White Spots on my Mint Plant - Help!

One of our Gardenio members contacted us regarding a problem with their plant, they wrote, “I’ve been noticing some odd things happening with my mint plant lately - white spots, dying roots and leaves.”  

 

The Gardenio team thought it would be an awesome example on how to identify the problem and the effective treatments. 

Good news and bad news. Good news: some dying stems and leaves are pretty common with mint, just go ahead and cut 'em back. Think of it as the stems getting tired and peace-ing out, aging. Bad news: the plant has something called mealybugs. They can come from anywhere, but can be attracted to stressed plants (my tomato got 'em before) and feed on new growth. 

Here are three options on what to do:

DIY Dish Soap Solution: Get a spray bottle and fill it with about 5% of any dish soap (a couple of tablespoons – you can eye this) and fill the rest with water. Shake it up, and spray the plant all over. The soap will lock them in, suffocate them, and break down their protective shell. Spray every two to three days until they're gone. Hot tip: this works for a lot of bugs hanging out on your plants, if others come. Never a bad place to start. You can also wet a paper towel with the soap and gently rub them off your plant.

Neem Oil: If the dish soap isn't working, you can purchase some Neem Oil. It's used often in natural sunscreens, and comes from the neem tree. But in concentrated form it's also great as a general insect "fuck you". There are some other general systemic benefits. Treat this the same as the dish soap. Look at the instructions, but usually it's a teaspoon in a pint sized spray bottle with water. Shake it up, and spray. With Neem Oil, you can also just dab a cotton ball and dab the offending mealybugs. Still spray about once a week.

Rubbing Alcohol: The last option is to get some rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and just rub the fuckers off.

Hope everyone enjoyed these tips and if you wanna start growing your own plants, become a member of Gardenio! Also follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our emails for more information on how to keep your plants nice and healthy!