whats eating my mint?

silverchez(9b)February 2, 2013

I have no clue. No bunnies or rats (as far as I know) because our sideyard is completely enclosed. I haven't seen any bugs or bug poop on the leaves so I am baffled!

Suggestions?

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GeeS 9b

Damage is so small, I'm guessing it must be an insect. Grasshopper perhaps?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 6:22PM
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silverchez(9b)

That's what I was afraid of :( haven't seen any of them, wonder when they're hiding? Will neem oil work on these guys?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:01PM
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GeeS 9b

I haven't seen many plant eating bugs lately, being winter and all, but I do see grasshoppers about occasionally, hence my speculation... Dunno about neem oil. Is the damage widespread or just a little nibble here and there?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:35PM
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newtoucan

I don't know either, but I have had the hardest time growing mint here in the valley. Anywhere else, I can't get rid of it. I pull it out and it comes right back elsewhere. I just want a small container of it and can't get it going to where it's thriving.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:18PM
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silverchez(9b)

Seems like its minor damage, but then again, the plant isn't very big (just planted) so there isn't much to nibble on.

Toucan...really? that's surprising, considering its supposed to be the only thing next to a cockroach that would survive being nuked :P I can't tell if its really growing or not...I'll keep you posted tho!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:58PM
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v8vega(9)

Leafcutter Bee?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:07PM
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plstqd(9)

It doesn't seem quite the right time of year for leafcutter bees, and in my experience, they make very tidy round little holes, not jagged chunks like these. But then again, I've been wrong more than once in my life!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:18AM
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v8vega(9)

I think you're right. Those little bees wipe out whole leaves on my Pomegranate though. It's as if they all like the same leaves.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 7:11PM
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newtoucan

The damage reminds me of my lemon balm. It was eaten my something that made similar cuts. This was in the summer. Lemon balm is supposed to be as invasive as mint. I really can't keep either going. I've grown them elsewhere and never thought I would want to try them again after they took up the yard, but I just need a little of it for cooking, so it would be nice to have a pot of it and they smell good.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:44PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

I don't have great long-term success with mint or lemon balm either. I just don't think it loves it here. I DO have pretty good luck with scented geraniums, so that's mostly what I go with for scented foliage (it does get stressed in summer but usually pulls through). I'd love to hear tips/tricks from folks who grow the same mint plant year over year here!

The first thing that I thought of from the pic was quail damage. They make little nips/yanks from my plants in spring especially. If your plant was mine I'd put a wire basket on it and see if that helps. Keep us posted!

Happy gardening,
Grant

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 6:34PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Several years ago we had some spearmint growing in a planter on a south wall (north-facing). It bloomed and spread for a few years. I wanted to do something else there so just stopped watering it until all the runners dried up.

Right now I have two mint plants. This one is a curly mint, about two years old and pretty well packed in this little dollar-store 8X8 terracotta pot. It's starting to wake up after sitting neglected for the winter. I didn't really help it much last summer either, other than keeping it shaded and not letting it dry out completely. The main reason I haven't really nurtured it is because the foliage is coarse and fibrous -- not useful for culinary purposes. It's pretty and smells nice, though. Last year's foliage was not all frozen so I cleaned most of it out today and snapped this pic:

This is an apple mint I bought last fall. It's in a 9" across x 10" deep glazed pot.

I think mint likes a moisture-retentive soil and plenty of water, plus regular feeding. I just gave mine their first feeding for this year last Wednesday and they responded immediately. They go to a shadier spot in summer

Something nibbles on my mints too but I haven't found the culprit. Keep it well fed and watered, and it seems to stay ahead.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:55PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Fun pics and info, haname, thanks for taking the time to show your fun plants with us. They're great. Happy gardening everyone!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 5:09PM
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