Do you often wish to have a few fresh twigs or leaves of herbs to garnish your dishes?
It often happens that we run out of parsley, mint, or such other herbs at home.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your own plant growing in your house so that you could pluck a few leaves and use it whenever you want?
You don’t need to have a large kitchen garden or a garden in your backyard to be able to grow certain herbs and plants.
There are a variety of indoor plants that can grow well in your apartments or flat premises too.
These plants have very little requirements to grow and are practically no-maintenance plants. In this article, we shall discuss how to grow mint indoors.
Mint is one of those herbs that can grow without sunlight. It is one of those plants that have medicinal and health benefits both.
It has been used since time immemorial in various herbal concoctions and cuisines across the globe. Mint is the general name given to various species of this herb, belonging to the genus Mentha.
These include peppermint, spearmint, and such others. Before we learn about growing mint indoors, let us read a little about its benefits.
Benefits of Mint Plant
The mint plant is power-packed with nutrients and medicinal benefits.
Its pungency and sharp taste provide a distinct flavor to various beverages.
The versatile herb is often used as a garnish on dishes for its vibrant green color and perfect silhouette.
Its benefits are discussed in detail below.
- Mint is rich in nutrients. Although it is not consumed in large quantities because of its pungent flavor, a limited quantity of this humble herb does provide a lot of health benefits.
- Around 14 grams of spearmint contains 1 gram of fiber, 6 calories, 12% of the RDI of Vitamin A, 9% of the RDI of Iron, 8% of the RDI of manganese and 4% of the RDI of Folate.
- As mint leaves are a good source of Vitamin A, regular consumption proves beneficial for eye health.
- Mint is also power-packed with anti-oxidants that protect your body against oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
- It is also believed that the aroma of peppermint oil improves brain function and alertness.
- Mint is also used widely in breath mints and chewing gum as its strong flavor can mask foul smells for a couple of hours.
- One can also have peppermint tea or chew mint leaves to reduce bacteria in the mouth causing bad breath.
Plating and Decoration of your Food Items
The pretty looking leaf is often used as a garnish on top of hot pots, curries, one-pot meals, and other such dishes.
It is also used in many mocktails and cocktails.
While a twig or a leaf is often used to decorate your drinks, a few more o these leaves are used to add flavor to your cocktails or mocktails.
Mint leaves add beauty and vibrancy to your dish or beverage because of their lovely green hue.
- Mint leaves paste can be applied to the skin for improving the texture of the skin and reducing acne.
- Mint oil can be used for its aroma or it can be taken as a capsule for its health benefits.
- Menthol derived from mint leaves is the primary component in peppermint oil used to treat cold and flu.
- Mint essential oils can be used on the breasts directly while breastfeeding to prevent nipple cracking and to reduce the pain while feeding.
- It is known to reduce digestive problems as it speeds up the process of digestion.
- Peppermint oil capsules have known to treat patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome too.
- Mint leaves can be paired with a lot of other herbs, vegetables, and fruits.
- When mixed with coriander or cilantro, it can be used to make a green chutney often used in Indian cuisines.
- When mixed with fruit or vegetable salads, it offers the pungent punch and its characteristic aroma to your food.
- You can make mint-flavored dressings for salads or mint-flavored rice for your main course too.
- These leaves are known for the cooling sensation they provide.
- Mint leaves can be used in both fresh and dried forms.
Is It Possible To Grow Herbs Indoors?
You can grow some herbs indoors in a small pot or even in a bottle of water.
Mint plants prefer partial shade and hence can grow indoors too.
When growing mint indoors, do not expect the plant to grow as vigorously as it may outside. But you can enjoy fresh leaves every day to flavor your tea, drinks, or dishes.
You can easily plant mint indoors using a cutting of the plant and placing it in a glass jar with an inch of water.
The sole benefit of growing mint indoors is that you can enjoy it year-round, even in winter.
How To Grow Mint Indoors?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to grow mint indoors:
Growing mint indoors is quite easy. You can grow the plant in a pot of soil or even in a bottle of water.
If you want to experiment with a small quantity first, it is better to take a container with a proper drainage system to ensure proper plant growth.
Here is what you need to do.
- If you have a good potting mix, then you can just add it directly to your container. In case, you want to make your own, then take equal amounts of perlite, peat, and sand in the container.
- Next, plant your mint plant inside the potting mix.
- Water the plant well after planting and keep it in your balcony or near a window that receives indirect light. The best is to choose an east-facing window during spring and summer season or west or south-facing window during the winter and fall season.
- Also, ensure that the location you place your plant has an indoor temperature of 18 to 21 degrees Celsius during the day time and between 13 to 15 degrees Celsius during the night time.
- If you want to grow your mint plant in water only, then you need to take a few tip cuttings around 5 to 6 inches in length from a healthy and established mint plant. For this, you need to remove the bottom leaves from the cuttings and place these in a water-filled container or bottle.
- Keep this container under a sunny window for 4 to 6 hours a day. This will ensure that the plant gets proper light to grow.
Care and Instructions
Here are some care instructions and what not to do if you want a healthy growth:
- When growing mint indoors, you need to keep a few things in mind if you want a healthy growth.
- One of them is regular watering. You need to know the difference between moist and overly wet. Mint plant needs to be moist for healthy growth.
- You can touch the upper part of the soil. If it feels dry on touching, then you need to water the plant. If the soil sticks to your hand when you touch it, then, perhaps, you have added more water.
- Also, track the humidity in the air. The plant needs a moist environment to grow.
- You can either mist the plant while watering or just set your container on a water-filled tray of pebbles or stones.
- You also need to rotate the plant every three to four days to ensure that it maintains an even appearance. The reason for this is that the mint plant tends to bend towards the light. So, if you want your plant to grow uniformly in all directions, do not forget to rotate it every few days.
- You can keep the same pot outdoors during the summer season too. If you do not have a suitable outdoors, you can keep it on your balcony.
- This plant does not need fertilizer on a compulsory basis, but you can give it occasionally. The best fertilizer would be an all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer. You can even give it fish emulsion for healthy growth. Remember to mix the fertilizer at half-strength. If you add too much fertilizer, it will cause the herb to lose its aroma or flavor.
Mint growing indoors is as easy and convenient as possible.
Having a pot of mint in your kitchen or on your kitchen window will give you the benefit of plucking a few leaves and adding to your morning tea.
It is quite beneficial to have this herb growing in your kitchen garden and also it requires hardly any maintenance.
So hurry up grow your own mint indoors to healthify your dishes and your lives.
Found this article useful? Try growing your own herbs indoors and add a bit of freshness and health to your daily meals.
Do let us know if you have some suggestions regarding growing herbs indoors by leaving a comment in our comment box.