How to Make Mint Cuttings

How to Make Mint Cuttings in Water or Soil

click the picture to watch the video

Watch the video!

The most ideal time to grow a new mint plant from a cutting is late spring and early summer. It is very easy to make a new mint plant from a clipping. Mint is a very prolific plant that will quickly spread and take over your yard. For that reason you may wish to keep it in a pot, or you can do like I’ve done in my yard and surround the mint with bricks. Whenever the mint starts to jump beyond the stone I simply transplant them back into the mint zone.

Before you start taking the cuttings you will want to gather all the materials:

  1. Potting soil
  2. Small planter pot with a drainage hole
  3. Clear glass or vase with 1” water in the bottom
  4. Scissors
  5. Root growth hormone (optional)
  6. Clear bin / Ziplock bag

In this video you will see me use chopsticks taped together to hold the mint slightly out of the water. This step is optional. You can just set the mint clipping into the glass of water and get the same results.

Now that you have all of your materials gathered, we will first show how to do the clipping directly in water. 

Steps for Making a Mint Cutting in Water

  1. Cut a mint clipping from the mother plant about 8cm (3-5 inches) in length from the top of the plant. You will want to cut the plant just below a node. A node is where the leaves are coming out of the stem.
  2. Next you will remove the leaves between the bottom node and the top node. Use a scissors to make precise cuts and avoid damaging the plant.
  3. (Optional) Tape the chopsticks below the first node to hold the clipping in the glass.
  4. Place the clipping in a clear container with about one inch of water in the bottom. Make sure that none of the leaves touch the water because they may rot.
  5. Set the clipping in bright, indirect sunlight. Replace the water if it becomes murky.
  6. When the roots are a few inches long, plant the cutting in a pot with potting mix

Steps for Making a Mint Cutting in Soil

  1. Put some potting soil into the small pot with a drainage hole. With your finger press a small hole in the center about 1” deep.
  2. Cut a mint clipping from the mother plant about 8 cm (3-5 inches) in length from the top of the plant. You will want to cut the plant just below a node. A node is where the leaves are coming out of the stem.
  3. Next you will remove the leaves between the bottom node and the top node. Use a scissors to make precise cuts and avoid damaging the plant.
  4. (Optional because mint grows so easily) Apply root growth hormone to the stem of the plant. Do this by first dipping the stem into water and then into the root growth hormone mixture.
  5. Place the root into the small hole in the potting soil and pack the soil in around the root. Add some water to the soil.
  6. Place the whole thing into a clear bin or enclose it in a ziplock bag. This will provide the plant with some humidity to grow.
  7. Set everything in bright, indirect sunlight. Water as needed but don’t over saturate. You can even water it by misting the plant with a spray bottle.
  8. When you see new growth on your mint clipping that means it worked. You can either leave the mint in this pot, transplant it to another pot, or plant it in your yard.

Extra Notes:

Some gardeners suggest using a specific soil for clippings such as: perlite, vermiculite, peet moss, or seed starting mix. I find that mint is very very easy to grow clippings from so it’s not very important what type of soil you use. The first year I tried this I used local Milwaukee soil which is very clay dense. That worked out just fine.

Some blogs suggested using a heating pad underneath your clipping to stimulate growth. I think this is a fantastic idea, especially if you are gardening indoors in the early spring or even winter. Again, I find mint to be really prolific so this tool was not even on my radar for this project.

I prefer using the soil method for clippings. Transplanting the plant from soil is less shocking to the plant than transplanting it from water. If you transplant from water, you may end up needing to transplant more than once and that is more shocking to the plant.

Thai Massage Circus, Laos 2/9/16

The land is beautiful here.  The camp is set between two rivers.  You cannot escape the sound of the rivers.  The water is very soft and buoyant.  I have been washing my clothing in the river in the mornings.  I brought just enough clothes for two days before ending to wash.  It’s an amazing ritual to wash in natural flowing water.  You can see the circle of dirt collect and dirt returned.

After washing I hang the clothes on my bungalow’s window.  Its a very small room made of bamboo and built on a raised platform.  I picked the one closest to the garden.  They grow a lot of food here.  Every day i see the Lao gardener tending to the plants.  He is wearing American clothes and I wonder about his life.  How did he come to be a gardener?

I am very slowly learning Lao, Thai and German.  There are so many different languages here and so much time, its good to practice and hear the language and have it corrected on the spot.

“Ich bin fier und trisand yarra alt” is the phrase I learned tonight.  I’m sure it’s not spelled correctly here.

I should mention the toilets since they made the news today.  They are squatting toilets like India.  Better for shitting, that’s for sure.  We are not to use toilet paper and put it in the toilet, we are to put the toilet paper in the basket.

To flush, there is a garbage in with water and a cup.  Lastly there is a small spray hose for cleaning your butt.  All of this is new to me and very interesting.

The showers look like the one at the hostel but day 1 was ice cod and day 2 was not much improved.

Tonight they had a sauna instead of a bonfire.  It is a homemade sauna, the engineering is pretty amazing.  It looked to me like they built a coal fire under two oil barrels that were filled with water.  The barrels are connected to the sauna room via pipes.  It is very hot and raised my core temperature back up.  Much needed after the last two nights.


Additional notes:

The spray gun had been dubbed a “bum gun” by a fellow circus goer.  After the first two days of trying to shower in icy water I determined it was easier to jump in the river, soap up and jump back in to rinse off.  I did that for the remaining days at the circus.

DCIM100GOPRO

Bamboo hut in Laos