5 Causes For Pentas Leaves Wilting [Troubleshooting Guide]

Pentas are also called Egyptian stars because of their amazing five-pointed shape of flowers that also comes in so many vibrant colors. It is one of the most sought-after plants because it has a slow-growing nature that can be easily maintained and kept as an indoor beauty.

But there is one little problem with these start clusters. You see, pentas are native to warm seasons and this makes them vulnerable to a number of diseases. And one of them is wilting.

Too much heat, freezing temperature, improper watering, wrong kind of soil, and pests problems are the 5 major issues that are behind the curling and drooping of the beautiful pentas. 

However, your clever and timely steps can easily revive the pentas and help them produce lots of beautiful blooms. In this article, we are going to talk about everything you need to do to save the pentas from wilting and dying.

To see all the problems and the solution at a quick glance we have put them below in a quick view list–


How To Solve It

Too much heat Give them 6-7 hours of sunlight and provide partial shade
Too chilly temperature Put a barrier against the wind and keep them under the morning sunlight
Over watering Water them 1-2 inches deep once a week 
Wrong kind of soilShift the plant in a bigger pot with enough drainage holes and use a good fertilizer every six months
Aphids and spider mites infestationSpray both sides of the leaves with a good insecticide and frequently monitor the plant to detect pests.

Now let’s get down to the detailed business–

Why Are My Pentas Plants Wilting?

wilting Pentas leaves

1. Extreme Heat

Pentas are quite sensitive to heat, especially during the younger stages when their roots are not well established. 

Pentas grow best when the temperature is 22-25 degrees celsius. It can also tolerate higher temperatures than this range but when it goes above 35 degree celsius their leaves start to wilt and their leaves start to turn brown and dry off. 

As a result, the leaves curl and gradually drop from the plant and the whole plant takes up a “dying” appearance.

Control Measure

They grow best under partial shade which means 6-7 hours of sun exposure every day is enough for their growth and development.

If they are left under the harsh rays of afternoon sun every day then the pentas won’t be able to survive and produce flowers. Moreover, the blooms will also look drooping along with the leaves very quickly.

This problem will go away once they are saved from this condition. Slowly the penats will grow new leaves and flowers.

But it’s best if you prune off the dead and wilted parts of the plants that are very unlikely to recover. This will help to give the new growth a little more space.

And place the pot behind bigger plants so that they can hide behind them during intense hot weather.

2. Freezing Temperatures

We already know that pentas are basically warm season lovers so during fall and winter the freezing temperatures can easily hurt them devastatingly. And one of the most prominent signs of freeze damage is wilting.

They cannot stand freezing temperatures when it goes below 30 °F. But if the temperature goes below 20°F they will not survive at all. In addition, the pentas will have black leaves and stems especially in the areas with frost. 

Control Measure

In this case, you have to protect your plant from freeze damage. The chilly wind is a big cause for wilting so you can use a hardboard against the wind to protect the pentas.

The next step is to make sure they get a good soaking of sunlight to warm themselves up. This will also help to speed up the blooming of your pentas.

If you are growing them outside then you can transfer them in pots and move them inside your house to protect them from the colder temperature.

3. Inconsistent Watering

Pentas need a good dose of water to produce amazing flowers. And like all the other plants in the world irregular and incorrect style of the watering can droop down the pentas and turn their leaves yellow.

If this situation continues to go on the leaves turn further brown and start dropping off from the plant. In addition, the whole plant becomes leggy and weak.

Control Measure

Pentas don’t really need too much of water. Watering them up to 2 inches is more than enough. However, if they are still wilted then it can be due to high heat and low humidity conditions. In this case, you can gradually increase watering and see how the plant reacts.

But be sure you never go overboard with watering it. Because too much water will cause root rot that is even more deadly than any other disease.

There is a detailed watering guide at the end of this article that will help you to resolve all the watering-related issues. Be sure to check it out!

4. Soil Problems

Even after getting the proper watering and shading, if the pentas are still wilting it’s time to check the soil. They actually prefer moist and well-drained soil with a pH level of 6.5 -7.5 in order to produce plenty of flowers.

If the soil is acidic their roots will become injured and stop translocating proper water and nutrients to the plant. This is why they will often wilt and become leggy.

