Mint Leaves Turning Brown

Mint Leaves Turning Brown – 6 Main Causes & Solutions

In your garden, mint leaves turning brown signals impending doom. This signifies something is wrong with your plant baby, and turning brown is its way of calling you for help.

Mint leaves have been faithful companions of humans and have given their essence to make us happy. They are hardy because of their complex roots, enabling them to thrive in adverse conditions. So, they require little tending and grooming to do well.

Yet, they have specific needs, which you must meet to have them blossom. This article educates you on their requirements and gives you some secret recipes that make your plant bay happy.

Do You Know

There are numerous intriguing facts about mint leaves that you may not know. These make them a precious presence in your garden. Here are some facts that you may find interesting:

  • There are over 600 known species in the mint family. The most popular of them is peppermint. A fun fact is that there are also subspecies of peppermint, which have unique characteristics
  • Mint belongs to the Mentha genus and is a native of Eastern Mediterranean
  • Mint extract is helpful in almost all industries. It is a component of cleaning products, seasonings, dental products, beauty products and chewing gum
  • It is a storehouse of vitamins A and C and takes care of ailments such as flu and eye conditions
  • Studies show that it reduces the risks of colon cancer and improves immunity
  • Mint is a favorite in aromatherapy. This is because it gives an overall sense of well-being. It also has antioxidants that deplete the body’s stress levels
  • It is an excellent therapy for indigestion and stimulates appetite.

Mint Leaves Turning Brown – Causes and Remedies

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The green leaves of mint plants are beautiful in the garden. Its unique and heady smells relieve you of stress on the hardest of days. So, it is sad and worrisome to see your mint leaves turning brown. It leaves you wondering what went wrong.

There are lots of causes for mint leaves turning brown. Yet, you can eliminate this problem from your garden with knowledge of its causes and remedies. Some causes for mint leaves turning brown include:

1. Wrong Soil Type

It is challenging to grow mint seeds, and most gardeners transplant young mint from the nursery to their gardens or potting soil. This is the norm, and most mint plants thrive this way. Yet, it is important to note that the soil type is essential to plant growth.

Mint leaves do well in loamy soils. This is because they need aerated soil to grow. Also, compact soils retain excess amounts of water. This floods the plant’s roots and causes them to rot. They also create a suitable environment for anaerobic bacterial growth and make the mint plant susceptible to infection.

The mint plants then get sick and start to wilt. This may be due to malnutrition or bacterial infection. It presents as the mint leaves turning brown and falling.


If the mint plant is in clay potting soil, consider repotting the mint plant in lighter and less compact soil. This will allow easy drainage and keep the plant roots healthy. You should also consider repotting the mint plant if the soil is infected.  To do this:

  • Break the soil around the plant roots
  • Gentle tug out the plant roots
  • Trim off infected roots using a pair of gardening scissors or knife
  • Spray antifungals on healthy parts of the roots
  • Repot the mint plant in healthy and less compact soil
  • Lightly water the soil to keep it moist without flooding the roots
  • Watch the plant growth for about two weeks to ensure the mint plant is healthy.

2. Excessive Watering

Plant roots require water to take up nutrients from the soil and keep the plant healthy. Yet, these roots can also drown in the presence of excess water. This limits the oxygen levels in the soil and causes hypoxia to plant roots.

So, the plant suffers from dehydration and malnutrition, even though the soil contains abundant water. In this state, the plant shunts nutrients from leaves to provide a sufficient supply to keep the stems alive. This causes the mint leaves to suffer malnutrition and turn brown.


Especially in a confined potting space, mint plants do not need excessive watering. To create a moist environment without flooding your mint leaves, these prove helpful:

  • Use plant sprayers to moisten the soil without flooding it
  • Place stone beds beneath the potting soil
  • When the soil excessively drains, go for dry days when you do not water the plant
  • Create a feasible watering schedule

3. Infection or Infestation

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Given the right conditions, mint leaves are prone to fungal infections and pest infestation. The fungus spores get into the soil, infect roots, and spread to the shoots and leaves.

