Peppermint can also be propagated by sowing seeds. However, propagation is easier if you cut head cuttings, dig up runners or simply divide the root balls of large plants.
The different methods of propagation
- Head cuttings
- Sowing peppermint
You can get seeds at specialty stores, or you can leave the flowers in the summer so they will fertilize. Then in the fall you can simply shake out the seeds.
Sowing is best done in the spring on the window sill or after the Ice Saints in the open ground. Peppermint is a light germinator, so you must not cover the seeds with soil.
Propagation by head cuttings
This method is especially popular because it is so easy. In June or July, cut the desired number of cuttings from very vigorous plants. The shoots should be between eight and ten centimeters long and have at least four pairs of leaves.
Stick the cuttings in growing soil mixed from potting soil and sand. Keep them nice and moist but not wet. You can often plant them in the desired location as early as fall.
Peppermint tends to spread by runners. To create a new peppermint bed, dig up the runners and plant them in the desired location. This works easily for most of the garden year.
Divide root ball
What you may already know from other perennials in the garden also works for peppermint. If a plant has grown very large, you can divide it and gain two or more peppermint plants.
To do this, expose the root ball of the peppermint. Using a sharp spade, prick the plant into two parts or, if the root ball is very large, into several parts. Make sure that enough roots and shoots remain on each section.
Place the plants propagated in this way in the new location. The best time to divide perennials is early fall.
Tips & Tricks
You should never nurture peppermint with in your herb bed. The herb does not get along well with many other herbs. In addition, peppermint tends to sprawl, so it quickly smothers the other plants in the bed.