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I have three of these, planted last summer.  They have flowered very well this year but two of them have gone all whiteish brown at the bottom third of their stems, which looks very ugly.  What has caused this, and do I ditch them?  The photo below was taken a month ago, and if you zoom onto the base of the plant you will see its beginning to turn brown.


 

I too grow this plant, it has a lovely perfume.  The browning happens with many dianthus. I try to trim as much of the browning off as possible, then with a hand fork I loosen the soil. This is followed by a good watering and a seaweed feed

Now is a good time to take cuttings Gently pull a slip, a on flowering shoot, dip into water, then into hormone rooting powder and plant around the edge of a plant pot

star gaze lily

I have some of this plant too. Beautiful smell. Mine looked a little sorry for themselves too last week, have cut them back a bit and now have new buds on them. They do like a drink, a couple of mine are in pots.

Grow it too. Think it was a new plant 3 or 4 years ago. Wonderful scent.
I try to regularly deadhead but it flowers so profusely...as most dianthus do.....so I often hack all,the stems back.
I think it is important to have a good healthy air flow around the plant so removing stems to the base is important.
That,"whitish brown" happycottontail , is mildew I think caused by your plant getting too dry so a good watering now and then should help. Cut off all affected parts to leave nice clean foliage

Hi Verdun, yes it does have a wonderful scent.  I think the "mildew" goes right down to the base, so I shall be cutting the foliage off at ground level.  I have three plants in a row, but only the two outside ones are affected.  Yet they've all been treated exactly the same!  No need to water today though as we've just had an almighty downpour!

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