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 our well-established Horticultural Advisor and the Kitchen Gardener in Stephanie's Victorian style Kitchen Garden. She caught the gardening bug when she bought her first home 21 years ago. Her first greenhouse soon followed and she later gained an allotment.

As well as tending the Harrod Horticultural Gardens, she enjoys maintaining her own vegetable plot at home. She has been a gardener for Harrod Horticultural for over 4 years now and has a wealth of experience in organic vegetable growing, ornamental gardening and in using all Harrod products.


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