How to Harvest Mint without Killing the Plant

Many people want to know how to harvest mint without killing the plant. That’s because of the mint plant’s growing popularity. While you can harvest mint for several years, this may not happen if you kill the plant through wrong harvesting. No one grows mint hoping for a single harvest only because this would be absurd.

Mint is a great plant to grow. The perennial plant is easy to grow and care for with very promising rewards. Whether you are growing mint for your domestic use or commercial, it is crucial to understand the basics of the plant, from farming to harvesting and even storage.

Gardenterprise explains some of the crucial things and techniques to use when harvesting your mint and not end up killing the plant. This article will help you understand how to harvest mint so it keeps growing. Also, it will enlighten you on how to cut mint without killing the plant. The article will explain how to harvest mint without killing the plant.

Why Know How to Harvest Mint without Killing the Plant?

Knowing how to harvest mint without killing the plant is essential. First, mint is a valuable plant. Mint produces leaves that are harvested and used to add flavor to tea, desserts, and jam, and it also has essential oil. It is in the interest of every mint grower to get as much produce as possible from his mint plants. But this cannot happen if you kill the plants during harvesting.

Second, you can gather your mint as many times as possible by knowing how to harvest mint leaves without killing the plant. Your mint can last up to ten years if you take good care of the plants and ensure that you reap them correctly. In ten years, you will have reaped the mint multiple times.

Finally, one of the common questions regarding mint planting is, ‘can I bring the mint plant back to life?’ If the plant is completely dead, then you cannot bring it back to life. However, you can revive your dying mint. At this juncture, maybe you are asking, ‘how do I bring my mint plant back to life?’ You can do your research, but the main point is that it is not easy nor guaranteed success.

So, rather than lose your mint plants after the first or second harvests due to avoidable mistakes when harvesting, why don’t you learn how to harvest mint without killing the plant? This article explains some of the vital tricks to ensure that you can harvest as many times as possible?

How to Harvest Mint without Killing the Plant – Proper Timing

Mint is a perennial plant. After it matures, you can harvest it continuously across different seasons and times. While this may sound good, it should not make you forget to time your harvesting correctly. So, the first point in understanding how to harvest mint without killing the plant is ensuring that you only reap at the right time.

Please give your newly planted mint plants enough time to grow and settle before harvesting. Harvesting too soon, especially for transplanted mint, can cause unnecessary trauma leading to weakening and possible loss. So, how do you harvest mint without killing the plant? The answer is gathering at the right time.

On the same issue of proper timing, spring is the best time to start harvesting your mint. During this period, the mint leaves are most concentrated with oils and hence of the highest quality. Moreover, it will be just before the mint plant starts flowering. The harvested leaves will have the best flavor just before the plant begins flowering. Then another question emerges: Can you harvest mint after it flowers?

Yes, you can harvest mint after it flowers. But to ensure the best quality of mint leaves, pluck off any flower buds emerging as soon as you notice them. And this ensures that the plant channels its energy more toward growing the leaves and less toward flower production. But proper timing is not the only tip on how to harvest mint without killing the plant.

How to Harvest Mint without Killing the Plant – Harvesting Properly

The second important lesson on how to harvest mint without killing the plant is applying the correct procedure. For most people, this is as simple as cutting or picking the mint leaves. While this is the fundamental element of mint harvesting, there are some crucial points to consider. Doing some research can help in acquiring this knowledge. 

A general rule of harvesting mint is harvesting from top to bottom. And this answers the question, ‘do you pick mint leaves from the top or bottom’? Picking mint leaves from the top ensures you get the best flavor. It also prevents the plants from blooming. And this ensures the plant channels more energy toward developing more foliage and leaves. 

How you cut off or pick the mint leaves matters when learning how to pick mint without killing the plant. You should cut off individual stems if you only need a few leaves. However, if you have a large harvest, you can trim the plant down to 10-15 centimeters or up to the first set of leaves.

One of the likely points to find in a ‘Mint how to harvest guide’ would be a warning about never pulling the mint leaves to harvest. If you have experienced problems with your mint plant using the pulling method during harvest, one of the questions you may have is, ‘how do you pick mint leaves without killing the plants?’ 

Grabbing and ripping off mint leaves from the plant can cause damage to the plant in various ways:

  • It could damage the stem causing them to wilt and die.
  • Pulling too hard could damage the roots and even uproot the plant altogether.
  • You could crush the harvested leaves in your hand.

So, with that in mind, always use the right tools to harvest mint. Perhaps, this is another vital tip on how to harvest mint without killing the plant.

Finally, continue harvesting mint all through the growing season. The mint will continue growing even after harvesting and hence the need to continue harvesting. And this also ensures that the mint plants don’t spread and colonize your garden. That’s why you should learn how to harvest mint plants, you have a good idea.

Proper timing is particularly vital for anyone who wants to know how to harvest mint without killing the plant. But there’s more to learn, so you should continue reading for more ideas.

