Mojito Mint and Improved Spearmint
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: J Phillips
Posted on: July 06, 2007

All the herb plants we bought from you early in May are doing great in outdoor containers in our downtown Toronto yard.

Question about propagating our Improved Spearmint and the Mojito Mint: since these are culinary herbs, is it safe to dip the cuttings in a liquid root stimulator/fungicide to help them along? The product we used is Wilson Liquid Root Stimulator with fungicide which we have here. We don’t have any of your root stimulator powder.

Our concern is to make sure that the plants are still edible. We’re putting the cuttings in a mix of peat moss and perlite.

I always prefer to avoid chemicals if possible.

I don’t know what fungicide is used in the Wilson product but if the label says that it can be used on edible plants then at least by conventional gardening principles the product would be reasonably safe to use. But I doubt that the product is registered for use on edible plants.

I much prefer to avoid chemicals if possible. In the case of mint, you don’t need a root stimulator because the cuttings root so easily. Within a few days mint cuttings -- when cared for properly -- will already begin forming roots, and within a few weeks you will have plants ready to transplant to a pot. So why bother with a chemical root stimulator?

If you still want to proceed with the root stimulator then at least you can take some comfort in the fact that most of the tissue of the cuttings will likely be completely replaced with new tissue by the time the plant is ready to harvest. Probably most of any chemicals absorbed during the rooting period will have been dispersed and leached out of the plant, and residue levels in the harvest-size plants will likely be nearly undetectable.

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