Mint Plant Is Leggy (6 Helpful Reasons)

The mint plant is not only a popular herb used in food and medicine, but it is also a unique species that includes various fragrant varieties. Mint’s striking green hue and sweet-smelling leaves make the shrub a desirable addition to any garden or landscape.

Mint is an incredibly versatile herb, with its joyous fragrances incorporating its way into many cuisines worldwide. However, one recurring problem amongst gardeners is that the beloved plant can become leggy after a while.

What Is Mint Plant

The mint plant, scientifically known as Mentha, is a genus of herbaceous plants that are native to Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa.

Though not necessarily a requirement, most mint plants tend to contain menthol and give off a refreshing smell; this aroma has made them popular for use in various health and hygiene products such as toothpaste.

But they’re also incredibly versatile you can use mint to flavor candy or recipes like teas, marinades, ice cream sauces, and jellies.

In many nations across the world, including India and China, the role of mint plants can vary from being implemented in folk medicine to being enjoyed in culinary dishes.

Wonderfully fragrant, mint plants can be used to infuse herbal teas, garnish summer salads, season recipes, or simply scent an outdoor space.

This useful herb can even suppress other stronger-growing weeds which makes it a practical choice for yards with limited space or avid gardeners.

Mint also has medicinal applications and can help soothe indigestion, stomachaches, headaches, and bad breath. The many versatile uses of the mint plant make it an ideal choice for any home.

Mint Plant Is Leggy

Mint plants are a popular herb that has been used for centuries in both cooking and herbal medicine.

The term “leggy” is used to describe a mint plant with tall stems, thin leaves, and sparse foliage. This can be due to inadequate lighting, lack of nutrients, or overcrowding of the pot.

Mint has many benefits and can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen to flavor food. It is also great for providing relief from sore throats, indigestion, allergies, headaches, and even depression.

The essential oils found in the plant are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and can be applied topically to treat muscle aches and pains. Furthermore, mint leaves contain antioxidants that help fight against oxidative damage to our cells.

Mint plants can be grown outdoors or indoors depending on where you live; however, when grown indoors it should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

To avoid having leggy mint plants it’s important to water them regularly but not over-water them because this can cause root rot or other diseases.

The soil should also be well-draining so that your plants don’t become waterlogged.

When planting your mint indoors consider using potting soil specifically formulated for herbs which contain the right combination of nitrogen and phosphorous needed by the plant’s roots to absorb nutrients properly.

Fertilize your mint once every three weeks with an organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion or compost tea to ensure they remain healthy and strong throughout its life cycle.

Mint Plant Is Leggy

Causes Of Leggy Mint Plants

Insufficient Sunlight

Leggy mint plants are a common problem caused by insufficient sunlight. Because mint plants are sun-loving, they need at least five hours of sunlight each day to remain healthy and develop strong stems.

When the amount of light is not sufficient, the plant will attempt to reach toward the sun and become leggy or spindly.

The stems and leaves will appear stretched out, thin, and weak, making them more susceptible to pests, disease, and other problems.

To combat this issue, it is important to provide adequate lighting either by placing the plant in an area with direct sunlight for several hours each day or by supplementing natural light with artificial light sources like grow lights.

Trimming back overgrown stems can also help promote bushier growth and discourage legginess.

Insufficient Sunlight


Leggy mint plants, a condition in which the stems become long and thin, are usually caused by overwatering. This occurs when too much water is given to the plant, resulting in an imbalance of nitrogen and other minerals, particularly potassium and phosphorus.

When this happens, the plant cannot get enough oxygen to its roots or absorb enough nutrients from the soil, causing it to stretch out in search of more sources of food and oxygen. This can also lead to wilting or yellowing leaves as well as stunted growth.

To avoid this problem, make sure that your mint plants are not sitting in overly wet soil and are receiving just enough water to keep them moist but not wet.

If you’re unsure how often you should be watering your plants, check with your local gardening center for recommendations based on your climate.


Lack Of Fertilization

Leggy mint plants can be caused by a lack of fertilization. This type of issue occurs when the mint plants are not given enough nutrients to sufficiently sustain their growth and development.

Without adequate nutrients, the plants may become weak and elongated as they strive to reach sunlight or other sources of nutrition.

If certain nutrients such as nitrogen are under-supplied, the plant’s leaves may become chlorotic and the stems may stretch out in a bid for more light.

Other issues such as poor soil aeration, incorrect light levels, and excessive temperatures can also contribute to leggy growth in mint plants.

It is important to ensure that these issues are addressed when caring for mint in order to avoid legginess and maintain healthy plants.

In addition, providing regular fertilization can play an essential role in preventing leggy growth by supplying the necessary nutrients required for vigorous plant health.

