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Expert gardener warns against common mistake made when growing a beloved type of plant: 'You might face a garden disaster'

This is not to discourage you from growing mint in your garden — it has a host of benefits for humans and wildlife alike.

Mint plants will send out surface runners

Photo Credit: @joesgarden.official / Instagram

Mint plants are a great addition to any garden, but a popular Instagram user is reminding of the golden rule when planting it.

The scoop 

Joe (@joesgarden.official) posts tips and inspiration for gardening and upcycling projects. In a recent post, he warned about how quickly mint plants can spread. 

"Mint is a fantastic herb, possibly the most versatile, and definitely one of the hardiest you can grow," he explains. However, if it's not planted in a sturdy pot, mint plants will send out surface runners — vines that spread above and below the ground — that grow roots and help the plant to invade anywhere it can. 

Joe even warns that it must be a sturdy container, showing a pot with a hole in it that a vine had made its way through. 

If you're not careful, "you might face a garden disaster," he says. 

How it's helping 

As Joe pointed out, this is not to discourage you from growing mint in your garden — it has a host of benefits for humans and wildlife alike. 

Mint contains an abundance of nutrients and has been known to improve digestive and oral health. It also helps with brain function and stress management. 

You can incorporate mint into your diet through drinks and recipes. For example, you can make mint tea straight from the leaves — or if you're looking for something more lively, try making mojitos.

Mint also repels unwanted pests like house flies and mosquitoes as well as attracts pollinators, which are vital to local wildlife and food production. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 80% of crop-producing plants rely on pollinators, so your garden will only help these crops to stay healthy and abundant. 

What everyone's saying 

The comment section revealed that, unfortunately for some, the advice had come too late. "This is exactly what happened in part of my garden," wrote one user. Another added that "mint is no joke when it comes to spreading across a garden." 

However, other commenters pointed out that you could use the invasive nature of the plant to your advantage — utilizing it for ground cover that will eliminate the need for grass — and mowing. "I have mine growing in the front yard as ground cover and have no regrets," advised one user.  

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