Have you ever tried growing mint in Arizona?
Are there certain varieties that work better in this region than others?
What do you need to know to grow mint well in this part of the world?
Mint can grow well in Arizona when you take time to give it the right growing conditions. Peppermint, chocolate mint, and spearmint are some of the best varieties to consider for your Arizona garden, but there are other types you can try in this area, too.
In the article below, you’ll find out more information about growing mint in Arizona. You can use these tips to help you create the best growing environment for your mint plants moving forward.
All About Arizona Mint
1. What are the ideal growing conditions for mint?
- Most types of mint prefer to be planted in well-draining soil that is light in consistency. In other words, the soil should not be very heavy or thick, and it should be somewhat sandy or rocky for best results.
- Mint likes to stay moist most of the time but does not want to be overwatered. Make sure its soil is slightly damp, but is not ever soggy.
- Mint prefers to live in partial shade in most instances. It can tolerate some full sunlight in mild climates, but in hotter temperatures like Arizona has, it needs shade as well.
2. Should you fertilize mint?
- You don’t have to, but you certainly can. If you’re looking to get a lot of harvests from your plant throughout the growing season, it can be beneficial to start fertilizing your mint at the first sign of new growth during the beginning of spring.
- You should use liquid fertilizer for mint, and make sure to choose an organic fertilizer that is safe for human consumption. Continue fertilizing about every month after new growth forms on your plant in the spring and until the plant stops growing and goes dormant again for the winter.
3. How do you know where you should place your mint?
- The best place to put your mint is in any location where it gets some full sunlight but also some shade throughout the day. As we’ve already discussed, mint needs a little of both to help it thrive.
- Place your mint ideally in a spot where it gets about three hours of full sunlight each day. Otherwise, it should get indirect light, dappled light, or shade for the rest of the day, but it can be in the presence of reflected light and heat if it needs to be. It can tolerate heat better than it can tolerate the risk of sunburn.
4. Should you plant mint in the ground or in containers?
- It is possible to grow mint in the ground as long as you have well-draining soil that has plenty of nutrients to help it grow. However, growing mint in containers is by far the better choice for a variety of reasons.
- Most mint is happier growing in containers where you can pay more attention to its soil, fertilizer, and watering needs. Additionally, when you keep mint in a pot, you can move it to different locations throughout the year as needed to ensure it gets the lighting and temperature requirements it needs. Also, many types of mint will grow leggy and large when kept in the ground directly.
5. Should you grow mint indoors or outside?
- Mint can be happy whether it is grown indoors or outside. It is best, however, to keep your mint a pot so you can put it outside during times of the year when it will have the right temperatures outdoors, but bring it in when the weather turns too hot or too cold.
- Mint prefers temperatures no colder than 55 degrees Fahrenheit and no hotter than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. In Arizona, these mild temperatures can be tricky to come by for most of the year, so your mint may be happier if you keep it inside most of the time.
6. How can you help mint withstand the winter?
- Mint kept outside, either in the ground or in a pot, will die back in the winter. Its roots will remain alive and well under the soil, however, and it will grow again in the spring. You can protect outdoor mint by covering it with a grow tent during the winter to help it retain some ambient heat.
- If you keep your mint inside, it may simply fall dormant during the winter. Keep it in a sunny spot but do not overwater it, and do not keep it too hot during this time either.
7. What is the best time of year to plant mint, and will it grow year-round in Arizona?
- The best time of year to plant mint from seeds is early spring, and to plant mint from cuttings is late spring. However, since the climate in Arizona remains fairly good for mint growth all year long, there’s no reason why you can’t try planting it at other times, too.
- Keep in mind, however, that mint’s dormancy or die-back period during the winter will probably prevent mint plants from germinating and growing during winter months. Otherwise, if you keep your mint protected or indoors, you can try planting it in the spring, summer, or fall.
8. How do you harvest mint, and how often should this be done?
- If you only need a little bit of mint, you can pick off the leaves individually without causing any harm to the plant. However, if you need more mint or you need to prune your plant, you should use shears to snip the branches just above the places where they branch off of the main stalk.
- Wait until just before the plant begins to flower to ensure you are harvesting your mint at its most potent. Additionally, give your plant plenty of light and water to help it start growing again right after you trim it.
9. What are some common mint diseases in Arizona?
- Leaf rust is a common problem in mint that is grown anywhere. It is a fungal disease that causes red or brown spots to form in small clusters on the leaves of the plant. The leaves may begin to dry and die off, which gives the fungus more energy to grow on new leaves.
- Powdery mildew is another common mint problem. It is a fungal disease that appears in the form of large patches of white spots on the leaves of the plant. It is very contagious between plants and can be spread to other non-mint plants as well.
What are some of the best reasons to consider growing mint, in Arizona or anywhere else? Here are a few to consider:
- Mint can be used to season and flavor a variety of food and drinks.
- Mint is easy to care for and can be rewarding in a short amount of time.
- If you have kids who are interested in gardening with you, mint is a good option for a child’s growing project.
- Mint is hardy and forgiving when it comes to mistakes you might make as a beginner gardener.