Why Is My Mint Plant Wilting?

Mint plants are tough perennial plants which thrive on moist soil and plenty of sunlight. But they can be susceptible to die if the soil is dry…

The reason why mint plants dying is typically due to the soil’s moisture being low caused by sandy soils or inadequate watering. Make sure to water the mint as often as you can to ensure humid soil, preventing the mint from dying or drooping.

Mint may also lose its color on hot days, but get back to normal in the evening when there are cooler temperatures.

While under-watering or rapidly draining soils is the main reason for mint to wilt, there are other reasons that I have listed below in order of likelihood of causing mint to wilt.

  1. Quick draining or under watering soils.
  2. The mint in the pot is dying due to the small size of the pot or the absence drain holes on the bottom.
  3. Soil that is saturated, which can cause root rot.
  4. Mint is wilting following planting, which can cause shock to the transplant.
  5. Mint that is leggy due to the absence of sunlight excessive fertilizer use or lack regularly pruned.

Continue reading to learn how you can apply the solutions to these issues and stop your mint that is wilting…

Mint Wilting due to Under Watering

The most frequent reason of mint wilting is the insufficient irrigation.

Mint needs the soil to be always humid and often wilts when the soil is drying out therefore regular watering is essential.

To make sure that mint does not die due to over irrigation or lack of moisture, it is essential to take a variety of factors into consideration. These include:

  • Compost. Mint likes soil with a rich loam or compost (rather than poor sandy soils) because these types of soil hold moisture.
  • Containers as well as pots. If the container or pot is not large enough, it will dry out quickly during hot summer days.
  • Weather and climate. In certain temperate climates that have heavy rainfall, mint typically not require water, except during the hottest months during the summer. In hot climates the potted mint might require watering every two days.

mint leaves by ginger lemon and a cup

How to Save an Under Watered Mint

The most effective way to avoid mint wilting because of dehydration is to alter your frequency for watering in order to keep that your soil is always moist to meet the garden’s conditions.

In climates that are more dry like California and the Mediterranean in which case it might be beneficial to water mint on a regular basis every day during Summer, whereas in cooler climates, regular watering is enough to keep the soil’s moisture and prevent it from the plant from wilting.

If the soil is dry and your mint plant is dying and you want to give it an extensive soak. In pots, this means to soak the soil until the water is flowing out of the base, which will ensure that the soil remains moist throughout.

In the garden, boarders should provide mint with a good watering , and then add mulch to help hold the moisture and prevent the chance of evaporation during hot days.

Materials like compost leaf mould, compost manure that has been rotten are great because they have the capacity to hold water and adding nutrients to the soil and enhance the soil’s texture.

The mint should be planted in large quantities of compost to keep moisture in the soil and to retain regularly water it in order to ensure that the soil remains moist , but not saturated. The mint should be able to recover within just a few days.

Keep in mind that mint may wilt during extreme heat, but get back to normal when it is cooler temperatures of the evening.

(Read my article on the best way to water mint plants).

Potted Mint Wilting

The reason why potted mints are being swollen or falling down is typically due to two reasons:

  1. The pot is too small and it dries out quickly in the sun.
  2. There aren’t any drainage holes inside the pot (or the excess water gets trapped because of drip tray or the usage of a decorative pot).

Pots that are smaller have less capacity for soil, and they aren’t able to hold the same amount of moisture.

This is exacerbated due to the fact that mint prefers full sunshine (and can tolerate shade to a degree). The smaller pot that is in full sun is heated up faster than a larger one and the water from the soil evaporates rapidly.

Certain kinds of pots such as black or metal pots are able to conduct heat efficiently, which can increase the drying effect of the sun.

All of this leads to soil that is too dry for mint, causing it to die or drop because of a deficiency in water.

It’s the opposite in the event that the pot or container is not equipped with drainage holes at the base.

If there isn’t enough drainage, excess water builds up within the pot, which causes the soil constantly boggy, rather than just moist.

The boggy soil creates conditions for fungal diseases as well as root rot, which could cause mint to change color from brown to yellow.

How to Save Mint Wilting in Pots

If your mint plant is dying due to a tiny pot, the best solution is to transplant the mint plant in the larger pot. Select a pot that:

  • At at least 12 inches across.
  • The mint plant can be planted in pots made of clay, terracotta or ceramic to get the best results.

A pot that is minimum 12 inches in diameter will be able to hold moisture for a longer time.

