Mint Leaves Turning Brown? (Causes and Fixes!)

Mint is such an extraordinary versatile herb. It can be used in sweet or savory dishes, is great for teas and juices, and has many health benefits.

However, mint can be finicky when it comes to growing both indoors and out. If you notice your mint leaves turning brown, it is most likely from overwatering, sunlight, pests, or disease.

Luckily, if you catch the problem early enough, there is usually a way to fix it and get your plant back to good health. Keep reading to learn more about mint leaves turning brown and what you can do about it!

Why are My Mint leaves Turning Brown?

There are a variety of reasons your mint plants leaves are changing colors or dying- lets explore the most common causes.

Mint Leaves Turning Brown (Overwatering)

If you notice that the tips of your mint leaves are turning brown, it is most likely from overwatering. When a plant is overwatered, the roots can’t get the oxygen they need to thrive, and the plant starts to suffocate. Over watering can cause the leaves to turn yellow and brown and eventually die.

The Fix:

If you think your mint plants are being overwatered, the best thing to do is to let them dry out for a day or two. Place them in a nice warm indirect sunlight spot, and do not water them. It’s ok to let the soil dry to the touch on the top layer.

If the leaves still look wilted and brown after a couple of days, you can try trimming off the affected leaves.
Once you’ve let the plant dry out and trimmed off any dead leaves, water your mint plant less frequently.

Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. It’s better to underwater a plant than to overwater it. Mint is relatively resilient and can withstand a little drought.

Mint Leaves Turning Brown (UnderWatering)

If the leaves on your mint plant are wilting and turning brown, it is most likely from underwatering. When a plant doesn’t get enough water, the leaves start to droop and turn brown as a way to conserve moisture. The mint leaves brown edges will turn crispy and die because it is not getting the water it needs to stay green.

The Fix:

If you think your mint plant is being under-watered, the best thing to do is to water it deeply and let the soil dry out completely before watering again. Check the ground before watering to make sure it is dry. You should be able to stick your finger about an inch into the soil before watering.

You can bottom water mint plants by setting them in a bowl or saucer of water and letting the roots soak up the water for a few hours. This is an excellent way to water deeply without overdoing it.

Brown Spots on Mint Leaves?

The most common reason for brown spots on mint plants is typically fungal diseases, specifically fungal leaf spot. Mint plants are susceptible to fungal infections, which can cause brown or black spots on the leaves.

Fungal pathogens, such as Pseudocercospora spp. or Colletotrichum spp., can thrive in humid conditions and spread through splashing water or contaminated gardening tools. Overhead watering or high humidity levels can contribute to the development and spread of these diseases.

The Fix:

To prevent and manage fungal leaf spot on mint plants, here are some general tips:

  1. Watering: Avoid overhead watering and instead water the plant at the base to keep the foliage dry. This helps minimize the conditions suitable for fungal growth.
  2. Good Air Circulation: Mint plants benefit from good air circulation. Provide ample spacing between plants to promote airflow and reduce humidity levels around the leaves.
  3. Hygiene: Clean any gardening tools used on infected plants to prevent the spread of fungal pathogens. If you notice a significant presence of brown spots or fungal infections on your mint plants, it’s advisable to remove and destroy the affected parts to prevent further spread of the disease.
  4. Fungicides: If the fungal leaf spot is severe or persistent, you can consider applying a fungicide labeled for use on edible plants. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and observe any recommended waiting periods before harvesting.
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NOTE: It is generally not recommended to eat mint leaves with brown spots or fungal infections. Fungal infections can affect the quality, taste, and safety of the plant. Ingesting infected leaves can also be harmful to your health.

Fungal infections on mint leaves may produce toxins or other harmful compounds that can be detrimental if consumed. Additionally, the texture and taste of leaves affected by fungal diseases may be unpleasant.

To ensure your safety and enjoyment, it’s best to avoid consuming mint leaves that have brown spots or signs of fungal infections. Instead, focus on harvesting and using healthy leaves for culinary purposes.

Why is my Mint Plant Turning Brown?

The most common reason for a mint plant to turn brown entirely is a lack of water or drought stress. Mint plants require consistently moist soil to thrive. If the plant does not receive enough water, the leaves may begin to brown and dry out.

To address this issue, make sure you are watering your mint plant adequately. Check the soil regularly and water when the top inch of soil feels dry. Provide a thorough watering, allowing the water to penetrate the soil deeply. However, avoid overwatering, as waterlogged soil can lead to root rot and other problems.

In addition to watering, consider the following tips to maintain the health of your mint plant:

  1. Ensure proper drainage: Make sure the container or planting location has good drainage to prevent water from sitting around the roots.
  2. Mulch the soil: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the mint plant. Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, reducing the frequency of watering.
  3. Provide shade in hot climates: If you live in a hot climate, provide some shade to protect the mint plant from excessive heat and sun exposure.
  4. Regularly harvest and prune: Regularly harvesting the mint leaves promotes new growth and helps maintain the health of the plant. Prune any damaged or browned parts of the plant to encourage fresh growth.

