How to trim mint plants

Updated February 21, 2017

Mint is a versatile herb that adds a spicy tinge to salads, soups, pastries, meat dishes and Asian stews. Fresh mint can be added to hot chocolate, cocktails or coffee drinks for a special treat. Mint plants are hardy growers and should be trimmed often. The trimmings can be used for cooking or placed in a glass of water to propagate new mint plants. Whether you're growing spearmint, Korean mint, peppermint or apple mint, the process of trimming your mint plants is easy.

Trim long stalks that seem close to flowering, and leave immature stalks on the plant to continue developing.

Cut the stem 5 to 6 inches below the tip and the plant will send up a new shoot just below the point of cutting.

Trim as many of the stalks as you wish. This maintenance keeps the plant healthy.

Check the plant for damaged or bruised leaves after the initial trim and remove any damaged leaves or stalks, or those that have yellowed, which indicates old growth.


Clean up any fallen leaves or shoots and bring them inside to propagate for a new plant or to use for cooking. If you need individual leaves or springs for a recipe, pull them directly off the plant without cutting. To use the cuttings to grow a new plant, place them in a vase of water and leave in a sunny location until the cuttings develop new roots (1 to 2 weeks). Then plant the cuttings in a new pot, water and wait for them to thrive.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Vase (optional)
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