I needed another herb to grow in my lovely garden. One that will not only serve as aesthetic but also as medicine and a spice. Moreover, a good percentage of my garden is shady while the remaining part is sunny. Therefore, the plant that caught my attention was Mint. What I had in mind was whether or not Mint could grow in those conditions. Is there anything unique about growing Mint in these conditions? Well, the answer is yes. It is an excellent choice!
So, can Mint grow in the shade?
Being a perennial plant, Mint can grow in partial shade and full sun. It is easy to grow and can be used as a spice in every meal. It also adds an aromatic flavor to the tea. Moreover, it’s commonly used to relieve headaches and indigestion. Its tiny purple, pink, white, and tooth leaves make it stand out among other herbs. Apart from using it as a kitchen companion, the plant is used as a ground cover and garden accents.
Growth Requirements of Mint in Shade
Growing Mint is not a challenging task. However, you can make it a challenge if you don’t follow the following tips.
To grow mint, the very first thing to be considered is fertile soil. It adapts to many soil types. The one that is adequately drained and has enough nutrients. Don’t forget that the soil ph. should range between 6-7. This means that you need to check on your soil before proceeding to plant. If it’s not healthy, try as much as possible to add compost manure.
Mint requires fertilizer for it to thrive. However, less amount of fertilizer can be used when enough moisture is provided. To fertilize Mint, put an adequate amount of all-purpose fertilizer when it starts to grow. Make sure to fertilize throughout the season, that is, every four to six weeks.
As much as Mint grows well in full sun and partial shade, it also requires adequate amounts of water. It grows best in rich, medium, and evenly moist soil. Additionally, they need approximately 1-2 inches of the week per week. A point to note is that they don’t do well in soggy soils. Therefore, don’t forget to check the soil regularly.
Mint requires grows well in partial shade and sun. Therefore, plant it in a shady area that still has some access to sunlight. If sunlight is not enough, prune out plants that may be blocking their way. When planted in direct sunlight, they will grow but won’t thrive well.
How to Care for Mint
Now that you know how to grow the aromatic perennial herb, here is how to care for them:
- Mint does not require a lot of work; only minimal care is essential. For outdoor plants, use a light mulch to keep the leaves clean and maintain moist soil.
- If you are planting them in the house, ensure that you water them regularly to keep the soil moist.
- Since they are herbs that spread widely, make an effort to plant them near a barrier such as a wall, container, or even walkaways.
- If they develop into a bush, don’t fret. This is not a threat to appearance. The good thing is that they will soon find new territory with underground rhizomes and horizontal runners.
- If they develop into upright clumps, don’t worry. What you have to do is pick and prune. This will also help you enjoy a cup of tea, treat diseases, or even prepare your special meal.
Varieties of Mint
There are a lot of mint plants worth planting in your garden. However, each mint variety has its scent and variety. But generally, the two can be similar in some herbs. Moreover, not all mint varieties are used for the same purpose. Some are good for culinary, others for aromatic and aesthetic purposes, while others for medicinal plants.
Whichever reason, select the following commonly grown varieties of Mint according to the purpose intended.
Almost everyone has had about peppermint, primarily found in chewing gums. Isn’t It? While it might have some benefits, the one grown in the garden has more health benefits. Peppermint, also known as Mentha x piperital, is a hybrid between water mint and spearmint. They tend to spread, but it requires full sun for them to grow and have many nutrients. This plant is further divided into two; white and black. The black one has high oil content, while the white one is known for having a mild flavor.
Another variety of Mint is the spearmint. Commonly used for cosmetic, culinary, and medicinal purposes, it emerges among the most popular variety of Mint. It also has bright green leaves. Additionally, it can be planted in flower pots and containers or the garden.
They are among the most attractive varieties of mint plants. It thrives in hanging baskets or containers. The most impressive thing about pineapple mint is that it spreads widely, making it suitable for ground cover. However, this can be a disadvantage since it will spread in other parts of the garden. It is also used to prepare mint dishes and garnish.
This is an aromatic mint that can be planted in a container then buried in the soil. Moreover, it is used to treat various diseases, culinary and also in decorations. Also known as fuzzy or woolly Mint, it can be used as ground cover if its tendency to spread is not a problem.
Among the varieties of Mint is the Ginger mint. It is a cross between spearmint and corn mint. They have beautiful yellow stripes on the leaves. However, it can get out of hand if it’s allowed to grow freely. Furthermore, you can plant it in a pot or even a container.
The process of propagating Mint is not that difficult. The best way to propagate Mint through cuttings. Cuttings involve the selection of the best or the healthy ones. To propagate Mint, take cuttings from the ones you like. This can be done by:
- Take a six-inch cutting of rooted stems.
- Plant them horizontally in the soil.
- You can put them in a glass or gallon of water because it is also suitable for them to root.
- Remember to take a small cutting from a mature plant.
Pest and Diseases
With all that in mind, Mint is a fresh scented herb, but it’s not a sacred plant. Just like any other plant, it gets affected by pests and diseases too. Among them are:
- Aphids: They are commonly found clustered on tender new growth. Moreover, they can distort foliar.
- Loopers: These are green caterpillars that feed on foliage.
- Cutworms: These are caterpillars found in the soil that destroy the stems of young plants.
- Spider mites: Tiny, translucent colored pests found inside the leaves or towards the top of new growth. They not only make holes but also cause discoloration.
Other Pests and Diseases include:
- Powdery Mildew.
- Leaf spot.
- Stem canker.
How to Harvest Mint
After planting and taking care of your Mint herb, it’s time to harvest. Mint will not give you a hard time while harvesting. The most striking thing is the frequency of harvesting. Unlike other herbs, Mint is harvested regularly to keep it healthy. You can harvest it as soon as it comes up. The better part is how, the younger and fresh ones contain more flavor than older ones.
Although many people prefer fresh ones, you can also harvest them by drying them in bunches or freezing them in the air. If you like fresh ones, plant them indoors, maybe in flower pots or containers in winter.
Furthermore, if you love dried mint, cut the leaves before flowering. Remember, the most preferred method is drying in the sun. After that, store the final product in an airtight container for future use.
Another method of harvesting mint is to cut the stem for about one inch from the ground. Harvest one plant twice or thrice per growing season. Alternatively, pick the leaves whenever you want to use them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Quiz: Will mint Grow in Shade?
Ans: Yes. Mint herb grows well in partial shade. What you need to do is to allow penetration of minimal sunlight. Also, ensure growing requirements such as water and soil PH for them to thrive well.
Quiz: What time of the year is best for planting mint?
Ans: Since Mint is a perennial herb, plant it when in spring after the last frost to thrive well.
I grew Mint under the shade, and it thrived. To get better results, all you need to do is follow all the facts and procedures about Mint outlined above. Plant them in spring that is, after the last frost, to produce healthy, mature, and fresh mint herbs. They can always do well in full sun, but the secret is planting them in partial shade.