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So last time I was here I had bought some mint from Home Depot which started dying on me after a week of having it. I tried moving it outside like everyone suggested but I probably should have mentioned how hot it is out here cause it died after a day in the heat (Triple digits). The cuttings were no good either, they also shriveled up and died after a few days.

This time I bought a mint plant from Trader Joe's and well the original plant died but the new growth is thriving (especially now that the temperature's going down). I'm currently trying out making Terrariums so I've decided to make more mint through cuttings. I'd like to know some tips and things to make sure everything goes right. I also have a basil in the cup to see how that goes. Mint & Basil cuttingsenter image description here

  • I'm confused - you say you bought a plant from Trader Joes but it died, but the new growth is thriving. What new growth? If the plant has died, there can't be any new growth, please clarify – Bamboo Sep 27 '17 at 11:06
  • I don't know the word for it but the main plant's leaves shriveled up and died but more grew around it while it was dying. I've added a new picture now. The stem in the middle is the old one – Mali Sep 28 '17 at 16:15
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Well the plant in the pot looks healthy, but a couple of things about mint. You mention a terrarium as being the reason you've tried taking cuttings from the mint, but mint is not a good subject for a terrarium anyway - whilst it likes fairly damp soil, it wants to put down deep roots and spread widely sideways, at the same time as getting up to 18 inches tall, and it won't be able to do either of those things contained in a terrarium. It spreads by means of stolons, which are underground stems that go along the ground and pop up some inches away from the central plant; over time, the central, original plant often dies out, but is now surrounded by new, widespread growth. It is an invasive plant in the ground, which is why many people prefer to restrain it in a container.

It can be grown in a pot, but it should be turned out of the pot in spring, cut in half, any dead bits removed, then repotted into two separate pots. In this way, it's possible to continue to have mint in pots, which isn't a situation it likes very much over time, given its natural growth habit. Looking at the pot in the photo, it looks possible to split the plant now, but I don't know where you are in the world and whether it's about to get very cold very soon - if that's the case, best keep it going till spring as it is, although, if its still in the same pot you bought it in, then I suggest you split and repot now anyway, or it may not make it to next spring. Bear in mind that out doors, mint is a hardy, herbaceous perennial, meaning it disappears below ground completely in winter.

Given it responds well to being split in this way, that's the best way to generate new plants; I'm not at all sure trying to root it in water would work, though I've never tried. Its invasive nature means it's quite easy to raise new plants from an existing, larger plant successfully.

  • Oh wow thanks, I never even knew that. It won't really get cold over here until mid October and even then it doesn't really get chilly until November 😌. I was actually thinking about splitting the plant yesterday but then I found out ants decided to make a new home inside (I have no idea why and how but they did). I'll stick to using succulents for the terrarium then. – Mali Sep 29 '17 at 1:45
  • If the pot was stood on the ground at any time, that's how the ants got in, through the bottom of the pot - but all the more reason to split it now. Soak it first, in a bucket of water, which the ants won't like at all and from which they will make a desperate attempt to escape. After a couple of hours, take it out of the bucket, let it drain and then split it - check for ants and eggs before potting up. Best done outdoors, and wear gloves in case the ants are the biting sort... – Bamboo Sep 29 '17 at 11:33
  • They actually have this long trail going from my Japanese cucumbers all the way out to my front yard by just climbing over the leaves onto the next pot. I'll have to get rid of them for good. I'll definitely start getting the mint prepped so I can separate them, hopefully today and soaking them will help separate it easier cause I tried separating my basil for the first time a few days ago and they're all barely hanging on now 😥 – Mali Oct 5 '17 at 17:22
  • If you need to split a plant of any size with a tough rootball, a bread knife is your best friend - saw it in half with that, but make sure you wash the knife thoroughly afterwards! – Bamboo Oct 5 '17 at 21:20
  • Thank you so much for all this advice. I'd be lost without it! – Mali Oct 7 '17 at 16:53

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