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The Home Depot

Why Are My Flowers Wilting?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Landscaping > Why Are My Flowers Wilting?
Why Are My Flowers Wilting?

You plant a flower bed full of beautiful and vibrant flowers, and the idea is to enjoy them as they flourish and grow in the soil. If you experience that brown-thumb syndrome that involves flowers wilting instead of thriving, check your growing environment to make sure you’re not making crucial mistakes that can affect the health of your plants.


Although the reasons for flowers wilting can vary, the Utah State University offers helpful information regarding one common reason for the plant issues. Check your plants against the list of symptoms to see if the symptoms fit.


Wilting flowers can be frustrating and challenging, but with a comprehensive examination of the situation, you can often diagnose the problem and design a course of action to solve the issues.

  1. 1.Fungal Infection

    A common fungal infection that causes significant wilt and deterioration in plants is called verticillium wilt. This fungus sits in the soil and enters the plant through the root system. Once in the roots, the plant quickly spreads the fungus through the entire plant through the vascular system. As the fungus spreads, it causes significant wilting and eventually death of the plant.


    You will know your plants are suffering a fungal infection because the foliage of the plant turns yellow and wilts. The fungal infection starts near the base of the plant and travels up through to the top of the plant. If you dig up the plant to examine the root system, you will not generally find significant damage to the roots.

    If your flowers contract verticillium wilt, it’s necessary to renovate the entire bed to remove the fungus from the soil. Once you have healthy soil again, you can replant your flowers. It also helps to plant only flowers that are resistant to fungal infections.

  2. 2.Transplanting Shock

    Imagine the horror and frustration to plant a new bed of flowers one day and to come back the following day to see every plant wilting and looking stressed. The probable cause for this wilting is called “transplant shock.” Transplant shock involves the plants wilting significantly, dropping leaves and dropping flowers. One reason that transplant shock occurs is from transplanting flowers during hot weather or in full sun. The plants become excessively stressed from the high temperatures in combination with being placed into a new growing environment.


    While it’s probably not possible to avoid some transplant shock, even in the best of growing conditions, you can minimize it with attention to details. Strive to transplant flowers when the temperature is not too hot or the weather too sunny. If you expect hot and sunny weather conditions, transplant early in the morning or in the evenings. As you place the new flowers into the soil, take special care not to damage the root systems, because this can cause stress to the newly planted flowers. Try cutting back the new flowers by about one-third of the total plant size to reduce the size of the plant. This makes it easier for the plant to recover from transplanting and begin growing again in the new location. Always provide a diluted amount of fertilizer when you transplant flowers to nourish the plants in their new growing location.

  3. 3.Cut Flowers Wilt

    There’s no escaping it entirely – as soon as you cut flowers they are on a one-way course to wilting. You may be able to delay the wilting with special techniques; but, wilting is inevitable at some point.


    Cutting flowers involves severing the flower from the full vascular system of the plant. If you simply cut the stems with a scissors or knife and plunge them into water, the vessels that move up and down the stem pull in an air bubble at the moment of cutting. Plunging the stems directly into water them forces the air bubble into the plant’s xylem and also stops additional water from moving through. The solution involves cutting the flower stems under water immediately before you place them into the vase. This prevents the air bubble from forming at the moment you cut, which will enable water to continue to move through the xylem.

  4. 4.Water Consumption

    Plants need water to keep nutrients and cells moving through the vascular system from roots to the tips of the leaves and blossoms. With the correct amount of water, this process continues effectively to keep the plant healthy and vibrant. With too little water, moisture will move out of the plant cells and the cells will become flaccid. This flaccidity causes the plants to stop being able to support themselves and leaves and stems become soft and wilted.


    On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you have been overwatering your plants, you may be waterlogging the flowers and forcing them to sit in saturated soil. This will create a difficult situation for the roots and the plant will usually begin to suffer and wilt.

  5. 5.Wrong Lighting Conditions

    If you plant flowers in a flowerbed but the flowers you planted are not suited for the lighting conditions present in the growing location, you may notice wilting. Flowers can wilt from too much sunlight if the flowers do not require full sunlight. Flowers can also wilt from too little sunlight if you planted flowers in a shady or part-shade location and they need full sun. Unfortunately, in this situation, the only remedy for the wilting is to transplant the flowers in a location that receives the proper amount of sunlight and hope that your flowers forgive your error.

  6. 6.Bringing them Back to Life

    When your flowers are wilting, the first course of action is to determine the reason for the wilting. If it’s a fungal infection, unfortunately, there is little remedy and it’s best to pull them out and repair the soil to kill the fungus by applying a fungicide. If your flowers have too much or too little water, you can easily remedy this problem. If the lighting is wrong, you will also need to back up and place your flowers where they can grow with the correct amount of sun.

    Don’t forget to visit our Landscaping Home Guides for more gardening tips!

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