Mint plant care: watering, fertilising & common mint pests
If you take proper care of your mint, you will reap a bountiful yield. Mint plant care is not witchcraft, but you do need to pay attention to a few details.
Mint (Mentha) is a refreshing herb that requires little care. There are also numerous species of mint, so there is something for everyone. There are a few factors to pay attention to to ensure that your mint plants in your garden or pots last for a long time and can be picked from regularly. Read on to find out everything you need to know about caring for mint, including how to water and fertilise it.
Mint plant care: how to water mint
Keep an eye on the weather to make sure nothing goes wrong when caring for your mint plant. Water your mint during long dry spells. It is also important to water it regularly in the early days after planting mint, as the young plants are still quite sensitive. Do not let the soil dry out in summer, especially if you are growing mint in pots. Mint needs lots of water to thrive, so it may be necessary to even water plants in your garden bed. Regular watering is a very important care measure, but be careful to avoid waterlogging.
Mint care tip: A layer of mulch around the mint keeps it moist and decreases evaporation – lawn clippings work well.
Your mint plant needs a good supply of nutrients. Our Plantura All Purpose Plant Food is perfect for mint plants in the garden bed. We recommend fertilising after flowering in spring. On top of that, an additional layer of compost in spring is a great idea.
Granulated fertilisers are less suitable for potted mints. Instead, use a liquid fertiliser like our Plantura Liquid Houseplant Food to feed your mint plants. Potted plants absorb nutrients more quickly and will need to be fed more often. Fertilise every two weeks from March to October.
- Perfect for a wide variety of houseplants & foliage plants
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Mint in a pot: repotting and other tips
Repot your mint plant every two to three years: mint plants naturally like to spread, which is only possible to a certain amount in a pot. When repotting, remove any dead parts and divide the plant if necessary.
Caring for mint also means protecting your plants from frost. Although most mint varieties can survive temperatures as low as -15°C, never let the pot freeze through completely. Wrap the pot with jute or fleece to prevent it from freezing through. More sensitive mint species and varieties include pineapple mint (Mentha suaveolens ‘Variegata’) and lavender mint (Mentha species ‘Lavender’), which need to be overwintered in a frost-free location.
Tip: Check out our related article on how to cut and harvest your mint plants.
Common mint diseases and pests
Mint plants are generally quite beginner-friendly. Not only are they easy to care for, but they are also very resistant to diseases. Here are the most common mint diseases and mint pests.
Mint diseases and mint pests
- Mint rust (Puccinia menthae): is a common fungal disease caused by humid conditions. This disease appears as rust-like spots and bumps on the underside of the mint leaves. To prevent this disease, make sure to keep the leaves as dry as possible, water the plants from below and remove any affected leaves immediately to limit the damage.
- Mint leaf beetle (Chrysolina menthastri or Chrysolina herbacea): also known as green mint beetle; this insect appears in the spring. They can be identified by their droppings, or the harm they cause to the leaves. Pick the beetles off the plant and discard or prune if it is heavily infested to control this mint pest.
- Aphids (Aphidoidea): This piercing-sucking pest can attack all parts of the mint plant. Honeydew, sooty mould and generally weak plants are signs of an infestation. Check out our other article to learn how to prevent and naturally control aphids.
My mint plant is dying – what now?
Provided there are no signs of diseases or pests, a common reason for why mint plants are not doing well is a lack or an excess of water. Mint flourishes in moist substrates but does not like being waterlogged. Limiting its space for an extended period of time by installing a root barrier or planting it in a small pot can also cause the mint to die. In this case, repot or transplant your mint plant.
Discover how to preserve mint so that you can enjoy mint even when it is cold and frosty outside.