How Much Space Does Mint Need to Grow? (Fully Explained)

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Are you a fan of mint and considering growing it in your garden? Mint is a versatile herb that is easy to grow and adds a fresh and flavorful touch to many dishes and drinks. But how much space does mint need to grow?

Whether you plan to plant mint in a container or in the ground, understanding its space requirements is essential for a healthy and abundant harvest. In this article, we’ll explore the world of mint cultivation and provide you with some tips on how to ensure your mint thrives in the space you provide. So grab a cup of tea, and let’s dive into the wonderful world of growing mint!

Mint Plant Basics

Mint is a popular and versatile herb known for its refreshing flavor and aroma. It is easy to grow and can become quite expansive if not contained.

Types of Mint

There are several types of mint, including spearmint, peppermint, apple mint, chocolate mint, and lemon mint, each offering its unique flavor profile. When choosing which variety to grow, consider how you plan to use the mint in your recipes and beverages.

Growing Conditions

Mint prefers well-draining soil with a pH range between 6.0 and 7.0. The plant thrives in partial to full sunlight, allowing for good airflow and ample hydration.

Soil: When preparing the soil for mint, ensure that it remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. A high-quality potting mix that retains moisture is ideal for container gardening.The Spruce

Light: Mint grows best in bright, indirect sunlight, with at least four to six hours of sun exposure daily. Be cautious not to subject the plant to intense direct sunlight, as it may scorch the leaves.

Spacing: To provide sufficient room for growth and prevent overcrowding, space mint plants 12-24 inches apart in a garden or container that is at least 12 inches wide.MorningChores To curtail its invasiveness, it is recommended to plant mint in a container with drainage holes, even when planted in the ground.The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Watering: The key to successful mint plants is maintaining consistent moisture levels. Be sure to water the plant regularly, preventing the soil from drying out completely. Mint may require more frequent watering during periods of hot or dry weather.

Space Requirements for Mint

Container Growing

Mint can be easily grown in containers, which is a great option to control its spreading tendencies. Choose a large container, measuring at least 8-24 inches in diameter, to provide adequate space for root growth and expansion. Make sure the container has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and root rot.

Garden Bed Planting

When planting mint directly in the garden, choose a location with well-draining soil and partial shade, especially in hot climates like the low desert of Arizona. Prepare the garden bed by loosening the soil and adding organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve drainage and fertility.

Be careful not to plant it in the same bed as other things as mint will tend to take over.

Plant Spacing

It’s crucial to provide enough space between individual mint plants to prevent overcrowding and ensure healthy growth. Aim for a spacing of about 12-24 inches apart. This allows for air circulation, which reduces the risk of fungal diseases and pests, and it also ensures that each plant has enough room to develop strong root systems and lush foliage.

Row Spacing

In addition to plant spacing, consider the row spacing when planting mint in the garden. Rows should be spaced 12-18 inches apart, as suggested by Growing in the Garden. This allows for easy access to the plants for harvesting and maintenance, as well as encouraging good air circulation between the rows.

Additional Space Considerations:

  • One or two mint plants are typically enough for most gardeners, as mint spreads rapidly.
  • Consider planting mint in a contained area, like a raised bed or a dedicated herb garden, to prevent its invasive nature.
  • The Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests planting one or two cuttings or purchased plants 2 feet apart in moist soil.

Mint Spacing Mistakes

One common mistake gardeners make when growing mint is not providing enough space between plants. Mint requires ample room to grow and spread, as it can become invasive if not properly controlled. A recommended spacing for mint plants is 12-24 inches apart in a garden or using a container with a minimum width of 12 inches (MorningChores).

Another spacing mistake is planting mint directly in the ground without any containment measures. A smart approach to prevent mint from spreading uncontrollably is by growing it in bottomless containers set into the ground. This method helps keep the roots and stems from invading other parts of the garden (Harvest to Table).

Ignoring the importance of proper spacing can lead to problems, such as:

  • Competition for nutrients and water, which can affect mint plant health
  • Limited airflow, increasing the risk of diseases and pests
  • Difficulty in managing mint growth, as it can quickly become invasive

To avoid these issues, it’s essential to follow the recommended spacing guidelines and consider any necessary containment strategies. Another helpful tip is to monitor your mint plants regularly to ensure they’re not encroaching on other plants or areas of the garden.

Mint Plant Maintenance

Maintaining a mint plant involves proper watering, regular pruning, and keeping pests under control. By following these steps, your mint plant will grow healthily and produce plenty of flavorful leaves.


Mint plants require regular watering to keep their soil consistently moist. However, it’s important not to overwater or leave the plants sitting in waterlogged soil. You can check the soil moisture by touching the top inch of soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your mint plant. Watering frequency may vary depending on the climate and specific conditions of your location.


