How to Water Mint Plants

How to water mint plants

Water mint plants twice a week with a thorough watering so that excess water trickles from the base of the pot or container. Mint plants require the soil to be evenly moist but not saturated to prevent wilting and avoid root rot. If the top inch of the soil feels dry, give your mint plants a good soak.

Here is a quick reference table for typically how often to water mint according to different conditions:

Conditions:How Often to Water Mint Plants:
How often to water mint plants indoorsTypically water 2 times per week. Increase watering in high temperatures or if mint wilts.
How often to water mint plants outdoorsAs a general rule water 2 times per week with a good soak. If the top inch of soil is drying give it a good soak.
How often to water mint in potsWater potted mint 2 or 3 times per week and increase watering if the top inch of the soil starts to feel dry.
How often to water mint plant seeds and seedlingsWater once every day in the morning for seeds and emerging seedling. As seedlings mature water every 2 days.

Keep reading to learn how to establish a watering schedule for your mint plant that works for your climate and conditions and how to know when your mint needs more or less water…

How to Water Mint Plants (Indoors and Outdoors)

The best way to water mint is to give the soil a really good soak and then wait until the soil only somewhat moist to a fingers depth before watering again.

Water your mint plants thoroughly so that excess water trickles from the base of the pot or container as this indicates that the water has infiltrated the soil so that it is evenly moist and the roots of the mint plant can access the moisture that they require.

Watering mint thoroughly encourages the roots to grow and establish in the soil, which makes the mint more hardy and drought resistant during high temperatures in Summer.

If you water your mint plants too lightly with just a sprinkle of water then only the surface of the soil is moisten which encourages the roots to grow shallow, nearer the surface which makes the mint plant much more vulnerable to drought as the roots cannot access moisture further in the soil.

Ideally water mint plants in the morning as this charges the mint with water before a hot Summers day so it can grow and make the most of the sunshine.

How Often to Water Mint Plants?

Mint should be watered as often as required to keep the soil moist, but not saturated. Generally this means watering mint thoroughly when the top inch of the soil feels only somewhat moist. Do not let mint plants dry out as this causes the plant to wilt.

There is no universal watering advice that works for mint plants in every climate, different exposures to sun and different pot sizes as this can all have a bearing on how quickly the soil dries and therefore how often you should water your mint.

Larger pots have a greater capacity for soil and therefore a greater capacity to hold moisture. If your mint is planted in a good sized pot then typically water your mint with a really good soak twice a week in Spring and Summer.

However I must emphasize the importance of adjusting how often you water mint according to the hours of sun and the temperature.

The best way to establish how often to water your mint according to your climate and conditions is to monitor the soil to detect when the top inch of the soil starts to feel somewhat dry, at which point you give your mint plant a through watering.

By monitoring the soil you can ensure the mint has the correct balance of moisture to stay healthy, prevent wilting and avoid root rot.

The monitoring of soil also lets you know when to adjust how often you water your mint plants, to ensure they receive enough water at different times of the year and under the different conditions that can affect how quickly the soil dries.

How Often to Water Mint Plants in Pots

Watering Mint plants growing in pots.
Watering Mint plants growing in pots.

Good watering practices should be in a cohesive strategy with the right type of pot, the right pot size and good potting soil or compost that helps to retain moisture in order to keep your mint healthy and hydrated.

(To learn more about this read my articles, best potting soil for herbs and best pots for herbs).

Smaller pots dry out a lot quicker in full sun in which case you could have to water your mint as often as every day at the height of Summer so ideally plant you mint a pot that is around 12 inches across so that the roots have more moisture and nutrients to access to prevent drought stress.

Good compost or potting soil that retains moisture yet allows excess water to drain effectively (to avoid root rot) can help to maintain the optimal balance of moisture for mint plants in pots.

Typically mint in pots should be watered once every 3 days in Spring and Summer. Increase watering if your mint starts to wilt or the top 1 inch of the potting soil is drying out, rather then staying evenly moist. Water mint with a good soak in large pots with moisture retaining potting soil.

How to tell if you are Watering Mint too Often or Not Often Enough

The first indication that your mint is not receiving enough water is a wilted appearance with leaves that may curl or droop. Mint leaves curl or droop to reduce their surface area which minimizes transpiration and water loss through the leaves.

If left underwatered the leaves of your mint can start to turn yellow often from the bottom of the stem.

Mint is hardy and resilient and often perks back up after a really good soak.

Place your mint in partial shade whilst it is recovering from underwatering so that it does not have to contend with blazing sun and high temperatures whilst it is drought stressed and the might should perk up again.

If your mint is planted in the optimal well draining soil type (lots of organic matter such as compost of leaf mold to retain moisture and so that it drains effectively) then it can be very difficult to overwater your mint.

However if the mint is in slow draining soil, that stays saturated between bouts of watering (as opposed to just evenly moist), then the mist roots are starved of oxygen (which is require for root respiration) and can no longer function properly which makes them unable to draw up moisture and nutrients and the leaves turn yellow with a drooping appearance.

(If your mint is overwatered and turning yellow read my article, how to revive a dying mint plant).

How to Often Water Mint Seeds and Seedlings

Water mint seedlings every 1 or 2 days so the soil is evenly moist but not saturated. The soil’s surface should feel as though it is drying slightly between each watering. Newly emerging seedlings require watering daily in hot temperatures whereas more mature seedling only require watering every 2 days.

Mint seeds should be watered once every 2 days in cooler climate or on overcast days but you should adjust your watering according to the amount of sun and level of heat, with daily watering often necessary in hot climate or on sunny days.

If you water mint seedlings too often then this can exclude oxygen from the soil which is needed for the developing roots and promotes the conditions for fungal disease.

By allowing the surface of the soil feels as though it is drying slightly between bouts, this allows oxygen into the soil as an aerated porous soil structure is essential for the developing roots to function properly.

Also keep in mind that the roots of mint seedlings are not significantly develop which can leaves the seedlings vulnerable to drought if the temperature is too high, in too much direct sunshine or because of underwatering, hence why daily watering is required for young seedling in hit temperatures.

Always water in the morning which charges the seedlings with water for the day and gives the soil a chance to dry slightly by the evening which helps mitigate the risk of fungus and mildew.

Watch this helpful YouTube video for a visual guide on how to water seedlings:

Key Takeaways:

  • Mint plants prefer the soil to be evenly moist but not saturated so water your mint plants with a through watering twice per week to ensure your mint plants have enough water to prevent wilting yet also avoid root rot. If the top inch of the soil feels dry, give your mint a generous soak.
  • Always water mint with a thorough watering as this promotes good root development. Watering too lightly causes shallow root growth which results in mint plants that are more vulnerable to drought.
  • Water mint in pots with a good soak so that excess water trickles from the base of the pot. This ensures that enough water has infiltrated the soil and reached the roots to prevent the mint plant from wilting.
  • Water mint plants seeds and seedlings once every day or so ensuring that the soil is evenly moist but not saturated to avoid promoting the conditions for fungal diseases such as root rot.

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