Peppermint: pests and treatment | Gardening enabled

Peppermint usually has no pests

Image – Flickr/Forest and Kim Starr

What pests can peppermint have? The truth is that, fortunately for all of us who love aromatic plants, it is one of the easiest to maintain, since it resists drought very well, and also, it is generally not attacked by insects as much than the others.

Despite the sweet scent of its leaves, it is difficult for a well-tended plant to end badly. But just in case, it’s always better to be a little vigilant, because even if it’s difficult, that doesn’t mean you can’t get sick. So Let’s find out what are the pests of peppermint.

Peppermint is one of the most popular aromatic plants in the kitchen, so we want it to always be as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, it must be kept in mind that, although it is very resistant, it is still a living being, and If at any time the conditions of the place favor the pests more than the plant itself, they will attack it.

To prevent it from suffering serious damage, we are going to talk about what peppermint pests are and how to treat them:

white fly

The whitefly is a major pest

Image – Wikimedia/Amada44

The whitefly is a small insect that feeds on the sap of many plants, including mint. In addition to this, it secretes a molasses which attracts a fungus: the fat, which covers the leaves with a blackish powder. But despite what it may seem, we should be more concerned about the insect than the fungus, because only if we eradicate the plague will the fungus eventually die out.

And we will do it as soon as we see one, either flying through the foliage, or resting on the underside of the leaves, for example with diatomaceous earth (on sale here) or with fairy.

the caterpillars

Caterpillars are animals that they can end up devouring the whole plant if you are not careful. As soon as we see that it has perforated or chewed leaves, we will have to treat it immediately with an anti-caterpillar chemical insecticide, or with an ecological one that contains the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (like this) which is very effective against them.

In any case, it is sometimes preferable to prune the mint well, so that new stems grow. But we recommend that you only do this if it is really bad, that is, only if we find that there are very few leaves left.

aphid

Insects can yellow the leaves

The aphid is one of the most important pests that affects a wide variety of plants. Like the whitefly, feeds on the sap of the leaves, but also of certain flowers -The peppermint ones, fortunately, are usually not appetizing-.

It is a tiny insect that can be yellow, black, orange or bluish depending on the species, which not only does it have a voracious appetite, but it also multiplies very quickly. And as if that weren’t enough, they also secrete a molasses, which attracts ants. So if a plant has ants, it probably has aphids too.

How to delete it? It is possible to do this with neem oil (on sale here), or with potassium soap (on sale here).

Rust

Rust is not a pest, but a disease since is caused by a fungus and not by insects. However, we also want you to know the damage it causes to the mint. And it is that the symptoms can be confused with others, because what happens is that the leaves appear with yellow or orange spots on the upper part of the leaves.

Like all fungi, rust favors high humidity and mild or warm temperaturesit is therefore more likely to be seen after it has rained for several days in a row, or if we are in the habit of spraying its leaves even if we live in an area with high air humidity, such as on an island.

Is there a treatment? There are things to do, yes. The first and most important is to treat it with a fungicide that shows it is effective against rust, like this one. We will do this at the end of the afternoon, when the direct sun will no longer reach it.

And also I recommend planting mint in well-drained soil., so that its roots have no more problems. If it is in a pot, you can put a universal substrate mixed with 30% perlite; and if it is in the garden and we see that the soil is easily waterlogged, we will pull it out, make a hole of at least 50 x 50cm, and fill it with a mixture of peat and perlite to equal parts.

Peppermint can have yellow leaves for various reasons

Thus, peppermint will surely be able to recover from pests and rust. But yes: it is important to give it time, especially if it has suffered serious damage. But with a little care, you may end up recovering well.

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