Mints(all of them) are known as quite thriving plants. But not if the watering goes wrong.
On that note, both potted mints and in-ground mint come with very specific watering routines that you’ve to stick to. As long as you want a fresh supply of mint leaves, you have to stick to it anyway.
So, how often to water mint plants?
In a nutshell, you should water garden mints once every 1-2 days in summer and once every 2-4 days in autumn, fall and spring. For potted plants(indoor and outdoor), the schedule is to water 1-2 times a day. In winter, both types hardly need any watering.
Is it all? No way at all. There are a handful of things to know, learn, and implement if you want to tailor a perfect watering routine to your mints.
Without wasting any further seconds, let’s dive into the in-depth guide-
Watering Mint Plants: Factors That Matter
Before heading to the centerpiece of the discussion, we want you to learn the factors that set the watering rules.
Here are 4 most determining factors when it comes to the optimal watering routine of herbs like mint-
The Nature of Mint Leaves
By virtue, mint plants love moist, wet soil to grow within. You might need to keep the soil moist also because mint plants need a very precise range of pH(pH 6.0 to 7.0) to grow with peace. Without ample solvent(water), this might not be possible.
When it’s about determining how much to water mint, these couple of facts are the key facts whatsoever.
Soil Type: Potted vs In-ground
Grounded(outdoor) plants are with a very different kind of soil type(more dense, moist, and mulched). And so do the temperature and humidity of the air around the plants.
If we look in a sceptical way, such differences can be drawn between potted plants outdoors, and potted plants indoors as well.
Hence, the location and medium of where your plants are potted, are another couple of key facts that play important roles in here.
Usually, mint plants love to be in sunny locations, or at least, places where there are about 5-7 hours of sunlight in a day.
But, they can also tolerate a variety of light conditions, given the watering is good enough.
Either way, with sunlight, there comes heat and humidity- which impacts directly on the watering needs of the herbs. Under-exposure to hours of sunlight, the soil is going to be dry quickly, asking for frequent watering, and vice versa.
Temperature & Humidity Around
So far, you might have understood that temperature and humidity are those two factors that relate to everything else that impacts on mint plant watering.
But it’s not the surrounding air that matters most in here. As the temperature of the air goes high, it evaporates more water from the topsoil surface, leaving them dry and hard. If the humidity is not that, this evaporation is going to take place faster and sooner.
The exact opposite scenario can be seen in the winter and rainy seasons when the temp is not high, but the humidity is. And the overall impact on the soil is- it evaporates less water and asks for very less frequent watering anyway.
How Often Should You Water Mint Plants?
As you have seen, there are a handful of factors that play roles when it comes to determining the watering frequency of mint plants. Therefore, it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to the question.
But for the record, there is a rule of thumb to determine whether your mint plant needs watering or not at any given moment.
Stick your finger into the soil close to the mint plant. If your fingers feel wet or soggy, it’s still an abundance of water. If the finger is dry, it might need watering.
However, for further clarification, here goes the details-
Watering Frequency of Mint Plants In-ground
For mint(and other plants) planted on the ground, mother nature is good enough to take care of all of the needs, including watering and irrigation.
But, as you have the chance to provide an optimal watering situation to your mint plants, you can water the in-ground mind plants once in a day(when it’s tender) or and once in a couple of days(when the plant is grown-up).
However, when it rains at least once a week, you might not need to water the plant at all. Because, in those days, the ground soil stays as moisturized as the plants need it to be. The fact is still the same in the winter, as the temperature is low and full of humidity.
In other seasons when it doesn’t rain(autumn, fall, spring), you can imply a decent watering schedule for the plants. Watering once every 2-4 days should be sufficient if it’s in some decent amounts.
Watering Frequency of Mint Plants In Pots Outdoor
Plants that are potted, and are outdoor, require much more frequent watering than ground plants.
In hot and dry summer, you have to water them every day, likely in the morning. If the temperature is beyond the comfort of humans(80 °F or higher), the plant might ask for another allotment of water in the afternoon again.