Lack Of Fertilization

Temperature Fluctuations

Leggy mint plants can be caused by temperature fluctuations, which can occur when the air temperature is too cold or too hot.

When temperatures are too low, the plant is unable to photosynthesize properly, leading to taller and spindlier stems.

In addition, when temperatures are higher than normal for a prolonged period of time, the plant may not receive enough water, causing it to become weak and leggy.

In these conditions, it becomes difficult for the plant to photosynthesize and produce more energy from sunlight.

The mint plant becomes more susceptible to diseases that can affect its growth patterns and cause extreme stretching of the stem.

Without proper care and attention, these problems will only increase in magnitude until all hope of recovery is lost.

To avoid leggy mint plants due to temperature fluctuations, gardeners should take steps to ensure that their environment is free from sudden swings in temperatures or extended periods of hot weather.

Temperature Fluctuations

Lack Of Pruning

The lack of pruning is one of the most common causes of leggy mint plants. This occurs when a plant is kept in too little space for too long and doesn’t receive enough light or other nutrition, resulting in it stretching to gain more resources.

Leggy mint plants will have spindly stems that are weak and don’t support the weight of the leaves or flowers very well.

Leggy growth can lead to an unappealing appearance with foliage that appears sparse and widely spaced apart from each other.

Pruning can help reduce legginess by encouraging bushier growth as well as helping to increase air circulation and light penetration throughout the plant.

When pruning mint plants, be sure to avoid over-pruning as this can cause stunted growth and damage overall plant health.

Lack Of Pruning

Root-Bound Plant

Leggy mint plants are often caused by root-bound conditions. This happens when a plant’s roots have become confined within the pot, restricting the growth of the plant’s foliage and causing them to become elongated and weak.

When this occurs, there is usually inadequate soil aeration and drainage which prevents water and nutrients from reaching the root system and hinders proper root development.

Other causes of leggy mint plants include too much sunlight, excessive irrigation, or insufficient nutrients in the soil. To reduce legginess, it is important to move the pots to a shadier location or reduce their exposure to direct sunlight for several hours each day.

Proper fertilizer application at regular intervals is essential for providing adequate nutrition for strong growth. Lastly, re-potting should be done every few years to ensure that the roots have enough room to grow and stay healthy.

Root-Bound Plant

How To Fix Leggy Mint Plants

Mint is a strong and hardy plant, so if you find that your mint plants are becoming too leggy, there is no need to worry. Luckily, fixing this issue isn’t too difficult with the right methods and some patience you can easily get your mint plants looking healthy again.

Repot The Plant In A Larger Container With Fresh Soil

Replanting a leggy mint plant is an easy and effective way to restore its health and vigor. Start by choosing an appropriately sized container for your particular plant, allowing for four to five inches of space between the top of the soil and the rim of the pot.

When selecting a soil mix, look for one that is well-draining, with a combination of peat moss, aged compost, and perlite or vermiculite. Once you’ve chosen your potting material, carefully remove the mint from its current container and loosen any packed soil around its roots.

Then, place it in the new container at the same height as before this will help create more stability while it readjusts to its new home.

Make sure the soil is evenly moist throughout but not soggy; you don’t want to drown your plant! As it begins to adjust to its new home, be sure to provide plenty of bright light but avoid direct sunlight until it has fully adjusted.

With some patience and care, you’ll be rewarded with healthy, lush mint plants in no time!

Trim Back The Leggy Growth

Trimming back the leggy growth of a mint plant is important to maintain its health and vitality. The best time to trim the plant is in early spring, just before the main growing season begins.

To do this, gently use sharp scissors or pruning shears to remove any shoots that appear too long or are starting to become leggy.

Be sure not to cut off more than one-third of each stem as this can disrupt the overall shape and balance of the plant. It’s also important to avoid cutting back into any existing buds or flowers as this will stunt their growth.

Once finished, check for any other signs of damage such as yellowing leaves or discoloration, and address those problems with appropriate treatments (e.g., fertilizer for nutrient deficiency).

With proper care and attention, a healthy mint plant can easily thrive and provide a steady supply of delicious herbs for culinary use!

Increase Sunlight Exposure By Moving The Plant To A Sunnier Location Or Using Grow Lights

Mint plants can become leggy when they don’t receive enough sunlight, leading to weak and thin stems with sparse foliage.

To fix this issue, the easiest solution is to increase the amount of sunlight that the mint plant receives by either moving it to a sunnier location or using grow lights.

It’s important to provide your mint plant with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day in order for it to thrive and avoid becoming leggy. If you are using grow lights, be sure to use ones that simulate natural light.

Also, consider stimulating new growth by pruning back any leggy stems as this will encourage new growth from the base of the plant.

