Herb Garden
Published August 23, 2021 by Nicole Burke

How to Propagate Mint in 3 Easy Steps

Filed Under:
herb garden
From the top left corner, clock wise: A vintage metal planter full of nutrient dense compost, a single glass cup of water, a fresh bunch of mint from the grocery store, a wooden dibber, and sharp, green pruning sheers. Photo by Nicole Burke, Gardenary, Rooted Garden, Gardenary.com

Fun tip: Mint is one of the best and easiest plants to propagate. The word propagate just means turning one plant into many more! Buy a single bunch of mint from the grocery store before following these simple steps, and that will be the last time you ever have to buy mint from the store. Seriously, you'll be set for life. 

There's something about the smell of mint that feels a bit magical to me. And if the smell wasn't enough, there's definitely magic in our ability to produce thousands of copies of one plant through propagation. So if you're ready, gather your supplies and let's perform some plant magic together. 

Supplies needed for this project:

  • Organic mint from the grocery store or garden (I bought mine as an exposed bunch at the grocery store)
  • A glass of fresh water 
  • Some pruners or some really sharp scissors
  • A shallow cup 

If you want to bring it to the next level, you can have a small container filled with compost. You can also have a little dibber, or a butter knife or chopstick, just something to make a nice big hole in your soil once your plants have successfully propagated.

mint leaves

step one: select the best sprigs of mint to propagate

Once you've located an organic bunch of mint, it's time to pick the best stems that you want to turn into more plants. Go through your bunch of mint and pick some of the healthiest-looking sprigs. Look for the sprigs that have a lot of green leaves that look nice and fresh.

mint leaves cut and stripped for propagation

step two: trim the bottom third of your mint plants

Once you have your freshest stems, you want to remove the lower leaves so the plant can focus on growing roots.

Take your sharp scissors and cut the stem a bit so that it’s not too tall. Be mindful to cut it right above a leaf node, where the leaves on the stem sprout out from. Also, cut it at a bit of an angle. What you’ll do next is just strip the bottom third of the leaves from the stem.

Your stem may look a little bare now, but don’t worry! Your mint will all grow back soon enough.

mint leaves in a glass of fresh water for propagation

step three: place your mint into a glass of fresh water

Fill your glass with some water and just pop your freshly trimmed sprigs in. You want to make sure the leaves are hanging out all nice and dry at the top. You definitely don’t want them to be in the water. And make sure the stem is nicely submerged since that’s where all the roots are going to shoot out from.

In a week or two, it'll be time to check on the progress of the roots. Say your favorite magician's phrase (Might I suggest "abracadabra" or "shazam"?) and perform the big reveal. Ta-Da! There should be roots waiting for you. Not just at the bottom but all along the stem! Magic!

After a few new roots have formed, it's time to move your rooted plants into fresh compost or potting soil and start growing your newly propagated plants. Use a dibber or a chopstick to make a hole in your soil before pressing your roots into their future home. Make sure to give your plant a nice watering in as a housewarming present.

Baby your new plant for the next couple of weeks as she adjusts to life in soil instead of water. Keep her inside until there's no threat of frost, and then move her to a semi-shaded area outdoors. Keep her watered, and you'll have mint all summer long. The best part is, you can keep taking cuttings from her and propagating her all over again.

I recommend growing mint away from other plants (meaning not in your raised beds) because she doesn't always play nicely with others. You'll see the way her roots grow that she likes to take up lots of space and will elbow her way past whatever roots are in her way to get that space. That's why she does better in her own pot or container.

Ready to grow all the herbs at home?

Learn the Step by Step to Grow Herbs

In this three module course, you'll learn the step by step to set up, plant and grow your own organic herb garden for a year-round supply of herbs from Nicole Burke, author of Kitchen Garden Revival.

And there you have it!

Fresh new mint plants for your garden or windowsill are really that easy. I’m so excited for you to grow this delicious (and magically fragrant!) herb in your space and have that freshly harvested taste all year long.

Thanks so much for bringing back the kitchen garden with me!

How to Propagate Mint