I heard that you should NEVER compost mint, because it will contaminate where you put the dirt with a lot of new mint plants. Is this the same if you compost spearmint?

Note to the masochist: I want it to take over the yard so it smells nice after mowing, so I buried the whole plant hoping for it all to take root.

1 Answer 1


If you compost mint (spearmint or other mints) that has set seed, than I can see how you could "contaminate" low temp compost in that there's not enough heat in the pile to kill the seeds. This would apply to ANY plant that you add into that pile that has already set seed (especially any member of the Brassicaceae).

Whether you inadvertently sow seeds with your compost is more a factor of seeds being on the plants that you add to your low-temperature compost than the type of plant in the compost. I've "sown" Ampelopsis, Actaea (specifically red baneberry), Lychnis viscaria, and even Johnny Jump-up simply by adding compost to my vegetable garden. This is why I never include seedheads when I add plants to my low-temp pile.

  • so if I plant the whole plant under the soil it will all root :D Jun 6, 2021 at 2:01
  • It's more a matter of putting the seeds on top of the soil when you spread the compost - this allows the seeds to germinate. Of course with mints, I think you'd have better luck just making cuttings and burying half of each cutting- they should root well - as opposed to burying the entire plant.
    – Jurp
    Jun 6, 2021 at 3:04
  • So burying the entire plant will kill the mint :'( Jun 6, 2021 at 3:23
  • I think so, yes, unless you leave the tops and maybe the sides of some of the stems, which may then root.
    – Jurp
    Jun 6, 2021 at 13:07

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