Mint Leaves Turning Brown? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Mint Leaves Turning Brown

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Are your mint leaves feeling a little browned off? Mint leaves turning brown can be a puzzling predicament for herb enthusiasts. But fret not! In this quirky guide, we’ll explore the mysterious world of brown mint leaves. 

We’ve got you covered, from unraveling the reasons behind this phenomenon to reviving your precious plants. So don your gardening gloves, and let’s transform those brown leaves into a vibrant green oasis!

Why are Your Mint Leaves Turning Brown?

Mint leaves can turn brown due to various factors. Some common reasons include:

1. Insufficient Watering

To grow, mint plants require regular watering. When the leaves do not receive enough water, they dry out and become reddish brown. Water deficiency impairs the plant’s capacity to carry out important physiological activities, resulting in leaf discoloration. 

To prevent the mint leaves’ drying and browning, ensure the soil is evenly wet but not saturated.

2. Overwatering

While mint plants require moisture, overwatering may be just as harmful. When the roots are continually soaked with water, they lose oxygen, resulting in root rot. 

Root rot prevents the plant from absorbing nutrients and water adequately, resulting in discolored, withered leaves. It is critical to balance sufficiently watering and allowing the soil to dry somewhat between waterings.

3. Nutrient Deficiencies and Excess

Essential nutrient imbalances can influence the general health of mint plants. The leaves can become brown when there is a lack or excess of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium. 

Nitrogen shortage, for example, impairs the plant’s capacity to generate chlorophyll, resulting in leaf yellowing and browning. 

Excessive nutrient levels, on the other hand, might result in a nutrient burn, which appears as brown, burnt spots on the leaves. Ensuring the proper nutritional balance through suitable fertilization is critical to maintaining healthy mint plants.

4. Insufficient Sunlight

Mint plants flourish in regions that receive plenty of sunshine. Inadequate light can cause stress in the plant, harming growth and general health. Mint plants that do not get enough sunshine may develop stunted growth, lanky stems, and browning leaves. 

Sunlight is necessary for photosynthesis, the process through which plants make energy. Thus, mint plants must be placed in areas where they can receive at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily.

5. Environmental Stress

Extreme temperatures, excessive humidity, or poor air circulation can all cause stress in mint plants. Leaf discoloration and browning can be caused by extreme heat or cold. High humidity can encourage the establishment of fungal infections, resulting in dark blotches or patches on the leaves. 

Inadequate air circulation might prevent the leaves from drying correctly, resulting in increased moisture levels and browning. To prevent stress-induced browning, mint plants require an appropriate habitat with moderate temperatures, sufficient ventilation, and high humidity.

Signs of Nutrient Deficiencies and Excess

Deficiencies or excesses can manifest through various signs in mint plants. Some common indicators include.

1. Nitrogen Deficiency

When mint plants lack nitrogen, one of the most important macronutrients, the leaves become yellow. This discoloration is sometimes more noticeable on older leaves, while younger leaves may remain green. 

Furthermore, the plant’s development may be inhibited, with smaller leaves and overall lower vitality. Nitrogen is required for chlorophyll formation and general plant development. Hence a lack can result in noticeable visual changes in the leaves.

2. Phosphorus Deficiency

Dark green or purple leaves indicate a phosphorus deficiency, another important macronutrient. The dark green color is caused by decreased chlorophyll production, which results in a lessened green hue. 

The plant’s growth may stall, and the stems may become brittle and fragile. Because phosphorus is important in energy transmission and root formation, a lack impairs the mint plant’s general health and vitality.

3. Potassium Deficiency

When mint plants do not get enough potassium, the margins of the leaves turn yellow or brown. Leaf scorch is a disorder that often begins at the leaf margins and proceeds inside. 

The stems may become weak and readily damaged, and the plant’s general vitality may suffer. Potassium is required for several physiological functions, including water and nutrient absorption, enzyme activity, and general plant health.

Monitoring nutrient levels and providing a balanced supply is critical for mint plant health. Regular soil testing and fertilization may help prevent deficiencies and excesses, allowing mint plants to grow and produce beautiful, healthy leaves. Excess nitrogen, for example, can cause the leaf tips to turn brown and burnt.

How Do You Revive a Brown Mint Plant?

If your mint plant has brown leaves, don’t despair. Follow these steps to revive it.

1. Assess the Watering Routine

Reviewing your watering schedule is the first step in reviving a brown mint plant. Make sure the plant gets enough moisture without being overwatered. Check the soil’s moisture level by inserting your finger approximately one inch into it. 