Make sure not to overcrowd the pot and give your mint plants enough space between other plants and containers.

With these simple steps, you can keep your mint plants looking lush and healthy!

Adjust Watering

Overwatering is one of the most common causes of leggy mint growth. When a plant is overwatered, its roots become waterlogged and this can prevent them from getting enough oxygen, which in turn affects its ability to absorb nutrients.

As a result, the plant will be unable to grow correctly and may become leggy as it strives for more light.

To fix leggy mint plants caused by overwatering, start by reducing how often you are watering your plants; try to only water when the soil has dried out completely.

Make sure that your potting soil contains some organic material like compost – this will help improve drainage so that the roots don’t become waterlogged.

Try moving your mint plants to an area with more light if possible; this will encourage them to grow thicker stems and develop fuller foliage instead of stretching out toward the light. With these tips in mind, you should have lush and healthy mint plants in no time!

Fertilize Adequately During The Growing Season

Fertilizing adequately during the growing season is an essential step in fixing leggy mint plants. Using a balanced fertilizer specifically formulated for herbs, such as a 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 combination, can help provide much-needed nutrition and promote healthy growth.

It is important to follow the directions carefully and not fertilize too often as this can lead to over-fertilization, resulting in the plant becoming burned or leggy.

Watering the soil directly when fertilizing helps reduce the risk of damaging foliage with runoff fertilizer.

To further combat legginess, trim back any overgrown stems and direct airflow around the plant by blowing a fan nearby or pruning away any obstruction blocking air circulation from reaching it.

The combination of proper fertilization and air circulation will help ensure your mint plants remain healthy and vibrant all season long.

Preventing Leggy Mint Plants In The Future

Properly Choose A Location For The Mint Plant With Adequate Sunlight

When selecting a location to plant mint, adequate sunlight should be taken into consideration in order to prevent leggy mint plants.

To ensure the plant gets enough sunlight each day, it is recommended to place the plant in an area that receives direct sunlight for at least four hours every day, as this will help promote more robust growth and discourage legginess.

Indirect light for several additional hours each day can also be beneficial for preventing leggy mint plants. Mint does not prefer areas of intense heat or direct afternoon sun, so making sure the location you choose isn’t too hot or receiving too much sun later in the day is important.

When planting mint outdoors, make sure the soil is well-draining since soggy soil conditions can lead to root rot and other diseases that can make the plant leggy. Finally, water your mint regularly but don’t overdo it in order to keep the soil moist but not wet.

By following these guidelines when selecting a location for your mint plant and paying attention to its growing conditions, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding leggy plants in the future.

Monitor Watering And Fertilization Levels

When it comes to preventing leggy mint plants in the future, monitoring watering and fertilization levels is essential. The amount of water and fertilizer a mint plant receives can have a huge impact on its growth and health.

Too much water can cause plants to become leggy due to too much nitrogen; not enough water can cause the stems of the plant to become thin and weak.

Similarly, applying too much fertilizer can cause excess growth of large leaves, leading to stem elongation, while not enough fertilizer can decrease overall growth.

To avoid leggy mint plants, it is important to find the right balance between watering and fertilization; establishing a consistent routine will ensure that your mint plants stay healthy and strong.

Using soil with good drainage properties is also recommended when planting mint as this will help prevent root rot caused by overwatering.

Monitoring soil moisture regularly is also recommended to ensure that your mint plants receive adequate hydration without becoming overly saturated.

Regularly Trim And Prune The Mint Plant To Encourage Bushier Growth

Trimming and pruning mint plants regularly is an important step in preventing leggy growth. This technique helps to create a bushier shape while also stimulating new growth.

Pruning should be done just above the leaf nodes, where new buds will form. After pruning, it’s helpful to fertilize the plant as well for maximal growth potential.

When cutting back the plant, make sure not to cut more than one-third of the stems, as this can shock the system and cause damage.

The best time to prune is during the spring season when new shoots are beginning to emerge from the soil.

Avoid over-watering as this can lead to legginess and sparse-looking foliage.

Taking these steps will help ensure healthy and fuller mint plants that are resistant to becoming leggy in the future.


Leggy mint plants are an unfortunate consequence of not providing sufficient care for your plant. Too much direct sunlight, over-watering, and over-fertilizing are some of the leading causes of leggy mint plants. To prevent leggy growth, it is important to provide proper lighting by placing the mint plant in a spot that gets indirect light throughout the day.

Be sure to avoid over-watering and fertilizing your mint plant, as this can cause it to become leggy. It is also beneficial to rotate your plant every three days so that all sides get equal exposure to sunlight. By following these steps and providing regular care for your mint plant, you will be able to enjoy lush, healthy foliage for many years to come.

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