The rapid growth of mint can not be kept in check only by harvesting. Only repeated pruning prevents the labiates from running wild. We explain the best way to prune, peppered with useful tips.
Quite rightly, mint is considered an invasive plant. The blatant rate of growth inevitably results in the herb plants going wild if you don’t cut them back regularly. Here’s how to do it right:
- cut back the shoots just before the first flowering in June/July.
- as long as at least one pair of leaves remains on the mint, it will sprout again
- a second, weaker flowering follows in August/September
- before the flowers unfold, cut back all branches close to the ground
If you aspire to harvest the seeds for sowing on their own, the mint is allowed to completely fade. In this case, pruning wait for the ripening of the small fruits, which contain the seeds. Although this process is at the expense of the aroma; in return, you get an abundance of seeds for the next season.
Cuttings are much too good for disposal
If you choose a date for pruning mint shortly before the flowering period, you will have a particularly aromatic yield in your hands. The leaves are now bursting with essential oils and thus much too good to end up in the compost. Instead, we recommend preserving them using one of the following methods:
Freeze mint sprigs or individual leaves.
cut the foliage into small pieces, put them in ice cube trays, add water and freeze them
tie the most beautiful shoots into bunches and dry them upside down
For those who like sweets, candle the freshly harvested mint in sugar syrup. In this way, it will keep for at least 2 weeks to serve as a tempting decoration on cakes, in sundaes or similar treats.
Tips & Tricks
Mint grows underground as vehemently as it does above ground. To prevent the roots from taking over the entire garden, experienced amateur gardeners repeatedly prune them off with a spade. You can save yourself this sweaty work by planting mint outdoors with a root barrier.