How to Grow Peppermint
Peppermint is a very easy plant to grow. It thrives in cool shaded areas without much direct sun light. Most gardeners suggest planting from cuttings (they usually root easily in water) because sometimes peppermint from seed does not stay true to the parent plant. Using a clipping ensures you have the flavor and characteristics of the parent plant.
Peppermint grows very quickly and can take over your entire garden in a few years if you do not have a containment plan. Ensure borders around your garden bed run 6 to 8 inches deep, or plant in containers.
Peppermint plants like water, so ensure they get at least one inch of water per week. More in dry climates like Texas.
Peppermint can also be used in companion planting to ward of cabbage beetles. Read more here.
How to Harvest Peppermint
If you harvest just before the plant flowers, the level of essential oils will be at a peak. This provides the greatest flavor and medicinal benefits.
Wait until the plant is around 10 inches tall before you begin to harvest leaves. If you pick leaves too early you can damage the health of the plant.
For use in a fresh meal, simply pull the leaves you want to consume. If you plan to dry an entire bundle of plants, you can cut from the stem and hang upside down. When the plant has dried, remove the leaves from the stems and place in an airtight location for storage.