Why is Dill Plant Dying?

Last Updated on November 6, 2022 by Stephanie

The reason why a dying dill plant is typically due to the fact that dill is dying quickly after it has bolted, when the flower heads begin to produce seeds. Dill becomes yellow, then is then killed by overwatering and excessive fertilizer. Dill becomes brown and then wilts with an appearance of dying due to the stress of drought or absence of sunlight.

Dill is a short flowering annual that dies in the winter months and may become difficult to revive after there are signs that suggest its dying.

It is a good to plant more seeds when its still early in the season. Also, ensure the proper conditions to allow them to grow and produce delicious leaves.

Continue reading to find out the reason the dill in your garden is dying, and how to stop it from occurring…

Dill Recovering after Flowering

Dill is a short-lived annual plant which tends to focus on flowering in the quickest time possible, so that they can then bear seeds (a process called bolting).

The appearance of flowers indicates that the dill is transitioning from the growth stage to the reproduction stage. Following the reproduction stage, dill tends to die quickly.

Bolting occurs much faster in warmer regions, which are more likely to see Dill plants that die later in the year than in colder climates.

But cooler climates might notice that after an extreme heat wave in summer their dill plants wilt and die rapidly.

This could be a problem If youre growing Dill to enjoy its flavorful leaves, and if the plants die prematurely.

It is important to note that the taste of the leaves is noticeably diminished in terms of culinary value once the Dill has produced seeds, which is the reason that a careful pinching of the flower buds is vital.



To prolong the life of your dill, you can slow your bolting process by squeezing off the buds as soon when you see them begin to form.

This extends the amount of time the dill plant remains in its growth stage and consequently gives more leaves and a more bushy appearance for a longer period of time.

Regularly harvesting your dill will stop the formation of flowers and ensure that your dill is in a higher-quality stage when it comes to producing new leaves for much longer.

Check out this informative YouTube video to learn the best time and method to prune the dill to increase its the life of your dill:

Not Enough Sun

Dill can be indigenous to its native Mediterranean area of Europe which is where the plant thrives on open spaces with full sun.

It is not necessary to have to have a Mediterranean climate to cultivate Dill, but it is essential to plant your dill and place your potted dill in the hottest part of your garden.

The amount of sun exposure is related to the amount in essential oils within the leaf, and consequently the intensity of flavor and aroma.

Dill needs at least six hours of direct sunlight every day to develop successfully. If it is in too much shade, the growth tends to be a bit sparse, with slim stems, less noticeable aroma and flavor, and Dill will die back rapidly.

The sun also increases evaporation and decreases humidity, which reduces the chance of developing fungal diseases like mildew or mold.


If your dill is situated within less than 6 hours of sunlight and is looking like its dying, then attempt to increase the amount of sunlight by trimming back the surrounding vegetation, or hanging branches that cast shade.

If the dill plant is in a pot, then move it to an area that is full sunlight.

If the dill is planted in the ground , it can be more difficult to save since it is not a fan of be transplanted.

In this case, its best to plant more seeds than to try to revive the individual Dill plant, especially if its still in the early stages of the season.

Plant more seeds prior to July, as this gives the seeds enough time to grow as well as harvest the dill prior to when it goes again in winter.

In July, it is unlikely that the dill will reseed enough to yield a decent harvest before giving way to winter and in that case, it is best to save the seeds for next year.

Drought Stress Causes Dill to Turn Brown and Die Back

The most common reason for dying dill is that the soil dry out while the seeds are germinating , or when the plant is young and susceptible to drying effects of the sun.

This is a frequent issue for dill plants which are grown in containers or pots as they are prone to heating up in the sunlight and dry out much faster than dill plants that are that are planted in garden soil.

If your dill is suffering because of drought, it usually shows weak growth and eventually wilts, and leaves tend to become brown around the edges.


The most effective way to prevent the dill from dying because of drought is to ensure regular watering to ensure that the soil remains evenly damp (but not overly saturated) and also to plant dill in soil that has plenty in organic matter.

The ideal soil for dill needs to be amended with a lot of compost since it creates the structure of a porous, well-drained structure, but also holds in moisture, so that the forming roots of dills can absorb the water as they develop.

