healing mint

Mint is a ubiquitous plant out here in western Pennsylvania. In fact, bushels of it grow against the sidewalk on my street, and a friend recently plucked a full plant, root and all, while clipping the leaves recently – and gave me the little plantlet. She’s been living in a gorgeous ethereally silver pot next to my humidifier for a month or so now, although honestly not thriving. Which makes me feel guilty, because she was so beautiful when she came to me.

At first, the plant seemed fine, but I definitely had to stuff the roots a bit to get it into the only good-sized pot I had. Turns out, mint really really really does not want to be root bound. (Ah, what poetic sense it makes for a strong smelling, everywhere plant to be so strong-willed!) Leaves started browning and wilting and the plant did not look good. For the time being, while I didn’t have a larger pot, I cut back the growth. And because she’s mint, I very soon had a new plantlet growing from the same roots again.

Now, Take 2 here certainly looks better. But her color is very pale and her leaves are tiny. What we have here is a plant putting all her energy into growing taller, seeking light. I imagine there are also some mineral deficiencies causing the light color. You may also notice that there is a smaller, browned stalk next to the tall one; initially two stalks grew from the cut-back original plant, but one has since wilted away. The second one continues to heighten.

So what’s the care plan? I’ve been sure to give this mint plenty of water, plus someof my trusty organic fertilizer. I’m also going to try adding some coffee grounds (supposedly this may help with uptake of nitrogen) and a grow light; I’ve found a cute flower-shaped grow light with different spectrum options, including purple/red light which I assume is my best option based on the fact that mint is supposed to have plenty of chlorophyll A, which better absorbs energy in the red and purple parts of the color spectrum.

So: we shall see! Wish the best of luck & growth to this mint plant.

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