The Q&A Archives: Dead Peppermint

Question: Hello: I would like to know why my peppermint died. I was growing it in a huge pot. Is it because I left it outside for the winter? I figure that it froze to death, because the mint I had growing in the ground is flourishing now that spring is here. I want to know the reason it died.

Answer: There are several possible explanations. One is that it was severely stressed for some reason but is not actually dead and will emerge but later than the mint in the ground. Another possible reason a mint could die is that it went too dry -- winter can be very drying, as can spring winds, and this is of particular danger to container grown plants. Yet another possible reason is that it froze to death since the roots are not as well insulated from the cold when the plant is grown in a pot rather than in the ground -- but this is unlikely. Finally, it is possible that the microclimates for the potted mint and in-ground mint are different and this is accounting for different timing for them to come out of dormancy .(Mint is difficult to kill and usually survives quite well in large containers so I suspect this is the case.) If it is truly dead, you might find some comfort in knowing that it is very easy to start more for the pot by digging up a section from the ground and transplanting it. Good luck with your mint!

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