Mint plants need a constant supply of humid soil to avoid wilting therefore a larger pot that has more soil and water will help ensure that the plant stays healthy and well-hydrated throughout the time of watering.

The mint should be watered as often as you need to ensure that the soil remains damp in accordance with the weather and climate and the mint will perk up from its limp or drooping appearance.

Terracotta, clay and ceramic pots aren’t able to get hot as fast as metal or plastic pots, which helps keep the soil moist and cool during hot weather.

If your mint is dying due to the soil being boggy in pots that do not have drainage holes, the best solution is simply to move mint in the pot that has drainage holes at the base, so that any excess water is able to escape.

If you’re growing mint indoors, one of the frequent issue is to use a drip tray or saucer to collect the excess water in the pot which can spill onto furniture.

I would suggest that you take the pot of mint outside to water it and after 30 minutes, bring the mint inside and put a towel on top of the pot to soak up any moisture that is not needed and to ensure your furniture is protected otherwise, the mint could be affected by root decay.

The mint will begin to perk up after being placed in a pot that has a good drainage.

If you notice any yellow-colored foliage, cut off the foliage using a sterilized pair of pruners or a pair of scissors and then clean the blades after each cut with alcohol-based disinfectant to avoid the spread of fungal pathogens.

If the mint plant is notably yellow and drooping , and is not showing any signs of healing after a couple of weeks, it could be worthwhile to replace the plant since prevention is often the best treatment for mint roots that are suffering from root decay.

Mint Wilting After Planting (Transplant Shock)

Mint plants may wilt or lose their shape due to transplant shock.

If you purchase the mint at the grocery store or at a garden center, it’s likely to have been planted in a temperature-controlled green house, and the plant has adapted to specific amounts of sunlight and watering as well as soil nutrients.

If you purchase the mint plant and place it in your garden it is possible for the mint to be slowed down by transplant shock even if you supply the plant with healthy growth conditions.

It is a simple indication of stress because of the different conditions where the mint was grown in your garden to the dirt or plant.

Don’t worry, mint is a tough and resilient plant that can come back in a rage!

What can you do to Save Mint by Transplant Shock

The first step to reducing transplant-related shock is to ensure that you water the mint well after planting. Mint thrives in humid soil, so you need to alter the frequency of your irrigation, to ensure that the soil doesn’t become dry.

Make sure that your mint plant is in a rich compost. The compost must be porous, flexible and able to hold moisture. it can be a good choice when you plant your mint plants, and also prevent the plant from dying.

Mint is not a good choice in stony or sandy soils which drain quickly, so the more you prepare the plant area with a sufficient amount of compost, the better mint plants thrive.

Place mint plants in a large size pot to ensure that the roots are given enough room to grow properly and place the plant in full sunlight.

Make sure that mint is provided with the right conditions for growth and it will be able to recover from transplant shock in less than one week. It is important to emphasize the importance of regular irrigation to ensure that the soil stays damp so that your mint doesn’t wilt.

Mint Wilting due to Saturated Soil

Mint may wilt due to slow drainage or boggy soils because this could create conditions for root rot as well as other fungal pathogens, like Verticillium dahliae.

The signs of fungal and root rot diseases caused by slow drainage of soils are:

  • A look that is droopy or wilting.
  • Leaves turning yellow.
  • Roots that have dark brown and appear to be soft and decayed.

The root rot that occurs in mint plants doesn’t usually occur when the mint plant is planted in a rich compost as compost is porous which allows excess water to drain away, rather than remain saturated and boggy.

Slow draining soils like clay and low lying areas of the garden, where water naturally collects or pots that do not have drainage holes are among the most commonly blamed for causing root rot.

How to Save a Wilting Mint in Boggy Soil

Mint that is dying because of root rot may become difficult to keep, and preventative measures are always more effective than cure in the case of root decay.

To stop root rot, Plant the mint in a well-drained, multi-purpose compost. You shouldn’t be experiencing any issues unless the ground is boggy due to other reasons , such as dripping clay.

In gardens that have dirt that is clay or boggy,, the most effective way to cultivate mint is to plant it in containers, pots and raised beds.

Containers and pots have favorable drainage conditions , and you can manage the soil profile much more easily in containers instead of needing to amend the soil in your garden.

