Why is My Mint Plant Turning Brown?

Last Updated on November 6, 2022 by Stephanie

Mint is a plant that is known for its capacity to flourish because it is simple to grow and thrives in shaded places. If you observe the appearance of browning in your minty garden it could be a sign of an issue. The earlier you address this, the higher your chance of saving the plants paradise.

Mint leaves turn brown because of poor humidity, insufficient irrigation, or diseases like fungal infections. The most likely causes could be nutritional deficiencies or heat scorching, a lack of roots, or the aging. To remedy this, keep your plant in a light mist with humidifiers, regularly water it and apply an fungicide to prevent problems later on.

Causes of Mint Leaves Turning Brown and Solutions

It isnt easy to determine what is that is causing the browning of the mint plant. It is important to be aware of your plants and be aware of the changes to their structure.

A good gardener will detect the browning problem in the beginning by checking regularly on the condition of the plants.

Fungal Diseases of Mint Cause Brown Leaves

Mint and other plants, are prone to diseases at any time. Mint particularly is susceptible to fungal problems due to its love of shady places in which it collects moisture.

Mint rust fungus is found in mint plant life on a frequent routine. The fungus is triggered when water is left in the mint plants soil for long durations.

Since mint thrives in shady places and is a perfect environment for fungus to flourish and cause browning of the leaves of your mint!

How to Fix

The spores released by the fungus makes it a highly contagious disease. This is why it is necessary to eliminate the affected plant and place it in plastic bags to stop the release of spores that could be able to attack plants around it.

If the fungus develops in the early stages, you could attempt to remove the areas of the plant that are affected, but you are required to do it on your own responsibility.

You can stop the fungal growth by altering how you water your mint plant. You should give the most water to it as you can, without denying it water.

If you offer your mint even the tiniest amount over the limit, youll just encourage the fungus to flourish.

If youre in a position to spot the plant early, take the plant from the pot and then give it a fresh layer of soil and a new pot.

If you wish to use the pot in which the mint once grew in, it is necessary to clean it thoroughly to get rid of the fungus.

The pot should be soaked in a bleach solution that contains 1 part bleach in two parts water-cleaning solution.

Clean the pot and rinse thoroughly prior to putting any other plants in it.

spring of mint

Improper Watering

It can be a difficult task when youre dealing with an plant youre not familiar with.

Incorrect watering is comprised of two parts: overwatering and submerging. Insufficient or excessive water could affect the tissues which make up the plant.

The cells and tissues which form the basis of the plant hold water and supply plants with the necessary nutrients. To allow your mint to flourish it is necessary to locate your sweet spot for its water supply.

Similar to humans, plants require to breathe. If there is too much water within the soil it eliminates the oxygen required for plants to breathe properly.

The overwatering of the plant causes it to drown. If your mint isnt getting enough oxygen to produce the nutrients it needs the plant will die.

The mint is deprived of having enough moisture to provide the necessary life.

Insufficient water supply can cause the plant to attempt to keep itself healthy by maintaining the stems health. This may cause browning of the leaves too.

How to Fix

Make sure to water it consistently and provide the exact amount each time. Youre trying to create a space for your mint which it can flourish in.

Make a schedule for watering and track the amount of water youre giving the mint plants. Mint should be being watered every week a couple of times at the most.

The timing of watering is based upon the weather and the humidity of the area. It is best to moisten the soil, but not completely soaking it with water.

If youve got holes at the base of your garden stop watering when you notice water dripping through the holes at the bottom.

Inadequate Humidity

Maintaining a plant within a humid climate is vitally important. Each plant requires a specific amount of moisture in the air for it to flourish.

The humid conditions of the plant allow it to remain damp in a manner that doesnt have any connection with the root of the plant.

The dry, hot air will make your mint shrivel and cause the leaves, causing them to turn brown.

If you reside in a dry area or in an icy winter month it is possible to think about this as your issue. The winter air could be drying for your plant even when its in the.

There is an elongated, brown debris on the edges of the leaves. Then the whole leaf will change to brown or yellowing.

How to Fix

Consider a humidifier for your plant. Humidifiers help keep the air moist regardless of the weather or the natural moisture of the air.