Additional Reasons Your Mint Plants Leaves Are Turning Brown

 

Pests

If you notice your mint leaves brown spots or holes then pests could be the reason. Aphids, spider mites, and white flies are common pests that can attack mint plants.

Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that are usually green but can also be black, brown, or yellow. They suck the sap out of plants, which can cause leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually die.

Spider mites are tiny spider-like creatures that feed on the underside of leaves. They can cause leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually drop off the plant. They will also spin a web around the leaves and stems of the plant. This will make the plant look dusty.

Whiteflies are small, winged insects that are usually white or light yellow. They suck the sap out of plants, which can cause leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually die.

The Fix:

If you think your mint plant has pests, the best thing to do is to inspect it closely. Look for minor bugs or spider webs on the underside of the leaves. You can also look for brown spots or holes in the leaves. Remove any leaves with a large number of pests on them.

You can also try hosting your plant with water to remove any pests hanging out on the leaves.

If you find pests on your mint plant, there are several ways to get rid of them. You can try using a solid stream of water to knock the pests off the plant. Neem oil is a good option for getting rid of pests. Use equal parts neem oil and water and spray it on your plant. You can also wipe the plant leaves with a cloth soaked in soapy water. This will kill any pests that are on the plant.

Pyrethrin is another option for getting rid of pests. It is a natural insecticide made from the chrysanthemum flower. Use equal parts water and pyrethrin and spray it on your plant.

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You can also try making a homemade pesticide by mixing one teaspoon dish soap with 1 quart of water. Spray the mixture on the plant leaves, being sure to coat the undersides of the leaves.

Companion plants can also help to keep pests away from your mint plant. They will attract helpful insects that will eat the pests or repel the pests with their strong scent.
Some good companion plants for mint are basil, marigold, and garlic. Never plant mint alongside fennel, as this can attract pests.

Disease

Mint plants can also be affected by diseases, such as powdery mildew, leaf blight, or rust. If you see brown leaves that are also covered in a white powder or have yellow spots, it’s likely due to disease. Treat the plant with an organic fungicide, and remove any affected leaves so the infection doesn’t spread.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a white powdery fungus that grows on the leaves of plants. It can cause the leaves to turn brown and eventually die. This looks like the plant has been dusted with flour.

Leaf Blight

Leaf blight is a type of fungal disease that causes brown spots on the leaves of plants. The spots can eventually turn yellow and then brown as the disease progresses. This looks like the leaves are rotting or decaying.

Mint Rust

Rust is a type of fungal disease that causes yellow or brown spots on the leaves of plants. The spots can eventually turn into rust-colored bumps and is very noticeable.

The Fix:

If you think your mint plant has powdery mildew, leaf blight, or rust, the best thing to do is to treat the plant with an organic fungicide. You can also try making your own fungicide with dish soap and water. Make sure to remove any affected leaves, so the disease doesn’t spread.

Temperature

If the leaves on your mint plant turn brown, it could also be due to the temperature. Mint plants like cool temperatures and do not do well in hot, humid weather. If the leaves on your plant are turning brown and the weather is hot and humid, it’s likely due to the temperature.

The Fix:

If you think the temperature is causing the leaves on your mint plant to turn brown, the best thing to do is move the plant to a cooler location. You can also try misting the leaves with water to help keep them cool.

Nutrient Deficiency

If the leaves on your mint plant turn yellow or brown, it could also be due to a nutrient deficiency. Mint plants need a lot of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to stay healthy. If the leaves on your plant are turning yellow or brown and the plant is not getting enough of these nutrients, it’s likely due to a nutrient deficiency.

The Fix:

If you think a nutrient deficiency is causing the leaves on your mint plant to turn yellow or brown, the best thing to do is to fertilize the plant with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. You can also try adding some compost to the soil to help improve the nutrient content.

Preventing Mint Leaves from Turning Brown

The best way to prevent mint leaves from turning brown is to water the plant properly, fertilize it regularly, keep out of the direct sun, and inspect it regularly for pests or diseases.

Water your mint plant when the soil is dry to the touch. Be sure to water at the base of the plant, so the leaves don’t get wet. Inspect your plant regularly for pests or diseases and take action immediately if you notice anything.

You can also try growing your mint plant in a pot with drainage holes to prevent overwatering. Be sure to use a light potting mix and provide plenty of airflow around the plant. Inspect the plant regularly and take action if you notice any problems.

Other Issues with Mint

mint leaves turning brownMint Leaves Turning Brown and Curling

If you notice that your mint leaves are turning brown and curling, it is most likely from too much sun. Mint prefers shady locations; too much sun can cause the leaves to turn brown and curl up.

If you think your mint plant is getting too much sun, the best thing to do is to move it to a shadier location. You can also try trimming off any affected leaves.

Mint Leaves Turning Yellow

If you notice that your mint leaves are turning yellow, it is most likely from a lack of nutrients. Be sure to fertilize your plant regularly and provide it with plenty of sunlight. You can also try trimming off the affected leaves.