To keep the mint plant from dying which is dying because of root rot, it is essential to:

  • Remove the mint from the boggy area . Prepare an area with compost that is multipurpose to transfer the mint.
  • After removing the mint from the soil, examine the roots. If the roots appear like they are dark brown and more diseased than a healthy light color cut them off and bring the diseased roots back to healthy growth using the use of a sterilized pair of pruning scissors.
  • Clean the blades of pruners by soaking a cloth in alcohol disinfectant following each cut to avoid spreading fungal pathogens that have been spread from damaged roots to healthy roots.
  • Place mint in a pot that is composted with multipurpose material and put the pot in full sunlight.

The likelihood of the mint regaining its health is contingent upon the extent of the root decay. If the majority of the leaves is yellow and wilted , with only a few healthy roots, it is recommended to purchase another mint (or start from seeds) to plant in pots.

But mint is able to recover when the damage caused by root rot is only limited to a few roots , and mint can repopulate within 2 weeks or less.

Wilting or Leggy Mint (Not Enough Sun or Pruning)

Mint plants may become limp and look droopy because of a variety of reasons like:

  • The mint hasn’t been cut frequently.
  • Insufficient sunshine (mint likes sun and shade, but prefers partial or full).
  • Too much nitrogen fertilizer.

If they are not regularly pruned throughout the summer and spring mint plants may become smaller, less productive and can even droop under their own weight.

Regularly pruning mint plants will encourage the development of more leaves, stop flowering (which prevents mint from sown and decreasing its productivity) and keeps a neat appearance, rather than a plants that are drooping.

When the mint grows situated in too much shade, this can cause the plant to grow excessively to seek out more sunlight, which results in an appearance of wilting or falling.

Too too much Nitrogen fertilizer may also trigger substantial growth in the foliage and the stems may become sappy and weaker, causing the mint to shrink or die as is unable to carry its weight.

How to Save Leggy Mint

To keep leggy, drooping mint, make sure you cut the plant back regularly to ensure it is well-maintained. It is possible to trim mint any time during the growing season to cook with or to make a mojito whenever you want!

Cut the mint back to about a couple of inches. Mint is a robust plant that it is able to endure a lot of pruning and grow stronger, so don’t be concerned about making mistakes because mint is extremely forgiving. However, cutting back to 4 inches or so will keep the mint leaves producing with the right scent and flavor.

To get a visual reference to trimming mint, watch this YouTube video that will help you:

Mint plants are able to thrive in full shade or in partial shade, with just a couple of hours of sunshine in the morning or in the afternoon. But it doesn’t grow well in shade, which results in the plant to turn brown or shrink when it is searching for sunlight.

If the mint is growing in the pot (which is the most effective method to grow mint because of its capacity to grow in garden boarders) the best option is simply to relocate the pot to an area with more sunlight. Cut back the plant to about 4 inches, and the mint will recover quickly.

Mint plants are able to respond to fertilizers, particularly when they are located placed in soil that is poor or in pots that have limited access to nutrients (however mint plants can thrive without fertilizer when the soil is abundant).

Over-use of fertilizer or fertilizing too often will encourage excessive growth and stems may drop. Reduce the frequency of fertilization to once every 4-6 weeks throughout the growing season. You can also trim back any excess growth that is hanging over.

Make use of a water-soluble all-purpose fertilizer, and think about applying half strength for additional applications if your mint is drooping.

If the mint is in the sun’s full or part of it and the soil remains humid, the mint will recover and flourish.

Key Takeaways:

  • The most frequent reason why mint wilts is due to the soil being dry that drains too fast or is not adequately watered. Mint likes soil that is consistently moist otherwise, the leaves may droop.
  • The mint should be watered as often as you need to ensure that the soil stays damp. Potted mints usually require more water to prevent becoming wilted, so give them a bath each day during the summer. Plant mint in large containers or pots.
  • Mint may droop as an indication of root rot, which can be caused by soil overly saturated or boggy. Mint that has root rot displays an appearance of wilting and leaves may change color as a result of stress. If you have gardens that drain slowly soil, grow mint in pots to prevent root decay.
  • Mint may wilt for a short time due to transplant shock as a result of the difference in temperature and the conditions in the greenhouse in which it was grown and the garden you are in. The mint plant should be in complete sunlight and water it regularly, and the mint will recover.
  • Mint plants may become sagging because of a lack of sun, excessive fertilizer, or lack of regular pruning.
  • The mint in pots can die because the pot is too small or because the pot isn’t equipped with drainage holes in its base, and the soil may be flooded. The mint should be planted in containers that measure minimum 12 inches in diameter and with drainage holes in the base to allow the excess water is able to escape.


Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)