Mint will grow in full shade well in hot climates. Shade will help to prevent sunburn on mint and can stop it from browning in Summer. Growing mint in full shade will grow soft tender leaves and will hold water in the soil for longer. This will help mint to grow well.
Don’t worry if you only have a shady spot for mint, it will grow well and actually won’t mind the lack of direct sunlight as long as they have bright light.
How to grow mint in full shade
Here are the top 6 tips to growing mint successfully in full shade.
1. Improve the soil first
To successfully grow mint in shade make sure soil is in perfect condition. Clear the soil of mulch first and then add 2-3 shovels of aged cow manure through the soil. Grab 2 handfuls of pelleted chicken manure and mix that through the soil. If you have compost, add that too to improve soil structure.
Adding extra nutrients to the soil before you plant will make sure the soil is free draining and to improve the soil microbe balance and feed the worms. They will release the nutrients to the mint plant.
2. Use healthy runners
Planting mint out using healthy runners will give them the best start to life. Runners can be found from friends, neighbors or you can even buy a new plant.
Old mint plants can be given new life in a shady spot by taking them out of the pot and separating out the healthy runners. These will look white and have healthy roots coming from the base. Each rhizome or notch on the roots can grow a new stem.
Place the mint runners horizontally 2 inches below the soil and cover with the improve soil mix.
3. Plant when dormant
The next tip to successfully growing mint in shade is to start them off in Fall. Mint will start to dry off and die back. The stems can be cut down to a few inches and the plant can be potted out into your shady spot.
Planting in the fall and allow it to settle in over winter will mean that the roots system will be ready to Spring to life when the Spring weather starts to turn warm. Bright sunlight in Spring will be enough to tell the mint that it is time to shoot and grow healthy new green leaves and stems.
4. Water well and regularly
To encourage good mint growth in shade keep the plant watered well. Cover the area with bark mulch and water when the top 2 inches of soil dry out. Planting in shade will help the soil to stay moist for longer and the addition of mulch will help even more.
5. Trim the tips regularly
Trimming the mint regularly will encourage it to grow new, tender stems perfect for cooking. Regular trimming whether the plant is grown in sun or shade will encourage more leaf growth and a denser bush.
6. Fertilize with liquid
Liquid fertilizer is perfect for mint during the growing season. Liquid nitrogen fertilizer added every 2-3 weeks in Spring will give them an extra nitrogen boost needed to give you the best growth possible.
Using a seaweed solution will also help to encourage strong root growth and improve the soil structure. I like to use seaweed solution on my garden every 4 weeks to feed the soil bacteria which will break down organic matter to release to my plants.
Soil bacteria will break down and release nitrogen which is important for leaf growth.
Remember to wash your mint thoroughly before using it in cooking.
Does mint grow in full shade?
Mint will grow in full shade and if you live in a very hot climate this could be the best place to plant it. Mint can burn easily in very hot weather and too much sun. Part shade works well with afternoon shade important to prevent browning of the leaves.
I am growing my mint in full shade this year and it has already sprung from the ground from runners in late Winter. This mint will grow through the front garden bed, filling the space and making a shady area look bright and green.
I have struggled to grow other plants in this area with full shade and shallow soil but the mint is loving it.
Remember that mint is an invasive plant and will spread quickly underground through runners. Make sure it is contained by a garden bed or pot before planting out.
What mint grows in the shade?
All varieties of mint will grow well in the shade. I am having great success with common mint and berries and cream mint which is a variety that has a darker leaf. I am planning to allow both mint plant to grow together and merge to fill a shady space out the front of my house.
Does mint grow better in sun or shade?
Mint is usually grown in sun or part sun/part shade. For cooler regions, mint will thrive in a full sun position but for hot or humid regions, part of full shade will give you healthy mint plants that will avoid the burning sun.
Mint loves water so if you grow it in full sun make sure you water it regularly over the summer months and give it a deep water before a hot day. This will ensure the leaves stay green and tender and ready for your summer drinks or salads.
Does mint grow in shade? | Summary
Mint will grow successfully in shade if it is exposed to around 6 hours of bright light. Water mint regularly for more leaves and give it a light trim every 4 week to keep it growing well and form a dense bush. Mint will grow well in shade in hot climates but for cold areas part sun and part shade will work best.
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I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.