Mint does not need full sun but in cooler climates it will grow better with as much sun as possible. For the best results try to give your mint at least 6 hours of full sun or bright light. For hotter regions a part or even full shade position will work for mint and can prevent sunburn.
Mint will grow lots of bright green leaves in full sun as the chlorophyll allows the green leaves to photosynthesize and create its own energy from the sun.
Lots of sun and water are the keys to success to when you want to grow lots of mint. Regularly trim the ends of the mint plant to encourage more leaves and dense growth.
This article will explore how to successfully grow mint in full sun. Check out my previous articles at the end for more mint growing tips.
How to grow mint in full sun
Here are some easy tips to help to keep your mint healthy in full sun. There are some tips that will help your mint to thrive in the heat of the sun and recover from sunburn.
Mint grown in full sun will need to be watered more regularly than those grown in full or part shade. The soil will dry out quicker and mint will grow best when it gets regular water on hot days. Water it in the morning when you know the weather will become hot.
Watering in the morning can reduce the amount of wilt that the mint will experience in extreme heat. Don’t worry if your mint does get a bit droopy as it will bounce back overnight. A bit of extra water can be added at the end of the day to help the mint recover.
Trim damaged leaves
For mint grown in full sun they can experience sunburn. This is easily fixed by trimming the damaged or sunburnt leaves off using scissors or garden secateurs.
Leave the damaged leaves on until the very hot weather has passed as these leaves will protect the rest of the plant. Water it well and you will have new healthy leaves in 1-2 weeks.
Nitrogen fertilizer is important for mint that is grown in full sun. It will be using up more nitrogen as it will grow more rapidly and need this nutrient for healthy leaf growth.
Pelleted chicken manure can be added to the plant every 4 weeks over the growing season or liquid nitrogen fertilizer can be used instead. I like to mix together fish emulsion and seaweed solution to give my plant and soil and extra boost.
Mulch is important for smaller plants grown in full sun. Mulch will help to reduce water loss from the soil and keep the plant green and growing new leaves over the warmer months.
Bark mulch, sugar cane or straw all work well for mint. You can also add a top dressing of compost in Spring to feed the plant at the same time. This will increase the organic matter in the soil and feed worms.
Does mint grown in full sun taste better?
Mint grown in full sun will have a stronger taste than mint grown in the shade or indoors. For light, tender leaves grow mint in part sun-part shade. The leaves will be lighter in color and tender. Trim your mint regularly so it continues to grow new stems which will be softer and sweeter than the older ones.
How much sunlight does a mint plant need?
Mint plants will thrive with around 6 hours of sunlight. While this does not need to be direct sunlight, bright light outdoors will help your plant to grow well. Mint will survive longer periods in shade if you live in a warmer, humid climate. For tropical or subtropical regions mint can even grow in full shade.
Does mint need full sun indoors?
Mint grown indoors will need as much sunlight as possible. Placing it on a windowsill that gets morning sun will help it to grow well. Keep the plant well-watered but don’t let it sit in water in a pot tray.
During the warmer weather the mint will grow new stems and leaves that can be picked regularly for cooking. Mint tastes great in drinks, smoothies and on desserts but always remember to wash them first.
Where should I put my mint plant?
Mint can be placed in full sun, part shade or even full shade if you live in a hot climate. The best way to grow mint is in a pot because this allows you to move it around as the weather changes. In Winter, mint will go dormant and die back to bare stems.
If you like you can place the pot out of the way until Spring where you can bring it back out to full sun to grow new stems.
Mint will grow rapidly and can become invasive in garden beds. Growing it in a pot is the perfect solution to this as the roots cannot escape (except out of the drainage holes). Mint can be divided in Winter and new plants can be grown from healthy root pieces.
Place the newly potted mint in a sunny spot in Spring to encourage new growth.
Does mint need full sun? | Summary
Mint will thrive in full sun however as long as it gets around 6 hours of bright light, it will thrive. Warmer weather is important to encourage new mint growth so remember that in the cooler months the mint will go dormant. Do not get rid of your mint during this time mistaking it for a mint plant.
For a healthy plant in spring, trim off old stems, place it in a sunny spot and water it well preparing it for new growth.
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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.