I love growing my own mint at home and helping others do the same!
1. Mint Plants Are Considered Invasive—Thus, Easy to Grow
While invasive species of plants and animals are often viewed in a negative light, invasive plants are perfect for those of us who lack green thumbs. Just keep them in separate pots so they don't harm the roots of your other plants!
If you struggle to keep a cactus alive, no worries!
Mint is an incredibly durable plant that can withstand the worst of the summer heat, as long as you water it. Your mint may appear close to death if you forget to water it for a week, but as long as it's got some leaves left, it'll be fine. Just make sure you give it water before it starts to lose most of its leaves.
2. You Can Cook With Its Leaves
Ever heard of quinoa? It's a popular superfood that is high in protein, but it doesn't have much flavor on its own. After you've cooked it, add olive oil, purple onion, cucumber, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and some finely chopped mint. Quinoa is great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Cucumber and Tomato Salad Recipe
This salad is especially delicious when you add a few mint leaves to it. Chop up cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, and some mint leaves. Add some olive oil and salt for extra flavor.
- 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and boiled until soft
- 1 purple onion, finely chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 2 full branches of mint, finely chopped
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
3. Make a Mint-Flavored Beverage
Minty drinks are so easy to make. And since your plant will be producing a lot of leaves, you'll need to cut weak branches off every other week or so.
How to Make Mint Tea
You can drop your leaves into some hot water and steep for five minutes if you need a quick fix. If you're looking for more flavor, place your mint leaves in a mortar and grind them up into a paste. Then, use cheesecloth to strain hot water through the liquid. Be careful when you pick up the bag and use tongs to squeeze it out. You should have a dark green liquid that you can freeze in an ice cube tray. When you want tea, just pop one out and pour water over the concentrated ice cube.
Note: You can also use it in mojitos or make yourself a mint lemonade!
4. Make Your Own Mint Extract
If you love to bake, but you're tired of spending money on expensive extracts, just make your own.
Just get a glass jar and a bushel of mint leaves. Rinse the mint leaves out twice, and be sure you've gotten all the dirt off. Place them in the jar, and fill it up with a cheap, 20 proof liquor. After about a week or so, you should have a homemade mint extract!
Read More From Dengarden
The video below gives you a visual on how to process other herbs for extract.
5. Give It Away as a Gift
Since spearmint pretty much grows wild, you'll have a lot on your hands. You can give fresh mint away to your friends and family. Better yet, you can get multiple plants off of one and sell them at a local farmer's market. Your mint plants will reproduce quickly, so don't be afraid to trim them down a bit.
6. Mint Is a Natural Roach and Mosquito Repellent
I live in a very humid and moist climate. Along with this comes the irritating presence of cockroaches and mosquitoes. Mainly the small ones, but they're difficult to get rid of and can quickly take over your home if you don't address it.
Every few days to a week, I pull off a few unhealthy-looking branches and place them in an old glass jar or bottle with water to deter pesky insects.
7. Mint Can Be Grown Indoors or Outdoors
While mint does prefer lots of light, too much heat can scorch your leaves, giving you nothing but a barren pot. Since it is such a durable and invasive plant, mint can still grow under fluorescent lighting.
Pull a few stems with roots attached and put them in a smaller pot. You'll soon have a second mint plant on your hands.
8. Make Your Own Toothpaste
9. Mint Can Be Grown Hydroponically
While I knew some herbs could be grown hydroponically, I had no idea that you could grow them in water. I pull the weak mint stems out of my plant and place them in water. Once they die off, I throw the dead ones out with the water. It just so happened that I forgot about the mint at one point and left it alone for a week or two. When I came back to dump it, I noticed new stems, roots, and leaves had formed inside the water.
If you wish to do this, pull stems with as many roots as possible. By doing so, you increase the chance of the mint surviving. Don't knock off the dirt, place it in the jar with your plant, and continue to add more little by little. Soon you'll have a full-size plant that you can move outdoors!
10. Make Your Own Mint Oil
Cecil Kenmill from Osaka, Japan on September 09, 2018:
Not everyone knows there are many types of mint. A couple years ago, I planted some lemon balm but forgot about it. A year later, it was huge. The bees love it!
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 08, 2018:
I love the taste of mint. You've given me some new ideas for growing and using the plant, which I appreciate.