How to grow mint from seed – expert tips for super easy (and tasty) herbs on tap

Amateur gardeners, assemble! Here's how to grow mint from seed like a pro...

Mint growing in a garden trough
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It can be all too easy to assume that you need to be something of an expert when learning how to grow mint from seed, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this oh-so-tasty staple should be at the top of your list of herb garden ideas because it really is that easy.

That's right: while you might have found success growing mint from cuttings, there's absolutely no need to be scared of starting these little plants from scratch. In fact, with a little help from our experts, you'll soon find that you have everything you need to sow seeds successfully every single time... which means you'll have a steady supply of delicious minty goodness on tap for years to come!

'Mint is a fantastic culinary herb with loads of uses in the kitchen, as it’s great for fresh mint teas, cocktails and garnishes, not to mention for using in all of your delicious recipes,' promise heirloom veg growing experts Lucy Hutchings and Kate Cotterill of SheGrowsVeg.

SheGrowsVeg founders
Lucy Hutchings and Kate Cotterill

Former jewellery designer to the stars turned social media veg grower, Lucy Hutchings launched SheGrowsVeg alongside top marketeer and music festival organiser, Kate Cotterill. They are passionate about gardening, and ensure that their range is entirely open pollinated seed from heirloom or rare origins, meaning they are packed full of nutrients, are outstanding in the looks department and taste phenomenal.

'It can also be dried  for use in winter,' adds the dynamic duo.

How to grow mint from seed

If you're on the fence about learning how to grow mint in a pot or straight in the garden, it's time to clamber off: this hardy herb is a great choice for the less confident gardener.

'It’s very easy to grow and the challenge is more about keeping it under control,' says Lucy and Kate. 

'Better still, mint is super easy to grow from seed, which saves money and allows you to experiment with some really interesting varieties.'

What you will need

It's always a good idea to gather your tools to hand before beginning any gardening project, starting with your mint seeds.

'Although it’s tempting to go for generic mint, why not try something different as there are some very interesting varieties out there?' ask Lucy and Kate.

From spearmint to peppermint, chocolate mint to pineapple mint, there are plenty of delicious varieties to choose from. 'And,' the founders of SheGrowsVeg add, 'each offers its distinct flavour and aroma.'

You will also need:

Step-by-step guide

Once you've gathered all your tools to hand, it's very easy to grow mint from seed – so long as you keep these expert tips and tricks in mind.

1. Time things correctly

It's important to time things right and plant your mint seeds indoors in early spring.

'The idea is the get them started approximately 6-8 weeks before the last frost date in your area,' explain Lucy and Kate.

2. Sow the seeds

A potting bench in a wooden shed with flower pots, watering can, basket, seeds to sow, bunting and straw hat.

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

'Sow the seeds thinly on the surface of moistened peat free compost, gently pressing them into the soil without covering them completely, as mint seeds require light to germinate,' advise Lucy and Kate. 

'Maintain consistent moisture levels to help germination along, and be sure to place the seed tray in a warm location with indirect sunlight, like a windowsill.'

2. Give them space

After a couple of weeks, you should notice that your seeds are starting to sprout. 

'As the seedlings emerge and develop their first set of true leaves pop them in individual pots to allow them room to grow,' say Lucy and Kate.

3. Get them outdoors

Chickens in a vegetable patch

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes Photography)

It doesn't matter if you have a a small vegetable garden or a pot on a patio/balcony, it's important to get your mint seeds outdoors once they've germinated.

'Once the danger of frost has passed and the seedlings have grown to a height of , they can be transplanted outdoors into their permanent location,' advise Lucy and Kate. 

'Choose a sunny to partially shaded spot in your garden or container with fertile, well-draining soil. Space the transplants according to their mature size, as mint plants can spread vigorously.'

4. Show them some love

It's a vital step in anyone's Grow Your Own adventure: learning to care for your edimentals as they long to be cared for! Thankfully, mint is relatively low maintenance, making them an ideal project for even the greenest of gardeners.

'Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, as mint has shallow roots and can wilt quickly in dry conditions,' say Lucy and Kate. 

'Mulching around the plants helps retain moisture and suppresses weed growth, and be sure to pinch back the growing tips regularly to encourage bushier growth and prevent the plant from flowering, which can make the leaves bitter.'

5. And don't forget to harvest

Mint growing in a garden

(Image credit: Getty Images)

'Once your mint plants have become established, you can start harvesting leaves for culinary or medicinal purposes,' explain Lucy and Kate. 

'Simply snip off individual stems or pinch off leaves as needed, avoiding stripping the plant entirely.'

Don't be afraid to get stuck in, as the duo adds that 'regular harvesting encourages new growth and keeps the plant productive throughout the growing season'. 


How long does mint take to grow from seed?

If you time things correctly, your mint seeds should sprout in around two weeks, although it will take about 6-8 weeks before it'll be big enough for harvesting.

Is mint hard to grow from seed?

While many gardeners have mint pegged as one of the easiest herbs to grow from seed, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) cautions that 'germination can be slow and unreliable'.

'It’s quick and easy to grow mint from young plants and plug plants,' they add, noting that these quick-fix plants 'should settle in quickly and you can start harvesting the leaves in the first year'.

Will mint come back every year?

If you're into your sustainable garden ideas, we have good news: mint is a perennial, which means (with a little TLC) it should make a welcome comeback each year.

Just be sure to cut it back to ground level in the autumn, and mulch it well, to keep your beloved mint from succumbing to the winter chills.

And voila! Just like that, you know how to grow mint from seed, which means your cocktail bar should be incredibly well stocked with garnishes galore before too long.

We guess the mint juleps are on you, eh?

Kayleigh Dray
Acting Content Editor

Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.