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Can Mint Survive Winter? (Beginners Guide)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 02:19 pm

As your climate gets colder, the risk of your plants not surviving the winter also increases. Although there are some hardy plants that grow through the cold months as well.

However, the cold weather will reduce the growth of most plants. As a result, it is better to harvest as little as possible from the plant during the winter otherwise the plants will not survive.

The mint is a hardy herb that will survive even in the cold. Mostly the mint prefers cold places, and it can withstand light freezes as well. Although the tolerance levels of the plant vary depending on the different varieties, all varieties of the mint plant can survive winter temperatures if treated properly.

What Temperature Can Mint Tolerate?

Growing mint is not difficult, you can cultivate your mint plants in the garden or in a small container indoors. However, it is important to make sure that the temperature is just right.

Like most perennials, mint prefers temperatures ranging between 55°-70°F. Mint prefers the full sun, however, it can grow and thrive even in partial sunlight.

Although the mint is not drought resistant, it is hardy and can tolerate cold temperatures by slowing down its growth.

In most cases, the first hard winter frost kills mint plants. But resilient and vigorous roots are known to stay alive even when temperatures drop to below 20°F.

Not only is the mint cold-tolerant, but it also thrives in the heat and will spread even in hot weather, especially when it is properly watered.

Additionally, mint is drought resistant and recovers from drought very quickly.

Mint is resistant to both cold and heat. Nevertheless, excessively high temperatures can cause the plant to lose its leaves and become discolored. The general lethal temperature to the mint is 90°F.

When temperatures rise to 90°F and remain as high for long periods, leaves wilt, and the mint will thin out and die.

This happens because water evaporates into the atmosphere more quickly in the heat, leaving the plant’s reserves low.

However, you cannot just sit back and watch your mint plants wither due to excessive heat. There are simple steps you can take, to protect your plants from the heat.

1. The mint is a hardy plant, but it is easily affected by weather conditions. One way to keep your mint plant fresh and green in the heat is to water the plant adequately.

2. If your mint is pot planted, make sure to use a large pot that is big enough for the mint. And also, one that retains moisture. The mint loves water and underwatering can kill the plant fast.

3. Plant the mint in rich compost, or you can use compost manure to retain moisture.

4. Water the mint frequently, you can water it once every three days in hot climates. And in temperate climates once every week.

5. For outdoor plants, you can also use a light mulch for additional protection. It will help keep the soil moist and keep the leaves clean.

6. Keep your potted mint plants in a shady area or move them indoors, to protect them from the brunt of the sun’s heat.

What Do You Do With Mint In the Winter?

Like most perennials, mint is frost tolerant, and will most likely survive the winter. However, it usually dies during the winter, but returns during the spring with fresh growth.

The mint is a plant that likes to grow and spread and does not like to lie dormant for long periods, especially over the winter.

Mint plants that are left outdoors over the winter will lose their leaves and shed down to the bare root.

Until winter is over. That notwithstanding, there are some options on what to do with your mint plants during the winter.

This also depends on one of two things.

1. Whether you want to grow the plants, that is maintaining flourishing mint plants in your garden over the winter.

2. Preserve the mint for later use, be it for cooking, drinking as a tea, or beverage. Or general spicing.

If you want to preserve the herb for cooking or other culinary endeavors over the weekend, you can do that in the following simple steps.

I. Harvest fresh green and clean mint herbs. Make sure to cut the leaves carefully so as not to injure the plant. You can cut the tiny stems together with the leaves, but that may injure the plant

II. Chop the mint plants finely. Do this carefully and quickly so that the plant does not go dry especially if you want to preserve it while it is still fresh.

III. Pack the chopped mints into ice cube containers, preferably airtight.

IV. Immerse thoroughly in water. Make sure every single leaf is in the water and freeze.

On the other hand, if you want to grow the plant over the winter. You may prefer to plant them in pots and grow them indoors.

It is important to know that herbs grown indoors do not grow as vigorously and are not as healthy as those grown outside.

However, you can still enjoy the leaves all year round even in winter. There are ways of growing your mint plant indoors even in winter.

Can Mint be Brought Inside for The Winter?

The winter cold and frost do not completely kill mint plants, but the plant finds it difficult to grow new foliage and just lies dormant.

As such, there may not be any mint leaves to harvest from your garden during the winter. Thus, you may prefer to bring your mint and other hardy plants indoors during the winter, for your use.

You can bring them indoors in pots to keep providing fresh leaves for your cooking and other needs while the winter wears on.

However, you can choose to cultivate your mint indoors altogether if you choose to do so.

Here are some simple methods you can try.

1. You can grow it in soil. You would need a pot for that. The pot should have a drainage hole at the bottom, to keep the plant from becoming waterlogged.

Also do not fill the pot with soil, to the brim.  This is necessary to leave room for watering.

2. The mint can also be grown in water. The upside of this is that there is no soil, no mess, and no fungus. The downside however is that the plant cannot survive long in the water. Soon it will die off.

3. To do that, you only need some mint stems and a jar of water. Put the stems in the water and keep them on a windowsill so the plant can get some sun. Also, make sure to change the water regularly.

How Do I Winterize My Mint Plant?

You must take steps to protect your mints from the worst of the winter cold and frost. If the mint is simply left outside, it may not survive the winter.

So, you can choose to winterize your mints outside in the gardens or take them indoors in pots. Or even move the plants to the garage or workshop.

Here are some simple and easy things you can do so your plant does not die under the deep frost or cold.

1. You can build a small screen around the plants. Heap a lot of soil or mulch over them and cover them with leaves or straw.

2. Cut back to growth and place a layer of foam and soil over your mint plant crown. Then add mulch for extra protection.

3. You can winterize your potted mint plants by making a hole in the ground, layering in gravel, and burying the plant. Make sure to backfill with Earth and remove it as soon as spring sets in.

4. You can also wrap your mint plant, mulch it adequately and place it in an unheated garage to winterize.


Mint plants are very hardy and easy to grow. Be that as it may, it is important to keep an eye on your mint plants for the best results.

The mint can tolerate both high and low temperatures, and though it may likely die off in the winter, it returns in spring with new growth.

The mint can also be brought inside for the winter, and steps can be taken to protect the plant from frost and snow during winter.

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