Mint will grow slow in cold weather over the winter months. Lack of nitrogen, lack of water, low nutrients and lack of light can cause the mint to grow slow. To speed up mint growth, make sure it has at least 6 hours of bright light, feed it with liquid nitrogen fertilizer every 2 weeks in Spring and water it regularly.
Top reasons mint grows slow
Here are the top 7 reasons mint will grow slow and solutions.
1. Cold weather
Mint loves warm, tropical weather so it will slow its growth slow in the winter months. When the weather turns cold in Fall, mint can die back completely where the leaves will turn brown and crispy. This is the natural process that mint will go through in cold weather where the growth slows.
Simply trim the mint back down to 2-3 inches down the stem cutting off dry, brown leaves and removing the dry stems. When the weather warms, the stems will grow back quickly, sprouting new leaves and growing nice, tender green stems perfect for use in cooking or drinks.
2. Lack of nitrogen
Mint growth can slow when there is not enough nitrogen available in the soil or potting soil. Nitrogen is essential for fast leaf growth as it helps the plant to photosynthesize and create food. Nitrogen will help the mint to grow leaves.
To make mint grow leaves fast, give it a boost of liquid nitrogen fertilizer every 2 weeks when the weather turns warm in Spring. This is the key growing season for mint for it to recover from the cold weather. An organic liquid fertilizer is the perfect addition to make your mint grow fast.
Make sure you add the nitrogen fertilizer to the soil and avoid splashing it on the leaves. Also make sure you wash the mint thoroughly to remove any dirt before using in cooking.
TIP: For an easy way to give nitrogen to your mint is to use pelleted chicken manure. Simply sprinkle it around the base and it will feed your mint with nitrogen for 1-2 months.
3. The pot is too small
Repotting mint every 1-2 years is a fantastic way to make sure the plant has enough nitrogen to grow lots of leaves and stems. Potting soil will quickly run out of nitrogen and mint will quickly outgrow a pot. Repotting mint over winter is a great way to give your mint the space, nutrients and water it needs to grow quickly.
When re-potting mint you don’t always need to move it to a larger pot. Taking it out can give you the chance to trim it back, remove any dead roots and stems and to re-fresh the soil. Placing it back into the same pot with new potting soil is a great way to give your mint an extra boost to grow well.
4. Lack of water
Lack of water is one of the main reasons that mint will grow slow. Potted mint will dry out quickly especially in the warmer months or if the pot is in direct sunlight. When the soil dries out the mint will slow its growth and the leaves will stay small.
To keep your mint growing fast by watering regularly in the winter months. Mint benefits from deep watering every 2-3 days and move them into a shady spot on very hot days if they are in pots.
5. Too much sun
Sun is great for mint but too much sun can cause sunburn and slow the mint leaf growth. If you live in a very hot area, particularly with dry heat, mint leaves can dry and burn in direct sun over Summer.
I live in an area that gets very hot over Summer so I like to grow my mint in an area that gets shade in the afternoon. This will protect the mint from the hot sun over Summer but still get the bright morning light. This grows mint fast with lots of green leaves.
6. Not enough light
While mint can get sunburn in very hot sun, mint that does not get enough light will grow very slowly. Mint needs at least 6 hours of bright sunlight. For mint growing indoors place them near a bright, sunny window.
7. Not trimming the mint regularly
Mint will slow its growth if it is not trimmed regularly. Without regular trim in the mint will grow leggy, large leaves and slow down the new leaf growth. The way I like to trim my mint is to take the top 2-3 inches off the ends of the stems. This will encourage the mint to send up new shoots and new leaves quickly.
To get your mint to grow new leaves and stems fast, trim it regularly, water it well and add some nitrogen fertilizer. The new leaves are tender and delicious and perfect for placing into drinks and dishes.
Does mint grow slowly?
Mint will grow slowly or not at all over the winter months. When the weather warms in Spring the mint will speed up its growth. To help mint to grow fast water it regularly, feed it with liquid nitrogen every 2 weeks over the Spring growing season.
Why mint grows slow | Summary
Mint grows slow when it hasn’t been planted in the right space. Mint is a very forgiving plant and can easily be dug up and moved if you need to. I like to dig up my mint in the winter, split up the healthy roots and plant them in new pots and a new place in the garden.
Remember that mint is a fast invasive grower that will quickly spread through your garden bed. Only plant them in an area that is contained or bury a pot first before placing mint in a garden bed. I have planted mine in an area that gets shade most of the day but is surrounded completely by pavers so it can’t escape.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.