The reason behind is, as it’s exposed to open air, the evaporating rate is going to be much higher than indoor plants and grounded plants.
That was about summer. Now, in spring and fall, the temperature(50 °F – 70 °F) won’t be much. But the outdoor pots will get good enough airflow around to evaporate the water on top surfaces. So, you might need to water them once every 2-3 days, based on the humidity of the air.
In the rainy season(and any days when it rains), you might not need to water the plants at all. In fact, taking measures to avoid water clogging might be necessary.
Watering Frequency of Mint Plants In Pots Indoor
Because of the plant’s invasive nature, many gardeners plant mint indoor instead of outdoor soil. If you’re one with mint planted in pots made of terracotta clay or so, you’ll follow the following watering routine-
Usually, in the dry and hot summer, you need to plant your indoor mint plant once in a day. It should be done in the morning, while it’s not that hot and the rate of water evaporation from the soil surface is still low.
What about the other seasons?
In the winter and rainy season, the routine might get as light as ‘Once in a week’. In other seasons, you might need to water the plant once in 1-2 days.
A quick way to understand the water-hunger of the plant in other seasons is to check out the top surface of the soil. Whenever you see it to dry out, it’s time for some water.
For checking for dryness, you can either go back to our finger-dipping method or use a dry stick to dip it to 1-2” and check if it remains dry or wet when brought out.
Seasons Plants In-ground Plants In Pots Outdoor Plants In Pots Indoor
Summer Once every 1-2 days 1-2 times a Day Once A Day
Winter/Rainy Season No watering needed None to very occasionally Once in a week
Other Seasons Once every 2-4 days Once every 2-3 days Once in a 1-2 days
How Much Water Does A Mint Plant Need?
Next to the question of how often you should water them, you might be concerned about how much water does a mint plant need to thrive well?
The rule of thumb is- Mint plants need water as much as it takes to keep the soil moist.
Now, based on whether you’re growing them in-ground or in a pot, what and how much growing medium you’re using, and which stage of growth the mint plant is, the amount of water will vary.
However, there is a simple way to make it to a sufficient amount of water each time you water the plant.
How Much Water Does Potted Mint Need?
The amount of water the plant needs is the amount it takes to wet the soil around the plant root. If it’s a container mint with permeable medium, keep watering in small installments until the topsoil turns from dry state to moist state for a few minutes straight.
In this way, you can ensure that plant root has access to water-rich soil all the way.
How Much Water Does Garden(in-ground) Mint Need?
For garden mints, make sure that they’re not planted in dry soil. If the nearby soil is decently moist, so will be the soil around the plant. You don’t need to worry about watering it up to the mark each time.
Overwatering and Underwatering Mint- The Knowhow
Two very close things related to watering mint plants is overwatering and underwatering them. As a part of the discussion, we’re shifting our focus on these two incidents, which mint gardeners face a lot.
Overwatering and Its Impacts
When the surface soil of mint plants is not dry enough to intake new water, watering them would cause overwatering. This would also happen if the container plants are not porous enough.
The signs of overwatering will be as follows-
- The leaves will be yellowing from the bottom up, and eventually, turn brown.
- The stems will be weak and appear to be droopy.
- Eventually, the plant will end up with mint rust, black stem rot, powdery mildew, verticillium, etc.
What To Do If Overwatering Takes Place?
Once you get enough sign of overwatering your mint plants, go through this step by step process-
- Step 1: Separate plants that are affected by fungal problems.
- Step 2: Remove the damaged areas(leaves, stems) of the separated plants.
- Step 3: Apply anti-fungal fungicides to uproot the problem.
- Step 4: Relocate the recovered plants to a dry, sunny area once you’re certain of the fact that the fungal infestation is no more.
Here are a few recommended fungicide to use on mint plants-
- QUALLI-PRO Strobe T Fungicide 128oz
- Syngenta Mural Fungicide 1#
- Ortho MAX Garden Disease Control Concentrate
How to Avoid Overwatering Further On?