How to Harvest Mint without Killing the Plant – Use The Right Tools

Another helpful tip on how to pick mint without killing a plant is using the right tools for harvesting. While some people harvest mint using bare hands, this method can harm the plant by causing bruises. The damage could be extensive depending on how much force you use in pinching and plucking the mint. To avert such an outcome, why not use the right tools?

Like most herbs and vegetables, use a sharp pair of scissors or other appropriate pruning tools when harvesting mint. Sharp tools cut the mint at the right place with minimal damage to the plant or the harvested leaves. However, using dull tools could also cause unnecessary damage to the plant. In a nutshell, using a sharp pair of scissors is one of the best tips on how to harvest mint for tea or other uses.

How to Harvest Mint without Killing the Plant – Harvesting The Right Quantity

You can harvest mint without killing the plant by ensuring you gather the right amount. That’s also part of the ‘how to harvest mint without killing the plant’ guide. While harvesting mint is good for ensuring continued growth, over-harvesting can harm overall plant health.

You should pick about a third of the mint leaves for the first harvest. However, you can go higher in subsequent harvests. When the mint plant is fully mature, you can harvest up to two-thirds of the leaves. Over-harvesting mint leaves can kill the plant due to the lack of critical elements for survival. For instance, your mint plant could die due to the lack of chlorophyll for photosynthesis.

Apart from the recommendations above, you should also harvest the amount of mint according to the need or demand. If you are only interested in some little tea leaves, you should not harvest two-thirds of the leaves. Avoiding excessive harvesting is also a crucial tip on how to harvest mint without killing the plant.

So far, you have four tips on how to harvest mint without killing the plant. But they may not be all that there is. That’s why we recommend doing further research on your own. With proper tools and tips on how to harvest mint without killing the plant, you will enjoy quality products from your garden for years.

How To Trim Mint Plant Without Killing It

While we are discussing how to harvest mint without killing the plant, it is also important to touch on trimming the plant. Like most other valuable plants, mint requires trimming. Luckily, the trimming part of the mint coincides with the harvesting.

Harvesting mint entails picking the mint leaves, which creates more room for growth. The best approach to this is to target the dry leaves first. Remove all the dry leaves before harvesting the mint leaves from the top leaves going down. Ensure that you cut the mint at the right place to allow for regrowth.

How To Dry Mint

While you can use mint immediately after harvest, you can also store it for future use. Drying the mint ensures that you can still use it even after several years. Drying mint is simple. After harvesting, put the mint in bunches. Hang these bunches in a dark, dry room with temperatures between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius.

Let the leaves stay in that dry room for about 14 days until all the leaves are dry and crusty. Remove the dry leaves from the stems and crush them. Then you can store the crushed dry leaves in airtight glass containers that should be kept in the dark.

Take Away

You can lose your mint in the process of harvesting. You need to understand how to harvest mint without killing the plant. This article has addressed this critical point. It has addressed closely related issues, such as; how to harvest peppermint without killing the plant, how to harvest spearmint without killing the plant, and how do you harvest sage without killing the plant. It all boils down to proper timing, tactics, tools, and gathering the right amount. Follow these tips to enjoy mint health benefits longer.

FAQs

How do you pick mint leaves so it keeps growing?

The issue of how to pick mint leaves without killing the plants entails understanding that mint is a delicate plant and needs proper harvesting techniques. First, ensure that you chop the mint leaves from top to bottom. Continue harvesting throughout the harvest season. More importantly, use appropriate tools and avoid pulling the leaves.

Where do you cut mint when harvesting?

Knowing where to cut mint when harvesting is one of the tips on how to harvest mint without killing the plant. Cut mint stems just above the first or second set of leaves on the lower part of the stem. The mint can grow and produce essential elements like chlorophyll as it recovers.

Does mint regrow after cutting?

It will depend on the cutting. If you cut the plant too low, it may regrow but need additional support to rejuvenate. However, cutting the mint plant leaves during harvesting does not prevent the plant from growing and producing more leaves.

What is the best way to cut mint off the plant?

Using appropriate tools is the best way to cut mint off the plant. You can use scissors or small shears to cut the mint properly without harming the rest of the plant. You chop the mint from the top since the topmost leaves provide the best flavor. Ensure you cut the mint at appropriate places, such as between different leave levels. 

Does cutting mint make it grow faster? 

Cutting mint does make it grow faster. That’s because cutting the mint allows new shoots and leaves to emerge. Therefore, you will notice more mint leaves and stems appearing after chopping. Moreover, cutting ensures the plant utilizes more energy for growth, hence the faster growth.

Henry Mugambi

Henry Mugambi

Take a look at this guy. He's almost in his 40s, but he looks like he could be in his 20s. That's because he's a gardener—and a damn good one, too. He's been gardening since he was a little kid, and he loves nothing more than sharing his tips with others.He started blogging a few years ago, and his blog has since become a go-to source for gardening information. His audience trusts him because he knows his stuff, and he always offers sound advice that helps people get the most out of their gardens.

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