Another summer is coming to an end and even though I don’t garden outside I find myself desperately trying to get my garden in order, supplies organized, and seeds saved. At the beginning of the summer I started an awesome collection of five different mint varieties from the Baker Creek Fair. Over the summer though one of the new plants I brought in had an aphid infestation, as well as what I suspect was a fungal disease and spread it to my mint table. So I’ve spent the last few months trying remedy after remedy to prevent any further spread and to try and control the disease. (I owe you a post on how all that went…)
Needless to day the mints are still alive…ish. But I want to be sure. Mint is actually hard to find in seed form. Sure there’s lemon balm and some general varieties of mint that you can get, however all those special varieties like chocolate mint and orange mint were actually pollinated and bred that way. You can’t get them via seed! So how do you save a mint plant? Or make more mint plants to give away? Cuttings! Mint is very prolific and can easily be propagated from cuttings. However, my particular mints were fighting diseases and pests so I added a few extra steps to my cutting propagation.
Starting Mint from Cuttings:
- Cut a (preferably) healthy mint stem from the parent plant. You want to make sure you cut right below a cluster of leaves and that the stem is about 3-6 inches long with leaves all along the stem.
- Since my mint plants were infected I cut the healthiest stem I could find.
- To hopefully stop once and for all any pests/disease and prevent the spread on my new plants I poured some insecticide/fungicide/miticide into a little bowl. (This is the one I used)
- Clean off the leaves that will be in the water and leave the top leaf clusters alone. You want the part that will be sticking out of the water to still have leaves so it can collect light, but the part of the stem in the water should not have any leaves on it. If you leave leafs on that part they will rot and cause disease.
- I dipped each of the cuttings into the bowl of fungicide and swirled them around making sure every bit of them was covered. Why? Normally when you have this type of problem on a full plant you use a spray, which can miss spots. Rarely do you get the chance to actually dip a plant in the fungicide so I took this opportunity to literally dip my little cuttings in it so that I can hopefully coat every little bit and kill everything once and for all.
- I then borrowed some test tube looking things from some tea samples I get mailed every month. (Side note: if you’re into tea check out the London Tea Club, I love them! And their tea trials come in little tubes that are perfect for cuttings!)
- I filled the tubes with one little drop of rooting hormone and the rest of the way with water. (I use this hormone but you can really use whatever, or omit if you prefer)
- I originally propped the tubes up in little jars, but my S.O. took pity on me an built me an awesome test tube holder. Since my AeroGarden was in-between plantings I thought it would be the perfect place to put them under the light and let them grow!
- It has since been 8 days since doing this and they are all starting to take root! I keep the water filled in the tubes and make sure they don’t dry out but at this rate they should be ready for either planting or upgrading to a larger cup of water soon!
- Again, if you have healthy mint plants you want to propagate or make presents for friends, all you really have to do is cut off a length, clean some of the leaves off and stick it in a glass of water. Since my plants are diseased I don’t have a lot to work with and I’m trying to start healthy cuttings.
As you can see, so far so good on the cuttings. We shall see if they continue to progress and become healthy, disease free plants. Fingers crossed!
One thought on “S.O.M. (Save Our Mint)”
I use hydrogen peroxide (diluted with water) to combat fungus on all plants. Works wonders and it’s cheap-cheap.
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