While some herbs are cold-hardy, mint flourishes in the chilly temperatures of Maryland. It can be grown as a annual or perennial plant, depending on the variety you select. Either form will spread by underground rhizomes and produce new plants if dug up after flowering.
Mint has many names, including spearmint, watermint, cornmint, and apple mint. The most common types grown for food are peppermint and oil-of-wintergreen. Peppermint is hardy and fast growing, while oil-of-wintergreen is more delicate but produces large flowers under colder conditions.
Mint can be grown from seeds or cuttings. To start seeds, mix about 1/4 cup soil with 2 tablespoons seed-raising medium (such as vermiculite or perlite) and cover with another 1/4 cup soil. Plant seeds 1/8 inch deep and 1/4 inch apart. When seedlings come up, thin to one plant per cell in warm climates or leave them whole in cooler regions.
In warm areas it's best to direct-seed peppersmint and watermint plants because they tend to self-sow readily.
Harsh-hardy herbs, such as chives, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, and thyme, can typically withstand cold winter temperatures while producing tasty leaves, as long as they are protected or planted indoors. Ensure that any plants you're harvesting for food are not in full bloom, since pollen is toxic if it enters the food chain.
Mint loves heat and humidity, and will not grow well in dry conditions. If you want to try growing mint in your yard, choose a location in the sun with good soil and water it regularly.
During winter, most mints will go into dormancy, when the plant stops growing and starts saving energy for spring growth. When you see brown spots on the leaves of your mint, it's normal aging tissue that will eventually drop off. As long as the plant itself is alive, it is still able to produce flowers and seeds which will start the process again next year.
Some varieties of mint may be damaged by frost, but this depends on the variety and where it is grown. Ask your nursery owner about any special precautions you should take with your own garden. They should be able to help you avoid any problems caused by cold weather.
As soon as the ground begins to warm up in early spring, your mint will wake up from its winter slumber and will begin to grow again.
Mint is frost resistant. It normally dies in the winter but returns in the spring.
Because mint has a tendency to take over, many gardeners start mint in a tiny pot and then transplant it to the ground or within a bigger container. This gives the plant a chance to grow its roots and spread its leaves before freezing temperatures arrive.
Mints are among the first plants to reappear after the snow melts in the spring. Even when the soil is frozen, the plant sends up new growth from its roots which can be harvested for fresh air and flavor. If you leave some mint in your garden each year it will spread and fill in gaps in the yard. This makes it useful for adding color and fragrance where there used to be nothing else.
Mints can tolerate drought conditions but will not do well if given too much water. They need to be moist but not wet. If you notice any signs of disease on your mint, pick off and discard those plants so that you don't spread the problem further.
Freezing temperatures will damage most plants. That includes mint. However, if you want to try and rescue some of your plants, follow these instructions. Take all the dead and dying plants and throw them into a trash bag. Then, bring them inside and dump the contents of the bag into a bucket of hot water.
Mint, like several salvias, is a herbaceous perennial. Consider it sensitive above (the stems and leaves) and hardy below (the roots). In colder locations, its fragile stems and leaves fully die back with the first harsh frost, and new growth develops the following season when the temperature warms. In warmer regions, mint will live for many years with no attention from you.
The answer to your question is yes, cuttings of mint will produce new plants that will look much like the mother plant. Mint has many varieties so there's no way we can list all of the possibilities but here are a few: bergamot, chocolate, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, fennel, geranium, ginger, grape, hydrangea, lemon, lime, marjoram, oregano, palmarosa, peppermint, petunia, pineapple, rose, saffron, spearmint, stevia, strawberry, tea, thyme, violets.
Mint can be difficult to transplant because of its shallow root system, but it'll make new plants regardless. If you want to keep the same variety, take softwood or plastic-wrapped cuttings during the spring before they flower.