Mint can grow almost anywhere and during any season, provided that the soil is kept adequately moist. However, knowing its most preferred conditions is vital to a mint cultivator.
Sunlight is an essential condition for all plants, mint inclusive. Nevertheless, knowing the quantity your plant needs can be pretty confusing. So, what amount of sunlight can mint take?
Does mint need full sun? Mint does need full sun, but only for a limited period. It is not drought-tolerant, and it prefers adequately moist soil. Mint loves full sun, it produces excellent yield when exposed to full sun, but at the same time, it also requires partial shade.
You can grow mint indoors. It’s just as easy as increasing mint outside. Mint happens to be an excellent houseplant. All you need to do is provide a consistent supply of sunlight and moisture, and you can have a year-round supply of mint.
First, you need a container, most preferably a pot. Width is more important than depth, so the more comprehensive the container, the better.
Mint readily adapts to a variety of soils. However, the most ideal soil for it is soil rich in organic matter with a pH between six and seven.
In addition, you could mix a teaspoon of slow-release fertilizer in the ground to enhance the soil fertility for the plant.
Place the pots near a window or any spot where they can access at least three hours of sunlight. Containers dry out faster than garden beds, so you would have to water your potted mints regularly.
Mint should not be shaded all the time. Instead, it needs to be exposed to sunlight. Three to four hours of daylight in a day is more than enough to keep your mint plant happy and thriving.
Keep in mind that mint is not drought tolerant. It cannot withstand the excessive sun. Excessive exposure to sunlight could lead to loss of soil moisture through evaporation. This isn’t good because a mint plant cannot tolerate soil dryness.
Mint can handle the gentle morning sun, but the intense rays of the afternoon shade can wilt the plant’s leaves.
When growing mint outside, you must pick a damp spot for it. You could cover the plant with light mulches to retain moisture in the soil.
However, it would be best to place indoor mint in an area where it can also access direct sunlight.
Mint Plant Caring Tips?
Mint can spread quickly on its own without much care, provided that they encounter favorable conditions. These conditions include:
1. Fertile and well-draining soil:
Soil drainage is essential when it comes to growing mint. Mints love moisture, but without well-draining soil, the roots of the soil will rot.
When potting mints, ensure that the pots have a passage for water because too much water in the ground makes it soggy. Soggy soil can and will kill your mints.
Asides from well-draining soil, soil fertility is also essential. However, mints are not generally considered heavy feeders, so not much soil fertility is required. Therefore, mints can grow even in bad soil.
However, mints prefer slightly acidic soil, so a soil with a pH between six to seven would be perfect for planting mint.
2. Full sun and partial shade:
Mints require a mixture of full sun and minimal shade. Mints can grow on any soil provided they are provided adequate moisture and access to direct sunlight.
Mints planted in regions with cooler climates will require more sunlight, while mints in areas with relatively hot climates will require more shade and regular watering.
Mints are lovers of moist soil. Do not allow the soil to dry out before watering. Water as soon as the top of the ground becomes dry. Do not overwater.
Watering can be done two to three times a week and depending on weather or climate.
Mints are vigorous growers. Being an invasive herb, most of its varieties can quickly spread out through the garden.
Adequate spacing gives them the freedom to grow and spread as much as they want to. Ensure a fifteen-inch space between each plant.
4. Fertilizer application:
The use of fertilizer on a mint plant is not entirely necessary. Mints, as mentioned earlier, are not heavy feeders and do not require much soil fertility.
The addition of fertilizer, however, can touch up the growth of your mint.
If you must add fertilizer to your mint plant, you should mix it to half of its strength. Do not over-fertilize. Overfertilization could make the leaves lose their flavor.
Use light organic mulches around the root of your mint plant to retain soil moisture. Mulching can also deter the growth of weeds and keep the leaves of the plant clean.
Constant harvesting of mint leaves encourages the growth of young and fresh plants. Pruning off the woody stems of the plant will also enhance new development.
When the leaves reach maturity, they should be harvested, leaving the younger and smaller ones to grow and replace them.
Mint Plant Problems?
Change in leaf color, spot on leaves, wilting, and other factors are symptoms a mint plant displays during ill health. These symptoms come to play due to reasons such as:
1. Fungal infection:
Mint plants are susceptible to a host of fungal diseases such as web blight. These fungal diseases could be the reason your mint plant is turning black/brown and wilting.
The diseases are contagious and can quickly spread to other plants in your garden.
With too much water in the soil, the plant encounters much stress and difficulty. Mainly as it no longer receives a steady supply of oxygen. Overwatering causes the leaves of the plant to turn brown and can also cause root rot.
Yellow leaves, defoliation, and stunted growth are signs of an overfertilized mint plant. Excessive use of fertilizer increases the salt and acid content of the soil, thereby making it toxic for mints.
4. Excessive sun:
The intense rays of scorching afternoon sun can leave your plants with sunburn. Sun also reduces the moisture content of the soil, thereby increasing soil dryness.
Spiders, bugs, and aphids are the most common insect pests of a mint plant.
In an attempt to feed off the plant, these pests puncture the leaves of the plant, leaving them with holes. The leaves then curl up, turn brown, and die.
Now, how can you save a mint plant?
1. If overwatering seems to be the issue, you should cut down the rate at which you water the plant.
2. If you suspect your plant has been infested with pests or diseases, you should prune off the infected parts and discard them to curtail the spread.
3. If your mint shows signs of sunburn due to excessive exposure to sunlight, increase irrigation rate and water it more often to jolt it back to normal.
4. If overfertilization is the case, you might want to consider transplanting to the different soil or changing the soil, that is, if it is planted in a pot.
The mint herb is a moisture-loving plant. While it likes to be bathed in enough soil moisture, it also requires an average of three to four hours of sunlight a day.
So when it comes to planting mint, you have to know the right amount of supplement it needs at a particular time.