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Why Has My Mint Stopped Growing? Mint is a fantastic perennial herb that can produce fragrant leaves for years with very little maintenance. However, the Mint plant can start to be become woody and sparse, with very few leaves, particularly when grown in containers.
There are 3 possible causes for this:
- The Mint is in a spot that is too hot and sunny.
- The Mint is not getting enough water.
- The Mint has become root bound in the container.
The Optimum Growing Conditions For Mint
To ensure that your Mint is producing large volumes of leaves and generally looking lush and healthy, there are few things that you need to do.
Mint is generally not a fussy plant and will tolerate a range of conditions, from Full Sun to Full Shade. However, to perform at its best, it prefers shadier locations that get filtered light or morning sun.
In locations where the plant gets the really hot afternoon sun, the Mint tends to dry out too much, and the size and the quality of the leaves can reduce.
Growing Conditions For Mint
Mint is an extremely hardy plant that will survive in temperatures as low as -40°C (-40°F), and can be grown in the US hardiness Zone 4 or higher.
Mint thrives in moist, shady locations and will spread rapidly if given the opportunity. It prefers rich soil with plenty of compost and organic material. The soil should be slightly acidic, with a pH of around 6 to 7. To learn more about adjusting the pH of your soil, go to https://planyourpatch.com/why-is-ph-important-in-soil/.
It will require regular watering to ensure it remains moist, and will benefit from being fertilised, at least once a year. One way to ensure the plant remains moist, is to grow it in a container, under the a garden tap, as it will get any excess water that spills out from filling watering cans or running hoses.
How To Stop Mint Invading Your Garden
Mint is an extremely invasive plant and if given the opportunity, it will invade your entire garden. As such, it is best to grow Mint in a container by itself, as other plants will eventually be crowded out by the Mint.
To avoid it drying out, it is best that the container be stored in a shady location. Additionally, water crystals can be added to the soil to help retain the moisture, if required.
As the plant is extremely fast growing, it can become root bound overtime. As such, it is preferable to use a relatively large container, which will extend the time it takes for the plant to become root bound. Additionally, larger containers take longer to dry out, which is advantageous.
When the roots fill up the container and they cannot grow any more, it will stop the plant from growing. It is at this point, that the plant can become woody, and no amount of feeding or watering will help.
To rejuvenate the plant, remove it from the container and divide the root ball with a spade. Return no more than a quarter of the plant to the container, and replace the soil with fresh compost.
Keep the plant looking good, by maintaining a compact bush. Remove any dried out leaves and weak leggy stems, using pruning shears. Remove any flower buds you see, before they open. If the Mint flowers are allowed to bloom, the Mint can become leggy, as such, prompt bud removal will help the plant to stay more compact.