not a picky plant to grow as long as you keep it warm, moist, and well-fed. If you haven’t tried it already, you’ll realize it’s even easier to grow mint in water. I’ll explain in this article how you can propagate mint cuttings in water and keep them alive and thriving forever.
The Advantages of Growing Mint in Water
Many people prefer growing mint in water because it’s a no-soil, no-mess method. Not growing in soil also keeps the plants pest-free. Moreover, you don’t need a ton of space to grow it.
Mint isn’t cold-hardy, and growing mint in water indoors is an excellent way to enjoy the leaves in your mojitos and chutneys during winter.
Read on to learn how to propagate and grow mint in water and enjoy an endless supply of fresh leaves from your kitchen windowsill.
Water Propagation Method for Mint Cuttings
You can propagate mint in water with healthy stem cuttings from a mature plant. You can also root sprigs from a store-bought bunch of mint. The cuttings will root within a few days, provided you keep them in a warm place that receives 4 to 6 hours of indirect light.
Here’s how you can propagate mint in water:
Choose a Healthy, Mature Plant
Take cuttings and cut from the tip of a branch or the main stem at an angle of 45 degrees, and ensure the cuttings have at least one or two nodes. The cuttings should measure 5-6 inches (13-15 cm). You can also snip a few sprigs from a bunch of store-bought mint.
Remove the Bottom Leaves
Remove the leaves at the bottom of the cuttings, but save 2-3 sets of leaves on top. Removing the leaves at the bottom is crucial, as you don’t want the leaves to sit in the water and rot.
Find a Container
You can use a teacup, bottle, yogurt cup, or ice cream tub. You can also use beautiful Mason jars or vases to grow mint cuttings. As the cuttings take root, you can place this botanical arrangement on a tabletop where it will double as a décor item.
Fill It With Water
Fill the container with clean and non-chlorinated water. You can use aquarium water or boiled water after cooling it.
Place the Cuttings in the Container
When placing the cuttings, ensure only the bottom two-thirds part of the stem with one or two nodes is immersed in water.
Provide Indirect Light
Place the container with the cuttings in indirect light. You can place it on a sunny window sill where the cuttings receive at least 4 to 6 hours of indirect sunlight. Choose an east-facing window in spring and summer and a south- or west-facing window in fall and winter.
Keep Them in a Warm Place
Place the cuttings in a place where the temperature doesn’t exceed 70 °F (21 °C). Protect the tender plants from the harsh rays of the sun by using curtains or shades on the window during the hottest part of the day. You can also use a heating mat.
Protect the Plants From the Cold
Ensure that you keep your tender mint plants where the temperature doesn’t fall below 55 °F (13 °C). Additionally, don’t expose them to cold drafts.
Give the Pot a Quarter Turn Every Day
This ensures all sides of the cuttings receive light, and the stems don’t turn leggy in trying to reach toward the light. Use grow lights if you can’t find a sunny spot in your home.
Maintain Fresh Water
Change the water every 5-7 days. Don’t let the water turn cloudy, and wash the container when you change the water.
Feed the Cuttings
You can sometimes feed aquarium water to the cuttings or use a water-soluble, all-purpose plant food once every two weeks.
Mint cuttings root quickly in water, and new growth is visible after about two weeks. They’ll continue to thrive forever as long as you feed them regularly. Additionally, you can prune the plants to make them bushy.
Optimum Conditions for the Mint to Thrive in Water
You can keep mint alive in water by feeding it all-purpose plant food once every two weeks. Ensure that the plant receives 4 to 6 hours of indirect light, and keep it in an area where the temperature is 65-70 °F (18-21 °C) during the day and 55-60 °F (13-15 °C) at night.
Watch out for yellowing leaves and stunted growth in your mint plants when they’re in water. These are telltale signs that the plant has exhausted the energy to grow or the water is lacking nutrients.
You can replace the plants with new cuttings and try rooting them. However, another option is to add just a pinch of water-soluble, all-purpose plant food (or not more than a gram in a liter of water) and feed it to your plants. You can also use fish emulsion, as it’s high in nitrogen and is ideal for leafy plants.
Whichever fertilizer you choose, ensure you don’t over-fertilize because the mint will lose its characteristic flavor.
Using Grow Lights and Water Tank for Mint Propagation
Mint needs at least 4-6 hours of light daily and considerable warmth to grow. If your home lacks a warm sunny spot or you want to grow mint in the depths of winter, you can use grow lights.
A smart garden system comes complete with a grow light setup and a water tank where you can submerge the mint cuttings. These systems let you grow mint in water without sunlight.
Several brands sell such indoor garden kits. Usually, the units contain a full-spectrum, automated LED lighting system, a tank for holding water, and several designated plant pods for your cuttings.
Additionally, it’s very simple to use:
- Place the cuttings in the pods.
- Fill the tank with water.
- Set the timer on the lights.
- Plug in the system.
- Wait for your cuttings to take root and grow.
You can grow mint in water forever, and it’s even the ideal choice for many people. They’re low-maintenance plants and don’t demand lavish care.
Just keep the following in mind:
- The best way to grow mint in water is to start with fresh and healthy cuttings.
- Keep the cuttings in a warm spot where they receive 4-6 hours of indirect light.
- Feed the cuttings with all-purpose plant food once every two weeks.
- Use grow lights if there’s no sunny spot in your house.
- Prune to make your rooted plant bushy.