How to Prune Mint for Cuttings

Since it's Monday, lets get things kicked off this week by talking a little about Mint. I'm going to skip out on growing mint, because honestly, it's just too easy. Instead, I'm going to focus on how to prune mint, especially in regards to taking cuttings for rooting. In this guide, I'll demonstrate how to prune and effectively clone mint plants.

Step 1 - Select Your Mint Plant
In my case, I've decided to take cuttings from my Orange Mint plant. Scraggly new growth that has been allowed to stretch a little is what you are looking for when pruning mint for cuttings. These lanky sprouts will easily root to create new mint plants.

Orange Mint Plant.
Step 2 - Taking Cuttings
With a sharp blade, cut the prospective mint cuttings at an angle below a node. Ideally, this node should be one third of the way down from the top of the mint branch. Leaving foliage on the bottom will promote new growth on the mother plant.

Picture depicting proper position for taking mint cuttings.

Step 3 - Prepare Mint Cutting
Once you have made your cut, you will need to clean up your cutting my removing foliage from the bottom nodes. Since these nodes will be submerged in water for rooting, the leaves are removed so they don't rot.

Mint cutting with lower foliage removed.

Step 4 - Rooting Mint Cuttings
Mint cuttings placed into a jar of water will easily take root within a week's time. Just fill a glass up and submerge the exposed nodes. The roots will soon grow and stretch out from these nodes. Personally, I like to fill a bowl up with hydroton to root my cuttings. It holds them in place well and is very easy to fill with water. For your cuttings to root, place in an area with strong indirect light or under low power grow lights. I've had the best luck rooting mint cuttings in an indoor environment with temperatures in the 60-70°F range and humidity over 50%.

Mint cuttings rooting in hydroton.

Step 5 - Plant Rooted Mint Cutting
In a short period of time (normally 7-10 days), your mint cuttings submerged in water will sprout and grow roots long enough for planting. I usually wait for the roots to reach one to one and a half inches long before I pot them. To begin growing your new mint plants, fill a container with well draining potting soil, poke a hole in the middle, place in your cutting and water in well. Be sure to keep the cutting moist while they grab a hold of growing in the soil.

Rooted mint cutting ready to be potted.

That about does it! With five minutes of labor and a week's worth of patience, you too can prune mint to increase the number of plants for your landscaping needs.