Garden mint is familiar to everyone, regardless of the presence of their own garden. This plant is used for medicinal purposes, as a seasoning for various dishes, as the basis for soft drinks and cocktails, perfume, and cosmetic components.
The crop is divided into varieties that differ in taste and flavor. Peppermint is the most popular and widespread. It feels great in the open ground, under the film shelter, and on the windowsill.
You just need to know how to propagate mint and take care of it.
Features of propagating mint there are several ways to propagate peppermint with certain pros and cons:
- sowing seeds;
- grow mint from cuttings;
- division of the mother bush.
It the most difficult to grow peppermint from seeds, so gardeners are most often inclined to cuttings or bush division.
To sow peppermint, choose a warm, open-to sunlight place. During the dry period, the mint plants need shade. When growing the culture at home, place pots or boxes on windows facing southwest or east to provide conditions of at least four hours of light.
Seed propagating mint is recommended for experienced gardeners or those who are not afraid of difficulties.
Planting is done as follows: the container is filled with soil, which should be slightly moistened. The seeds are deepened by half a centimeter. Containers are covered with glass or polyethylene and placed in a room with a temperature of +24 degrees.
Plantings should be aired and moisturized. Sprouts appear in one to two weeks. Strengthened plants are transplanted one by one and sent for adaptation to a cooler place if further cultivation in the street is provided. Planting in the open ground is possible after 7-10 days.
Due to the active growth of the root system, the seedlings are placed at a distance from each other.
Mint grown from seed is characterized by slower development if compared to vegetative propagation methods.
The long roots of mint are studded with dormant buds from which new shoots and shrubs emerge.
This peculiarity of the plant makes it possible to propagate by means of root shoots, which are stocked in late summer-early autumn.
A few cuttings with a length of 3 inches are enough.
Root shoots are placed in moist soil to a depth of 2 inches.
Growing mint from cuttings
Grow mint from cuttings will not be a problem for the novice gardener. This mint from cuttings method is easy to implement. In addition, further cultivation and care will require a minimum of attention.
The optimal time for planting propagating mint: the end of April – the beginning of May.
A 3 inches piece of stem with an ovary of leaves is cut off from the bush. The branch is placed in clean water for a week. During this time it will give roots, which should be constantly in the water.
When the roots reach 1 inch, you can deal with transplanting plants on beds or in pots at home.
Despite the resistance of mint to adverse weather conditions, it is preferable to wait until the end of spring frosts. Sprouted twigs are planted in the ground with a 2 inches deepening and 5 inches interval, which is necessary for the bushes for normal development.
Planting mint plant in a place open to the sun in the morning and afternoon hours is desirable. In advance, it is necessary to prepare the soil, removing weeds and rhizomes with simultaneous loosening. High ridges are arranged in damp places, in dry places, it is necessary to deepen.
Dividing the mother bush mint plant
The easiest way to propagate is to divide the dug-up mint bush into parts and mint plants them in the soil. An important condition is the presence of buds or shoots on each partition. The above-ground part of the daughter plant is cut off, which stimulates the rooting process.
Growing mint is carried out in 3 inches deep holes at a distance of 10 inches. Adding humus to each hole before planting is recommended. After a couple of weeks, the plants are covered with young leaves, this indicates the normal development of the bush, which will need fertilization with urea (1-2 g per liter of water).
Do not forget about the aggressiveness of the culture, which can sprawl over large areas, displacing other mint plants and shrubs. To avoid this, arrange a restrictor: dig iron plates or pieces of slate to the depth of the location of the rhizomes on the perimeter of the plantings.
An effective way – planting mint in a voluminous container: an old bucket, a basin, a bathtub, which are buried in the ground. This option will keep neighboring crops safe.
It is preferable to plant mint in the place of legumes and root crops.
Suitable ridges after harvesting melon and buckwheat, which enrich the soil with calcium, necessary for the successful development and growth of peppermint.
You should avoid planting next to crops that require treatment with pesticides that make mint unfit for consumption.
The culture prefers light fertile soils, loamy and sandy loam.
Waterlogged areas are detrimental to these plants.
Soil drying out can be avoided by mulching.
Regular fertilizing with organic, phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizers is welcomed.
Loosening is done twice a year.
The mint will respond to care with its luxurious appearance and inimitable fragrance. Harvest from the first year of planting at the beginning of flowering. The leaves are dried in a shaded, ventilated place. Dried produce is rubbed or placed whole in paper bags or glass jars with lids. You don’t have to have much experience, time, or money to stock up on this aromatic and healthy crop.
How to grow mint on a windowsill
The main feature of growing a mint shrub on a windowsill is to maintain the temperature regime. At night, the temperature near the window can drop, which will not be comfortable for the flower. It is necessary to protect the leaves from touching the glass, which would prevent them from dying off.
If there is plenty of sun and heat on the windowsill, the bush should thrive, but you should not keep it cool. The leaves will hang down and disappear after a while in the cool air.
It must be remembered that the air near the window will be colder in winter (and hotter in summer) than the average room temperature, so you must regulate the plant accordingly.
Dry air, from air conditioning or heating, is detrimental to most herbs, so if possible you need to do a weekly shower in the sink, and this will reflect well on the appearance. Also, fertilize the shrubs about once a month if the leaves come off regularly.
Therapeutic properties of peppermint
In the flowers, leaves and stems of mint are bitter, tannins and biologically active substances, fats, sugars, phytoncides, vitamins C and P, mineral salts, carotene, essential oil, which includes menthol.
This plant is used in both official and unconventional medicine for nervous disorders, headaches, toothaches, asthma, throat diseases, cardiovascular diseases, insomnia, neuralgia, inflammation of the digestive system, colds, bronchitis, atherosclerosis and other diseases.
Menthol is characterized by analgesic, antimicrobial and antispasmodic effects. Inside take such a plant is recommended to dilate the coronary vessels in angina, with pain in the stomach or intestines. External use of peppermint is recommended for bronchitis, neuralgia or toothache.
From the leaves of this plant are prepared tinctures and infusions that can improve digestion, increase appetite and relieve vomiting and nausea. Mint may also be used as an analgesic for colic attacks of the liver, a choleretic for gallstones or jaundice, and as a heart stimulant.
In Germany, the leaves of the mint plant are included in medicinal teas used for flatulence and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In this country is also popular mint baths. Peppermint is used in Australia for preparing tinctures and decoctions. The leaves of this plant in Poland is used in the treatment of inflammation of the periosteum, middle ear, as well as for migraines, neuralgia. Mint is included in gatherings designed to improve odor and taste.
In the wild mint leaves are used to make a juice used in the treatment of kidney stones. If such a juice is mixed with white wine, this mixture will have a diuretic effect.
This plant is found in gastric gatherings, teas and bath gatherings. It is also widely used in perfumery and cooking.
Mint plants in other areas
Harvest mint is used in many areas of life. Here are some great ways to use it:
- Serve as an accompaniment to fish, chicken, lamb, or another protein dish.
- To flavor salads, such as fruit salads.
- Use in drinks such as iced tea, lemonade, or in a mojito cocktail.