Why Is My Pieris Dying? 8 Causes And Their Remedies

Last year, I noticed some abnormal changes in my Pieris plant. I was wondering why my Pieris is dying. Then, I found some reasons which are underwatering, drainage issues, temperature fluctuation, poor soil condition, nutrient deficiency, root bound, diseases and insects.

I tried different remedies for these problems and this year I got vigorous growth of my Pieris plant by applying those solutions. If you are also going through the same situation as me, you can also get the suggestions from my article and apply them to your plant according to your problem.

Here is a table that I prepared for a quick overview of the whole article.

Underwatering Water the plant regularly according to the weather demand
Drainage issueDon’t overwater your plant and keep the drainage system undisturbed 
Temperature fluctuation Keep the temperature between 65-75°F. Use polythene sheds to cover the plant during frost
Poor soil condition Improve the soil acidity by liming
Nutrient deficiency Use fertilizer once a year during spring
Root bound Carry on the repotting procedure
DiseasesUse fungicides or bactericides
PestsUse insecticides or homemade recipes 

8 Reasons behind My Pieris Plant Dying With Easy Solutions

Watering on a Dying Pieris Plant

1. Underwatering

At the top of the list, I want to mention the underwatering problem which bothered me much during the last summer. As I was unaware of the watering schedule, my Pieris plant leaves started to become crispy and drooping. The leaf margins became fragile and the plant started to become pale and wilted. 

Control Measure

Pieris plant is a moisture-loving plant. So water it when the topsoil of the plant is dry. You can use a watering hose or pipe to water it. During summer, it needs more water due to the excessive temperature. So water the plant properly at that time. 

2. Drainage Issue

Following that, another issue came to my mind which is about drainage. as I noticed that my plant was dying in absence of water, I watered my plant a lot. But that was also a horrible situation for my plant. 

It started to produce brown leaves. The leaves along with their tips became brown. Some brown spots were also created on the leaves and the plant was not revived but rather wilted more.

It indicates the root rot problem. The roots were in a devastating condition. As a result, it failed to supply nutrients to leaves properly and as a result, the plant faced stress.

Control Measure

Don’t water your plant more than it needs. Though it is a moisture-loving plant, it cannot tolerate water standing near the root zone. Hence, you can use a moisture meter before watering your plant. Else, you can pinch your finger in the soil to understand if the soil is dry or not. 

3. Temperature Fluctuation

After that, I will share another cause of the Pieris plant dying that I noticed last winter. Temperature is a major issue for a pieris plant. If the temperature goes below the optimum range, the plant gets injured by a frost attack. The leaves start to become pale and the plant growth is threatened.

Control Measure

Pieris plants love to remain between 65-75°F temperature. If there is any frosty condition in your locality, the best idea is to keep the plant inside the house in a warm place. 

Else, you can cover the plant with polythene sheets. You can also use carbon sheets to cover the soil to absorb heat and to save the plant from the devastating temperature of winter.

4. Poor Soil Condition

In the case of the Pieris plant, you should be too conscious about the soil where you are planting it. If the plant is grown in poor soil conditions, there will be brown leaves and the growth rate becomes stunted. Again, the apical portion of the plant may also be damaged.

Control Measure

Pieris plants love to grow in acidic soil. Hence, the first thing you have to do is to ensure slightly acidic soil for them. If the soil becomes highly alkaline, then use calcium oxide or dolomite to decrease the pH.

After that, the soil should be of sandy loam texture which is well for drainage and perfect for retaining moisture and nutrients. You may use perlite, coco-peat and sphagnum moss to add extra nutrients to the basic soil.

5. Nutrient Deficiency

If you see yellow leaves in your plant, it may be due to nutrient deficiency. When nutrient material is too low in the soil, the plant cannot get enough strength to cope with any situation. That’s why they start to wilt and may die if you don’t do anything for them.

Control Measure

Fertilize your plant once a year during the spring before blooming. It will facilitate new flowering and the foliage will have enough growth. You can take a liquid fertilizer as it will slowly release to your plant. Dilute it with water and then apply it to your plant.

6. Root Bound

Whenever you see that root is trying to come out from the drainage hole, you can be sure that your plant is facing a root-bound problem. It occurs if you keep the plant in a small pot. When the plant gets mature, the roots are also increased. Consequently, it cannot adjust to the small pot and gets tangled.

