Wilting mints

lawyervon(6)July 14, 2007

I'm in zone 6. I have several flower-box style plastic planters with different kinds of mint in them, and 2 or 3 of them are wilting significantly. The two that are wilting the most are the spearmint and the chocolate mint.

These planters are about 2 ft x 9 inches, and I used Miracle Gro organic potting soil to plant them. The planters were outside in pretty full sun, and I've been watering thoroughly daily.

I went on vacation for a week, and a friend was watering my plants. About day 4 or 5, she noticed the spearmint wilting significantly and moved it under the deck, where it receives some sun through the decking and then gets about maybe 4-6 hours of sun in the late afternoon.

When I got back in a couple days later, it became clear that my spearmint and chocolate mint were having real wilting problems, although the lemon mint, orange mint and peppermint were all doing just fine in the same spot. After some quick research that made me wonder if they were getting too much sun and drying out, I moved all mints under the deck.

After a couple of days now under the deck and watering, the spearmint and chocolate mint really don't seem to be getting much better, although the friend who was taking care of them says they look better than they were when she noticed the problem.

Any suggestions here?

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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

Your friend was watering the plants every day? I think you need to check the sogginess of the soil, and change it if necessary. Mint doesn't need to be watered every day. It prefers MOIST soil, not wet or soggy.

The wishy-washy sun you get in a cool climate won't hurt mint in the slightest. If you've had some strong winds, however, that might affect it somewhat.

Mind you, although overwatering could be a worry, probably the main problem is that you've got your mints in pots - and I'd be prepared to bet they aren't very big pots. Mint needs the largest pot you can manage, and even then you need to divide and repot on a regular basis. Those roots really are aggressive growers.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 5:38PM
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granite(z6 NC)

If you're watering every day and have wilt you need to check to see if the pots are rootbound. Mints grow extensive root systems and may have completely filled the pots with roots.

I have my mints in pots that I partially buried to keep the mint from spreading and taking over the garden. I've only reset them once, but they are probably due again this year. We've had significant drought but I haven't watered them at all. They are even more full this year than in last year's picture.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 8:19AM
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