Exactly How To Grow Mint From Seed [Full Guide]

Mint is a great herb to grow in your kitchen or garden. It’s useful for so many things, so growing your own can save you a lot of money.

Of course, you can always just buy a mint plant, but where’s the fun in that? You’ll take much more pride and satisfaction in growing your own mint plant, especially if you’ve grown it from a seed.

Growing mint from seed isn’t hard because they’re very hardy plants. Still, there are some things you should do to make the process go a bit smoother. Do you want to grow your mint in your garden or kitchen? Find out how to do it here.

Below, I go through whether mint is easy to grow from seed, how to get mint seeds, when to plant them and exactly how to sow mint seeds.

Why Grow Mint?

Growing mint is a great idea because it can be used for so many different things.

One of the most common reasons people grow mint is for using in their cooking. Mint is a cool, sweet tasting herb that can spice up any dish. Growing your own mint will save you time and money if you frequently use mint in your dishes. You can even harvest your mint and dry out the leaves for later use.

The scent of mint is another good reason to grow it. We as humans think the scent is very appealing. For this reason, many people dry the leaves and use it as potpourri around the house.

On the other hand, insects and rodents hate the scent of mint. Because of this, many people will plant mint in their garden to deter pests. Mint makes a good companion plant for other crops because it drives away pests.

Is Mint Easy To Grow From Seeds?

Mint is an incredibly hardy plant, even as a seed. Clearly, it’s going to be easier to grow mint from a seedling or cutting, but seeds aren’t hard either. If you decide to start from scratch with seeds, just be prepared that it’s going to take a bit longer.

How To Get Mint Seeds

Of course, if you’re going to grow mint from seeds, you’re going to need the seeds first. The easiest way to get seeds is to simply buy them from the store. This is going to cost a bit of money though.

You can also harvest seeds off an existing plant. This is a good option for people who already have a mint plant, or know someone who does.

From A Store

There are lots of places where you can purchase mints seeds, both in-person and online.

Some good online stores to purchase from include Burpee, Eden Brothers, and True Leaf Market. These online stores have lots of mint options for you to choose from, and they ship directly to your door.

You can also buy mint seeds in person from lots of supermarkets, farmer’s markets, home improvement stores, and department stores. These places don’t usually have as good of an assortment, though. Farmer’s markets usually only sell crop that is local, and big stores usually don’t cater to specific gardening needs.

How To Harvest Mint Seeds

Harvesting your own mint seeds is a great option. It will help you save money, and it’s sustainable because you’re taking advantage of your own plant. The one downside to harvesting your own seeds is that you usually can’t use them right away.

Seeds are going to be harvested from the mint’s flowers. These bloom in summertime, and you have to wait for them to die to harvest the seeds. It’s best just to save the seeds until the next year when you can use them in the spring.

Here’s how to harvest mint seeds:

  1. Wait until your mint plant blooms with flowers
  2. As the season goes on and the flowers begin to die, you’ll prune them off
    • For seed-harvesting purposes, you’re not going to remove all the dying flowers
    • Leave a few dying flowers on the mint plant
  3. Allow the flowers to stay on the mint plant until they turn brown
  4. Snip the brown flowers from the plant and place them in a paper bag
  5. Leave the paper bag alone in a cool dry place so that the flowers can dry out
  6. The drying process will take about 2 weeks
  7. Remove the flowers from the bag
  8. Crush the flowers with your fingers which will release the seeds
  9. Gently blow the flower petals away with your breath
  10. You’ll be left with only seeds

Now that you have harvested the seeds, you’re going to need to store them properly:

  1. Use a small envelope to hold the seeds
  2. Write the date and type of seeds on the envelope
  3. Store the envelope in a cool, dry area. You can also store the seeds in the refrigerator

If you take these steps, you’ll have lots of mint seeds to use for next year’s planting season.

planting mint
Planting mint

When To Plant Mint Seeds

When you choose to plant your mint seeds is going to depend on where you’re keeping your plant. If you’re keeping your mint plant indoors, you can start to grow the seeds at anytime.

If you want to grow your mint plant outdoors, the scenario is a bit different. There are a couple ways you can do this. Some people like to plant seedlings right at the beginning of spring after the first frost. To do this, you’re going to need to start growing your seeds indoors.

