4 Tips To Fix White Spots On Mint

Last updated: 2/8/22

Is it time for the Kentucky Derby yet?  How would you feel about some white spots adorning your mint  julep?

Adding fresh mint leaves to your favorite mint cocktail or tea is a wonderful way to add a mildly sweet and refreshing flavor.

However, sometimes you may notice white patches on your prized mint. Various reasons might cause white spots on mint plant leaves.

If your mints have this problem, you need to figure out what is causing it and develop a creative solution to fix it. 

The mint plant is a perennial herb that is prized for its fragrant leaves, so let’s figure out the concern and solve it.

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Reasons Why White Spots Are on Your Mint Leaves

Fungal diseases, virus growth, pests, and other common diseases can all generate white patches on the mint leaves.

Additionally, nutrient deficiency or hard water can also be blamed for this condition.

Fungal Infection | Nutrient Thief

A fungal infection is one of the most common causes of white patches. Known as the fungal disease powdery mildew, it generates white spots like sprinkled flour. They infiltrate the plant via hyphae, which are fungus organs that resemble needles.

Powdery mildew spores stay on the host plant, depriving it of crucial nutrients. It takes nutrients from the epidermal cells that cover the mint leaves.

Within a few days, the fungus multiplies and produces new spores and filaments that eventually cover all the leaves of the diseased plants.

Thrips | Mini Leaf Vampires

These tiny insects, known as Thrips, love eating the tasty mint leaves available in your garden. Thrips are tiny, yellow, or white insects that lay their eggs on the fresh leaves and reproduce rapidly.

They will lay their eggs on the mint leaf tissue and then suck the leaf sap. They will deprive your plant of the nutrients they need for energy and development.

The worst aspect is that thrips also encourage viral diseases on otherwise healthy leaves, which is quite harmful.

Your dark-green Mint leaves may have silver streaks and patches on them due to thrips.

Look for telltale symptoms of thrip infestations, such as the edges of the mint leaves having a metallic bronze or silver look, which indicates a thrip infestation. 

white spots on mint

Spider Mites | More Vampires

Despite their diminutive size, spider mites are voracious suckers of leaf sap. These are nasty small bugs that have the appearance of spiders. They derive their name from the spider because they have eight legs, which they use to crawl about anywhere they want to.

They have a waxy abdomen that allows them to move around with little resistance. Summer is the best time to watch their growth because of warmer months and dry climate with temperatures above 85°F.

Breeding activity increases as the temperature and humidity rise.

Female mites dig into the undersides of mint leaves, where they also drain the sap from the plant.

Because these pests are less active throughout the winter, your Mint plants will be safe from attack by these pests. In addition to producing white dots and holes, these bugs also produce webs.

Bug & Pests Detective Work

The first clue to identifying an insect infestation is to look at the pattern of the white patches on the leaves. It is no secret that insects frequently attack plants, which is especially true in the case of mint. 

Insects are responsible for the many little dots on the leaves that appear in clusters in the infected plants. So, if the mint plant has white discoloration, it may be under attack from a pest.

When examining the undersides of the leaves, there is a good likelihood that you will discover bugs digging beneath the surface.

Sclerotinia Rot | Resilient Fungi

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a fungus that may infect plants and cause a disease known as white mold if the right conditions are created for it to grow. The fungus Sclerotiorum infects a wide variety of plants and can occur at any stage of the plant’s life cycle.

However, it prefers young leaves and succulent stems.

It can be distinguished by the cotton-like mycelium mass that it creates, which serves as a spore producer. Because it is pretty active in the spring, you will be able to spot it right away.

In addition to the white specks, it also penetrates the stem and leaves of your plant, causing a sclerotium to form.

This ensures the fungi survival over the winter and is ready to infect your plants in the spring.

White Rust | Easy To Detect

White rust is another fungal disease that is common in mint. White rust, which is spread by many species of Albugo, can be seen on a wide variety of crops.

The appearance of white rust, also known as a white blister, is easy to spot.

Just look for spore masses that are chalk-white and emerge most often on the underside of the leaf.

These spots develop in the subcuticular layer of the leaf, indicating that the fungi are lurking beneath the leaf’s surface.

