7 Causes for Mint Leaves Turning Yellow – Learn About the Common Culprits

Yellow leaves in mint plants can be a sign of distress, signaling a range of potential issues from watering habits to nutrient deficiencies. You need to know why it is unhappy to make it healthy again.

This article explains the reasons for yellow leaves in mint and how to help your plant.

1. Overwatering

Overwatering mint leaves

Moderating the watering of your mint is essential. If overwatering occurs, causing yellow, soft leaves, the solution is to let the soil dry out somewhat before watering again.

Ensure the pot has adequate drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating and suffocating the roots. This approach allows the roots to breathe and access the oxygen they need, restoring the plant’s health.

2. Underwatering

For mint plants suffering from underwatering, indicated by yellow leaves with dry edges, the remedy involves gradually increasing water intake. Check the soil moisture level regularly and water the plant deeply when the top inch of soil feels dry.

This ensures the roots can absorb the necessary water to revive the plant’s vitality and promote healthy growth.

3. Poor Drainage and Root Rot

improve soil aeration and drainage

To address root rot and poor drainage issues, improve soil aeration and drainage. Mixing perlite or sand into the soil can enhance its structure, allowing excess water to drain more effectively.

Consider repotting the plant into a pot with better drainage holes. If root rot has set in, trimming the affected roots and repotting in fresh, well-draining soil can help save the plant.

4. Light and Nutrient Needs

Balancing light exposure and nutrient supply is crucial. Place the mint in a location where it receives bright, indirect sunlight, or use grow lights to mimic these conditions indoors.

Address nutrient deficiencies by applying a balanced fertilizer regularly, and following package instructions to provide essential nutrients without over-fertilization.

5. Tailoring Care to Your Plant’s Needs

Mint Care

Observe and adjust the care for your mint based on its responses. Change watering and lighting according to seasonal changes and the plant’s current state.

If yellow leaves appear, assess and modify your care approach to address the specific issue, whether it’s adjusting watering frequency, light exposure, or nutrient application, to encourage recovery.

6. Fungal Diseases

Implement preventative measures against fungal diseases by ensuring the soil has good drainage and rotating your plants’ positions to reduce disease risk. If signs of diseases like verticillium wilt or rust appear, applying fungicides according to the product’s guidelines can help manage these issues and protect the plant.

7. Pest Issues

mint pest control

Pests pose a significant threat to the health of mint plants, with aphids being among the most common culprits. These small, sap-sucking insects can quickly infest a plant, draining its vitality and leading to a decline in health.

Using insecticidal soap is an effective method for controlling aphid populations. Apply it according to the product’s instructions, targeting infested areas to eliminate these pests without harming the plant.

Additional Solutions

If your mint has yellow leaves, you may need to try some additional solutions to make it happy again. These include pruning, repotting, and using organic methods.

Here are some tips on how to do these things.



Regular pruning is not only beneficial for shaping your mint but also vital for encouraging robust new growth. By removing old or yellowed leaves, you help maintain the overall health and vigor of the plant, allowing it to focus its energy on producing fresh, healthy foliage.


As your mint grows, it may become rootbound or the quality of the soil may degrade over time. Repotting into fresh, well-draining soil provides the plant with a renewed environment that is conducive to growth.

This process also allows you to inspect the root system for any signs of disease or decay, ensuring your plant remains healthy.

Organic Solutions

For gardeners looking to avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides, there are effective organic alternatives. Compost tea, rich in nutrients and beneficial microorganisms, can be used to enhance soil fertility and plant health.

For pest control, neem oil is a natural pesticide that safely combats a wide range of pests without harming beneficial insects or the environment. These organic solutions not only support the health of your mint plant but also contribute to a more sustainable gardening practice.

Seasonal Considerations

Seasonal changes significantly impact the care requirements of your mint plant. During the hot, dry months of summer, an increase in watering is often necessary to keep the soil consistently moist as evaporation rates are higher.

Conversely, in winter, the plant’s growth slows, and it requires less water, so reducing the frequency of watering to prevent overwatering is crucial. The plant may also need less light exposure during the shorter, often overcast days of winter, necessitating a move to a brighter spot or the use of grow lights to compensate for the lack of natural sunlight.

These adjustments ensure your mint remains healthy and vibrant throughout the year, adapting seamlessly to the seasonal shifts in its environment.


What are the early signs of overwatering in mint before yellowing occurs?

Early signs of overwatering in mint include wilting or drooping leaves despite the soil being wet, a noticeable lack of growth, and a musty smell from the soil indicating potential root rot. Paying attention to these signs can help prevent the progression to yellow leaves.

How can you tell if your mint is receiving too much direct sunlight?

Signs that your mint is receiving too much direct sunlight include leaves that are bleached, scorched, or have brown, crispy edges. The plant may also appear wilted during peak sun hours, signaling that it’s time to move it to a location with bright, indirect light.

What are the indicators of rootbound mint plants?

Indicators of a rootbound mint include slowed growth, roots growing out of the drainage holes, the soil drying out more quickly than usual, and difficulty in watering the plant as water runs straight through the pot without being absorbed.

How often should you inspect mint for signs of fungal diseases or pests?

Inspecting your mint every 1-2 weeks for signs of fungal diseases or pests is advisable. Regular checks help in the early detection of issues such as discolored leaves, spots, or visible insects, allowing for timely treatment and prevention of further damage.

Can changing the pot size affect the health of mint?

Yes, changing the pot size can significantly affect the health of mint. A pot that’s too large can lead to waterlogging and root rot due to excess moisture, while a too-small pot restricts root growth, leading to a rootbound condition. Selecting a pot that’s just the right size promotes healthy growth and prevents stress conditions like yellowing leaves.

What are the benefits of using compost tea on mint, and how often should it be applied?

Compost tea benefits mint by improving soil structure, increasing nutrient availability, and enhancing plant growth and resilience against diseases. Applying compost tea once every 4-6 weeks during the growing season can promote healthy, vibrant foliage and support the overall vitality of the plant.

Bottom Line

Yellow leaves in mint signal a need for intervention, whether it’s adjusting watering habits, ensuring proper lighting, or addressing nutrient deficiencies and pest infestations. By understanding the causes and taking appropriate action, gardeners can prevent further damage and enjoy the lush, fragrant leaves of their mint plants.

Observing plant cues and responding with timely care adjustments can make all the difference in maintaining the health and vitality of your mint.