How to revive leggy, brown stem mint plant?


I bought this mint plant from the farmers market about 3 weeks ago and it was bushy and thriving, but now it's leggy with brown stems. I bought neem oil to fight the green worms that are eating the leaves, but what else can I do to revive this?

q how to revive leggy brown stem mint plant
  14 answers
  • Beth Beth on Jun 11, 2020

    Do you have it indoors or outside? If it's indoors, it might help to put it outside to let birds and things eat some of the worms on it.

    Here's an article for making a mint plant less leggy:

    You could also take some cuttings and start growing a new plant if you think you've got bugs in the soil, too:

    Make sure you clean the cuttings really well to keep any pests off of your new plant.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Jun 11, 2020

    I would cut it back, mint is really tough and will probably regrow. Usually when plants get leggy its because they aren't getting enough sun.

    • Kelsey Schaefer Kelsey Schaefer on Jun 11, 2020

      thank you! do you guys have any recommendations for bugs eating the plants? i found little green Caterpillar looking things on the underside of the leaves. my sage and basil has holes too. i bought neem oil and have spray it for three days but they're still there.

  • Annie Annie on Jun 11, 2020

    Yes, cut it back and it will come back bushier. And mint really likes being in the sun

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 11, 2020

    Mint can be very invasive make sure you keep this in a pot. Just give it a nice hair cut (trim) and this will bounce back. My mint loved lots of water and sun. A shot of fish fert. every week helps too.

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Jun 11, 2020

    Kelsey: mine looks the same way... thanks for reminding me to trim it back! ...that is the correct answer!

  • Cut it back and it should regrow. Mint is pretty hardy!

  • Maura White Maura White on Jun 11, 2020

    how about just adding some general fertilizer.

  • Betsy Betsy on Jun 11, 2020

    Hi again Kelsey: Since this is a small plant, you can put your fingers through the stems to hold the dirt in and turn the plant upside down and swirl the leaves in warm water and Dawn liquid dish soap. Then, rinse in clear water. That should kill anything that is eating the leaves. The soap won't hurt the plant if some of the water gets into the soil. It will do well in full sun or part shade, but right now, full sun would be best for it. Grow mint in a location that receives 6 hours or more of daily sun, whether in a garden bed or a container. Lack of sunlight results in leggy growth as the plant sends out long, weak stems in search of adequate lighting, while sufficient sun helps mint produce full, compact growth. Good luck

  • Ruby Ruby on Jun 11, 2020

    spray the water with 2 -3 drops of soap water in the bottle, it makes the difference ,incests dont like the soap water. it is also not harmful to us , need to wash the mint before use.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jun 12, 2020

    Is it getting Anouilh sun if it is try some miracle grow.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jun 12, 2020

    You might need to feed it. I use a micronutrient and it does wonders to bring plants back to life.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jun 12, 2020

    To make your plant bushier, you need to pinch the tiny pair of leaves at the very top of each stem, this will stimulate the lateral buds on the sides of the stem.

  • This has a lot of great info. Mint likes to be cut back. I do mine anytime it starts to get leggy.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 18, 2020

    Hello there,

    Take it out of the pot, wash all the soil off and discard. Re-pot in fresh soil. That should do it.