How to Plant Mint So It Won't Spread


The aroma and flavor of fresh mint makes the trouble this herb can pose in the garden well worth it. Mint has a tendency to spread and take over a garden bed, quickly choking out other nearby plants. This becomes a nuisance as cutting it back only works for a short time before the roots and leaves spread again. A little planning before you plant your mint keeps the plant under control and prevents it from spreading to other areas of the garden.

Step 1

Choose a 12-inch diameter pot that is at least 12 inches deep. Cut the bottom off the pot with a sharp utility knife.

Step 2

Dig a 10-inch deep hole in a well-draining, sunny garden bed. Make the hole as wide as your plastic pot. Place the removed soil on a nearby tarp.

Step 3

Add 1 part compost and ½ tbsp. fertilizer to the soil on the tarp. Mix this together thoroughly.

Step 4

Set the bottom-less pot inside the hole so that the top 2 inches of the pot protrudes above soil level. Fill in the center of the pot with the soil you removed from the hole until the soil level inside the pot is at the same level as the rest of the garden bed.

Step 5

Plant the mint seedling in the buried pot at the same depth it is at in its nursery pot. Firm the soil around the plant with your hands, then water thoroughly so any air pockets in the soil collapse. Add more soil if necessary, to maintain the soil level inside the pot. The pot will prevent the roots from spreading underground.

Tips and Warnings

  • Cut away from yourself when using a utility knife to avoid injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic pot
  • Utility knife
  • Trowel
  • Tarp
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Mint seedling


  • Utah State University: Mint In The Garden
Keywords: containing mint plants, herb gardening, preventing mint spread, invasive herbs

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.