Consider getting an misting bottle, and then turning it on tofine mist setting fine mist setting. Dont let the water accumulate on the leaves, or it could attract fungus and pests that can cause further browning.

Also, consider localized humidity! Localized humidity occurs when you place plants close enough that their expelled humidity is shared with surrounding plants.

It is the best natural, safe method to create an environment that is humid for your mint or other plants.

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Heat and Sun

While most plants love direct sunlight, mint plants prefer shaded areas to thrive in. Its shade allows it to grow quickly and flourish.

If youre keeping your mint in direct sunlight, stop! It doesnt require sunlight for its growth. it develops.

Place it in a place that direct sunlight hits it on will not benefit your mint.

Scorching, which is the process of sunlight burning the plant may occur when you place your mint in these conditions.

The temperature can affect mint too. If the area where you keep the plant is extremely hot the same problem with browning could arise.

How to Fix

Maintain your mint in a cool, shady place! Do not allow your plant to be exposed to direct and overhead sunlight , or it could start to brown and burn it self.

When youre an indoor-only mint keeper Youll want to store the mints in a shaded area of a room that is brightly lit.

Create filtered light by using small curtains to stop excessive sun exposure from damaging your mint.

If temperature is an problem, consider the location where you store your mint. Are you putting it close to the source of heat or air conditioning? If yes, then move it immediately!

Do not place your plants in a location that is directly impacted by temperature-regulating systems, like heating. Place the mints in an appropriately warm space.

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Constricted Roots

Constricted roots occur the time when a root system starts to grow back. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how deep do mint roots extend?

It happens when the plants roots outgrow the space its living in due to the insufficient space.

Mints you can grow indoors are afflicted by this the mostly due to the limited space for growth in pots for planting.

Outdoor plants have access to all the soil on earth (quite literally) to spread their roots across. Pots for plants only have the space they need that the roots can expand into.

Roots that are constricted cant receive enough water due to roots strangling itself in a bizarre manner.

As the roots expand and they run out of room they must try to circle around the pot they are growing in.

Sometimes the roots can get caught, create knots or create tightly crossed patterns. These variations can result in roots that have their flow restricted and occasionally removed.

This stops them from grabbing the nutrients and water in the soil, which keeps the plant healthy. Therefore, the leaves could start to turn brown.

How to Fix

There are several avenues that you, as a caregiver, can take to help with this issue before its too to late.

Try removing the root system slowly and cautiously.

It is not a good idea to cause any harm to the roots since they are the most vital component of the plant that must be maintained for its the survival of the plant. If you damage it, it will be irreparable.

Once you have untangled the roots, you are able to plant them again in new soil and a bigger pot to avoid the same problem from happening once more.

Give your mint ample space to flourish and grow by increasing the size of the pot that it was in before.

Try separating your mint on two different pots once you have sorted out roots.

Since mint is a fast-growing plant It is possible to discover a whole bushel of mint in a single pot for a planter.

You can counter this by dividing the bush into as many smaller parts as possible before place them in smaller pots!

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Natural Aging

They are like any other living thing around the globe, in that they have a beginning as well as an end.

It is possible that the browning in your mints is due to natural aging, and not due to other problems like disease or insufficient watering.

Every plant has a life cycle, and they also have certain parts of them.

If the leaves at the lower part the plants (closest in proximity to soil) have begun to brown it is likely that natural aging is responsible.

New buds and leaves appear towards the middle and the top of the plants.

When your plant is getting old, the plant will always attempt to keep the young parts first, such as the buds that are just emerging.

The leaves that are closest to the soil will begin to change to a dark yellow color and then turn brown before falling off the stem.

Do not be worried! Its a normal element of the process, and you must use your best judgement to ensure that the mint leaves you have are in the process.

How to Fix

While the leaves of mint may be changing color but they may not disappear quickly since the process takes a while.

It is possible to add the plant you have to this phase of the cycle by carefully pruning.

Pruning is not just beneficial to get rid of the brown areas of plants but also to create more full and bushier plants overall.

The faster you can rid yourself of that dreaded aging plant, the faster youll be able to see the younger areas of your plant thrive!

Here are some tips to prune!

