7 Reasons Why Catmint is Turning Brown -Fixing Guide

It will not be surprising enough if your catmints are not in good shape. Unlike other landscapers, catmints or catnips are quite high-maintenance. Thus, a little bit of carelessness and you find yourself asking why on earth is your Catmint turning brown!

Yet, catmint plants are gardeners’ favorite. They are amazing landscapers offering beautiful foliage. Not only that the plants also have several health-beneficial properties including anti-inflammatory components. They also relieve stress and have calming effects as well.

However, these catmints are sensitive and easily flop as well. Thus, many gardeners also complain about why their catmint becomes floppy. Well, there are many reasons for catmints turning brown and flopping or playing dead.  

Nonetheless, one of the main reasons for it is the catnip root rot. Other reasons include the attack from pests and diseases, weather problems, wrong plantation, insufficient nutrients, excess water, and so on.

Let’s have a clear and detailed concept regarding this topic along with the solutions.

Catmint Turning Brown [Causes and Solution]

brown leaves of Catmint

1. Root Rot of Catmint

In most cases, the catmint plants in the garden turn brown because of the root rot disease. There are many factors that might lead the roots of plants to such rotting conditions. Nonetheless, water stagnant condition is one of the major factors.

If your catmint roots are surrounded by waterlogged conditions then there are high chances of root rots. Moreover, catmint root rot can be of various types. Because of the rotting of roots, they become girdled and affect both stems and leaves.

Leaves turn brown in no time and overall, the catmint plant flops. Eventually, the leaves and stem die. Because of root rot, sufficient nutrients and water cannot reach the branches of the Catmint plant. Thus, the roots also become slimy and brown.   

 Eventually, the entire plants weaken softening the stems. To see the browning prominently, dig up the plant. You will also sense a rotten smell in both the roots and soil attached to them. Furthermore, root rot also makes the catmints mushy and their growth rate also decreases.

Control Measure

  • Make sure you plant your catmint in well-drained soil where there will be no chance of waterlogged condition.
  • Or, ensure a proper drainage system in your garden, especially the place where your catmints are situated.
  • To get rid of root rot you can spray commercial copper fungicide (Our Pick: Bonide 811 Copper 4E Fungicide)
  • Select catmints that have a healthy root system.
  • Replace the rotted and smelled soil with new soil.

Since root rot is hard to detect until it gets severely damaged so, you better take preventive steps to make the catmints live long. Again, if you are using fungicide make sure you

2. Excess Watering

We have already mentioned, what too much water can cause to your catmint. So, these two reasons are interconnected. Water pooling around the plant catmint without a proper drainage system is the root cause of the browning of the catmint plant.

So, you have to determine if your soil needs water then you can water your catmint accordingly. Thus, determine the moisture content of the soil where your catmint is planted with the help of a moisture meter (Our pick: SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester). Then decide if your plant needs water or not.

Control Measure

  • Catmints do not require much water to thrive. So, do not water them regularly until drought condition arrives.
  • Generally, watering 200ml after every five to six days.
  • Make sure to create an effective drainage system.
  • Make holes in the pot if you want potted catmints.
  • Frequently keep on checking the soil moisture.

As we said, moisture meters are used for determining soil moisture. However, you can also use your finger to check if the soil gets bone dry or not. Water the soil before it reaches that state.

3. Fungal Attack

Catmint leaves become brown when the fungus attacks them. Many times, gardeners discover brown spots on their Catmint leaves. It is because of a fungal disease called Cercospora leaf blight. It is a common disease of the Catmint plant.

When the fungus affects the plants, they cover the leaves in small flecks. The flecks are rounded with yellow halos.

Gradually, the flecks and round to oval spots enlarge and coalesce together turning brown. When the disease gets severe, the Catmint plant looks dead.

So, before occurring a goddamn infestation, you should take preventive steps. Otherwise, the fungus will kill your favorite plant in no time. Again, if they do not kill at least will make your Catmint suffer slow growth and disfigurement.

Control Measure

  • Make sure to water your Catmint in the morning. This way, the leaves get daylight to dry out.
  • Let not the foliage wet while planting otherwise constant wetting of leaves will lead to a fungal attack.
  • Also, try to ignore overhead watering.
  • Collect the affected leaves and destroy them away from your garden.
  • Do not conduct any intercultural operation when the garden is wet.
  • Do not overcrowd while planting Catmint and always maintain proper spacing.
  • Also, do not allow any weeds to grow near the Catmin plants.
  • Again, you can spray commercial fungicides on the affected plant parts (Our Pick: Bonide 811 Copper 4E Fungicide)
  • You can try out homemade remedies as well,
# Spray Baking Soda and Epson Salts

Required Materials:

  • Baking Soda
  • Epson salts
  • Dish soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water


  • Take one tablespoon of Epson salt, baking soda, and dish soap.
  • Also, take three tablespoons of rubbing alcohol
  • Mix them with one gallon of water and pour them into a spray bottle.
  • Then spray the solution over the affected Catmint plant parts.

