Most people grow Dill (Anethum graveolens) because it is a popular culinary ingredient and has various health benefits. However, the plant has a short lifespan and is highly susceptible to wilting and necrosis.

As such, your Dill plant could be wilting and dying for no apparent reason. In this article, we will talk about various stress factors that might be affecting the plant and how to tackle them effectively.

Dill-plant-in-garden-bed

Dill Plant Wilting and Dying: Reasons And Solutions

Reasons range from pests, diseases to improper management. Let us study them one by one 

1. Pests

Some common pests associated with the Dill plant include:

Aphids

Aphids-on-plants

Aphids are tiny soft-bodied insects that suck sap out of dill leaves. They also produce honeydew, which attracts ants and triggers the growth of sooty mold on your Dill.

Aphids leave brown and yellow spots on the foliage. They also cause leaves to curl and droop.

Tomato Hornworms

Tomato hornworms can grow up to 4 inches in length. They get their name from the horn-like structure pooping out of their lower back.

You can identify them by their black droppings or distinct striped body pattern. These pests feed on the stems and leaves of the Dill, which can cause it to weaken and die.

Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar

Anise swallowtail butterflies lay pale brown-looking eggs on your Dill plant that hatch into caterpillars. Their infestation can cause harm as they are aggressive feeders.

You can identify them by their yellow-green or green bodies. They also have spotted bands around their bodies.

How To Fix Pest Infestations?

To fix aphid infestation, inspect your plant daily. Insecticidal soap is efficient when you catch this pest early on.

You can use the soap for 2-3 days every two weeks to eliminate them. Another way to solve this problem is to introduce natural predators of aphids.

Lacewings and ladybugs can help you get rid of them but be careful not to use systemic insecticides as they can kill these predators.

To fix the problem of tomato hornworms, you can manually pick them from your plant and place them in soapy water.

Alternatively, you can mix soap, water, and cayenne pepper in a spray bottle. Apply it thoroughly on the plant.

For anise swallowtail caterpillars, picking them off manually and disposing of them works best.

2. Inconsistent Temperature

Flowering-dill-plants

Inconsistent temperature can stress your Dill plant and cause its leaves to droop. For instance, a sudden change to a cold temperature from a warmer one can weaken your plant and cause it to droop.

Keep The Plants In The Ideal Temperature Range

Fortunately, Dill plants can tolerate any weather. However, ensure they are kept in a temperature range of 60° – 70° F (15°- 21° C). 

Do not shift the plants in varying environments with different temperatures to avoid stressing them.

3. Watering Issues

Although dill plants don’t need much watering, underwatering them can lead to complications. One of the signs of underwatering is the drooping or wilting of leaves.

Another major sign is the severe dryness of the soil. Overwatering can also cause drooping and produce mildew.

How To Fix Watering Issues?

Ensure you are consistent when watering Dill plants. The plants do not require heavy daily watering. Water them moderately or until you find the soil dry.

As a rule of thumb, you should water your plant when the top two inches of the soil feel dry. Also, ensure the water is spread evenly around the soil and the soil isn’t soaked.

4. Nutritional Deficiencies

Stunted-dill

Dill plants need balance when it comes to nutrition. A wilting plant could indicate severe nutritional deficiencies in your soil.

Getting your soil tested is the best possible way to determine what nutrients it is lacking.  

How To Fix Nutrient Issues?

Dill plants need light feeding. For indoor plants grown in containers, feed them every month or a month and a half with a liquid fertilizer. A well-balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer works quite well.

Outdoor plants can be fed with 5-10-5 fertilizer which can be applied once in late spring.

5. Diseases

Fungal-infections-in-plants

Once pests have infested your dill plant, it can quickly develop diseases. It’s essential to watch out for these common diseases:

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can cause Dill leaves to droop. It’s a white powdery substance that appears on the leaves when plants don’t get enough sunlight.

Cercospora Leaf Blight

Cercospora leaf blight is caused by a fungus usually carried by an infested seed. This fungus can cause the leaves of your dill plant to droop and die.

Carrot Motley Dwarf Disease

This disease is caused by the Carrot Mottle Virus and the Carrot Redleaf Virus.  Aphids are the most common transmitters.

Signs of the disease include stunted growth and red and yellow discoloration of the leaves.

Downy Mildew Fungus

Downy mildew is a fungal disease caused by overwatering. The symptoms include the growth of a white substance at the underside of the leaves and the appearance of yellow spots which become darker over time.

How To Fix Diseases In Dill Plants?

Powdery Mildew

To eliminate the disease-causing fungus, mix liquid soap and baking soda in a spray bottle and sprinkle the leaves.

Natural Fungicides such as Neem oil also work pretty well. To prevent the disease, avoid planting in humid areas.

Cercospora Leaf Blight

You can use commercial fungicides to combat this disease. Preventive measures include inspecting your seeds before planting.

Carrot Motley Dwarf Disease

Control the infestation of aphids by using insecticidal soaps. Don’t plant Dill next to other members of the parsley or carrot family.

Downy Mildew Fungus

Avoid planting in humid areas and overwatering the soil.

6. Not Enough Sunlight

Dill plants need direct sunlight for long hours. When they don’t get this, they show signs of wilting and yellowing and eventually die. It’s not a good idea to place them under shade.

How To Fix Sunlight Issues?

If you are keeping Dill plants indoors, ensure they are getting their daily light requirement, which is about 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.

Placing them near a large glass window or door could work wonders for their health.

Conclusion

Dill is an excellent houseplant that also doubles up as a culinary ingredient. However, it can wilt and die if proper care measures are not taken.

Follow the above guide to pinpoint any potential problem if your plants show distress signs.

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