Regular pruning is essential for maintaining healthy mint plants and encouraging bushier growth. Mint plants grow quickly, so it’s crucial to prune them every few weeks during the growing season. Pinch off the tips of stems and remove any yellowing, dead leaves. This will promote branching and encourage the plant to grow more densely. Additionally, pruning helps maintain the desired size of the mint plant, especially if you’re growing it in a small space like a container (Growing in the Garden).

Pest Control

Mint plants can attract various pests, including aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. To keep these pests at bay, inspect your mint plants regularly and take action if you notice any issues. Natural pest control methods are preferred, such as:

  • Using a homemade insecticidal soap spray: Mix a few drops of dish soap with water and spray it on the affected areas of your mint plant once a week until the pests are gone.
  • Releasing beneficial insects like ladybugs, which feed on aphids, into your garden.
  • Removing any severely damaged or infested leaves to prevent the spread of pests.

By taking care of these essential maintenance tasks, your mint plant will thrive and provide you with plenty of fresh, aromatic leaves to enjoy.

Harvesting and Storing Mint

Harvesting mint at the right time is essential to get the best flavor and freshness. The ideal time to harvest mint leaves is just before the flowers appear, usually around midway through the growing season (Epic Gardening). However, you can start harvesting leaves as soon as the plant has matured enough and has multiple stems to ensure continuous growth.

To harvest, simply pinch or snip off the top leaves and stems, taking care not to remove more than one-third of the plant at a time. This will encourage bushy growth and prevent the plant from becoming too leggy. After harvesting, rinse the leaves thoroughly and pat them dry.

Storing mint properly can help you enjoy its fresh flavor for an extended period. Here are some effective ways to store mint:

  • Refrigerating: Loosely wrap freshly picked mint in a damp paper towel, place it in a resealable plastic bag, and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Freezing: If you’re looking to preserve mint for longer durations, freezing is an excellent option. Chop the leaves, place them in an ice cube tray, fill the tray with water or olive oil, and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the mint cubes to a freezer-safe container for future use.
  • Drying: To dry mint leaves, you can either hang the stems upside-down in a well-ventilated area or place them on a rack. Ensure the leaves are completely dry before storing them in an airtight container away from direct light.

By following these harvesting and storage tips, you can keep your mint fresh for several weeks to months, making it a versatile and flavorful herb for various culinary dishes.

Common Mint Growing Problems

Mint plants are generally low-maintenance and easy to grow. However, there are some common issues that gardeners may face while cultivating this aromatic herb. In this section, we will discuss a few of these problems and potential solutions.

Poor Soil and Water Conditions: Mint prefers moist, well-draining soil amended with organic matter, such as aged compost (GardenersPath). Maintaining proper soil conditions can help prevent common issues like yellowing leaves and slow growth. Ensure that your mint plant receives adequate moisture, but avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.

Inadequate Sunlight: Mint grows best in partial shade, especially in hot weather climates (Growing in the Garden). Providing your mint plant with the right amount of sunlight is crucial for its well-being. If the plant receives too much sun, its leaves may scorch, causing them to turn brown and wilt.

Overcrowding: To ensure healthy growth, mint plants require lots of space. Overcrowding can lead to poor air circulation, resulting in fungal diseases and pest infestations. To avoid overcrowding, ensure that you plant mint with the appropriate spacing.

Pests and Diseases: Some common pests and diseases affecting mint plants include:

  • Aphids: Small insects that suck the sap from mint leaves, causing curling and distortion.
  • Spider Mites: Tiny mites that cause stippled, yellowed leaves due to their feeding habits.
  • Mint Rust: A fungal disease that causes orange-brown pustules on the undersides of leaves.

Using organic pest control methods, such as neem oil or insecticidal soap, can help manage these issues. Regularly inspect your mint plants for signs of pests and diseases, and remove affected leaves promptly to prevent the spread of infection.


In summary, mint is a versatile and fast-growing herb, which makes it an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor gardens. When it comes to space requirements, it is essential to provide adequate room for mint plants to thrive and prevent overcrowding.

Generally, mint plants should be spaced 12 to 18 inches apart in the garden. This allows them to develop a healthy root system and prevents the rapid spread of their invasive nature. Furthermore, mint plants can grow both in full sun and partial shade, making them adaptable to various garden conditions.

Here are some quick tips for growing mint:

  • Provide a distance of 12 to 18 inches between each plant
  • Grow mint in full sun to partial shade
  • Choose the right mint variety according to your desired flavors and uses
  • Keep an eye on the plants’ growth, as they can quickly become invasive if not carefully maintained

By following these guidelines, you can successfully grow mint in your garden and enjoy its refreshing and aromatic properties in various culinary dishes and beverages.

Helpful Video on Mint Spacing

To get an in-depth look at mint spacing and growing mint properly check out this video below…