When you are about to prepare your favorite mint cocktail, you realize something strange about your herb; white spots on mint leaves. And if you’ve never come across such, you’ll probably have concerns. After all, nobody wants to serve themselves or their guests a spoilt herb.
Luckily for you, there are simple and easy ways to solve that.
It would be best if you dealt with spider mites along with other insects that are devastating the aesthetics and survival of your plants. You can do this by pruning, cleaning the plant, introducing ladybirds and other beneficial insects, and spreading out the plant.
We are going to discuss this in details so to ensure you don’t encounter such unpleasant view when you look at your mint. And if you do, you’ll handle the issue with ease to restore your plants.
How Does the White Spots Come About?
Either spider mites or other bugs cause the white spots. What happens is that their “mouth” parts are needle-like in shape. And, when consuming portions of the plants, they affect the general colouration as they feed. It’s is because they release chemicals into the leaves in the process.
Also, you might realize that spider mites aren’t the problem. Other mites or leafhoppers can still cause white spots on mint leaves. So, make sure you brush away all visible substances on your mint leaves and wash them before consuming, in case of any concerns.
Is It Okay to Eat Mint with White Spots?
Well, in most cases, we immediately throw away food with peculiar spots on it. After all, nobody would want to take something that could have negative impacts on their health and that of their family and friends. Well, what about mint?
If spider termites are responsible for the white spots on the leaves, then it’s safe for consumption. Also, check to ensure that there’s no disgusting appearance, doesn’t produce a foul odour, or have fungal film on the leaves.
However, if you have doubts on what you are seeing and you can get other fresh mint leaves with no spots then go for the fresh ones. That will be better since you won’t have to worry about the white spots. You prepare your drink and enjoy it. Right?
How Do You Identify a Spoiled or Bad Mint?
If you genuinely enjoy mint cocktails, then you might find yourself craving that delicious flavour the moment the topic comes up. Because of this, you’ll always want to make sure that the ingredients are ready as they should. Also, you’ll want to ensure that the mint you’ll be taking is not spoiled.
There are different ways of identifying a spoiled or rotten mint. Use your sense of smell, taste, and touch to recognize a lousy mint. A spoiled or rotten mint taste more bitter compared to the taste of the traditional mint. Once you realize the flavour is slightly off, that means that the mint was already spoiled.
Regarding touch, spoiled or rotten mint is soft to touch and won’t maintain its firm shape. On the other hand, fresh mint maintains its shape and firmness. Finally, there’s always a foul smell produced by a spoiled or rotten mint. At times the odour might not be strong enough to be recognized from a distance. The only way to tell is through bringing the leaf closer for you to whiff.
Consequently, if you are worried and unsure if your mint is spoiled or rotten, then you should take a moment to review the mint plant with your primary senses. Spoiled or rotten mint you’ll be able to tell since it’ll be clear in either of your senses tests as mentioned.
So, How Do You Remove White Spots on Mint Leaves?
One thing you should note is that the white spots you see on your mint leaves do not always harm your mint plant entirely. Also, they don’t necessarily make your plant harmful for consumption. Nevertheless, getting rid of the white spots where you can be still necessary.
If you know exactly where the white spots on the mint are originating, always take immediate action before it spreads.
1. Cut back Your Plant
Pruning is a skill for harvesting and regulating the growth size of the mint plant for retaining an attractive and pleasing shape. It is also one of the essential practices you can use to control pests when the plant is infected.
Cutting back your plant will allow the growth of new and fresh mint leaves. This technique is most suitable if you are not in urgent need of the mint. In a sense, this will get rid of the spider mites or the bugs from your plant by stopping their life cycle.
You know this means that a considerable portion of your mint plant will be lost. But is it worth it? Totally! If you are okay with sacrificing the plant’s region where the white spots have taken over the leaves, then this method will work well for you.
One aspect you should monitor closely are the leaves that you decide to leave on your mint plant. Once the other parts start growing, you can cut back the ones you left if you’ll see the need to do so.
2. Clean Your Plant’s Leaves
This method involves cleaning your plant’s leaves using different mixtures. And it requires you to be gentle as you rub a small amount of the mixtures on the mint plant leaves. Therefore, as you put this method into practice, you should have in mind how delicate the leaves are.
As you clean the leaves, you’ll notice that the white spots disappear instantly. The point here is not scrubbing them off, but to help the mint leaf restore its natural properties.
When it comes to cleaning your mint’s leaves, there are a few different mixtures from which you can select for use. They include water and dilute soap mixture, also a mixture known to repel the bug type that is responsible for the white spots on the mint leaves. Besides, you can use a mixture that includes Neem oil.
You should avoid traditional pesticides. It is because they don’t help with the white spots on mint leaves. They can neither get rid of spider mites nor similar problems. For that reason, you’ll just be wasting your money and time applying such pesticides to your mint plant when it won’t even work.
3. Spread Out Your Mint Plant
Most of the time, people report that they observed more white spots on mint leaveswhen their mint plants are clamped together in the same place. Interestingly, such observations can occur as a result of the bugs, spider mites (or whatever can cause the problem) finding it easy to move from one plant to the other.
Therefore, the easier it is to move from one plant to another, the more they’ll spread. And that, translated to more white spots.
To counteract such, you should consider spreading out your mint plants. This method won’t eliminate pre-existing spots. It makes it more challenging for the tiny spider mites and bugs to move from one plant to another. This way they won’t be able to take down all your mint plants.
This way also makes it easier to identify infected plants. Also, you’ll be able to select the best possible method you would use to deal with the situation based on the extent of the damage caused by the mites.
4. Bring in Beneficial Insects
It is a natural method to rid your plant from the prey mite or bug. The only disadvantage of this biological method is that it won’t work on a few known agents that cause white spots on mint leaves. However, it perfectly works for other bugs and spider mites.
For instance, there are two well-known insects used to control spider mites. These are the ladybird beetles and another predatory mite known as T. pyri. The two Insects controls two types of spider mites; two-spotted spider mites and the European red mites.
If at any point you consider this method, make sure you do research first. You don’t want to introduce another bug that might harm the mint leaves you intend to protect. After all, the main aim of using any of the above methods is to keep your mint from getting white spots on their leaves, prosperous and alive.
Better still, using such a natural pest control method is environmentally friendly and doesn’t interfere with your plant’s environment, I.e. doesn’t introduce pollutants to the surrounding.
Now you know how to remove white spots on mint leaves and the various possible ways you can handle spider mites and the bugs that affect the prosperity of your sweet mints. From the compressive discussion above, you are for sure well informed on matters to do with mint plants.
Off all the pests that possibly targets mint plant, spider mites rank first. They are the most severe problem to the mint. Therefore, if you notice that they have infected your plants, the immediate course of action has to be followed.