How To Pick Mint Leaves Without Killing Plant -Exact Steps! [2023]

Ever wonder about how to pick mint leaves without killing plant? 

You have come to the right place. 

How nice is it to have fresh mint available in your kitchen to garnish your dishes? 

It might only take a couple of minutes to get your mint leaves from the garden to be ready at the table. 

However, care must be taken on how to cut mint leaves for cooking without killing the plant.

In this guide, I will provide tips on how to harvest mint leaves in order to prevent damage to the plant. 

I have also gathered growing tips to keep your mint plant strong and healthy.

Another bonus you will get is suggestions on what to do with mint leaves in order to store them well.

So let’s read on for tips on how to pick mint leaves without killing plant.

How To Pick Mint Leaves Without Killing Plant

1. Harvest At The Right Time

2. Harvest With The Right Tool

3. Harvest The Right Amount

4. Harvest With The Right Technique

5. Harvest At The Right Part

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How To Pick Mint Leaves Without Killing Plant

Normally a mint plant will last at least 5 to 10 years. Although the mint plant is a robust and easy-to-maintain type of garden plant, you must be cautious in practicing proper harvesting rules to avoid shocking it. 

Thus, I have gathered some useful tips on how to take mint leaves off plant and how to pick mint leaves so it keeps growing. This guarantees that your plant thrives healthily with a continuous supply of flavorful mint all year round. 

1. Harvest At The Right Time

Harvesting your mint in the morning ensures that you get fresh leaves.

This is the best time of the day when the essential oils will be the strongest.  

Look out for dew on the leaves as they tend to cause the leaves to rot when separated from the plant. The excess water needs to be dried up as well.

Harvest continuously as the season progresses. Otherwise, your mint plant will keep growing vigorously until it takes over the space of other plants in your garden.

You should also harvest before it grows flowers. A small tip is to rip off the flower buds so that the plant will focus on growing leaves rather than flowering.

Do take note that a newly grown mint plant takes 10 days to 2 weeks to adjust to its habitat. 

2. Harvest With The Right Tool

A pair of sharp gardener scissors is a must-have tool for cutting the mint leaves without bruising the stems. Using blunt tools or even a knife might injure your plant during the process of cutting.

Also, consider using a hand pruner for the purposes of trimming and shaping your mint plant. It is able to make clear cuts and does not cause injuries to the plant.

how to pick mint leaves without killing plant

Some people might use the pinch method out of convenience. Refrain from doing that as this will leave a bruise mark on the stem.

3. Harvest The Right Amount

If this is the first harvest of a new plant, the maximum portion should be one-third of the leaves to prevent plant stress.

For a plant that is at least a month old, you can harvest half of the new leaves. You can increase the amount to two-thirds for an aged plant.

4. Harvest With The Right Technique

Choose the leaves with soft stems, especially the new growth. Clip the leaves at an angle to prevent water droplets from leaving behind on the leaves. Pinpoint the part where the leaves are joined to the stem and cut at this area.

5. Harvest At The Right Part

If you are looking for mint with more flavors, pick the youngest ones with the smallest stems. These will be more aromatic. Most of these young leaves are found on the top portion.

Try to make sure the leaves are intact when picking. Such leaves will retain their full flavors and texture for a longer period of time.

Exercising care during the harvesting process will protect your mint plant from damage. They might get injured or die from exposure to diseases due to poor harvesting techniques. 

how to pick mint leaves without killing plant
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Incorrect Ways To Pick Your Mint Leaves

  • Do not use the pulling method to harvest your mint leaves to prevent the uprooting of the plant.
  • Do not grab a bunch of mint leaves and rip them from the stem. They might get crushed and lose their flavor.
  • Do not pluck the leaves randomly as and when you like. This will make the plant weaker as the leaves get lesser.

Storage And Usage Tips For Your Mint Leaves

It is common for people to worry about what to do with mint harvest, especially when you have an abundance of it. Using the correct storage methods will make your mint last longer and be available whenever you need it.

Besides that, you also learn how to dry mint leaves and how to harvest mint for tea properly to ensure that they retain their flavors.

1. Storage For A Week

Keep the stem with the leaves attached and stick it in a cup with a small amount of water. Put it in the fridge and remember to change the water every 2-3 days. This will likely maintain the freshness for a week.

2. Storage For 2 Months

Place tissue paper in a plastic container and spread the leaves inside as much as possible and avoid pressing them. Put the container inside a refrigerator. This method can preserve the mint leaves for up to 2 months.

3. Storage For A Year

Make a mint paste by grinding the leaves. Scoop the paste into the compartments of a silicone ice tray. Freeze it and you will get mint in the form of ice cubes.

Alternatively, brew the mint leaves before freezing them. These are great for making mixes and lemonades.

how to pick mint leaves without killing plant

Tips On Growing Your Mint Plant

A mint plant is one of the easiest plants to grow for beginners. The right environment will ensure that your mint plant grows well to produce quality mint leaves.

1. Weather Conditions

Mint plants have the ability to survive under both warm and cold weather conditions. However, it can be challenging for them to survive the first frost during fall as they receive little sunlight. In fact, it is common for mint plants to die due to frost and revive when spring comes.

