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Growing Herbs in Texas: Beat the Heat by Pruning Herbs

7/11/2011 4:18:53 PM

Tags: Cynthia Meredith, Pruning Herbs, Growing Herbs in Texas, Mint, Oregano, Lemon Balm, Tips

c.meredith2Cynthia Meredith has been gardening with herbs, reading about herbs, and discussing herb gardening in Texas for more than 20 years. She has owned The Herb Cottage ( for more than 10 years, selling herb plants to people all over our state.  

If you live where it's been hot already for weeks on end ... like here in Texas ... your mints may be looking a little leggy and less than perky. What to do? Prune!

Mints don't really like our extremely hot weather. In fact, mints do best where it's cool and moist. Well, we can do moist, but, cool? Not this time of year. Sorry. So, mints take well to pruning during the extreme heat of a southern summer. If you've been using your mints regularly, you might not need to prune them because when you harvest, you are pruning. 

7-11-11 lime mint 

I've been using this lime mint for tea all summer and it's nice and bushy. Also, this tub get's watered daily.

 7-11-11 lemon balm 

This lemon balm was recently cut back all the way to the soil line. See how nicely it's regrowing? Also watered daily in this container.

7-11-11 doublemint
Photos by Cynthia Meredith 

These little pots of doublemint definitely need pruning. I'll use the cut offs to make more plants!

Take some time this week and prune down your mints, lemon balm—even your oregano if it's looking leggy. Oregano should not be pruned all the way to the ground, like you can do with mints. Prune your oregano by about 1/3 to 1/2 of its current size.

The plants will thank you with lush new growth and lots of material to harvest in a month to six weeks. And best of all, you'll have wonderful, aromatic herbs for fall when we get back into the kitchen to think about soups, stews and all those other cool weather dishes.

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