Who doesn’t love a sprig of refreshing mint in their tea or salad? Especially when it’s fresh, organic mint is a treat for the senses. And you can make sure it’s organic by growing it at home.
What conditions does it need?
Mint plants are perennial herbs; they grow all year through. They grow in direct and indirect sunlight, to differing heights. They need moist soil, which means daily spritzing and watering. Their roots tend to spread and invade the space of other places, which is why it’s best if you grow them in pots, even in garden plots.
The easiest way to grow mint
Dunk it in water. No, seriously, just a sprig of fresh organic mint in a glass of water is enough to start the growing process. You can change the water after a couple of days or add more water if necessary.
How to choose the right sprig
Cut a sprig just below a leaf, or above a junction. Most of the rooting hormone within the mint plant lies beneath the leaf node and thus helps fast growth. Mint grows so fast that you might see a new leaf every day!
Choose the right jar and water
Try to avoid filtered water; instead opt for mineral water from a well or unfiltered water that’s likely to have more nutrients. A glass jar with a narrow mouth makes for the best container because it will support the sprig.
Prepare plant and container
Fill the container with cool water till just below the lowest set of leaves – ensure that no leaves are under water; leaves may cause rot. Place this on a sunny windowsill, giving it four to six hours of light every day – but not direct, scorching sunlight.
After about a week, you’ll see small white roots under the water. Wait for another week or so, till the roots are longer before transferring to a pot with soil, if you like.
You can also transfer the sprig to a larger glass container and keep replenishing the water. Mint can grow for months in just nutrient-rich water, and thrive too!
You can combine several sprigs or plant each sprig separately in pots. Choose a spot on the balcony or verandah, if not indoor, for the plant, make sure the plant gets morning sun and afternoon shade – but don’t keep it in direct, glaring sunlight. Remember to water the plant at least once a day and mist the leaves as well.
Bonus feature: Grow garlic too!
You can also grow delicious garlic indoors from a single organic clove – that too in a shot glass. Simply drizzle a few drops of water into the glass, enough to cover one end of the clove, not the whole and keep out on a windowsill. In about four or five days, you’ll see tiny shoots. Let them grow, changing the water and container as they grow larger. You can also do this with several cloves for more shoots. Like chives, these shoots will have a gentle garlic flavour and can be used in salads, dressings etc.
You can also pot the cloves after shoots emerge into tiny pots and place in an area with direct sunlight. Water the pot just enough so it’s never dry but not moist. The greens will continue to grow, and you can keep clipping them and using them. Eventually, the plant will turn brown – and when you dig through the soil, you’ll have a full garlic bulb. Replant a clove and start again!