Another thing is, if the potting soil is too saturated with water all the time then it can cause a fungal disease like root rot. This disease will destroy the roots of the plant and as a result, the pentas leaves will curl and turn brown. Later the whole plant will wilt.

Control Measure

You have to check the soil pH level. If you find the soil pH is too low which means it is acidic then use some lime fertilizer to bring the pH to neutral. Use a good fertilizer by properly following the package instructions (our pick: Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food)

This is very important because if you end up using too strong a dose of fertilizer then the roots of the pentas will be harmed and the plant will be killed in just a blink of an eye.

Now let’s talk about root rot. In order to be sure about this you have to carefully uproot the plant and observe its roots. Otherwise, it will look like the problem is due to underwatering whereas the actual problem is caused by the fungus.

If you see the roots are mushy and gray in color spreading a foul odor then it is definitely root rot. First, you have to cut the infected part of the roots very carefully with a sharp knife. And then get rid of it very cautiously by wrapping it in a plastic bag.

Now treat the roots with a good fungicide that works against the root rot fungus without hurting the pentas roots. When you apply the fungicide make sure you follow the instructions otherwise the solution can be too strong and end up killing your precious plants. 

After treating them with the fungicide, replant them in a fresh soil mixture in the pot. Then water them lightly and keep them in partial shade.

Also, fungal diseases spread very easily in wet, crowded, and humid conditions. So plant them 18″ to 24″ inches apart so that they can get good airflow to avoid these conditions.

Have a look at the homemade recipes to use against root rot and other fungal problems–

#Recipe 1:-Cinnamon Fungicide Recipe


  • ½  Tablespoons of Cinnamon powder
  • 1 liter of water


  • Let the cinnamon powder steep overnight in water
  • Now strain the solution with a fine cheesecloth and pour into the roots of your pentas

# Recipe 2:- Baking Soda Spray Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid soap
  • 2 liters of water


  • Mix all these ingredients thoroughly and treat the pentas root with it before replanting
  • Store the leftover in an airtight bottle to use in the future

Note: In the case of homemade solutions you have to know how much you should use on the roots. Because the amount will depend on the size and length of your pentas roots. So before starting to apply any homemade fungicide recipe, make sure you use a small amount on the roots. Because if you pour too much on them to treat root rot, it may burn the delicate parts of the roots. 

5. Pest Problems

Pentas are susceptible to various pests like aphids and spider mites. These pests suck the sap from the leaves and when they heavily infest the pentas the plant stops its growth and starts to turn yellow, curl and gradually wilt. Even all the flowers also start to drop.

To check for pests you have to look at the underside of the leaves because these sap-sucking ones love to hide from the sun. And sadly severe infestation does injury to your pentas beyond repair.

Control Measure

Firstly, remove all the leaves that are infested with aphids. But you won’t be able to see spider mites with the naked eye. So you have to look for leaves with small webbing.

After that get the best insecticide for your pentas. Mix with water and apply by following the label directions. This is important because the wrong composition can be very harmful to your plants (our pick: Garden Safe Houseplant and Garden Insect Killer)

Keep using the insecticide after a certain period otherwise, the pentas will be infested again. To prevent pest infestation you have to maintain planting space. Because If plants are planted in optimum space they cannot go from one plant to another that easily. 

If the infestation is low you can knock them off with a strong spray of water with the help of a hose. However, this activity will just be a temporary solution and it will not prevent the pests from attacking again.

The good news is you can give a try these helpful home remedies that will clear off all the pest problems in your pentas in the most natural way.

The recipes are given below-

#Recipe 1:- Cooking Oil Spray Recipe


  • 50 ml of any cooking oil (olive oil\vegetable oil\soybean oil etc.)
  • 3 ml of  liquid dishwashing soap


  • Mix the cooking oil and dishwashing soap and store this liquid  in an airtight bottle
  • Now mix a  teaspoon of this liquid and add with half a cup of water
  • Shake very well and pour it into the sprayer bottle
  • Spray on both sides of  your pentas plants 2-3 times every week until the pests are gone

#Recipe 2:- Basil Tea Insecticide Recipe


  • 2 Cup of freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid soap
  • 1 liter of water


  • Pour hot boiling water on a bowl and add the chopped basil leaves into it
  • Cover the bowl to make it airtight to trap the steam inside
  • Once the water cools down remove the basil leaves from it
  • Now we have this basil-infused water as an insecticide
  • Pour it into the sprayer bottle and spray on both sides of the pentas twice a week

Note:   Before you apply any kind of homemade recipes to your pentas, first try out in a small leaf area. If the leaf looks okay after a few hours then the solution is ready to apply on the whole plant.