Control Measure

The best solution for the root-bound problem can be repotting. As the plant cannot adjust with small pots, you have to plant it in a larger pot than the previous one. 

To complete this procedure, firstly uproot the plant from the previous pot. Then prepare a new pot with soil mixture and plant it in the new pot. Water the plant and make all the necessary elements available for the plant.

7. Disease Attack

One of the main problems of Pieris plants dying is disease attack. Several diseases can attack this plant-

  • Fungal leaf spot
  • Phytophthora rot
  • Sooty mold
  • Vascular disease

Control Measures

A severe attack can lead the plant to death despite trying much to save it. That’s why you should take effective steps at the initial stage. To save your Pieris plant, you should remove all the affected parts as early as possible. If needed, you can cut almost half of the plant which is called rejuvenation.

After that, dry out the pot as pathogens such as bacteria and nematodes become facilitated at excessive moisture. Later, you can use a fungicide, bactericide or other relevant chemicals which are near your hand.

Along with those, I can also suggest some organic solutions that you can make easily inside your home. If you have enough time, the disease has not become too severe and industrial chemicals are not available to you, you can try those. 

Some of the recipes are enlisted here-

  • Solution 1: Neem oil recipe 

Add ¼ tablespoon of aloe vera powder, 1 teaspoon of liquid soap, a few drops of essential oil and 1 tablespoon of concentrated neem oil to 1 gallon of water. Mix them properly and spray them on the plant.

  • Solution 2: Baking soda solution 

Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 gallon of water and then mix properly and apply to the plant.

8. Insects

Lastly, I will discuss insects. The common insects that affect the Pieris plant are-

  • Pieris lace bug
  • Mites
  • Aphid
  • Scales
  • Whiteflies

Control Measures

First, observe the insect population of the plant. If it is low, you can remove them by handpicking. Else, you can apply a heavy stream of water that will remove the small insects.

If there are many insects, it will be tough or impossible to remove them by hand-picking. So you will need to use industrial insecticides (Our pick: Monterey LG 6145 70% Neem Oil Ready-To-Spray Insecticide, Miticide, & Fungicide) or homemade recipes. The preparation procedure for some homemade recipes is described in the disease section. You can apply them if you want. 

How To Revive A Pieris Plant?

  • Pruning Practices 

Pruning can be your best choice to revive your Pieris plant. Remove almost one-third of the whole plant to save it. Such pruning will help the plant to survive again by creating tender foliage. New shoots will have a better option for food production which may provide them with enough strength. 

  • Availability of Necessary Elements

There is an approximate measurement of every element which can provide the most favorable condition for a Pieris plant. Water, temperature, sunlight, humidity and soil should be perfect for the plant. Thus, it can regrow from its demolished appearance. 

Caring Guides For Pieris Plant

Pieris Care

Climatic conditionA warm and humid climate
SoilSandy loam and acidic soil
SunlightBright and direct sunlight with partial shading for some hours
WateringOnce a week
Temperature 65-75°F
Humidity At least 70%


Which practice is important for the flowering of a Pieris plant?

Deadheading. It indicates the removal of spent flowers. If you cut those flowers, blooming will be much easier and you will get new flowers and a bunch of flowering in a single layer.

Which is the best season for planting a Pieris plant?

After the winter. You may plant a Pieris shrub just after the winter has left. Firstly, it will get a warm condition which is not too hot or too cold. The problem of frost attack won’t happen and the plant can grow fast. The second one is the plant will be prepared in the next year for flowering.

What is the best time for cutting back?

Early spring can be the best time for this practice. Cutting back is mainly the removal of excess foliage. It is needed if the leaves are excessively enlarged which creates obstacles to reaching sunlight in the underside leaves. 

Final Thoughts

So, I am going to end my detailed description here. Such an adorable plant like Pieris is always demanding to plant lovers. But you will lose the beauty if you can’t take care of it properly. As their foliage gets discolored due to any kind of stress, you should regularly observe your plant for perfection. 

When I was ignorant of these factors I also used to panic. Why is my Pieris dying? But now, I have ways to resolve those complications. I tried to reflect on all my experiences in this article. 

If you are interested in this matter or want to get rid of Pieris problems, you are welcome to apply these techniques. Now, it’s your decision whether you will apply these or not.

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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