Propagating peppermint and lemon verbena

Starting next week I will have an office at work with a window so of course I have to start thinking about what sort of vegetation I can put on that ledge. The first thing that came to mind was peppermint and lemon verbena seemed like a good choice since they provide an excellent fragrance and I can eat/drink them if I have to stay late and get tired of free soda. They can also be neglected for a weekend or brief vacation without relying on someone else to take care of them.

Unless this is the first post of mine you have never read or didn’t look at the title of this blog, I am cheap. I could have easily just payed $4-5 for a couple plants but I wanted to do this for free. First I prepared two terracotta pots with a mixture of potting soil and perlite and got the mixture about as wet as possible and set them aside.

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For the peppermint, the process to propagate is pretty simple. The stuff is tough and most talented people can not successfully kill the stuff if they try, so dig around in your existing peppermint until you find a good bunch of roots. Now the tricky part pull/cut/tear/scream whatever it takes to separate that clump of peppermint from the rest. Very obvious why this stuff can take over a bed. Take that clump of roots with hopefully some of the peppermint plant still surviving the extraction ordeal and place in a pre-dug hole and cover up with potting mix.

The lemon verbena is a little calmer process, to propagate this you use a process of taking a softwood cutting, which includes simply cutting a stem in which shows some decent life (green) in it. You want to make sure that your cut does not crush the stem so a sharp knife my work better than shears/scissors but that depends completely on the quality and sharpness of your equipment. Cut off any leaves on the bottom one third of the plant and place in potting mix leafing the remaining two thirds above the soil line.

Both of these plants currently have a pretty fragile root system at the moment so keeping their roots (or soon to be generated roots) moist is very important. To help with this I have covered both plants with plastic, if all goes well I will not kill these things and will have a nice addition to my new office come Monday.

9 Responses to “Propagating peppermint and lemon verbena”

  1. Shibaguyz Says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of gardening on the cheap! This is our second season of gardening in our little space and we are saving seeds and propagating herbs for next year rather than buying new. We’ll definitely be regulars on your blog now getting all the cheap info!!talk to you soon…The Shibaguyz


  2. Eve Says:

    I am so going to love this blog. Saving money on plants is one of my favorite things to do. Well, on anything really. I am linking to you so fast!


  3. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Glad you guys are enjoying the blog and my genetic breading for cheapness. I am a gadget geek though so have had many times in conflict in the stores, “but I really need a lighted trowel” 🙂


  4. Robj98168 Says:

    I used to have a pretty substantial garden at work in 5 gallon buckets. I had tomatoes with carrots planted amongst them and cucumbers. Haven’t had one here at this site yet though… no sun! IT will start with an odd tomato plant or something


  5. notsocrafty.com Says:

    I’ve heard this is the way to start a lavender plant as well. I’m tempted to give it a try.


  6. Robj98168 Says:

    Cheap Veggie Gardenre gots an award for using them big words like propagate


  7. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Well I am happy to say looks like my lemon verbena and peppermint are doing just fine.notsocrafty, go for it worse case scenario you get a dead stick in a pot :)Robj98168, thanks for the award now I have to find 7 other bloggers to choose as the next recipient…oh the pressure…


  8. OsmoJoe Says:

    Great idea…thanks for this post!I have some lemon verbena I would like to propagate. It just needs to get a little bit bigger.I used to have two lemon verbena plants, but one of them got fertilizer burn and died within a week. It was a nice big plant, too.So now I just have one little lemon verbena. Maybe if I don’t over-fertilize it, it will actually reward me with some leaves for lemon verbena ice cream.I like the idea of covering them in plastic…perhaps that’s why I’ve never had much success with cuttings.My blog, if you want to take a look:http://coconutpalm.blogspot.com/


  9. Propagating peppermint and lemon verbena - UPDATE - The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    […] you can see from the picture, my peppermint and lemon verbena propagation has come a long quite well. I did have a little aphid infestation on the peppermint plant which I […]


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