The flavor and appearance of a healthy mint are appealing to everyone. White dots on the stems and foliage can occasionally spoil that exterior.
Both biotic and abiotic factors may be to blame for the white spots on the leaves of the mint plant. Pest infestations, viral infections, and fungi are examples of biotic agents. Inadequate nourishment, rough water, and dust on the leaves are a few other biotic variables that may contribute to this problem.
What Causes White Spots On Mint Leaves?
On either side of the stem of a mint plant, there are two pairs of leaves. Each leaf is oval-shaped, and its surface is covered in a delicate hairy carpet. To learn more about why they might be going white, keep reading.
Infections Caused By Fungi: Powdery Mildew
When plant caretakers neglect their duties, powdery mildew, a fungal ailment, most frequently affects mint plants.
What Causes Mildew Infection?
When housed in unnaturally damp settings, your mint plant will become infected with fungi like powdery mildew.
Plants commonly get fungus infections as a result of overwatering. Powdery mildew and root rot can result from improperly drained soil or a pot with insufficient drainage holes that retain water longer than necessary.
Another major reason these illnesses can spread across your garden is gardening shears to cut away unhealthy plant parts from one plant and then use the same scissors on another plant without sanitizing them.
What Marks A Powdery Mildew Infection?
A powdery mildew attack on mint leaves looks like white powder. The higher leaf surfaces are where this is most obvious. When you look closely, you may see distinct spots that are distinct from one another on your leaves, giving them the appearance of having been covered in flour.
How To Treat Powdery Mildew?
Fortunately for you, a powdery mildew infection won’t cause much harm or death to your mint plant. However, if the white spots on your mint leaves bother you, keep reading to learn how to treat a mildew infection.
- White stains on the leaves should be removed. For this, use well-defined gardening shears.
- Only remove the leaves that are the most seriously impacted if the bulk of leaves gets these chalky areas.
- You should always treat mildew with natural solutions before moving on to drugstore-purchased chemical fungicides.
- Natural antifungal and antibacterial properties exist in neem oil. The plants do well when neem oil is applied daily to the afflicted leaves.
- Sprinkling a solution made of one part milk and three parts water straight on the leaves is another do-it-yourself tip. This very efficient cure should only be used once a week.
- Making a combination of baking soda is a very efficient way to eliminate mildew spores. Wash your plant using a mixture of one liter of water and one gallon of soap and baking soda, equal parts. Mildew will vanish quickly.
Pest Infestation: Thrips
Thrips are little insects that are known to frequently damage mint plants. Learn more about the harm they cause below.
Identifying Thrips Attacks
White mint leaves are a sign of a thrips infestation. Your mint leaves may occasionally get silver dots, and the tips of these leaves will start to turn bronze in color. Tiny silver dots on your mint plant’s leaves may occasionally be the only sign of a thrips infection.
What Causes Thrip Attacks?
Thrips enjoy sucking the plant’s sap from the leaves and stems. The healthy, green leaves turn white or silver as they struggle with the plants for food.
Pest Infestation: Spider-mites
The mint plant is frequently troubled by spider mite attacks. No matter how old or new the leaves are, they collect with each other on the underside and pierce your leaves with tiny holes.
Identifying Spider-mite Infestation
In the event of a spider-mite infestation, tiny white spots will appear on mint leaves. You may see a swarm of tiny, two-spotted insects on the base side of the leaf if you turn it over.
Why This Occurs?
Spider-mites prefer warm, humid environments. As a breeding site, they seek places like the leaf surface. Due to their quick growth and reproduction, these pests could destroy your mint plant within months.
Spider and Thrips Related Pest Control
Look closely for spider- and thrips-related damage on your mint plant. A cork sheath or leaf under a leaf or on a stem is a good place to look. These are the insects’ preferred hiding places.
Start by making an effort to physically eject these pests from your plant. Use a tissue to pick them off, or rinse them with a pressurized water hose. Additionally, our specialists advise gently washing the plant with soap and water.
Suppose all of the earlier measures don’t work and the pests persist. In that case, your last resort should be to use an insecticide or pesticide. Purchase a mild one, and follow the directions on the label.
Mosaic viruses are a genus of viruses that have been reported to infect mint plants and seriously harm them.
How To Detect Virus Infections?
The loss of the dark green color of the leaves is the first sign that your mint plant has a viral infection. The leaves will then develop a mosaic-like pattern of white, yellow, and bright green dots. Your leaves will eventually start to die and peel.
What Causes This?
Numerous insects, including mealybugs, whiteflies, and thrips, are carriers of viral infections. They are mostly responsible for spreading a virus from one plant to another. By using contaminated gardening equipment, you could unintentionally infect your plant.
How To Treat Viral Infection?
We’re sorry, but we’ve got awful news in this case. There is very little chance of a plant surviving once it has been infected by one of the various mosaic viruses. Preventing the spread of these infections to your other plants is the best you can hope to do.
Dispose of the harmed plant, and before using any tools, you used to treat it on other plants, make sure you sanitize them.
Mint Leaves with White Spots: Are They Safe to Eat?
Typically, the answer is in the affirmative. Eat it, mix it into a drink, or use it to flavor tea in addition to eating it. Examine the white color to see if it is caused by pests, fungi, or spider webs before eating it.
The best action in these situations is to heal your plant before eating it. If the leaves are cleaned of bugs and pollutants, you can eat them, but I like to revive my mint first. Another piece of advice: smell your plants. The fungi on spoiled mint are mostly responsible for its unpleasant scent. The flavor will be significantly more sour than usual as well.
How to Spot Spoiled or Bad Mint?
Consequently, let’s return to that delicious mojito. If you’re anything like me, you’ll start to long for their mouthwatering flavor as soon as those words are said. As a result, you have to make sure that your ingredients are properly prepared and that the mint isn’t ruined or inedible.
If your mint is rotten or spoiled, there are some signs you can look for. A rotten mint can primarily be identified by the sensations of taste, touch, and smell. In comparison to fresh mint, rotten or bad mint tastes harsher. It may be “just a little off,” but this indicates something is wrong.
Mint that has gone bad or been ruined won’t feel as hard to the touch and will feel more limp or squishy. Alternatively, fresh mint is more rigid and maintains its shape. Last but not least, spoiled or poor mint will smell awful. You won’t be able to smell it from far away, but you will be able to know if you hold the mint leaf next to you and take a sniff.
How Do I Care For Mint Leaves?
You can wash the plant’s leaves with a variety of various mixes. A modest concoction of a few possibilities should be gently applied to the mint plant’s leaves. This will essentially call for delicacy.
It’s unlikely that the white spots will instantly disappear after cleaning the leaves. Here, you’re not trying to wash them away; rather, you’re assisting the mint leaf in recovering its original qualities.
A mixture of extremely diluted soap and water, neem oil, and any other concoction known to ward off spider mites or whatever bug you have established is causing the problem are a few alternatives for cleaning the leaves.
Fresh mint is everyone’s favorite because of how it looks, smells, and tastes. How could anyone not adore it? These qualities are occasionally violated by causes on the inside and outside.
The leaves and perhaps the stems will develop white flecks. This phenomenon has a wide range of causes.
Pests rob plants of their water and sap; fungi and viruses mess with their digestion; an unbalanced diet causes discoloration; and dust and limescale build-up.
Fortunately, I’ve given you answers to these issues so that you can offer your mint the care it merits.