I put a mint plant inside a small container, and then proceeded to plant spinach seeds inside it. I have since learned that mint grows rampantly and should be confined.

My poor seedlings! I already thinned them once, they've been in there a little over 2 weeks. Should I transplant the seedlings, or the mint? How and when? I'd love to save them, I'm assuming the mint is going to hog all the nutrients in the soil.

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2 Answers 2


The spinach seedlings are far more fragile; I'd recommend moving the mint. You can do it anytime, but the sooner the better. As you have just planted the mint, it should come out fairly easily. Be as careful as possible, and don't disturb the spinach seedlings. Repot the mint normally in a new container, and refill the hole in the mix for the spinach. I'd hold down the mix on both sides of the mint, and lift it out. Then I'd clean off the excess soil, until the root ball was it's original planting size.

You're right about mint being rampant. It should always go in a container on it's own, because it sends out underground runners. And because spinach prefers not to be transplanted, especially at that stage, moving the mint is the right thing to do.

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    Agreed. Much as I love it, it is prone to take over whatever area you give it.
    – itsmatt
    Sep 5, 2014 at 22:32

As long as you've fertilized and the soil was sterilized potting soil, I wouldn't touch anything. Make sure that your seedlings get enough SUN. You'll have spinach way before the mint takes over. Plants LOVE being cuddled up with other plants and spinach will grow just fine with the mint. Maybe not next year but right now everything is fine. As long as they are getting enough light your spinach will thrive!

The mint will take over the entire pot next year. Chop it back (cut back to nubs with a few leaves)in the spring and the year following you should probably get a bigger container for the mint. Bare soil just begs for something to grow in it. Spinach doesn't like transplanting. Again, as long as you have fertilized (or use Osmocote 14-14-14) neither the spinach or mint will suffer this year! Maybe find a place in your garden where the mint can grow with abandon...very pretty tall ground cover.

No big deal! Plants love growing together.

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    The mint I had last year filled out a pot twice as big as that one within a few months. The roots were completely covering all the sides of the pot. Based on that experience, I'd say it's going to be a problem sooner than a year from now. I'd replant the mint.
    – J. Nielsen
    Mar 15, 2017 at 17:43

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