If the earth seems dry, the plant must be watered. However, if the soil seems damp, refrain from watering to avoid additional waterlogging of the roots.

2. Tim-Affected Leaves

Pruning the brown leaves is critical to the plant’s recovery. Remove the discolored and damaged leaves with clean, sharp pruning shears. This encourages new development while preventing the spread of any potential illnesses or pests that may be damaging the plant.

3. Provide Proper Sunlight

Mint plants need plenty of sunshine to grow. Ensure the plant gets 4-6 hours of direct sunshine daily. If you’re growing mint inside, use grow lights to offer 12-16 hours of artificial light. 

Adjust the plant’s or light source’s location to guarantee optimal light exposure. A sufficient amount of sunshine is required for photosynthesis and the creation of energy required for plant growth and recovery.

4. Adjust Nutrient Levels

Adjust the plant’s nutrition levels to correct any nutrient deficits or excesses. Use a balanced fertilizer designed particularly for herbs or vegetables, following the directions on the package. 

Organic compost can be added to the soil to give slow-release nutrients and enhance soil structure. Be cautious of mint plants’ unique nutritional requirements and avoid over-fertilization since excess nutrients can be hazardous.

5. Monitor Environmental Conditions

Make a proper atmosphere for the mint plant to help it recover from stress. Maintain a comfortable temperature range of 60-70°F (15-21°C) and suitable humidity levels. 

Excessive heat, drafts, or overly dry circumstances should be avoided. Good ventilation prevents moisture accumulation, which can lead to fungal illnesses. Maintain enough ventilation and air movement throughout the plant.

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Mint Plants

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Mint Plants

To prevent brown leaves and maintain healthy mint plants, consider these tips.

Choose the Right Location

Mint plants flourish in regions with partial shade to full sun exposure and appreciate well-drained soil. Locate a position in your yard or interior area that gives adequate light for your mint plants. Avoid places with high temperatures or intense sunshine since these might cause stress and browning of the leaves.

Optimal Soil Conditions

Plant mint in healthy, wet, well-drained soil. Mint thrives at a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. Consider enriching your soil with organic matter, such as compost, if it is thick or clay-like, to increase drainage and nutritional content. This will ensure that your mint plants flourish in a healthy atmosphere.

Regular Pruning

Regularly pruning mint plants promotes bushy growth and reduces legginess. To stimulate branching and a compact growth habit, pinch off the tops of the stems or pick the leaves regularly. Pruning also aids in the removal of any discolored or damaged leaves, allowing the plant to seem fresh and healthy.

Adequate Watering

Watering mint plants properly is critical to their health. Water deeply when the top inch of soil seems dry to the touch, this permits water to enter the root zone and ensures the plant gets enough moisture. Overwatering, on the other hand, can cause root rot and discolored foliage. Provide enough drainage and avoid waterlogging the soil.


Applying organic mulch at the base of the mint plant has several advantages. Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil, lowering watering frequency and keeping the soil from drying up too rapidly. 

It also helps to limit weed development, which can compete for nutrients and water with mint. Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant, leaving room around the stem to prevent excessive moisture buildup.

Pests and Diseases That Affect Mint Plants

Mint plants are susceptible to certain pests and diseases, including:


Aphids are tiny insects that infest mint plants. They feed on the sap of the leaves, which causes them to bend, curl, and discolor. Aphids can be controlled with organic insecticidal soap. 

Spray the soap straight over the diseased portions of the plant after diluting it according to the product’s recommendations. The soap will suffocate and kill the aphids, preventing further harm to your mint plants.

Spider mites are little parasites that can harm mint plants. They feed on the undersides of the leaves, draining out the sap and producing yellowing, stippling, and speckled foliage. Spider mites can be deterred by spraying the damaged plant with a forceful stream of water, which helps dislodge and eradicate the pests. 

Spider Mites

Neem oil, an organic pesticide, is another alternative. Dilute the neem oil as directed and apply it to the plant, giving special attention to the undersides of the leaves. Neem oil works as a repellent and can aid in managing spider mite infestations.

Mint Rust

Mint rust is a fungal disease that mostly affects mint plants in humid environments. It appears as orange-brown pustules on the undersides of the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and drop prematurely. To avoid transmitting spores, removing and destroying any damaged leaves as soon as possible is critical. 

Overhead watering should be avoided since it might produce a damp atmosphere encouraging fungus development. Proper plant spacing and enough air circulation can also aid in the prevention of mint rust.

