The Q&A Archives: Mint Leaves Spotted

Question: Last year I planted a chocolate mint plant in my herb garden. It did well for the whole summer; however, when the fall came, I noticed little dark spots all over the leaves of the plant. Can you tell me what this is, and what I can do to avoid it this year? I would like to be able to dry the leaves and grind them for use in baking or to put into jars to give as gifts. Thanks!

Answer: For most herbs, it's best to collect the leaves for drying or other uses just as the flowers are beginning to form. This is when the leaves have the maximum amount of the desired essential oils. It's possible that the spots you saw in the fall were just the naturally drying off process as the plant readied itself for its dormancy period. If the new growth looks good this spring, the plant should be fine. Mints are, as a rule, quite durable and carefree.

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