Herbs forum: Do we transfer herbs into bigger containers with the soil they come in?

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Barcelona, Spain
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Gabe1982
Apr 16, 2016 11:33 AM CST
I was just wondering if that's what we should do?

I have recently transfered mint plants into a 12" pot and I just got the 2 plants out of the original containers and made a little hole in the new soil and placed them there. Is this the normal procedure? Or should I have gotten rid of the old soil? (I think the old soil might be depleted of nutrients....that's the only reason why I am asking this)
Cheers
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Apr 16, 2016 8:35 PM CST
Hi, Gabe:

Most herbs do not need a lot of fertilizer, but it might depend upon how old the soil was that you were transplanting into. If it is more than a year old, it might need a little (maybe 1/4 strength) fertilizer. Mint is pretty hardy, though, so make sure it is getting enough sun and water. I would also advise to tease the roots apart from your mint plants that came out of containers, just to make sure they are not rootbound. Mint tends to develop some serious roots, and likes to wind around the pot it's in. I usually end up cutting through the root mass while I'm starting new plants.

Thanks for joining us here on the herbs forum Welcome!
Barcelona, Spain
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Gabe1982
Apr 17, 2016 3:29 PM CST
mom2goldens said:Hi, Gabe:

Most herbs do not need a lot of fertilizer, but it might depend upon how old the soil was that you were transplanting into. If it is more than a year old, it might need a little (maybe 1/4 strength) fertilizer. Mint is pretty hardy, though, so make sure it is getting enough sun and water. I would also advise to tease the roots apart from your mint plants that came out of containers, just to make sure they are not rootbound. Mint tends to develop some serious roots, and likes to wind around the pot it's in. I usually end up cutting through the root mass while I'm starting new plants.

Thanks for joining us here on the herbs forum Welcome!


Thanks for welcoming me and answering.

This root cutting is new to me. So, every now and then....when you transfer your mint plants (I suppose yearly), you cut the roots back to a certain size? or how is it done?

Cheers
Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
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CarolHB
Apr 17, 2016 10:37 PM CST
I just wandered into this forum after seeing a few youtube vids about this very subject: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rootbound+plant.... What I do is knock off enough of the nursery pot soil to get a good look at the roots, then make sure at least some of them are hanging downward instead of growing up and around the root ball. If its rootbound you'll know it - the roots will all be wound around the rootball - nothin' hangin' loose. Sometimes you have to get tough and really pull the roots away from that ball, or even cut right into the root ball to loosen them up. Those videos will show you what to do.
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Indiana Dog Lover Container Gardener
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mom2goldens
Apr 18, 2016 4:42 PM CST
Mint is REALLY hardy. As long as I can cut some pieces that have some smaller root hairs, those are good to replant. You almost can't kill mint. If nothing else, just take a sharp soil knife and cut out a section of the root-ball and replant it back into a large pot with some potting mix.

If that isn't possible, cut some nice healthy cuttings from the part of your mint that is growing. Strip off a few of the bottom leaves and plunk the stems into some water. You will get roots growing on those cutting within a week, and those can be planted into your container.
Barcelona, Spain
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Gabe1982
May 8, 2016 4:01 AM CST
CarolHB said:I just wandered into this forum after seeing a few youtube vids about this very subject: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rootbound+plant.... What I do is knock off enough of the nursery pot soil to get a good look at the roots, then make sure at least some of them are hanging downward instead of growing up and around the root ball. If its rootbound you'll know it - the roots will all be wound around the rootball - nothin' hangin' loose. Sometimes you have to get tough and really pull the roots away from that ball, or even cut right into the root ball to loosen them up. Those videos will show you what to do.

Very useful information. This video (the 1st one) is simply an eye-opener: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MSS6l1PjQ4

My issue might be that the pot the mint is in is pretty much the upper limit I can have here on my balcony. Plus I think there are several mint plants that went into that pot. I thought it was 2, but I think these guys came as a massive colony of about 6-8 plants. Blinking



Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals
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CarolHB
May 8, 2016 7:16 AM CST
As I recall, mint will pretty much reproduce itself overnight. You may very well have started with only two. I would have no scruples whatsoever about thinning out that pot.
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Barcelona, Spain
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Gabe1982
May 8, 2016 12:09 PM CST
CarolHB said:As I recall, mint will pretty much reproduce itself overnight. You may very well have started with only two. I would have no scruples whatsoever about thinning out that pot.


I agree It's growing in a crazy way. Probably I have never seen a plant grow like this:


Thumb of 2016-05-08/Gabe1982/77b984

Thanks!
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
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Mindy03
May 8, 2016 12:17 PM CST
When you thin that pot of mint be sure to dry the part you remove and let them dry for a refreshing summer tea later when it gets hot
Barcelona, Spain
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Gabe1982
May 8, 2016 1:12 PM CST
Mindy03 said:When you thin that pot of mint be sure to dry the part you remove and let them dry for a refreshing summer tea later when it gets hot

Hey Mindy,

I'd rather just use 1-2 big leaves every now and then. I am not sure it is a good idea, but I'd rather let the leaves do photosynthesis as long as possible.

Are there any thinning rules? Which leaves to pick and how many without causing any damage at all.

Cheers
Name: Sean B Murray
Riverhead, NY (Zone 7a)
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Whitebeard
May 8, 2016 6:58 PM CST
Gabe,
Mint goes crazy wild. Period. It takes off in the garden if left to run wild. The pot contains the size. You can divide it, and it'll fill the pot. Take it out, take a hold and pull left to right. You'll have two plants. Both will fill the same size pot you have. You can also leave it be. It won't suffer. Water it, and you can give it a little feed if you like, but as the soil looks to be rich, and new, likely no need.
Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals
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CarolHB
May 8, 2016 10:54 PM CST
I agree Mint is tough and endures anything. There's no need to be so gentle with it. As long as your potted plant receives water you will have your mint forever most likely.
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Indiana Dog Lover Container Gardener
Seed Starter Herbs Vegetable Grower Cut Flowers Butterflies Birds
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mom2goldens
May 12, 2016 7:30 PM CST
@Whitebeard gives good advice. Dividing mint only makes it grow better. You really have work at it to kill it.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
May 26, 2016 6:36 PM CST
The flavor of mint is increased when it has to fight to survive. Poor soils, infrequent watering, harvested for jellies, teas, and floral arrangements. Just give it a bit of afternoon shade and lots of root room!
kitt

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