Mint is a beginner-friendly herb that you should totally try growing at home. It’s a fast-growing one that requires very little maintenance (Just the basics! Like regular watering.) and a very rewarding plant to have around. Compared to other plants, this one can be grown even with little knowledge about gardening.
But once you’re already set, where should you plant it in your garden? Time to pick the right area and ask yourself which among your plants will be a good plant neighbor?
What Does Mint Grow Well With Anyway?
Whether you’re a beginner or a long-time gardener, you need to be familiar with the plants that grow best together with your mint. Generally, in order for optimum growing conditions for all the plants in your garden, you should know about companion planting.
If you’re new to this, the idea behind companion planting is simple. There are certain plants that are better when grown together. Some of the benefits they can get from each other include natural pest control, higher crop yield and shade protection for sun-sensitive plants.
In the case of the mint plant, what makes this such a great companion plant for all sorts of crops is its smell. Mint’s icy cool smell may be appealing for us but certain pests really hate it
For example, planting mint next to carrots helps deter the carrot flies. The same goes for tomatoes – it helps steer away aphids from them. And they’re not the only plants that would love to be near your mint plant.
To name a few, here are some of the ideal plants to grow near mint: Tomatoes, Radish, Cabbage, Eggplant, Chili , Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, Brussel Sprouts, Bell Peppers, and Squash.
Imagine how lush your garden will be by the end of planting and growing! Maximizing your garden space through companion planting is really one of the best things you can do to your home garden. But take note, mint is an invasive plant so practice companion planting with caution.
Can You Grow Different Mints Together?
Nope. One thing you should never ever do when it comes to growing mints is to plant different types of them together or even near each other.
You may be tempted to grow various types of mints in the same bed or container just to save space or even to cut on plant care, but you’ll just be dooming yourself by the end of it.
You see, growing different mints together just spells trouble. When grown together, the mints will lose their respective flavors and isn’t that one of the top reasons why you are growing different varieties in the first place?
If you would love to have different varieties of mints at your disposal, you should just grow them in separate pots.
And remember how mint is such a beginner-friendly plant since they’re so easy to grow and fast-growing too? Turns out they’re so easy and fast to grow that they can be considered as invasive at times.
Personally, the worst problem when growing this plant is its aggressive growth. This invasive plant can and will spread quickly in open garden areas. And mint can out-compete most of the plants in your garden if you let it be.
So really the best and safest way to grow different mints at the same time is to grow them in separate pots or containers. Save your herb garden from a potential invasive mint problem.
Can You Plant Mint And Lavender Together?
You shouldn’t. Planting mint together with other common herbs like lavender doesn’t work out. Mint thrives in rich and moist soil and these common herbs prefer a drier type of soil. The mint will always want more water.
Planting them together will just compromise one plant or the other. If you’re planning to add mint in your herb garden, I suggest just plant them in a separate container or pots. Mint is quick spreading so it may invade your other herbs if not contained properly.
If left alone, mint may spread and eventually compete with other plants for nutrients.
Does Mint Grow Better In Shade Or Sun?
Mint grows best in sun but it can still thrive in partial shade. The important thing is to select a location where your mint can receive at least 6 hours of full sun or partial shade.
It also depends on the variety you’ve chosen to grow. If you’re growing a variegated variety such as pineapple mint, full sun may scorch its leaves. Keep it away from direct sunlight and place it in an area with a partial shade.
But most mints will thrive in any area with full sun to partial shade. Maybe place it near the kitchen so you can easily access some fresh mint for your daily cooking.
What Is The Most Common Mint?
There are many types of mint that you can easily grow in your home garden but among all of them, the most common types of mint are peppermint (Mentha x piperita) and spearmint (Mentha spicata).
Both familiar sounding right? These types of mint grow from up to 3 feet tall and are quick to spread. They are aggressively spread by underground rhizomes. Both of them produce violet flowers.
Peppermint is a hybrid. It’s a combination of watermint and spearmint. Just like all mints, Peppermint is quick-spreading, but it doesn’t multiply by seeds. It spreads out by runners that go in every direction.
It’s a popular garnish and often used in various desserts. Peppermint also makes for a good tea — usually credited for curing basic stomach ailments.
Spearmint, also known as common mint, garden mint or lamb mint is another quick-spreading mint that uses its runners to spread out. Growing them in pots is highly recommended.
The ‘spear’ in its name is due to the pointy leaf tips of spearmint. It’s another well-known mint variety that is often found not only in various dishes and desserts but also in commercial items like toothpaste and hair products.
Both mints are a wonderful addition to any garden. Just make sure they’re contained properly so they don’t end up invading your whole garden.
Which Plants Should Not Be Planted With Mint?
I’ve mentioned earlier that there’s a whole bunch of plants that would benefit being planted together with mint. But again, do remember that this is a very aggressive grower, it may just take over your whole garden.
If planting in the garden ground, make sure it has a barrier. A sunken container will work, just see to it that this invasive plant wouldn’t get to places it shouldn’t be. If it does start to spread, make sure to pull most if out immediately.
Trust me, you don’t want this herb to take over your whole garden (yes it can do that if you let it spread out).
Now, just as there are plants that are good neighbors for your mint, there are bad ones as well. Don’t plant mint near parsley, chamomile, lavender, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Their soil, sun and water conditions just don’t match well together.
Planting them near each other just doesn’t help any plant.
Does Mint Keep Bugs Away?
One of the wonderful things about mint is its natural repelling properties. Mint’s smell may be appealing for us people but most pests really hate it. This is why mint is such a great companion plant for all types of plants.
For example, did you know that planting mint next to carrots helps deter the carrot flies? The same goes for tomatoes – mint helps in steering away aphids from them.
Mint grown in pots can also be an easy fix for pesky mosquito problems. Just place your pots strategically at home to veer away those nasty mosquitoes.
Essential oils extracted from the mint itself is also one of the most sought after ingredients for a natural pest repellent spray. Mint is well known when it comes to helping your garden get rid of its pests and harmful critters.
What Bugs Are Attracted To Mint?
Mint plants do have natural pest-repelling properties, mainly due to its strong scent that pests hate. There is actually only a small chance that pests may ruin your plant but if you do see one, here are some of the critters that you should expect:
Cutworms, Flea beetles, and Aphids.
But don’t worry though, most of the time you can prevent this problem by giving your herbs the proper growing conditions like regular watering, growing herbs in the right container and right sunlight conditions. This can greatly minimize the chances of these pests attacking your plants.
And if they do appear near your mint plants, here are some of the things you should do:
First things first, I don’t really recommend using insecticide. This is a culinary herb. You’ll eat the mint leaves so it’s best not to expose it with heavy chemicals. If you see these pests around your plant. Remove them by hand.
You can also spray your plant with a soapy solution or even with just a jet of water to remove the insects. Depending on the pest, use row covers in spring or use a plant collar/trap for individual plants.