Rooting Your Own Mint

Rooting mint

Rooting mint in a small decorative vase.

There’s nothing like having fresh mint on hand, and I don’t know about you, but when I buy a bunch of mint, I tend use it a couple of times for a specific recipe, or to add to the best gin and tonic recipe anywhere.

Best Gin & Tonic Anywhere

Mix up whatever ratio of gin and tonic you prefer, with ice cubes.

Add to it, a generous squeeze of fresh lime, a couple of slices of cucumber, and a mint leaf or two. Swirl. Enjoy the taste of summer.

But after making my gin and tonic or whatever, I generally toss the remaining mint bunch into the fridge where it often dies because I forget it’s there. Pulling a squishy bunch of decaying mint out of the fridge is always sadness-inducing. And the last thing we need is more sadness in January, the month that contains the most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday.

Fresh mint showing root development.

Fresh mint showing root development.

The good news is you can keep that freshness going by rooting your grocery store mint, and getting a brand new plant in the process. Mint bunches are usually pretty generous, so use whatever mint you need and save a few stalks to root. I used about 5 here. Cut the leaves off the bottom of the stems, leaving about 3 inches (5 cm) bare. Make a fresh cut on the bottom of the stems. Put the mint sprigs in a small container of water and place in a bright area, but out of sunlight. I root my mint under a bright flourescent light in my kitchen. Make sure no leaves get in the water. Change the water after a few days if you need to. (Like if a stray leaf fell off and turned the water murky) Wait a week or so and you’ll see roots growing. You can keep growing the mint stems in the water for a few weeks, but it’s best at this point to plant the stems with roots into a container using a soilless mix, like ProMix to grow it on. Pre-wet the soil mix with warm water before using.

Keep the mint in a pot, well watered in a cool sunny room and you will have fresh mint for the rest of the winter. Gin and tonics anytime! Or add a couple of sprigs to a salad for a fresh summery flavour. In the spring you can put your pot outside to grow for the summer season.

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