With earlier successes as encouragement, I decided to propagate what is supposed to be the easiest of plants. Mint. I did a little research and saw that others had mild success with getting roots just from water, but most others recommended some sort of potting medium – most concluded plain old dirt would be fine. Very few mentioned using any sort of rooting hormone. This should be a snap, I thought.
It’s already turning into a scorcher in my region, and my husband has been producing batches of mint simple syrup at a fair clip. As you can imagine, this is an excellent additive to sweet iced tea and cocktails (hello mojitos!). The 2 mint plants that we have rebound very quickly from the clippings. However, our rate of consumption is still managing to outpace their growth, so the possibility of more plants for zeee-roh extra dollars was appealing.
Stubborn mule that I am, I decided to try both water and dirt (potting soil actually) and NO rooting hormone. So, I clipped decent stalks from the more mature plant that we have, and got going.
Fast forward a week, and my water effort started looking scrawnier and scrawnier. I couldn’t quite figure this one out. It was sitting on my kitchen table, getting some low, indirect light in moderate temperature. Finally, after work one day, I noticed a stalk of mint was outside the jar strewn across the table. Bad kitty was jumping onto the kitchen table to freshen her cat food breath with it. I started over and moved the jar to a narrow bookcase shelf that she can’t access. After our vacation, this second water effort still looked pretty (green and alive-looking), but no roots. I gave up on this one and tossed it. Maybe holding out a little longer would have resulted in roots, but based on my research, I decided that the odds were against me.
The dirt effort looked healthy for awhile, and my hope was converting to certainty before our vacation. Memphis had 2 really big rains while we were gone, and when we returned, that little start had failed. The blackened mint still stood wedged in the soil, but its chlorophyll was all washed away.
There was one small survivor. This little cutting was less of a trial than a whim. My flower box sits under the eave of the house, protected to some degree, from the weather. I pinched off a small, young section of the mint plant and just pushed it into the soil of that box with the ivy and begonias that were already there. It’s still green, and a little tug tells me that roots developed.
Still need more mint. Must grow more mint. More efforts to come. This time, I’ll just haphazard that shizzle.
PS – I keep the mint in containers. One is a container sunk into my garden. This keeps it from taking over an area as it is prone to do.