Common fungal infections of mint leaves include web blight and mint rust. These both cause brown spots on mint leaves and can destroy the mint leaves.

If you notice brown spots on the topsides of the leaves, you may have a mint leave pest infestation problem. The three most common mint leave aliens include spider mites, aphids and four-lined plant bugs.

These pests suck the sap from the stem and leaves and wound the leaves in the process. This opens them up to infection and may cause wilting due to excessive damage.


Mint leaves are edible, so you must use pest control measures that are friendly to human health. These include the use of organic sprays and pesticides, as well as antifungals to combat fungal infections.

4. Exposure to Direct Sunlight

Mint leaves love to bask in the sun but will wilt in the presence of the scorching sunlight. This causes sunburns on plant tissues, and the leaves become dry and weak. So, it is best to provide shade for the mint leaves where they can enjoy the sun’s warmth without its blazing heat.

It is also helpful to provide water on overly hot days to the roots to prevent drying and to wilt of the plant.

Fun Fact

Mint leaves have pest-repellent properties that keep unwanted guests away from your garden. So, their presence in your garden or home keeps other plants safe from pest infestation and the diseases they bring.

5. Natural Aging Process

Like all living beings, plants can also grow old and become weak. Natural aging can also be the reason your mint leaves are turning brown. Usually, the leaves closer to the plant root will change to a dark yellow before turning brown and falling off. Since the plant is probably going through a natural process, you don’t have to panic. Fortunately, there are simple tricks to make the plant flourish.


Consider pruning the mint plant to get rid of the brown leaves and make it look fuller. Ensure the plant is healthy when you want to prune it so that it won’t go into shock. Be careful when trimming the leaves to prevent damaging the plant completely. Most importantly, sterilize the tools you want to use in pruning the mint plant to keep it safe from diseases. 

6. Excess Fertilizer Application

Of course, mint leaves need fertilizer to thrive, but only in small amounts. When you apply too much fertilizer to your mint plant, there will be a blockage in the root system. As a result, the plant will not receive water and nutrients from the root, causing leaf discoloration. 


Apply fertilizer to the mint plants once in a while in moderate amounts. Consider using fertilized soil for growing your mint plant to reduce the number of times you’ll add fertilizer to it. Another great option is to produce compost at home and apply it to the plant. 


The causes of mint leaves turning brown revolve around wrong grooming practices and unconducive environmental conditions. Gardeners consistently report sunburns, pest infestation, and root rot as causes of mint leaves turning brown.

With the tips in this article, you can circumvent these causes and watch your mint leaves thrive and blossom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat mint leaves that are turning brown?

It depends on the cause of mint leaves turning brown. You can eat the leaves if this results from poor management or sunburns. But, if the mint leaves suffer from fungal infection, it is wise to keep them away from other plants and for human consumption.

Why is my mint plant turning yellow?

As plants age, they tend to pay close attention to new shoots and neglect older ones. This implies that the older leaves suffer malnutrition and start to turn yellow. The best therapy for this is to trim off the yellowing leaves to give room for new growth.

Can too much water hurt mint plants?

Mint leaves love moderate water supplies. So, excess water can cause problems to the plant and make them sick. This is because excessive water supply floods the roots and causes them to rot. Consequently, the roots cannot breathe well and absorb sufficient nutrients for the mint plant. Therefore, the plant starves and dies.

Is your Minty Oasis turning brown?

Mint leaves thrive in almost every clime and do not need intense nurturing. But, if your minty oasis starts to turn brown, you may want to check that the grooming conditions are excellent. This will require patience and adequate information about mint leave culturing and grooming.


Mint leaves turning brown is a widespread problem of mint plant parents. It has many causes, and treatment can be ineffective in the event of misdiagnoses. So, it is crucial to know the specific cause of your mint leave turning brown and promptly resolve it.

You are well on your way to becoming an excellent plant parent. You only need to source the correct information on your plant babies.

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