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My Mint Plant July 8, 2008

Posted by live2cook in Green Garden.
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It is considered that good cooks are good gardeners with a green thumb.

My mom is an avid gardener. She planted the saplings of tropical trees in all possible places that she could find in our back yard and filled the front yard with perennial flowers. We had a wonderful garden that there was no space for any additional plants. So, I didn’t get an opportunity to find out if I had a green thumb, back home.

Even after I came to US, I did not start my herb garden. But, it did start…not because I could not resist my gardening urge or something like that. It happened by accident. One day after removing the mint leaves from the stem, I saved the stems in a cup of water. My intention was to use the stems later while grinding some chutney. Among other chores, I totally forgot about the stems. After couple of days, when I found the cup, all the stems but four were rotten. The four stems that survived had small sprouts on them. I was Amazed to see their survival and decided to give them a good home. I had no idea about growing plants indoors. But wanted to give it a try. I took an empty folgers coffee canister and drilled few holes in the bottom. Thankfully, the nearby grocer had a small bag of potting soil even in the peak winter. I got one bag and filled the folgers can with soil. I planted the 4 stems and kept the canister near the big bay window of our apartment. They managed to develop roots and survived indoor past winter into spring.

Mint propagated from stems
Mint propagated from stems

I was able to move them outdoor fresh and green. They thrived well althrough the summer.

Mint in Summer
Mint in Summer

After some research, I found that Mints are perennials and will remain dormant during the winter, if left outdoors. But the beauty of my one and only plant made me to bring it indoors. If the plant knew how to talk, It would have surely told you about the pampering that it got. Since it didn’t, I am writing on behalf of my mint plant.

Mint grown indoors during winter
Mint grown indoors during winter

Mint plant can survive in shades and less hours of sunlight. They can survive in temperatures over 60F and room temperature was just perfect. Since, indoor plants need very little water and hardly any fertilizer, an ordinary potting soil would be enough to grow mint indoors. They need 4-6 hours of natural light which need not be direct sunlight. As we got only 3 hours of sunlight through the bay window, I wanted to increase the intensity of the light. I lined the shelf and sides with aluminum foil so that the light will be reflected. This way the plant will feel that it got the actual light it needed.

Aluminum foil used for reflecting the sunlight.
Aluminum foil used for reflecting the sunlight. There is snow behind the window!!!

This helped the mint plant to survive indoors the following winter. The growth will be slow. But every two or three weeks, we can get couple of handsfull of mint leaves that we can use in recipes like this “Oats and Mint Pulav”.

Mint harvested during winter
Mint harvested during winter

Ingredients:

1 Cup Old fashioned oats
1 Cup Mint leaves
1 Cup water.
1/2 Cup Onion (Chopped)
1/4 Cup Fresh green peas (steamed)
2 Tbsp Fresh Coconut (Shredded)
1 Tbsp Butter or Ghee
2 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
2 Medium sized potatoes (Boiled and diced)
3-4 Green chilies
1/4 inch piece of Ginger
2-3 Cloves
2 Cardamom pods
1 Bay leaf


Method:

1. Take 1 tsp of ghee or butter in a saucepan and stirfry the mint leaves for 2 minutes.
2. Take the coconut, chilies,turmeric powder, ginger and mint to a smooth paste.
3. Heat the rest of the ghee or butter in a saucepan and add cloves,cardamom and bay leaf. Fry for a minute.
4. Add the onion and saute until browned.
5. Add the ground paste and cook until the ghee seperates from the mixture.
6. Add the peas, potato,salt and mix well.
7. Add the water and bring to a boil.
8. Add the oats and cook until the mixture thickens. Add the lemon juice. Mix well and serve.

Mint and oats Pulav
Mint and oats Pulav

This is my entry for the Herb Mania event hosted by Ammalu’s Kitchen and Grow your own event hosted by Andrea.

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Comments»

1. Dee - July 8, 2008

Dear live2cook, thank you so much for participating. Ur mint plant looks truly fabulous and healthy. I would love to try the oats and mint combo and see… Great entry!! :)

2. Asha - July 9, 2008

My mint has grown out of control, planning to make more mint chutney!Pics look good, it’s a blessing to get Mint in winter!:)

3. Mona - July 10, 2008

Your mint looks very good! I will try propagating them through stems this time! Thnx for all the tips dear! Mint is one of my most fav herbs.

4. roopa - July 11, 2008

Wow Priya, I love mint and I loved the tips you gave here about growing mint during winter. I am really happy I found this post of yours:) When you said stem, did you like cut off the root? Iam a novice, as you can see from my question:), I just planted some coriander stems(with roots) which you get from the coriander leaves bunch from grocery stores. Did I have to cut off the root? I hope I did the right thing. I also planted some green chilli seeds along with the coriander . I hope they dont start fighting:)

5. Andrea - July 16, 2008

Welcome to Grow Your Own! What a happy event that those mint stems survived. Your mint looks great and the pulav sounds very tasty and healthy.

6. Linda - August 6, 2008

Hi! My mint plant (in a container) is getting little flowers on the tips. Pretty, but does that mean it’s finished growing? Do I leave them on? The plant is doing well otherwise. I love the way it looks and smells. Thanks for your help!

7. Rosemari - November 11, 2010

So glad to have found this site and your experience with mint, Praya. I just returned from a pilgrimage thru Jordan and Israel and while there had mint tea which I LOVE. I want so much to grow mint indoors now to use in my tea. How to start? Where can I buy some cuttings? Are you anywhere near Canton, MA? My daughter lives there and next time I come to MA I might be able to meet you to buy some of your cuttings? Thanks, RN of NJ.

live2cook - December 4, 2010

Hi Rosemari,

I used the thick stems from the mint I bought from a near by oriental super market. In our new home, the sun light we get is not enough for the herbs and I am unable to maintain them during winter. :(

I can grow some in a pot come summer and can share with you.

8. Sean Frost - June 10, 2011

Great plants


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