If you’re starting your seeds indoors, you’ll want to do so about late winter. The best time to start is about 8-10 weeks before your last projected frost.

If you want to sow your seeds directly in the garden, you’ll have to start later. Sowing seeds in late spring after the last frost is the best time to do it.

Mint does best when grown in spring, but it’s a very hardy plant, so it can be planted at other times as well. Mint will grow in almost any condition, so seeds can be started up to 2 months before the first frost of fall.

Read more about when to plant mint here.

Exactly How To Plant Mint Seeds In The Garden

You’re probably wondering how to germinate mint seeds. Growing mint seed in your garden is pretty easy, and it’s quite similar to growing them in a pot. Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Sow seeds on the surface of the prepared soil. For direct garden planting, you don’t want to sow the seeds into the soil
  • Cover the seeds with a light layer of vermiculite
  • Keep the soil slightly moist, but not soggy
  • You should begin noticing the seeds sprouting in about 2 weeks

Exactly How To Grow Mint From Seeds In A Pot

Growing mint from seed in a pot is very easy, and it’s a great way to control the process. Some people begin growing the plants directly in a small pot, but many people use seed flats.

I recommend using a seed flat, especially if you’re planning to grow multiple plants.

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Sow seeds into soil about 1/4 inch deep
    • Your life will be easier if you pre-separate the seeds with a seed injector
    • If you don’t have a seed injector, just separate the seedlings when they start to sprout
  2. Keep the flat or container in a warm location
  3. Keep the soil slightly moist, but not too soggy
  4. If you want to speed up the process, you can put a cover over the container
    • Many flats come with their own clear plastic covers
    • Remove the cover once you notice the seeds sprouting
  5. Once seedlings have grown 2 sets of true leaves, you’ll want to harden them off

Hardening off refers to the process of preparing your plants for the harsher, outside conditions. To harden off your seedlings, you’re going to gradually introduce them to the outdoors.

  1. First, place the seedlings outside where they’re sheltered. The best place is a shaded area
  2. Leave the box outside for a few hours, then bring it back inside (always bring your seedlings in overnight)
  3. Repeat this process everyday for about a week gradually increasing the time the plants spend outside every day
  4. Once the seedlings have successfully spent an entire day outside, gradually move them somewhere sunny. You’re going to do the same thing you did with the shaded area
  5. Move them to the sunny area a few hours each day, gradually increasing the amount of time they’re out in the sun
  6. After they have spent an entire day in the sunny area, they’re ready to be planted into the garden

Read more about growing mint indoors here.

What To Do Next?

As I said, mint is a very hardy plant, so it can survive under almost any conditions. But, if you really want your plant to thrive, there are some things you can do:

Temperature

Mint can grow in almost any temperature, but it thrives best at temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unlike many plants that are not cold tolerant, mint actually does better in colder temperatures.

It can easily survive cold temperatures as long as it stays above freezing. Below freezing, mint can potentially still survive, but there is a chance that frost could kill it off.

In hotter weather, mint will actually begin to slow down and won’t grow as well.

Sunlight

Mint plants prefer lots of light, but they do well in shade, too. They grow best with lots of indirect sunlight. For best results, indoor mint should be grown near a sunny window, and outdoor mint should be planted near partial shade.

Read more about how much sun mint needs here.

Water

Similarly, mint likes a lot of water, but not too much. You’ll want to make sure the soil stays moist, but it shouldn’t be soggy. Only water your mint plant when you notice the top of the soil becoming dry.

Fertilizer

Mint doesn’t need fertilizer and it can be potentially harmful for them to get too many nutrients.

Final Words

As you can see, it’s not hard to grow your own mint plant from seeds. Mint is a very hardy plant, so it will grow just about anywhere, at almost any time of year.

Still, there are things you can do to make the process easier. Things like making sure the environment is right, growing during the right season, and knowing the difference between planting in a garden or container.

So what are you waiting for? Start preparing for spring, and get ready to plant some mint!

Want to learn more? Find out what to plant with mint here and how to grow peppermint from seed here and spearmint here. You can also find all my guides to growing mint here.