my potted mint died in 2 weeks

new_grdnr(z9 CA)July 20, 2005


I am new to gardening and experimenting with herbs. Got some curly mint from OSH along with rosemary and thai basil. all in 2.8 x 2.8" square plastic pots. I left all of them on my kitchen window sill, facing North. I have been watering them once daily. After about 12 days, all of a sudden, my mint died!!? all the leaves got dried up and the stem was also very dried up. so i watered them long and twice daily for 2 days, but it doesn't seem to help.

today i checked them closely and i see very tiny bugs or buglike things (light green)on them.

PS: the roots had come slightly out of the pot.

I live in the bay area in California, zone 9.

please help. any advice is good. is it too much water or too much heat? all my other herbs are doing good.

thanks in advance,


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oh... could you have stuck them outside? Plants really don't like being, first things first, those are TINY pots, tiny! they needed to be repotted, all 3 of them. next thing, the rosemary, even here in Sacramento doesn't like to be watered everyday. So, repot the other two into at least 4" pots, the rosemary will eventually have to be repotted in a bigger pot. then go down and buy more mint and try again! :o)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 12:34PM
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new_grdnr(z9 CA)

ok, shall repot them asap. thanks :)
but do you know if the tiny green spots are aphids.
read in other forums that mint cannot die and will sprout back. is that true? should i discard them totally?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 1:48PM
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You can try cutting the top off of the mint, make sure the root is not infected, & plant it. Mint propagates by root cutting. You need to make sure it does not infect your other plants, & isolate it.
Small pots can be a problem with the recent heat & plants  even established ones in pots can dry up & die very quickly. I have been repotting everything I have in small pots to larger ones simply because I can not keep up with watering it. If you can not tend to it for awhile, move it to the shade.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 5:07PM
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sounds to me like aphids... plants that aren't happy tend to get bugs... their natural defenses are down.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 6:19PM
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I always assume that any plant I buy needs replanting, they tend to survive better that way. Plus the cheep plastic pots from the nursury seem to dry out way quicker.

Also, herbs like well drained soil. I usually add vermiculite to the generic potting mix (walmart or whatever). Pearlite also works. Get some clay pots (I always have better luck with clay they seem to dry out slower but kinda helps drainage too) atleast 4" diameter size (or I would do bigger), be sure they have drainage holes. When you get your pots and soil and vermiculte just mix up a bit of it; I guess like 3 or 4 parts soil to 1 part vermiculite (Im not sure I just mix it up til I like it). Get it good and wet then transplant your herb into the bigger pot, I do break up the root ball but I think that's controversial. Then water til liquid comes out of the bottom drainage hole. Then don't water again until when you stick your finger into the soil (a little bit down) the soil is pretty darn dry but not so dry that the soil is pulling away from the pot. Then water fully and repeat.

Mint is pretty hardy and likes more water than rosemary so it can handle more wetness but that means it will dry the soil out quicker than say the rosemary which likes to be dryer. So check your plants every couple of days until you get a feel for it.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 11:11PM
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mosesong(z5 KS)

Mint needs bigger space for its root to grow, so you definately need to replant them to a bigger pot.

Also, leave your plants out door at night. I'm living in an apartment and I remember during early Spring when outside could get around 40F at night, I brought my plant in. Within 3 days the leaves wilted. I brought them back out even it gets very cold, and they revived. My indoor temperature is around 75, but plant need fresh air. Plant grow and recover at night and make food from sunlight during the day.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 10:34AM
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new_grdnr(z9 CA)

thanks a bunch you all. i left the plant outside yesterday night. lets see what happens. i am afraid to repot it now since most of the leaves are dried out. also there are faint white spots on the lower leaves.
i used a light soapy solution to spray on them. the green things have almost disappeared. and i see one tiny stem sprouting out. so they are not completly dead.. :)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 12:10PM
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oldpepper(z5 CO)

Sounds like mealy bugs or spider mites.
Small plant? Throw it out and try again.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 12:18PM
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