Dianthus are colorful flowering plants that add color to your garden from spring until summer. But the beauty of these plants can fade if you don’t look after them well. A neglected Dianthus can start dying, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save it.
When your Dianthus looks dead, you must remove all the dead flowers and foliage. Improve the environmental conditions around it, such as sunlight, soil quality, watering schedule, temperature, and humidity. You may also need to use organic pesticides if the plant is wilting due to a pest invasion.
Dianthus plants are easy to manage, so there’s a fair chance you can save a dying plant. However, you may have to take more drastic steps if the plant is dying due to fungal or bacterial diseases. Keep reading the article to see how to save a dying Dianthus.
4 Ways To Revive Your Dianthus
Even if your Dianthus plant appears dying, in most cases, you can still revive the plant as long as the damage isn’t too severe. However, you must be able to identify the cause to help improve the overall conditions of your plant.
The two possible reasons your plant is struggling are poor conditions or disease and pests. Addressing them will most likely perk up your sick plant. Here are some ideas:
1. Adjust the Amount of Sunlight the Plant Receives
Dianthus are sun-loving plants. However, too much sun can damage or burn them. These plants do well with at least six hours of sun daily (source). So, the best place for them is where they can get direct morning light and partial afternoon shade.
Dianthus plants don’t like staying indoors. They’re outdoor plants that thrive best in areas similar to their natural habitat. So, if your indoor plant is wilting, it’s time to take it back outdoors. You will see a drastic change when the plant gets proper sunlight and environment.
If your Dianthus is outside but still appears dying, there could be an issue with its location. Adjust the position accordingly using the following guidelines:
- Too little sunlight: See if taller plants or structures are blocking the sunlight for your Dianthus. You can move the plant to a sunnier place if it’s potted. Otherwise, check if you can move the hindrance.
- Too much sunlight: If the leaves are turning brown and the soil is too dry, it could be because the plant is getting too much light and heat. Place the pot in an east-facing garden. If planted in the ground, you can place a screen a foot (30 cm) above the plant to filter the sunlight during the hottest part of the day.
Ensuring your dying plant receives the proper amount of sunlight can help you revitalize it. However, you’ll also have to address the other conditions affected by sunlight, such as soil quality and watering frequency.
2. Improve the Soil
Soil can determine how much your Dianthus can thrive. The plant becomes prone to root damage, fungal infections, and other pest invasions if the soil:
- lacks essential nutrients.
- is water-logged.
- is overfertilized.
- has a pH level below 7.
You can enrich the soil with nutrients by adding compost in spring. A thin compost layer will suffice as it can help the plant’s roots to hold the ground firmly and grow healthier. Manure or compost also adds nutrients to the soil.
Another important thing is to make sure the soil drains well. Compost is suitable for this purpose as it improves soil quality and density, balancing moisture retention and drainage (source).
Remember, compost is excellent for soil, but adding too much can cause root rot, killing the plant.
Dianthus also prefers alkaline soil with a pH over 7. You can add lime to make the soil more alkaline. However, raising the pH in larger pieces of land can take some time and require more frequent amendments.
3. Adjust the Watering Schedule
A proper watering schedule is essential to maintain Dianthus’ health. Both over-watering and under-watering can damage and even kill the plant.
- Underwatering: Dehydration in Dianthus can lead to droopy-looking plants. Prolonged dehydration can cause the leaves to dry and fall off, eventually killing the plant. So, you must add more water to the soil to revive your Dianthus. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Otherwise, it will lead to over-watering.
- Overwatering: This condition can kill the plant by drowning the roots, causing root rot or fungal infections. When the soil becomes water-logged, it doesn’t drain the water well, making it crucial to improve the soil’s texture and drainage.
You must water your Dianthus at least once a week if the conditions aren’t too dry. The water must be enough to soak the soil. You can water the plant until the excess water drains out of the bottom of the pot.
Water ground-planted Dianthus gradually until the top soil layer cannot absorb the water anymore. You’ll know this when you see a pool of water at the base of the plant. Alternatively, you can feed your plant 1 inch or 2.36 liters (0.22 gallons) of water weekly.
You can detect root rot by looking for the following symptoms:
- Stunted growth
- Yellow leaves
- Weak foliage
- Darkened roots
4. Prevent Disease and Pest Infestation
Disease and pest infestations are among the main reasons Dianthus dies. You can prevent these attacks by ensuring proper conditions for the plant’s growth. However, sometimes, despite your efforts, disaster can strike.
Most of these diseases and infections have symptoms that can help you pinpoint the exact problem. Pests often carry diseases that infect your plants. You may have to rely on homemade and plant-safe pesticides to eliminate them.
Let’s see some of the most common fungal infections that can kill Dianthus and how to revive the plant.
Rust is a fungal infection that damages the plant’s leaves. Powdery blisters on Dianthus’ leaves and stem mark the onset of the disease. If you leave the condition unchecked, the plant may soon die.
The primary cause of rust is excessive and relentless humidity. You can remove the affected plants and use a fungicide to protect the remaining, healthier ones.
True to its name, greasy blotches appear on the leaves, forming a web pattern. The disease can turn the leaves yellow, eventually killing them. You should remove the dead plant parts, creating more space for better air circulation. In addition, maintain the correct humidity levels, which shouldn’t exceed 80%.
Wilt is another condition that can leave the plant looking dead. The disease turns the leaves yellow and eventually damages the root and stem, killing your Dianthus.
To help the plant recover, remove the affected parts using clean gloves and properly sanitized tools. You must also improve the overall conditions, such as improving soil quality, to prevent it from spreading to healthier plants.
Dianthus aren’t too difficult to grow in a home garden. However, they may suffer damage due to fungal diseases, poor soil quality, and poor water and light conditions. All these problems can kill a plant when left unattended.
However, even when your plant looks dead, you may still have a way to revive it by improving the following:
- Watering schedule
- Soil condition
- Sunlight intensity and duration
- Control measures for fungal infections and pest infestations