Trimming Mint Plants: How And When to Prune Mint

by Peter on October 27, 2020

The first thing to do when you want to trim your mint plants is to remove all the dead or dying leaves from your plants. You must do this before any other work can be done with the plant. If you don’t take care of it, the plant will die and you won’t have enough leaves left over for cooking purposes.

When you are ready to start trimming your mint plants, you need to make sure that the top part of the plant is completely removed. There are two ways to do this. One way is to use scissors and carefully snip off all the tops of each leaf from one side at a time.

Another method would be using tweezers and gently pull out the tops of each leaf one by one until they fall off into a pile on another part of your kitchen countertop.

Once you have removed all the tops of each leaf, place them in a baggie and seal it up tightly. Place the baggie in a small trash can and put it somewhere where there is no direct sunlight. Leave the bagged mint leaves lying around your house for several days so that they dry out.

Once they are dried out, you will be able to easily peel off the tops of these mint leaves without hurting yourself too much. Be careful though to make sure that you don’t throw the bag away while they are still wet because the freshness of the leaves will quickly evaporate.

What To Do If My Mint Plants Are Leggy?

This is a very common question and usually occurs in people’s gardens. Gardening can be very frustrating at times, but you just need to know how to bring a mint plant back to life. It is not a big challenge.

The best thing to do when your mint plants are leggy is to cut them all way back. If the plant is in a container, you can remove it from the container or you can just cut off some of the root system by trimming the rootball. After this is done, you can replant it or place it into a new pot with fresh potting soil.

You are going to want to keep the soil relatively wet, but don’t keep it soaked. A nice watering 2-3 times a week should do just fine. Also, try to place it in a location that has at least some shade, but not too much as mint plants do not like to be root bound and like plenty of air to grow.

Soon you will notice new growth and your plant will start looking less leggy and more full again. This is a very easy process and is also very common with houseplants as well. All you really have to do is cut the plant back and replant it into fresh potting soil and it will soon start growing again.

Shouldn’t take more than a few weeks for the plant to show signs of new growth.

What To Do If My Mint Plant Has Wilted Leaves?

This can be caused by a few different things, but don’t worry because none of them are permanent and won’t kill your plant. The first thing you want to look at is the soil your mint plant is growing in. This can cause the leaves to wilt and droop over if the soil has either dried out or it hasn’t been watered enough.

The best thing you can do if this is the case is to water the plant more often and make sure you are not letting the soil dry out too much in between waterings. As long as you aren’t going more than 3 days or so without watering, your plant should perk back up soon. If it doesn’t start perking up within a week, then you might have another problem on your hands.

The other thing that could cause the wilted drooping leaves is the temperature. If you are keeping your plants in a location that is either too hot or too cold, this can cause the leaves to droop over and even turn brown. The best thing you can do in this case is to move your plant to a warmer or cooler location respectively.

The wilt can also be caused by a root system not able to get the nutrients it needs from the soil, especially if the soil has gotten too dry. You can rectify this by replanting your plant into fresh potting soil or if you don’t want to do that, you can water your plant and bury ice cubes made from bottled water in the soil around the root system to help keep the moisture in the soil.

Mint plant drooping or wilting leaves can also be caused by underwatering, overhead watering or even excessive fertilizing, so if none of these tips work then you should try looking at your watering and feeding habits first.

The Best Way To Care For Your Mint Plant

Once you have your plant healthy again, it is important that you keep it this way so it stays healthy and keeps on growing strong.

As I said before, keeping the soil on the dry side can cause problems with your plant’s growth as well as cause its leaves to wilt and droop, so you want to make sure to keep the soil evenly moist. You also don’t want the soil to be soggy wet as this can cause its root system to rot, so you are looking for that happy median of not dry and not soggy.

You should also be careful not to over water it either or waterlog the roots. If you do this, the plant’s root system can become rotten and cause the whole plant to die. Overwatering is a common problem for a lot of houseplant owners, so if you start noticing your plants’ leaves start turning yellow between the veins, you need to let it dry out a bit before watering again.

Feeding your plant is also important because plants just like people need nutrients to survive. You don’t want to overfeed it or it can cause burning, but a lack of feeding will cause the plant’s leaves to start turning yellow between the veins. To avoid this altogether you can simply follow the feeding instructions on the package you buy for your plant that has all the necessary nutrients in it for your plant to thrive.

Problems With Your Mint Plant

Yellowing between the leaves is often the first sign of a problem with your plant. If you notice this on just one area of the plant, then you most likely need to water it. Yellowing throughout the whole plant is a sure sign that your plant is either being over watered, underwatering or has another root system problem.

Root system problems are a little harder to determine because the signs can be very different from plant to plant. You will need to keep an eye on your plant and if it isn’t responding to any of the home remedies then you might have to consider throwing it out and buying a new one. It is better for you to buy a new plant every couple of years, than to kill off all your plants by not water or feeding them properly.

Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a problem that has been sweeping the nation in recent years. It is a problem that is causing honey bees to simply disappear from their hives and die without ever being noticed or entering hibernation. Since bees are the main way in which plants reproduce, this has been causing problems with our crops failing left and right.

Since bees feed on the nectar of plants, a lot of research is being done right now to try to pinpoint the problem and how to fix it. One of the leading theories is that the increased use and pesticide spraying for mosquitoes has been killing off the bees which in turn leaves less bees to pollinate our crops.

Mealybugs are another problem you could have to deal with growing mint. They look like little white cottony type bugs that will settle on the underside of the leaves and begin to suck out the life blood of your plant. They can be treated with a special type of oil made just for this problem.

You can also remove them by hand if you aren’t squeamish.

Spilled or excess water near the base of your plant will cause root rot and kill the roots which in turn will eventually kill off your entire plant. Make sure to never pour excess water near the base of the plant. If you do notice the roots starting to rot, you will need to transplant it into fresh soil and keep a close eye on it so that it starts getting stronger new roots.

Water your plant when the topsoil starts to dry out. You can also stick your finger an inch or so into the soil. If it feels dry then you should probably water it some more.

If the leaves start to develop yellow patches between the veins then you most likely are not feeding it enough. If the whole leaf starts to turn yellow and starts falling off, then you are probably over feeding it.

Sources & references used in this article:

Effect of structurally different plant growth regulators (PGRs) on the concentration, yield, and constituents of peppermint essential oil by D Khanam, F Mohammad – … of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants, 2017 – Taylor & Francis

An expressed sequence tag (EST) library from developing fruits of an Hawaiian endemic mint (Stenogyne rugosa, Lamiaceae): characterization and … by C Lindqvist, AC Scheen, MJ Yoo, P Grey… – BMC Plant …, 2006 – Springer

Storage and shelf life of packaged watercress, parsley, and mint by HW Hruschka, CY Wang – 1979 –

Mint family as plants for honeybee forage by MP Widrlechner – 1987 –

A New Agro-technology for Increasing Oil Yield and Yield Contributing Characters of Menthol Mint (Mentha arvensis L.) by RK Upadhyay, JR Bahl, DD Patra… – … Oil Bearing Plants, 2015 – Taylor & Francis

Growing and Cooking with Mint: Storey’s Country Wisdom Bulletin A-145 by G Andrews – 1996 –

Nerium oleander L.Cranberry Cooler’,Grenadine Glace’,Pink Lemonade’,Peppermint Parfait’,Raspberry Sherbet’andPetite Peaches and Cream’ by WA Mackay, MA Arnold, JM Parsons – HortScience, 2005 –



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