Answered by Jo Posted in Category Pest Control & Nature

Dear Harrod

Can you tell me what it is that is causing my mint, when it appears to be growing so well, to  appear to die off. The leaves go brown, dry & shriveled. I have found a few tiny green caterpillers on it, but not enough to make it look as though they are causing the problem. This has happened for the last few years, despite taking root cuttings fresh each year. 


Angela Ambrose

Dear Angela

There is a chance that this could be mint rust which is a fungi.  This can over winter on the rhizomes or possibly in the soil as well.

The best solution is to dispose of your mint along with the soil and start again.  Disinfect all pots that you have grown the mint in.  If you are taking root cuttings each year, you can wash the rhizomes in hot water before planting them in new sterile soil each year.  This will hopefully prevent the fungi from returning.  

In the kitchen garden, I divide our mint plants each spring.    The plants are then grown on in clean soil and pots.  This keeps them healthy and prevents the need for cuttings.

I hope this helps. 

Kindest Regards


Jo Blackwell

Kitchen Gardener

Meet the Author: Jo Blackwell
Jo  Blackwell

Jo Blackwell is new on the Harrod Horticultural block and has recently taken over her post as Horticultural Advisor and Kitchen Gardener in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden. She caught the gardening bug when she bought her first home 18 years ago.  Her first greenhouse soon followed and she later gained an allotment, where she grows her own organic fruit and vegetables.


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