What ails this mint?

Asked July 19, 2018, 8:50 AM EDT

I've attached a few pictures of Kentucky Colonel mint in my garden. I know there is damage on it from whiteflies. They're stubborn - I've been blasting them with a hose at least once a day and occasionally spraying with a diluted dish soap mixture (2 tbsp. per gallon of water). They're persistent. Apart from the whitefly damage, I am puzzled by the silvery, satiny sheen that the mint takes on this time of year. Is that normal? Or is it disease? Is it safe to use in food? Thanks for any advice you have.

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

Shiny, sticky leaves can be attributed to sap-feeding insects such as mealybugs, scale insects, aphids, true bugs and whiteflies.

Here is our page on whiteflies: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/whiteflies-vegetables
Interestingly, the ones you see flying show you they are there, but are not the life stage that is feeding.

This isn't a big issue unless the mint is new and tiny. The leaves can be picked and used after washing.


Thanks! That's very interesting. I think I'll still pass on using the mint in food. Also think I'll try to be more proactive than reactive from now on...

Just pinch off the worst affected leaves. The mint will rebound quickly with a flush of new fresh growth.