2. Sun Exposure

The ideal location to grow a mint plant should allow it to have four to six hours of partial sun exposure. If it gets full sun exposure, it is best to water it regularly to prevent the plant and soil from drying up.

Although mint plants are able to survive in the shade, they might not produce flavorful leaves.

3. Watering

Always check the top inch of soil for the moisture level to decide whether to water the plant or not. Dry soil is an indication that it is necessary to water it. Water it with 1 to 2 inches of water whenever the top soil is dry. Be mindful to keep it damp at all times.

4. Soil Condition

Mint plants like fertile and slightly wet soil which is a little acidic with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0. Putting mulch on top of the soil helps to maintain the moisture in it. It is also good to have well-drained soil to prevent the rotting of the roots. You can mix LECA into the soil if it has poor drainage.

Try making use of a SONKIR Soil pH Meter to monitor the soil pH and water level.

how to pick mint leaves without killing plant

5. Spacing

As you know, mint plants grow fast and spread easily. Hence it is good to keep the spacing between mint plants at least two feet apart. This ensures that they do not compete for resources such as water and nutrients from the soil.

6. Surrounding Plants

Some of the best companion plants include carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, sweet corn, onions, radishes, and marigold. Growing these plants next to the mint plants helps to repel pests.

Check out my detailed guide on all the plants that you can plant with mint to ensure that you have a healthy garden all around!

The bad companion plants include mostly herbs such as parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.

how to pick mint leaves without killing plant
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FAQs On How To Pick Mint Leaves Without Killing Plant

How Long Should You Wait Between Each Harvest?

So, how long should you wait between each harvest? How long should you wait between each harvest depends on the number of mint leaves required. Generally, try to wait for 2 to 3 weeks for the growth of new foliage. For bulk collection, you can pick the mint leaves 3 to 4 times throughout the growing season.

How To Prepare Your Mint Plant For Harvest After Winter?

Thinking of how to prepare your mint plant for harvest after winter? Plant your mint in a small container or pot indoors during winter. When spring comes, you may plant the pot outdoors. Being a frost-tolerant plant, it usually dies back in the winter but comes back in spring if it is planted outdoors.

How To Preserve Your Mint Leaves After Harvest?

Learn how to preserve your mint leaves after harvest to retain freshness. Spray water onto a paper towel before wrapping the leaves. Place in a slightly sealed plastic bag. A tightly sealed bag will affect air circulation and mold will from trapped moisture. Trim the ends and stick them in a container with 1” of water.

Do Mint Leaves Grow Back After Cutting?

Many people would like to know do mint leaves grow back after cutting. The answer is yes, mint leaves grow back after cutting. In fact, cutting back on the mint plant promotes the growth of new stems. You could even mow it down if your mint plant has grown a lot. They are likely to grow back in a few weeks.

How Long Does Mint Leaves Take To Grow Back?

So how long do mint leaves take to grow back? It takes about 90 days from seeding to maturity. Harvest it when fully grown to a height of 1 to 2 feet by cutting it to 1 inch above the soil. The plant will regrow in a month and a half or so to full height.

Do You Pick Mint Leaves From The Top Or Bottom?

You must have wondered whether to pick mint leaves from the top or bottom. Always make sure you pick the smaller leaves on the top first. This promotes new growth, plus you get leaves with more flavor. Regular trimming will help your plants grow thicker and become more flavorful.

How Do You Pick A Good Mint Plant?

When considering how do you pick a good mint plant, remember to harvest mint leaves of any size by pinching off stems. If done before blooming starts, you can get a large harvest with a strong flavor. This can be done by cutting down and not letting it go below the first or second set of leaves.

How Can I Increase The Growth Of My Mint Plant?

It is common to ask how can I increase the growth of my mint plant. These strong evergreens grow well in light soil with good drainage. Their natural habitat is along the banks of streams. Thus, they like well-drained and damp soil. Grow them under the sun or in partial shade.

What Is The Fastest Way To Pick Mint Leaves?

Keen to know what is the fastest way to pick mint leaves? This doesn’t seem to get any easier. Pluck individual leaves directly off the stems if you require a handful of leaves for tea or a dish. Use garden shears or scissors to cut the leaves and stems for bulk harvest.

What To Do When Your Mint Plant Is Dying?

Panicking about what to do when your mint plant is dying? Just water the mint as frequently as required to keep the soil moist. It should revive in a few days. To prevent root rot, they should be grown in pots or containers with holes to drain off excess water.

how to pick mint leaves without killing plant

I hope that these harvesting tips will help to equip you with all the necessary knowledge to preserve your mint plant while picking the leaves.

Even with great growing tips, it is important to pick your mint leaves in the right manner with the correct methods so as not to endanger the plant.

Also, don’t forget to use the appropriate ways to store and use your mint leaves. Sounds like a great plan to ensure that you get to enjoy flavorful and bountiful mint all year round!

Well, it pays to give tender loving care to your plants. Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck with your mint leaves and plant.

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How To Pick Mint Leaves Without Killing Plant

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