How to Pick Mint Leaves Without Killing Plant

Many people love the flavor of fresh mint, but many do not know how to pick it without killing the plant. Most people grab a bunch and twist until they hear a snap or tear in the leaves. This isn’t good for your plant because you break off all the leaves that take their energy from roots to produce food for themselves. The plant requires at least one foot of space to grow and thrive for its stems to produce new leaves. So if you are looking for tips on how to pick mint leaves without killing plants, keep reading! 

How to Pick Mint Leaves Without Killing Plant

10 Methods on How to Pick Mint Leaves Without Killing Plant:

1. Use a Spoon

One method that you can do is by using a spoon. You need to use a metal spoon if possible and scrape the stem gently just below the soil’s surface without digging too deep into it. This will not bring its roots, but this would be the best way on how to pick mint leaves

2. Use Scissors:

One of the most common ways on how to pick mint leaves without killing plant is by simply using a pair of scissors. First, you need to cut the stems off just below the soil’s surface where you will see a node, and this is where it branches out and grows roots. This means that cutting just a little bit under its source will not kill the plant.

3. Cut Stems Using a Sharp Object:

The following best way to pick mint leaves is by using a sharp object just above the node where it branches out, and you can use this for harvesting offshoots of new growth without damaging the plant’s root system. You need to use something sharp, like a razor blade, or you can even use your fingernails to do the job.

4. Using Strips of Cardboard:

Tear some strips of cardboard into 7 to 10-inch pieces. Roll them up and place them in your pot at the corners. The grooves of the cardboard will bend over and hold the mint leaves, so they don’t fall out during harvesting. Insert one or two new pieces every two weeks or as needed.

Discard used sheets after hold the mint plant at its base (stem) and tug it up to wiggle off leaves. For larger mint plants, you can use a kitchen fork instead of your hand.

5. Cutting or Snipping:

To harvest large leafy clusters, cut them off using sharp scissors or pruners. If there are smaller budded shoots growing between the leaves, snip these off with your scissors.

6. Hang to Dry:

If you have many mints growing in your garden, hang them upside down in an excellent, dry location with good airflow’ and wait for them to dry. Using this method is a very tedious task, but once you have gotten used to it, you will be able to harvest your leaves on a more frequent basis.

7. Twist and Pull:

Just like with regular basil, you would also need to pick the leaves from your mint plant by twisting and pulling them gently. You can even use a pair of fingernails or a sharp object to do the job. This is one of the easiest methods on how to pick mint leaves without killing your plants.

8. Wash and Rinse:

After harvesting your mint leaves, you will need to wash and rinse them thoroughly before drying them. Ensure that they are completely dry before placing them in an airtight container so you will not have any problems with dampness and mold. There are also commercially produced airtight jars that you can use for storing your dried mint.

9. Freeze:

Methods on How to Pick Mint Leaves Without Killing Plant

Another way on how to pick mint leaves without killing plants is by freezing them. You will need to wash and rinse your mint leaves, then let them dry completely, after which you can add them to an airtight container or plastic bag and placed them in the freezer. Make sure that they are appropriately labeled and dated to know how long you have had them.

10. Use a Sharp Knife:

You can also use a sharp knife to cut the branches of the mint plant, this would be done regularly and you can even make your leaves last longer. Like with other methods on picking mint leaves, you will need to snip off leaves at their base (stem) and not pull them out by their stems.

Things To Know Before Picking Mint Leaves:

1. Before you can pick the mint leaves, it is essential that you learn how to identify the plants in your garden that contain mint. Mint loves to take root in and around your other plants and at their bases. It will also spread through underground stems and runners like grass or ivy, so be careful where you step.

2. Mint is a great herb with many medicinal properties and intense aromatics that make it perfect for teas, desserts, and as an addition to sauces or curries. It can be used from your garden at any point in its life cycle as long as the leaves are not wilted or too old.

3. Be careful when you pick the mint leaves, too much can strip a plant of its energy and kill it.

4. Mint is ready for harvest when the leaves are fullest and the plant begins to flower. Depending on climate and conditions, this can be as early as six weeks after planting or even later.

5. Mint spreads quickly, and care should be taken by only picking the outermost tips of a leaf where it has not yet begun to branch out.

6. A general rule of thumb for harvesting or picking most fresh herbs is to take around 20 percent of the plant without damaging it too badly and then leave the rest to regrow and flower, ensuring a continuous harvest throughout the summer months.

Tips to Make Your Mint Leaves Last longer:

1. Pick mint leaves in the morning when they are more likely to be wet with dew

2. Put them in a jar of water (a Mason jar works best) and place them on your countertop. Change out the water every other day. This will give you the most extended shelf life of your mint leaves

3. Place them back into their original container only after the leaves are dry to touch.

4. Store mint leaves in a dark, cool place for maximum freshness

5. When you are ready to use them, tear or chop off what you need instead of trying to cut with a knife to bruise the leaf and make it turn black more quickly.

6. If you are eating them by themselves, you do not need to tear or chop them

7. Mint leaves are best eaten within a month of purchasing (3 weeks in the fridge). Just like lettuce, they will lose their nutrients and flavor if not eaten soon enough

8. If you find that your mint plants are getting too big for your tastes, you can cut them back to about four inches from the ground. They will sprout new growth, and you can begin picking again

How to Store Picked Mint Leaves?

How to Store Picked Mint Leaves

If you are growing mint leaves, you may store them if they are dark green and fresh-looking. Put the mint leaves in a plastic bag, paper towel, or clean cloth. Then, store them in the refrigerator. You can also dry your mint leaves on a flat surface that has good airflow, such as on screens or food dehydrator trays.

Store them in an airtight container such as a plastic bag or jar with a lid when the leaves are dry. You can also freeze your mint leaves. Put them on a flat surface and freeze them for about an hour until they feel firm to the touch. Transfer them to an airtight container once frozen.

Do You Pick Mint Leaves From the Top or Bottom?

When you’re picking mint leaves, it’s essential to know the right way to pluck them. Picking from the top or bottom can actually kill your plant. Instead, always begin by pinching the stem of the leaf between your thumb and index finger, then gently pull it away from the stem. This will protect your mint plant so that you can enjoy fresh and flavorful mint for many months.

You can grow your own garden of mint by planting the cutting in a small pot filled with moist potting soil. Once you begin to see new leaves appearing, snip off a few of them and add the fresh flavor to your favorite dishes!

Mint is perfect added to salads, iced tea, and even chocolate chip cookies. To know more on how to pick mint leaves without killing plants, read the methods mentioned here.


There are many ways to pick mint leaves without killing the plant. The first step is to cut off any stems submerged in water or hot tea so they won’t die. Next, you can either use scissors and snip at the leafy edges of the stem, holding it up with your fingers, which should release a few leaves at once until some tender new shoots come out from underneath it.

If you’re picking live plants for planting elsewhere after harvesting, just take care about how much soil you remove when pulling away roots as well. We hope this blog post on how to pick mint leaves without killing plant has been helpful. Let us know your thoughts.

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