But if the leaf shows any burning or curling symptoms then dilute the solution and check out again on a small leaf. If still, the problem continues, it means that particular recipe is not suitable for your pentas.

How To Water The Pentas Correctly

watering on pentas

  • You have to get the watering schedule right, in order to stop the pentas from drooping from time to time. 
  • But before watering you have to check if the top one inch of the soil surface is dry. You can use a moisture meter which will also tell you if your pentas need water (Our pick: SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester)
  • Now you must be wondering about how often to water the pentas.
  • They require water every day for the first few weeks to establish roots in the soil. After that, you can water them every other day for a few weeks. 
  • This way, gradually reduce the watering and bring it to once a week in your schedule. 
  • Now, observe the plant frequently and look for the signs if they are still looking like wilting. 
  • If they do, don’t just water them deeply. Rather try to just give them a little showering of water. After that, water them deeply the next day. 
  • Also, avoid watering them in the evening because the leaves tend to stay wet during the whole night and bring about other deadly diseases. 
  • And since pentas are very susceptible to wilt and fungal rot water them by targeting the stem on the ground. So that the leaves don’t get wet.
  • If you water them every morning many fungal problems along with wilting will alone be prevented at the first place.
  • Water the pentas slowly instead of just pouring a large gallon of water over them. 
  • For example, if you are going to water them 5 cups of water, start with 2 cups of water and then wait for 5 minutes before you add another 3 cups of water. 
  • In this case the first 2 cups of water will moisten the soil and break off the rough soil surface. 
  • The later part of the water will just smoothly travel through the soil and reach to the root zone of your pentas. 
  • If you wish to maintain the humidity, especially in the case of indoor pentas, you can use a tray filled with pebbles under your plant pot. It will contain the extra water that seeps through the drainage hole and the water will evaporate slowly. This way it will help to increase the humidity.

How To Care For The Pentas

Water Once a week
Temperature 25°C to 30°C  (77°F-86°F).
Humidity At Least 70 -80%
Fertilizer Once every six months
Sunlight Direct sunlight for 6-7 hours every day
Soil Typemoist but well drained soil with a pH 6.5-7.5

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do you save a dying pentas?

They can die of lack of nutrients. So, feed them with a slow-release granular fertilizer in the spring. Also to save the dying pentas from winter, you can dig them up from the ground and plant them in a pot with a good soil mix. And place them in a room where they can get bright sunlight. 

2. How do you fix overwatered pentas plants?

Overwatered pentas will turn yellow and wilt. You have replanted the pentas in a pot with enough drainage holes and make sure the pot is sufficiently big enough for the roots to grow. And water them only when the soil is dry to tough from the top half inch. And treat them with a fungicide as a last resort. 

3. Are pentas Hardy?

Pentas are native to the tropical and subtropical regions and this is why they are not cold hardy. They are very sensitive to chilly temperatures and frosts. A grower has to move it indoors and take care of it in a way that they don’t have to go through the winter harshness.

4. Why do pentas plants go limp?

Pentas go limp when the moisture is not enough in the air. Since they are tropical plants, they love the humidity. In most cases, the indoor pentas face this situation. Their leaves start to lose too much water through evaporation. The best way to avoid this is by using a humidifier around the plant. 

5. How do you know if your pentas plant has too much sun?

You can easily detect the problem by the following symptoms:

  • The leaves will look bleached 
  • The leaves will be yellow and brown starting from the edges
  • Too much exposure will curl the leaves and eventually make it brittle and crispy between the findges


Pentas is one of the coolest choices for someone who wants to decorate their lawns, gardens, and houses with beautiful clusters of colorful flowers. But when they are wilting and dropping their leaves you have to step in and help them recover.

Give them proper watering and protect them from the sun. And use a good insecticide and fungicide on a regular basis. They will take your own time and sooner or later your pentas will be revived and will produce plenty of beautiful blooms.

If you have any further queries don’t hesitate to email us. We will be happy to help you out with any plant issues.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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