Pot bound mint

leibrookMay 1, 2010

Obviously I am not good at this, although I have grown mint and know that it takes off. I have had it in a pot for a couple of years, about 16" across and about 8" deep. The leaves have become skimpy, but the roots appear to be pot bound. My husband really likes this mint for his Mint Julips. So tonight I weeded out most of the brown stems and left almost nothing on top. I believe it is pot bound because I can actually life the mint roots with soil. What do I do to regenerate new growth? Do I cut out part of the roots and add fresh soil? I cut it down last year and it grew back but the leaves look very tired and not lust. Please tell me best to do to keep this plant. Thanks.

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A plant is only as healthy as its root system. When roots become entangled and squashed, the plant can no longer access water or nutrients. Further, once the root system has filled a pot, you'll find less and less soil. Nothing to keep the plant alive!

With such a small pot, the only answer is to repot to a larger pot (at least twice that size); OR to divide the plant and repot some of it in the same pot. Obviously there'll be enough roots to create several new plants.

Just tip out the pot, plant soil and all. Grab a handful (more, or less) of what looks like healthy plant plus roots (or, in the case of mint, just roots or a runner), tidy it up a bit by trimming extra long runners and gangly stems, and plant it. Make sure if using the same pot that you give it a thorough clean, using soapy water, and rinsing in clean water with a dash of bleach. This treatment kills any residual fungal diseases that may be lurking, also any bugs.

It's as easy as that.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 12:34AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

I would just divide it and put into 2 pots - if you don't want 2 - take the healthiest of the two and give one away.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 9:18AM
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Thank you so much. I don't know why I let the mint roots intimidate me. Your responses very very helpful and supportive. :-)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 7:42PM
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