Peppermint Woes


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Hey everybody,
Most of the plants I own have been super easy to care for. I wanted some mint because it reminds me of my grandmother, who had a huge mint bush in her yard.

I bought 2 mint plants from a garden center a few months ago. This is what it looked like when I bought it: vibrant, with full, pure-green leaves:
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(the chopstick was there to help it stand up straight before the auxin could do the work for it; it was right after I re-potted it)

We went on vacation and I left the plant with a caretaker. Even prior to going away though, the plant was looking kinda bad. I've been trying to prune away dead leaves or stems over time. However, the leaves are all discolored and black. I thought I might've been keeping it in too much direct sunlight, so I moved it to a window that gets direct sun in the morning and indirect sun all afternoon. Still, it looks awful still and I don't know what else to do to help. I cut a few cuttings to maybe have a backup if this one kicks the bucket:
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It's encouraging that there are little mints all around the big one. Does that mean that I shouldn't worry as much?

I only water every few days. The pot gets good drainage.

Thanks in advance!
 
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I probably sound like a broken record :) but I am going with over-watering. That's what it looks like to me. You don't say where you live so hard to tell if the sun comes through your window hot enough to scorch leaves but you'd be seeing brown crispy leaves if that were the case.

Your caretaker may have drowned it but "every few days" is still too much. For almost all plants, letting the soil get COMPLETELY dry in between watering is best. As in utterly. As in crunchy. If it starts drooping from lack of water, it will recover just fine with a drink. :)

Over-watering is the single most widespread mistake people make with plants! It's true, you can google it.

For comparison, here is one of my mint plants flowering its little heart out in an outdoor 3-gallon container. It gets full sun until about 2 pm then dappled shade. We are having record-breaking heat (for Michigan anyway) and it's rained like three times in the last two months. Since this particular mint is sharing a pot with basil, I've maybe watered it 3-4 times since early June to keep the basil happy. Most years I really don't need to water at all. Mint is pretty sturdy and adapts to all sorts of climates.

PS I think it is good your plant is making babies. :D Really. Just water it way less frequently. Really.

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Good to know! I've killed a few plants from not watering so I'm always terrified of not watering. I know not to water the succulents I have as much or the basil, but the mint I wasn't sure about.
I went through and cut off the droopiest of the leaves it had. Some were really blotchy and I cut those too. I'll try cutting back on water.
I'm in New York, so it gets hot here but not scorching. We have central air in my house so my plant is never really subjected to a lot of heat. Should I move it back into the sunshine?
 
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Well if you can get that baby outside it would probably appreciate it! There are lots of different mint cultivars but most are extremely hardy...in my climate they are basically impossible to kill and come up every year in my containers that are covered in snow and ice for about 7 months.

Granted I have never grown them inside...mint is basically a weed that will pop up year after year though. It is all over my lawn but gets mowed about weekly. It really is tough stuff and can thrive in poor soil, drought, yadda yadda. Although it does need a fair amount of sun, I think.

My neighbor has a catnip (mint) plant on her front deck in a container like yours. She brings it in for winter for her cat. She has had it for years.
 

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