Mint can grow both indoors and outside, but where does it grow better? I have done some research and some testing to figure that out, and I have written this article to share what I learned with you.
Mint grows better outside than indoors, although it can also grow very well indoors if given the right growing conditions. Place outdoor mint in full or partial sun and place indoor mint by a sunny, ideally south-facing window for the best results.
Putting your mint in the right spot from the beginning will make it grow much better and be much more productive, so I really recommend that you keep reading, as I cover everything you should know about finding the best spot, both indoors and outside, for your mint in this article.
Is It Better to Grow Mint Outside or Indoors? Comparison
As a general rule, garden plants grow better outside than indoors since their natural habitat is outside. Like most other plants, mint grows better outside than indoors but can also be grown indoors in a container near a sunny window.
To make things clear, the most important thing to consider when deciding if you want to grow mint indoors or outside is where you prefer to have it and what you want from the plant.
For example, a mint plant that grows outside usually gets bigger and grows faster than a mint plant that grows inside, as it will get more direct sunlight. So if you want the biggest mint plant, grow it outside.
If you prefer to have your mint growing indoors and you have a sunny spot for it, that will work really well too.
For example, the mint plant on the right in the photo above has only been growing indoors next to a south-facing window, and look how happy it is. It is getting about five hours of direct sunlight most days (when it is not cloudy), and it is absolutely thriving.
You should be aware that if you grow mint outside, planting it directly in the ground will result in it spreading really fast and taking over more and more of your garden, so I recommend growing it in a pot or container, no matter if you want it indoors or outside. I compare all the differences between growing mint in a pot and in the ground in another article on this link.
I remember my father-in-law telling me how he planted mint directly in the ground once and then regretted and struggled so much with removing it as it eventually started spreading a lot. Don’t do what he did, and know that mint in the ground spreads rapidly and can be a pain to get rid of.
No matter if you want to grow your mint indoors or outside, where you plant it matters a lot. I cover precisely where you should place your mint, whether you want it indoors or outside, in the next part of this article.
Best Place to Grow Mint Indoors and Outside
Choosing the right spot for your mint plants can mean the difference between huge plants and bountiful harvests and no plants or harvests at all, so let me help you find the best spot for your mint indoors and outside.
Finding the best place to put your mint indoors is easy because you don’t really have so many options and therefore not so much to consider.
The best place to grow mint indoors is in a container with rich, well-drained soil right next to a south-facing window. The key to growing mint indoors is to give it as much sunlight as possible since it generally cannot get as much as outside.
Any spot that gets enough sunlight will work, but a south-facing window will work the best as it will get the most sunlight (south-east and south-west also work well).
See if you can find a spot that gets at least 5 hours of direct sunlight per day for your mint. That should be enough to make your plant grow really well and be super productive.
Of course, you also have to consider where you have room for your mint, as that is usually more limited indoors and outside.
You don’t necessarily have to use a very big pot for your mint, but generally speaking, the bigger the pot you use is, the bigger your mint plant will get, and as a result of that, the more leaves you can harvest from it. You can read more about the best pot sizes and materials for growing mint in this post.
You have a lot more to consider when planting mint outside compared to growing it indoors. This is mostly because your mint will be more exposed to the elements outside than indoors.
For instance, plants generally get more sunlight outside than indoors, but they are also more exposed to heavy rain and wind.
Therefore, it can be a good idea to find a spot for your mint outside, where it is at least partly shielded from the wind. When the plant is very large and well established, it is very strong and can withstand a lot, but when it is young and small, it is much more fragile.
The ideal place for mint to grow outside is in a pot with rich soil in a spot that gets full sun while being shielded from the wind, either by other plants or a building. If you want your mint to spread or use it as a ground cover, plant it directly in the ground.
I am about to repeat something I already mentioned earlier in this article, but it is really important that you know it when you first start growing mint. It spreads like wildfire! So use a pot, a raised bed, or something similar to keep your mint contained if you grow it outside unless you specifically want it to spread and take over parts of your garden.
The Royal Horticulture Society shared a trick in this article where they recommend planting your mint in a large pot or a bottomless bucket sunk into the soil with the rim above ground level to prevent the plant from spreading.
You can actually also use mint as a ground cover if you want. In that case, plant one or two small mint plants about 2 feet apart. One or two plants will easily cover a large area once they become established and start producing runners.