I've Grown All of This Mint, Now What?

Preserving Mint Leaves - This is Apple Mint

I can't think of a much easier plant to have success in growing than mint. Its one of those plants that seems to find a way to spread everywhere if you don't keep in confined. Its such a wonderful plant to walk by and break off a leaf, crumple it between your fingers and smell the undeniable fragrance of mint. Its a treat young or old. But besides enjoying the pleasant fragrance, this is what you can do with it:

Harvesting - 

Harvesting mint can be done for the length of the growing season a leaf at a time if you like. The best leaves are the younger tender ones as the older ones may become bitter.  The best time for harvesting is right before the plant begins to bloom. The oils are at their peak during that time. Pick the leaves or cut the stems first thing in the morning and don't take more than 4-5 inch stem cuttings if you want to harvest later. Otherwise use longer stems for some drying methods.

Rinse mint under cool water, shake the water off and towel dry to remove excess water before starting anything.

Preserving -

  • Drying - Hanging mint to dry while left on the stem is common. The cuttings are tied together in small bundles and hung upside-down together until dry. They can be used as needed or stored in an airtight container when completely dry.  The other method is removing the leaf while fresh and spreading it out on an absorbent surface like paper or a towel to dry. Store leaves when dry the same way.
  • Freezing -  This is a good method if you are using mint for cooking because the leaves will lose their normal green color. Flash freeze the leaves by spreading the cut leaves out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer until frozen, then transfer to a freezer storage container for later use.
  • Fresh leaves  (good to add to drinks) - Keep in the house by placing cuttings in a glass of water to keep fresh. I like to remove the bottom few leaves from the cuttings. You may find that some of them start producing roots after 3 weeks though, but that may be a bonus too. 

I'm sure there are more, but I hope this will start you thinking about what to do with all of the mint you have grown.


  1. you can also use mint in balms and potions.. great for fresh youthful skin. Or how about a mint showergel?

  2. @Karen - I am really wanting to try a lot of new things using mint. Since I raise bees it seems to be a good match to include body products. Thanks for the suggestions! I will have to look up some recipes for them. Or do you have some favorites you would like to share?


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