What is wrong with my Dianthus?

suz9601June 17, 2014

Hello.I planted 3 dianthus in a new bed in April. The past couple of weeks it is turning straw like color. The green that is left is not very sturdy and tends to fall over. Do you think it might have a disease? Anything I can do? And if it is diseased, how do I kill it if I remove the plant and want to put something else in there? Thanks for any help.

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Looks like it is dying. I would just remove it and plant something else there. My Dianthus (several different varieties) are all in bloom now. Maybe you could take a little of the live parts and transplant in a pot to try to nurse it back to health.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:36PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Since you have 2 different posts about 2 different plants dying (I'm assuming they're in the same bed), are you sure they weren't sprayed with some sort of herbicide? Have you had your lawn sprayed or did you use anything to kill weeds in the lawn or did a neighbor spray their lawn? Did you use any kind of chemical on this bed?


    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 4:49PM
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My husband sprayed the lawn with weed b gone, but it was 2 months ago. These plants just started looking like this in the last 2 weeks. Maybe my neighbor sprayed something more recent? I thought maybe a lawn fertilizer washed down on them, since we had so much rain lately, but I am not sure just a fertilizer would do this...bottom line is I will talk to neightbor and have husband not spray anymore, do you think they will come out of it? or should I just replace them? Thanks for your help

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:28PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Yes, check with your neighbor first.

I really don't have any experience with herbicides in the garden, so I'm not sure what to tell you. If the plants got accidentally sprayed with something, then I would say go ahead and replace them. However, if there is something in the soil then replacing them might just lead to the same results. I suppose as a test you could buy some cheap annuals and plant them and see if the same thing happens. If it does, then you know your soil is contaminated.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 5:14AM
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Thanks Kevin..I hope it is not the soil. I just planted a 55ft bed this spring...about $700 worth of flowers/shrubs...My neighbor is out of town, so I dont think it was him. I don't know what to do if my soil is bad. Can a virus/fungus take out an entire bed? or is each species only vulnerable to certain fungi, etc? Anyway, thanks for your help. I know it is a crazy situation. I noticed today that 3 more plants have curling of the leaves. It freaks me out to go out there everyday to see the damage...

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:14AM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

Suz, do you have a county extension office nearby? Take some leaf cuttings to them. They can analyze it and let you know probable cause.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:52AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

And keep taking photos of the damage, just in case you later learn that a neighbor or the city has sprayed something that injured your plants. I would certainly suspect the lawn products your husband applied. I never use anything like that, so I'm unfamiliar with what the damage could be. I would be surprised if he used weed be gone on the entire lawn. I thought that was a product to use on just the weeds, like a spot treatment. But I could be wrong, because I really know nothing about them. Maybe you both could check the instructions on the bag to determine if he was using it at the correct rate of application.

I agree with a2zmom, our county extension office of our state, tests for disease and damage like that. Maybe your state offers the same service.

Very sorry about your plants. I hope you can get to the bottom of it and that you stop losing plants. I don't even know whether to tell you to water the area to dilute the products on the lawn. That might cause a problem with the groundwater below? I would definitely get the plants tested before deciding to do anything further.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:26PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Maybe you are overwatering? Dianthus generally come from dry-ish (albeit not very hot) places. From other posts on Gardenweb, overwatering seems to be the #1 mistake of inexperienced gardeners. Some Dianthus cultivars will die here if summers are too rainy. I never recall watering one except a couple weeks after I planted it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 6:13PM
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thanks for all of the replies. I took them out last night and the smell was nasty. I guess it was root rot. They were sitting in a ton of water. We got so much rain in a short amount of time and with my clay soil, guess it was too much. I will ammend the bed more and find a more tolerable plant.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 5:51PM
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Something to think about for later when you get new plants to put in the heavy clay soil of your beds: if the plants are potted up in a light peat based medium you might want to remove it when you plant them into to your soil. If you don't, and you water the plants then your soil acts as a basin for the water around the root ball in the light soil and they tend to drown easily.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:29PM
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