Different Types of Mint Plants and Their Care Requirements

There are several mint plants, each with unique characteristics and care requirements. Some popular varieties include.

1. Peppermint (Mentha × Piperita)

Peppermint is well-known for its powerful menthol taste and energizing aroma. It prefers wet, well-drained soil and moderate shade. Water the soil regularly to keep it wet. Peppermint may spread quickly, so try planting it in pots or using obstacles to keep it in check.

2. Spearmint (Mentha Spicata)

Spearmint has a milder flavor than peppermint, but it is still fragrant and commonly used in cooking. It prefers full sun to partial shade, as well as well-drained soil. Water periodically to keep the soil continually wet, as peppermint does. To stimulate bushier growth, pinch back the stems.

3. Chocolate mint (Mentha × Piperita ‘Chocolate’)

As the name implies, chocolate mint has a delicious chocolaty scent and flavor. It grows in similar circumstances to peppermint. Allow for some shade and wet, well-drained soil. Regular watering and trimming will aid in the maintenance of its growth and form.

4. Apple mint (Mentha Suaveolens)

Apple mint has a unique apple scent and flavor. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun to light shade. Water the soil regularly to keep it wet but not saturated. Pruning the plant encourages bushier growth and keeps it from getting lanky.

5. Pineapple mint (Mentha Suaveolens ‘Variegata’)

Pineapple mint is an eye-catching cultivar with variegated leaves with a little pineapple fragrance. It grows best in part shade and well-drained soil. Watering regularly is required to keep the soil hydrated. Pruning the plant regularly will keep it in shape and stimulate new development.

Growing Mint Plants in Different Climates

Mint plants can be grown in various climates by considering the following:

  • Best conditions for growing mint plants in different climates: Pineapple mint is an eye-catching cultivar with variegated leaves with a little pineapple fragrance. It grows best in part shade and well-drained soil. Watering regularly is required to keep the soil hydrated. Pruning the plant regularly will keep it in shape and stimulate new development.
  • Adapting care techniques for different regions: In hotter areas, give partial shade and increase watering frequency to prevent soil drying; in cooler climates, consider a sunny site and modify watering to avoid saturated soil.
  • Indoor mint plant development in colder climates: Place the mint plant near a sunny window or use artificial grow lights, keep the temperature between 65-75°F (18-24°C), and provide adequate ventilation to replicate outside conditions for good growth.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Growing Mint Plants

To ensure the successful growth and health of your mint plants, avoiding the following common mistakes is important.

1. Planting in the Wrong Location

Mint plants like moderate shade to direct sunlight. Plant them in locations with high temperatures or intense sunshine to avoid scorching the foliage. Furthermore, thick clay soil might cause poor drainage, so pick well-drained soil or plant mint in containers or raised beds.

2. Neglecting Regular Pruning

Mint plants require regular trimming to keep their bushy and compact appearance. Neglecting to prune might lead to slight growth and decreased leaf yield. Trim the plant regularly, cutting the top one-third of the stems to stimulate branching and robust development.

3. Overwatering or Underwatering

Finding the appropriate watering mix is critical for mint plants. 

Overwatering can cause root rot and suffocation, resulting in browning of the leaves. 

On the other hand, underwatering might cause the plant to wilt and the leaves to dry up. Regularly check the soil moisture by inserting your finger about an inch. Water only when the top inch of soil feels dry, ensuring thorough but not overwatering.

How to Water Mint Plants Properly

Proper watering techniques are crucial for maintaining healthy mint plants.

  1. Water Deeply: Ensure water reaches the root zone by applying enough water to moisten the soil thoroughly. 
  1. Check Soil Moisture: Before watering, stick your finger into the soil until the first knuckle to determine if it’s dry or moist.
  1. Avoid Waterlogging: Allow excess water to drain away, preventing the roots from sitting in water.


In this minty escapade, we’ve unraveled the mysteries of mint leaves turning brown and dying. Armed with knowledge and a sprinkle of quirkiness, you can revive those fading greens. Remember, with proper care and a touch of magic, your mint plants can flourish again, radiating freshness and flavor. So embrace the challenge, keep those leaves green, and let your minty journey continue with renewed vigor. Happy mint-growing adventures!

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Jack Daniel

I am Jack Daniel, and I have been gardening for more than 20 years now. I believe that with my years of experience, I can help you with backyard ideas and backyard product reviews. So, with the motto to help anyone facing gardening issues or wanting tips on enhancing the beauty of their backyards, I have created Backyard Muse. So, before anything else, I want to welcome you warmly to my site.


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