Lavender is gorgeous, fragrant, and should be easy to care for. But every plant has its issues and sometimes your lavender may start to die. Here are some common reasons your lavender is unhealthy and what you can do to keep it alive.
Why is my lavender dying: Lavender is a fairly hardy plant and is mostly drought-tolerant. However, there are certain issues that can lead to it dying. Lavender needs some water but not too much, and over-watering can often be an issue. It also needs full sun and won’t grow properly if it is in the shade. Even if you have the best intentions, lavender does not need a lot of fertilizer, and this may stunt new growth. As for growing lavender in a container, make sure the soil is able to drain properly, or else root rot can set in. Lavender will grow out, so give it enough space so the roots can establish themselves and not fight for soil from other plants.
Reasons Why Lavender Dies
There is a reason for everything, and these are the most common reasons why your lavender is dying.
Lavender is usually a drought-tolerant plant which means it doesn’t like soggy, wet soil. In fact, this is a plant that you should definitely not water too much.
When water pools in the soil and isn’t able to drain, it can cause root rot. This is when the roots of the lavender plant become soggy and are unable to transport the important nutrients it gets from the soil.
Even though lavender is drought-tolerant, it is still a plant and thus needs some water. You may only need to water your lavender once a week, depending on the climate you live in, but this still needs to be done.
Watering is especially important in the hot summer weeks as this can lead to your plant drying out and eventually dying. If you see your lavender leaves are starting to turn brown or your plant looks a bit droopy, these are signs it is not getting enough water.
The bane of all gardeners, pests can strike at any time, resulting in your perfectly curated flowers starting to die off. For lavender, be on the lookout for spittlebugs and whiteflies.
Spittlebugs leave a characteristic foamy substance behind on leaves. The good news is that you can get rid of them by blasting the leaves with a strong jet of water.
As for whiteflies, they prefer to eat the undersides of leaves so they are harder to spot. Leaves can become yellow and look blotchy. To get rid of whiteflies, try adding ladybugs to your garden.
Too much fertilizer
You might be worried about your lavender plant, especially if you realize you haven’t fertilized it in a while. However, there is actually no need to worry.
Lavender does not need much fertilizer and when it gets too much, it can actually result in the plant dying. Signs your lavender has too much fertilizer include branches and leaf extensions looking burnt.
Wrong potting soil
Where you plant your lavender will depend on the soil conditions. For lavender that is growing in pots, this should be a mixture of nutrients and material that allows for proper drainage.
Lavender in a container with only potting soil will not have enough drainage and as a result, root rot can set in, just as it can when planting in an outdoor garden.
How to keep your lavender from dying
Not that we know what can cause your lavender plant to start dying, here are some easy preventative tips.
Pick the right variety
There are many varieties of lavender and while this can be confusing at first, it will actually allow you to pick the right variety that will thrive in your climate. Matching the lavender to your growing conditions means less work on your part.
If you live in an area with hot summers, English lavender is a good idea. However, if you have very cold winters, you should consider Lavandin, which is a hybrid of English lavender and Portuguese lavender.
When planting your lavender, start it off in a healthy way by planting it somewhere that gets full sun. Lavender does not do well in the shade so be sure to take into consideration the angle of your house as well as overhanging trees.
Create a watering schedule
All plants have different watering needs and it can be confusing. It’s best to plant other drought-tolerant plants next to your lavender to make the process easier. It will also stop the water from neighboring plants from traveling to the same soil your lavender is.
Water in the morning or night and if you are going through a heatwave, add extra watering to keep your lavender healthy.
When crafting the right environment for your lavender, first make sure it is in a pot large enough for your lavender to grow. Otherwise, the roots will become too crowded and you will have to keep repotting.
Fill a third of the container with light rock, such as perlite. This provides stability to the rest of the soil as well as the ability for water to drain through.
If you are especially worried about drainage, you can always use something like clay stones which add air to the soil. Finally, fill the container with potting soil as it has all the nutrients you need to keep your lavender nice and healthy.
Can you revive a dying lavender plant?
Lavender is fairly hardy so if you catch any of these issues early on, you can indeed revive your dying plant. As you go out and water your lavender or take the time to weed it, be sure to give it a good inspection to see if there are any issues.
Lavender adds a lovely fragrance to your garden and it’s a shame if there is an issue with it. However, most problems can be resolved so that your garden always shines with these gorgeous plants.