Once the affected plants are taken care of, take these measures to avoid further overwatering-
- Reduce the amount of water given.
- Water only when the surface soil dries out.
- Water to the root area of the plant only.
- Ensure that the pot/container has enough drainage(put some more holes on the bottom with a drill).
- If required, amend the soil with straw, wood chips, and other organic additives.
Underwatering and It’s Impacts
Mints can thrive anywhere, but not in the soil which is underwatered. Thus, underwatering the plant can kill it within a very short span of time.
The signs of underwatering will look like this-
- Dry, loose, and scratchy soil around the root area. It won’t stick together as pinched.
- Leaves will turn yellow in the bottom or wilted/shriveled.
- Roots of the plant will start intruding through the surface in search of moisture.
What To Do If Underwatering Takes Place?
It’s pretty simple that watering back will rescue the plant out of an underwatered situation. However, there are some insights-
- Water more around the root areas, with a decent sprinkling on the other areas.
- Rinse the plant leaves once in a while with water.
- Seal the excess drainage(if any) on the bottom of the pot.
- Move the pot and plant into a less hot, humid area. Don’t deprive it of sunlight though.
How to Avoid Underwatering Further On?
Making sure that the crisis is taken care of, take these measures to prevent further underwatering-
- Stick to the proper watering schedule as per the season, temperature, plant needs, and other impacts are concerned.
- Check for dryness in the soil by poking your finger into it by 1-2 inches. If it’s dry, water immediately.
- If the root had been exposed to air, cover them up with soil.
- If the pot is decently large, do some mulching with leaves, straw, etc. This will slow down the evaporation rate of the surface water.
- Repot the plant into a pot with fewer pores onto it.
- If the outdoor mint plants are exposed to direct sunlight for long hours, ensure some shading on them.
Tips on Ideal Watering for Mint Plants
Use Self-watering Container
As long as it’s about getting fresh, healthy mint leaves, watering is the #1 fact that you should take care of. Instead of manual watering, who don’t you leave it up to an automatic system?
Well, it’s the self-watering herb pots we’re talking about. These pots don’t only come with a superior growing medium, but also an optimized self-watering feature that delivers as per the demand of the plant.
Here are some of the best self-watering pots for mint harvesting-
- Aquaphoric Self Watering Planter (5”) + Fiber Soil
- Window Garden Aquaporic Herb Garden Tub
- Lab XS 5.6 Inch Self Watering Planter Pot
Mulch Around to Slow The Evaporation
No matter if it’s a potted mint plant or in-ground ones, mulching the soil near the root always prevents over-evaporation of water. Hence, it prevents underwatering and other problems induced by dryness.
For potted and in-ground plants, the mulching actions are a bit different.
Mulching for Garden(in-ground) Mints
For mulching garden mint plants, there are a lot of readily available organic materials around. It can be anything from cilantro, basil, parsley, dill, or any other annuals. You can use a mix of them as well.
Mulching for Potted Mints
For pots, a 2 inches layer of straw can be just fine to retain the moisture of the soil. It will also keep the weed in check.
However, avoid mulching with crushed stones, rocks or shredded rubber. This might look good on the indoor plant, but it will eventually find its way through the soil and make the cultivation very hard.
Use Water Soluble Fertilizer
Using water-soluble fertilizer instead of solid/granular ones has a passive impact on the watering habit of you, the gardener.
These are meant to be diluted in water for application. Thus, you’re serving 2 purposes with just one shot of watering. And indoor plants love this kind of fertilizer as well.
Among the tons of them in the market, here is a list of the best water-soluble fertilizers for mint and other herbs-
- Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
- FoxFarm FX14006 Grow Big Liquid Concentrate
- Nectar For The Gods 1-Quart Gaia Mania Nutrient
On the web, we’ve found a number of resourceful articles about how to nurture mint plants and so on. But when it comes to such an important factor of watering them properly, there is hardly a complete guideline found.
Therefore, we hope that this guideline has answered your question of how often to water mind plants and how to avoid overwatering and underwatering anyway.