In the event that your soil appears relatively heavy or has clay in it It is an ideal idea to add a bit of horticultural grit to the soil , along with compost to ensure that the root zone drains well.

It is important to note that clay soils may bake hard under full sun, which results in water running across the surface, but not soak into the soil and reach the roots , which is another reason for drought stress.

The mulching of leaf mold or compost on the dill plants that are growing helps to keep the soil from drying out and also retains the moisture.

Usually, watering each three days can be enough to grow dill, however during summer heat, its often required to water daily because the plant needs to develop roots and grow while fighting the scorching sun.

Dill Dying After Transplanting

Try to not transplant dill whenever possible because it doesnt like the roots of its plant being disturbed after the seed has sprouted.

Dill has an extended tap root that can grow up to 12 inches deep into the soil. If it is sucked up and transplanted, the root is difficult to adjust and establish in the new soil. The Dill will likely be unable to reproduce.

Instead, plant the dill directly in the area where it will grow instead of growing in seed tray or trying to move them while they grow.

If there is some time left in the season (sow seeds prior to July so that they can grow prior to the harvest) it is best to plant more seeds in the ground before attempting to transplant the dill.

Too Much Fertilizer Causes the Dill to Turn Yellow

Dill plants can also turn yellow because of the excess fertilizer. In particular, nitrogen tends to encourage drooping, floppy stems, which can reduce the taste of dill by to a decrease in the amount in essential oils.

Dill is a plant that is indigenous in the Mediterranean and is a thriving plant in a variety of soils. It even favors sandy soils that are generally less nutritious.

Personally, Ive enjoyed excellent success growing dill in pots that have decent compost and sandy soil added to aid in drainage.

Fertilizer is not necessary to grow dill, as good soil that has plenty of compost is the best rather than to cultivate dill that is delicious and to avoid it becoming brown and dying.

Dill Turning Yellow Because of Too Much Moisture Around the Roots

Dills are best suited for soil that drains well. When theres too much water surrounding the roots, the dill begins to become yellow, which is an indication of stress.

There are a variety of possible causes for the excess water surrounding the roots of the dill plant:

  • The slow draining of soils. When the soil has very clay-like or compacted, it may drain slowly or remain too wet to support the soils roots. This can result in root rot, which makes the dill yellow and has an appearance of drooping.
  • Containers and pots that do not have drainage holes at the bottom. The water pools around the roots, which causes root decay.
  • Overwatering. Ideally, dill should be regularly watered with a good soak to encourage the growth of healthy roots, not every day, which could result in an overwatered soil.

Dill should be planted in porous soil which has been amended by the loss of compost, leaf mold , or well-rotted manure to ensure good drainage.

If youre in the middle of the clay-based soil or have a boggy garden , grow dill inside pots since it is more easy to establish the ideal drainage conditions in pots than and then amend clay soil.

Reduce your watering frequency to ensure that your soil remains evenly wet, rather than damp. Typically, watering every 3 to four days is enough, but you should increase the amount of watering during times of extreme drought or heat.

When the dill turns yellow, it is difficult to revive, however it is a good thing that it can grow quickly from seeds, so I suggest sowing seeds if its sufficiently early in the growing season (before the month of July) and follow the most effective practices for drainage well and regular irrigation to prevent your dill from becoming yellow.

Key Takeaways:

  • The reason a dying dill plant dies is typically because the dill bolted and has produced seeds following flowering , which results in it dying back rapidly. Dill plants become brown and die because of the stress of drought and a absence of sunlight. Dill plants lose their shape and become yellow due to excessive fertilizer and watering.
  • Make sure to regularly pinch the flower buds on your dill plants. Harvest the leaves to ensure they last longer and produce more delicious leaves prior to Winter.
  • Dill needs full sun and plenty of water to remain healthy. Insufficient shade and enough water cause dill to become brown and wilt.
  • Slow draining soils or overwatering can result in root rot, which could make the dill turn yellow. A lot of fertilizer can turn the dill yellow, giving it dry and drooping appearance.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)