You will observe these bumpy, white spots on leaves in their early stages.

Over watering and compact planting tend to accelerate the spread of white rust.

spots on mint

4 Tips On How To Treat White Spots On Mint Leaves

Keep an eye out for any signs of problems or damage to your plant during the early stages of its growth so that you can take action as soon as possible if necessary.

Finding the source of the white spots on your mint plant and addressing it as quickly as possible are the first steps in resolving the problem. 

Here are some suggestions for dealing with white spots and the factors that contribute to them. 

Tip #1 – Use Neem Oil

Thrips and spider mites can be eliminated with insecticidal soap. However, neem oil also works well as a pesticide against thrips and spider mites.

The seeds of the neem tree contain neem oil, a naturally occurring insecticide. It is employed in the management of a wide range of pest issues.

Mix a little of the neem oil with insecticidal soap.

Next, spray it onto a clean surface in a uniform layer or spread the oil with a cloth to apply the oil. It’s a better alternative since it is safe for your pets and humans.

Make sure you don’t twist the mint leaves while putting the oil using a microfiber. You can apply the oil at least once a week to be more effective.

If you find placing insecticide soap or oil a little tedious, you can try the water hose method.

You can blast away all the insects using a steady water stream. Just be careful not to apply too much water pressure to not damage the leaves. 

Tip #2 – Use Soap-and-Water Solution and Fungicide

The mint plant can be cleaned to remove fungal illnesses like powdery mildew and the growth of sclerotinia rot. Soap and water can be used to clean a leaf by thoroughly spraying both sides with the solution.

Dilute one teaspoon of soap to one gallon of water, and mix thoroughly. To increase the cleaning power of the soap-and-water solution, try mixing in some baking soda.

Fungal spores cannot spread when this mixture is used.

Sulfur dusting or copper-based fungicides, on the other hand, can be employed in more severe infestations. Using a pressure sprayer, apply it after mixing it with water according to the package directions.

Apply a fungicide every 1 to 2 weeks to keep the disease at bay.

When the disease is still in its early stages, you can sprinkle it on your mint to keep it from spreading. A pressure sprayer can be used to apply organic copper as it is applied in the same manner as sulfur. The disease should be gone after six treatments.

Tip #3 – Use Proper Spacing

Consider spreading out your mint plants more, and creating more space between the plants. Mint spreads its leaves horizontally, requiring a large amount of available room. Planting your mints too close to each other can cause them to fail.

Plants should be at least one foot apart to ensure proper air circulation.

Although this strategy will not completely eliminate previous white spots, it is a preventative measure to keep tiny spider mites and beetles from traveling from one diseased mint to another.

Make sure you don’t over water the mint and keep an eye on its humidity levels at all times to avoid rotten mint.

Tip #4 – Use Beneficial Insect

It’s an unusual approach to dealing with pest infestations, notably spider mites, but it works. To get rid of the prey mite or bug, you can use this natural way. For example, spider mites can be controlled by well-known insects such as Ladybird beetles.

However, this method does not solve some causes of white spots such as fungal infections. It does, however, work flawlessly on other insects, including spider mites.

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Is It Safe to Eat Mint Leaves With White Spots

Yes, in the vast majority of cases.

You can eat the leaves after they’ve been cleaned of insects and other impurities by running water through them. It can be added to a beverage, consumed raw, or added to a cup of tea.

Before eating it, inspect the plant to see if the white tint is caused by spider webs, bugs, or fungal illnesses. It’s best to avoid consuming spoiled mint that has a strong smell.

Make sure your plant doesn’t have an unpleasant scent, which is often caused by a fungus disease.

Final Thoughts

Infections, fungi, and viral diseases affect the development of plants, while pests steal water and sap from leaves, creating white spots. If your plants are compromised, act swiftly by implementing the strategies outlined above.

Why is there white fuzz on my mint plant?

Typical white dots on mint leaves are caused by various factors, including fungal diseases, insect infestations, and nutritional deficiencies.

spots on mint leaves
Jeremy Starke

We at Green Thumb Gardener provide tips and guides for both for beginners and advanced gardeners out there. 

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