4. Catmint in the Wrong Environment

It is necessary to ensure the required environment a plant must need to thrive healthily. Catmints are also no exception. They thrive well in a location where they get full sun. however, a partial shady location can also do.

But anything less than this situation might cause the plant to turn brown and saggy. Again, the best zone for the growing of Catmint is the USDA hardiness zone 3 to 8. Thus, to talk about the soil requirement, Catmints are unlikely to grow in overly fertile soil.

Moreover, excess nutrient uptake causes severe problems. But keep in mind, a lack of several nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium can turn the leaves and blooms yellow and brown.

So, it is important to ensure a better environment for your Catmint.

Control Measure

  •       If you have already planted your Catmint in the wrong location, transplant it to the right location.
  •       Mulch the soil with about 1/4-inch of compost before planting Catmint.
  •       If the soil is infertile, apply fertilizer(our pick: Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food)

5. Bacterial Attack

The bacterial attack can also turn the Catmint plant brown. Bacteria can cause bacterial leaf spots on the plant. It causes the leaves to turn brown and the base of the plant becomes brown eventually.

However, this condition is mostly caused when the weather condition is cold. In severe cases, the plants might die. So, it is important to save the Catmint from bacterial attack.

Control Measure

  • Remove affected parts, weeds, and plant residues.
  • Try not to cause mechanical damage to your Catmint plant.
  • Plant a resistant variety of Catmint.
  • Again, homemade remedies can help,
# Applying Dish Soap and Baking Soda

Required Materials:

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Water


  • Take one drop of dish soap and two tablespoons of baking soda
  • Mix them in four to five cups of water
  • Take the solution in a spray bottle and then spray over the plant.

6. Bug and Pest Infestation

It is a common cause of the Catmint plant turning brown. Pest and bug attacks can lead to the death stage of the plant. There are several insects including spider mites, scale insects, thrips, and other pests that are well-known for eating up a whole Catmint plant.

Nonetheless, insect pests are visible. Still, their attack shows some symptoms like dying of flowers, plant showing saggy and floppy nature, stems and roots turning in brown, and some other unusual nature.

Thus, whenever you see such symptoms, you have to act fast against them. However, most garden menaces actually avoid Catmints because of their smell. This is surely a plus point.

Control Measure

  • Let the natural enemies of pests come to your garden to eat up them.
  • Use barriers or chicken wires to protect your plant from even cats!
  • Use sticky traps around the plant to control the population of thrips.
  • In the case of larger pests, hand pick them and then destroy them.
  • If a larger infestation takes place, apply insecticidal soap or pyrethrin, or oil-based sprays.
  • You can also use commercial pesticides to reduce the pests (Our Pick: Natria 706250A Neem Oil Spray for Plants)

For your information, you can also control the pest attack by following an integrated pest management system.

7. Not Cutting Back the Catmint

How to Cut Back Catmint

Not cutting back or pruning the Catmint, is also a reason for them to turn brown and floppy. Catmints are meant to grow up and out. So, without shearing, pruning, or cutting back the plants might act adversely including being brown.

Pruning or trimming of Catmint saves the plant and induces the foliage and blooms.

Control Measure

  • Trim off the steams of Catmint to expand the growth.
  • Be done with cutting back when it is the right time.


Why is my Catmint plant dying?

Well, browning is the initial stage before the dying of Catmint. There can be several reasons like fungal and bacterial attack, Catmint becoming moldy, curling of leaves, lack of nutrients, and all.

How do you revive Catmint?

Well, reviving Catmint does not require much. Only by pruning and cutting back properly and at the right time can bring back your Catmint to life.

Try to prune your Catmint when it is done with its first round of flowering. It encourages second blooming. Again, you can cut the Catmint after the frost.

How do you water your Catmint?

Catmint cannot survive excess water. While watering the plant, water the soil slowly and make sure it is moist evenly. Potted Catmints require regular watering.

Final Words

So, now you know why your Catmint is turning brown! You can also predict that most reasons for the Catmint problems are almost the same. However, since we have provided you with the control measures hopefully, your Catmints will be treated differently from now on.

Know that all garden plants require extra care. Catmints deserve the same as well. Thus, helping them out to live beautifully.

So, if our information has helped you in any way, let us know through your feedback. Also, if you have any questions, let us find an answer for you. Happy Gardening!

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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