Mint Leaves Turning Black

If you notice that your mint leaves are turning black, it is most likely from disease. Be sure to remove any affected leaves and dispose of them in the trash. You can also try using a fungicide to treat the plant.

Mint Leaves Turning White

If you notice that your mint leaves are turning white, it is most likely from disease. Be sure to remove any affected leaves and dispose of them in the trash. You can also try using a fungicide to treat the plant.

There are a few different reasons why mint leaves might turn brown. The most common cause is from over watering or pests. Be sure to water your plant correctly and inspect it regularly for pests or diseases. You can also try trimming off the affected leaves.

Growing Mint Indoors

If you want to grow mint indoors, the best thing to do is to plant it in a pot with drainage holes. Be sure to use a light potting mix and provide plenty of airflow around the plant.

When growing mint indoors, keeping the plant in a sunny location is essential. Mint needs at least six hours of sunlight daily to stay healthy. If you can’t provide enough sunlight, you can try using grow lights. Do not place in direct sun as this could scorch the leaves.

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It’s also important to water your mint plant regularly. Water the plant when the soil is dry to the touch, and be sure to water at the base of the plant, so the leaves don’t get wet.

You can also try fertilizing your mint plant every two weeks with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

Growing mint indoors can be done with a hydroponic system. The plant roots are suspended in water with hydroponics, and nutrients are delivered directly to them. This system is very efficient and can produce high yields.

When growing mint hydroponically, it’s essential to use a high-quality water filter. This will remove any impurities from the water that could harm the plant. It’s also crucial to use a nutrient solution designed for hydroponics.

What are the Benefits of Mint?

Mint is a popular herb that has many uses. The leaves can make tea, mint extract, or mint oil. Mint is also used in cooking, as a garnish, or to make mint jelly.

Mint is a good source of vitamin A and antioxidants. It also contains menthol, which can help relieve congestion.
Mint can also be used to make a homemade insecticide. Mix 1 cup of mint leaves with 1 quart of water and let it steep for 24 hours. Strain the mixture and spray it on your plants to keep pests away.

Eating mint can also help with digestion and can freshen your breath.

Mint plants are easy to grow and can be planted in the spring or fall. They prefer shady locations and well-drained soil. Mint plants can spread quickly, so be sure to plant them in an area with room to grow.

Can You Eat Mint Leaves That Have Gone Brown?

If the leaves are only slightly brown, you can still use them. Just trim off the brown parts and use the rest. They’ll be tough and bitter if the leaves are too far gone. It’s best to compost them or throw them away.

When it comes to mint plants, a little bit of browning is normal. But if the leaves turn brown and fall off, it’s a sign that something is wrong. By figuring out the cause and taking corrective action, you can get your mint plant back on track in no time.

How Do You Grow Mint?

Mint plants are easy to grow and can be started from seed, cuttings, or divisions. They prefer shady locations and well-drained soil. Mint plants can spread quickly, so be sure to plant them in an area with room to grow.

You can start mint seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Sow the seeds on the surface of the soil and keep them moist. Once they germinate, transplant them into pots or outdoors.

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Snip a 6-8 inch piece of stem from a healthy plant to take cuttings. Remove the lower leaves and plant the cutting in a pot of moist soil. Keep the cutting warm and wet until it roots.

To divide a mint plant:

  • Dig up the entire plant into smaller sections.
  • Replant the divisions in new pots or outdoors.
  • Water the plants well and keep them moist until they are established.

Runners can also propagate mint plants. Runners are long, slender stems that grow out from the main plant. They will root where they touch the ground and form new plants. To propagate by runners, dig up the runner and replant it in a new location.

Final Thoughts

It’s always a bit disheartening to see our beloved plants showing signs of distress. But don’t worry, we are here to help figure out what might be going on and help your mint bounce back.

As mentioned, the number one reason for mint leaves turning brown is usually a lack of water or drought stress. Mint plants are quite thirsty and need consistently moist soil to stay happy. So, make sure you’re giving it a good drink when the top inch of soil feels dry. Just be careful not to overwater, as that can cause its own set of problems.

Remember to provide proper drainage for your mint, whether it’s in a pot or in the ground. No plant likes having its roots sitting in water for too long. If it’s in a pot, ensure there are drainage holes at the bottom to let excess water escape.

In addition to watering, consider mulching the soil around your mint. This helps to retain moisture and reduce the frequency of watering. Plus, it adds a nice touch to your garden!

Sometimes, extreme temperatures, drafts, or sudden environmental changes can stress out mint plants, causing them to turn brown. So, keep an eye on its surroundings and try to provide a stable and suitable environment for your mint to thrive.

Lastly, remember to give your mint some love and attention. Regularly harvesting the leaves not only allows you to enjoy fresh herbs but also encourages new growth. And if you spot any brown or damaged leaves, gently prune them away to promote healthier foliage. Check for disease and pests and eradicate immediately.

Mint is a pretty hearty plant and can bounce back quickly. With a little bit of care and attention, your mint plant should start perking up and showing its vibrant green leaves again.

Good luck, and here’s to a happy, thriving mint plant!

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