‘Learn your lesson from me’

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It may be a popular choice for mojitos, but one gardener shared a video on TikTok explaining how mint is a dangerous gamble for a garden — and bound to take over an entire lawn if left unchecked. 

The scoop

The account Homegrown Gardens (@homegrowngardens) posted a video of an enormous bed bursting with tall mint plants.

“Most of my clients want mint in their garden and I highly recommend you do not do that,” she says. “Because this is what happens.”

@homegrowngardens Are you looking for a way to spruce up your garden? Well, whatever you do, be sure to skip the mint! Yes, mint smells wonderful and is awesome in your mojitos, but it’s also extremely invasive and can take over your pathways and grass if not properly maintained. Save yourself the trouble and opt to grow different herbs instead! #mint #garden #gardeningtips #gardentips #foodgarden #plants #planting #homegrowngardens ♬ original sound – HomegrownGardens

“It grows like crazy, it’s extremely invasive, and sometimes it even hops outside of your box and starts to grow in your pathways and your grass,” she continues. “So learn your lesson from me and never put mint in your garden box! Put it in a pot.”

How it’s helping

The commenters agreed. “Mint loses gravity privledges [sic] in my garden and goes in a hanging basket,” one person wrote.

Invasive plants are a massive problem in nearly every ecosystem around the world, from invasive sargassum seaweed to migratory houseplants like pothos and the infamous kudzu vine. 

To avoid the destruction of local ecosystems, it’s vital for gardeners to work on keeping yards and gardens full of native plants instead, which benefit local pollinators and keep ecosystems thriving.

And as long as it’s contained, mint can be extremely beneficial to grow and harvest. Several types of mint are favorite stops for bees and other pollinators while simultaneously acting as a natural repellant for other bugs and pests. Peppermint can keep away spiders and stray animals, and it can even be used in household cleaners. Not to mention, there’s always plenty left over for making mint tea and mojitos.

Keeping a garden — especially one with herbs or vegetables — also helps to save money on groceries while supporting local ecosystems. There are other direct health benefits as well. Gardening has repeatedly been shown to improve both physical and mental health, decrease stress, and support healthier lifestyles.

What everyone’s saying

Some people were still eager about the prospect of planting mint, no matter how invasive it may be. “Could someone have a mint lawn instead of grass?” one person queried. “I’d like to see this as an experiment,” the poster replied. 

But most agreed with her cautionary tale. “My family has mint from a few generations ago and it’s crawled through the whole yard,” one person commented. “And once it’s there it NEVER goes away no matter how much you pull it out,” another replied.

“And don’t put the pot on the ground!” someone warned. “It will find its way through the drainage holes!” 

So skip the experiments — or experimint — and stick to native plants and potted mint.

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