  • Pruning should only be done when the plants are healthy. Pruning at other times could cause shock to the plant and cause it to die.
  • Cut on a diagonal to ensure you dont harm the area or hinder the growth.
  • Be patient! It is not a good idea to rush through this process and commit an error! Damage to plants is irreparable most of the time.

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Nutrient Deficiency

The plants are often affected by nutritional deficiencies when theyre not receiving the right amount of minerals from the soil.

The mint can shrink to keep it alive by absorbing the nutrients that are accessible to it.

The mint plant requires the minerals phosphorus, calcium and potassium as well as nitrogen in your soil to ensure that it has enough nutrients to maintain its health and to prevent browning that can take place.

Mint plants that are deficient in nutrients can kill the old parts in order to ensure that the young buds are kept healthy.

The plants will begin to turn fade and die when the soil has been completely stripped from its mineral content.

How to Fix

The most effective way to address this problem is to provide an excellent fertilizer or make compost. Composting is a sure method of supplying nutrients to the roots in a natural way.

You can make your own kitchen with natural ingredients such as vegetable and fruit leftovers and coffee grounds, etc.

If you do decide to fertilize, make sure you do not fertilize too much or you could cause fertilizer burn, which can cause browning and other issues.

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Insect Infestation

Insect infestations are frequent among mint plants. Spider mites and other insects are responsible for the green leaves turning brown.

Spider mites thrive in warm weather and produce yellow and brown coloration on leaves.

They could be the cause of your issues If the indoor plant is kept in a humid and warm environment where they thrive in.

How to Fix

The most effective method to get rid of insects is to alter the conditions that the plants are in. Transfer the mints to cooler areas so that spider mites arent able to reach their preferred temperatures.

When your mint grows located in an area that is humid or you regularly mist your mint with water and you are unable to hold off on more water until the spider mites go away.

Source: Plantvillage; Penn State University

Salts Buildup

Salts are minerals that can be found in soil following fertilization or consumption of tap water.

The minerals that supply the plants with nutrients through fertilizer may leave a salt residue in the soil when fertilizer is not properly applied.

Salts that are too salty, such as magnesium and sodium can harm mint plants by damaging their root systems.

The salt residue may accumulate and hinder the soil from properly dispersing water.

The roots also suffer from salts, which cause them to not be able to absorb the water and then supply this to plants.

Inability to move water through the system could result in browning of all the leaves of mint.

How to Fix

Switch to water purified that doesnt have such an excessive amount of minerals to cause harm to the plant.

Tap water is harmful to plants that are sensitive, like mint varieties. Fertilizers contain a lot of salts and minerals, so beware of the use of too much.

Over Fertilization

In the effort to provide your plant more nutrients, you might have created a negative effect and damaged your mint.

Fertilizer is a source of super-strength minerals your plant requires, such as potassium and nitrogen.

If you supply huge amounts of minerals like these, they could hinder the ability of root systems to be able to take in moisture from roots.

If you fertilize too much it, you risk the possibility of burning the fertilizer. This can cause yellowing and browning at the edges of the leaf, if not all of the leaf.

How To Fix

Beware of using excessive fertilizer by cutting the frequency of usage. Use fertilizer at least every 3 months to maintain the health of your root system healthy and intact.

Another option is to buy soil that has fertilizer already added to it, to avoid putting in all of it all at once.

If youre looking to add the nutrients your mint needs composting (as previously mentioned) is an excellent alternative, and is the most healthy method to provide your mint with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Cold Drafts

Mint plants dont thrive in cold temperatures. House plants cant withstand drafts since they mimic winter conditions in which plants start to protect themselves.

If mint is put in a cold area or directly in front of the window or an air conditioning unit and it triggers the plant to be shocked.

A sudden jolt like this will not just cause browning problems, but could also cause the mint to die completely.

How to Fix

Put your mint inside a warm place. Avoid corners and drafty rooms and windowsills.

If you are able, try for your mint to be kept in a temperature that is between 60 and 80 degrees (15-27degC). This will stop the browning caused by cold shock and help keep your mint in good health.

Keep this temperature constant constantly to avoid plants from dying suddenly.


The process of growing beautiful plants isnt easy However, dont quit! Mint is among the most simple plants to cultivate.

Ride smooth over bumps on the road and continue to ride towards your goal of planting paradise!



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)