Skip to Content

Why Are My Mint Leaves So Small? 4 Fixes You Should Know

Mint plants are perennial herbs that grow fast and are used for different purposes. You can recognize members of the mint family by their square stems. Mints spread quickly and may shortly overtake a garden.

They are hardy plants that can effectively withstand cold temperatures and thrive in partial sunlight. However, they’re not resistant to specific issues and may need help. It is, therefore, not rare to hear the question, ‘Why are my mint leaves so small?’ 

Why is your mint leaves so small? A common reason may be a lack of nutrients. However, a lack of the correct amount of nutrients may lead to small leaves. If you don’t understand the problem, the information given in this guide will help you figure out the problem and solutions. 

Why Are My Mint Leaves So Small
Tall mint with tiny leaves – via Reddit

Why Are My Mint Leaves So Small?

It is easy to determine when your mints are dealing with unfavorable conditions. One sign of this is the small leaves produced by the plant. At this point, you may suspect that your plant is distressed. Figuring out what ails them, however, may be difficult. Discover the common reasons below. 

Too Little Nutrients  

An essential factor that’s significant in the growth of plants is the number of nutrients made available to them. Mint plants are no different. Although growing mints is not difficult, the problem arises in keeping them healthy. 

A lack of nutrients results in the growth of small leaves. Conversely, mint plants grow small leaves when few nutrients are needed, particularly in potted mint plants. 

How to Fix 

Lack of nutrients when growing mint plants is easy to fix. Provide an appropriate supply of nutrients for your mints through fertilizers. However, it is vital to be aware that only the correct amount of fertilizers is healthy for your mint plants due to nitrogen. 

Depending on what stage of growth your mint plant is, there are different options of fertilizers to use. An all-purpose fertilizer usually gets the job done, though. In addition, using an all-purpose fertilizer can improve healthy growth in your mints since they need just essential nutrients.

Location 

The close location of the mint plant is another critical factor and may explain why your mint leaves are so small. Mint plants flourish best outdoors as opposed to being indoors. And though they are hardy, dry soil may contribute to unhealthy growth.

Either in a pot or garden bed, the conditions of the immediate location your mint plant is being grown are vital. The correct amount of moisture in the soil and six or more hours of direct sunlight every day improves your mint plant’s leaf sizes and overall health. 

How to Fix

Check the top of the soil where you planted your mint plant. Does it feel dry? In the absence of rain, or if you plant your mints where the soil does not retain moisture, you’ll need to water them

You should provide 1-2 inches of water weekly for your mints in a garden bed. The water will moisten the soil up to 6 inches deep. For your potted mints, water until all excess drips from the bottom of the pot. Improved moisture levels will lead to increased leaf sizes. 

Secondly, you would need to relocate your mints if they are in a location with little access to direct sunlight. Since mint plants thrive better outdoors, you should relocate your plant to provide better conditions for it to grow.

Why Are My Mint Leaves So Small 2
Why supermarket mint is now growing only small leaves? – via Reddit

Lack of Pruning 

Another reason your mint leaves are so small might be the lack of pruning. Not cutting and trimming your mint plants can lead to the production of smaller leaves. Herbs like mints tend to grow better when pruned correctly. 

Allowing the mint flower buds to bloom has been observed to make the leaves grow smaller. And this also discourages the branching of the plant. On the other hand, the pruning of leaves from mint plants’ stems usually makes the leaves bigger.  

How to Fix

Cutting and trimming are the two most widely used methods for growing mint plants with larger leaves. Cutting encourages the leaves to grow bigger to access more sunlight. This also makes your mint plant bushier. 

You should always cut mint plants above a node. It results in new branches growing out after a few weeks. It would be ideal if you also pruned buds before they bloom. Take note not to cut off too many leaves, as this might lead to the death of your mint because it isn’t getting enough sunlight.

Root Bound 

Another answer to why your mint leaves are so small is because of its root. It is otherwise known as being root-bound. It is a situation where roots have covered the whole soil, reaching and pushing against container walls. Potted mint plants tend to experience this.

Since mint plants tend to be aggressive in spreading their roots, it takes over the space. Did you plant your mint in a small container and just let it be? You might have already found the answer to why your leaves are small. 

Your root-bound mint likely lacks minerals or water due to the lower amount of soil in the pot. As a result, the soil can only hold a limited amount of nutrients that the roots can use, leading to the production of smaller leaves.

How to Fix

Taking care of root-bound mints can be accomplished in two ways. The first step is to relocate the plant; the second is to trim and replant the mints. You can follow these two steps to help your mint grow larger leaves quickly.  

The first option is to relocate your mint plant into a large container. Next, gently remove the mint by turning it upside down and tapping the bottom of the pot. Next, place the mint plant in a new, larger container filled with soil. Add some more soil around the mint plant and water it.

The second option involves trimming some of the roots and replanting the mint in the same container. Take out the mint plant from its pot and begin trimming off its roots using a pair of scissors. You can cut off about 2/3 of the amount of the roots. Add new soil, replant the mint, and water it. 

>> Related Post: Why Is My Mint Plant Dying? How To Deal With It?


Conclusion 

You may have noticed that your mint leaves don’t grow as big as they used to. It could have led you to think, ‘Why are my mint leaves so small?’ But, most times, all your plant requires is a simple adjustment to its care. In our guide above, you can find the common reasons why your mint leaves are so small. 

We hope this insightful post helps you figure out the problem with your mint leaves. Make a note of the symptoms in this guide and compare them to your mint plant.

It will help you determine what action to take. Also included is the best solution to each cause so that you can nurse your mint plant back to health in little time. Then, share your comments and queries with us in the comment section below.