Lavender Not Flowering? Most Likely Causes And 9 Solutions

The beauty of the lavender plant lies in the lush purple and blue flowers.  The flowers are the sole reason for the rich lavender aroma and the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that they transcend. Without these glorious flowers, it would lose the essence of its true beauty. It is no wonder that there is a concern if the lavender plant is not flowering.

The reason for the lavender not flowering is usually because the plant is stressed. Lavenders are adapted to soil with low nutrient levels in the soil. They usually bloom well in slightly alkaline soils. If the soil is too rich in acidic levels, then the plant will not produce any flowers.

A non-flowering lavender speaks volumes about the well-being of the plant. Let’s try to get a deeper insight into the reasoning behind the lavender not flowering. We can try to find solutions to reverse this process and eventually turn this stressed perennial into a happy perennial.

Reasons Why Lavender Plant Is Not Flowering

There are many reasons why  a lavender plant will not produce flowers.  Below are some of these reasons.

The Lavender Plant Lacks Adequate Pruning

Pruning lavender

Without pruning, lavender bushes will get woody very quickly losing their ability to flower.  It is essential to understand the pruning process as they differ slightly with different variations of lavender plants.

  • The English lavender will require a light all over clipping as soon as the flowers are over. If possible, avoid cutting back into old wood.
  • The French lavender plant only needs regular deadheading to remove each of the knobbly dead flowers entirely with a short stalk as soon as they go over. It is advisable to leave the rest of the plant untouched.
  • The Hybrid lavender will only need half of the height of the plant to be cut back. It is also advisable to leave the green leaves intact.

The Wrong Soil Type

The lavender plant has quite a specific soil requirement. The soil needs to be free of alkaline and free draining. Most garden soils are between pH 6-7, with six being acidic and seven being neutral.

Garden soil maybe a little too much on the acidic side, which can be detrimental to the health of the lavenders and the production of flowers. Chalky thin soil is perfect for the lavender’s growth.

There is often a misconception that lavenders need organic matter or synthetic fertilizer added to the soil where lavender plants are grown. If anything, it is a contributing factor to the non-flowering of the plant.

Lavenders grown in heavy wet clay soil will also not guarantee any blooms. They flourish well in low fertility draining soil with some grit added to the mixture. High fertility soils often produce high foliage growth, which comes at the detriment of the flowers.

Read more: Lavender Turning Brown: 4 Primary Causes And Effective Solutions

Planted In The Wrong Spot In The Garden

This sunny plant of Mediterranean origin needs at least six hours of sunlight to produce its fragrant blooms. You will not be a witness to any flourishing blooms if the lavender is planted under a tree. The plant will also not fair well in the flowering department if planted in a windy location.

It would be ideal for planting in a sunny spot, preferably against a border or a wall that receives ample sunlight.

Transplant Shock Causes Lavender Not To Flower

Transplanting lavender

Lavenders are best transplanted in early spring when the ground has warmed up.  If the correct transplant procedure is not followed, the plant can end up with transplant shock, restricting the growth of flowers.

Transplanting them during the wrong time of the year can also put immense stress on the plant. A plant under stress will not be able to function at its optimum and achieve its full potential. In this case, not flowering will be one of the effects of this stress.

Different Lavender Species Flower At Different Times

Generally, if the plant is healthy, all lavenders should flower healthy at some point during the spring and summer seasons. You need to know the lavender variety that you have and know what season you can expect flowering. Perhaps you have miscalculated your timing in accepting a bloom.

So it may be the case that your particular lavender cultivar is yet to flower, or you had missed the window of flowering depending on when you bought the plant.

I have put together a list of bloom times which will hopefully help give you some guidelines.

How Long Does It Take My Lavender To Bloom?

Different varieties of lavender have different bloom times.

Lavender SpeciesSeasonLength of Blooming Season
French LavenderMay/JuneUp to 3 months  
English LavenderMay/JuneFour weeks
Hybrid LavendersJune/JulyUp to 2 months until late summer

What Month Do Lavenders Generally Bloom?

Suppose you are not sure what species of lavender plants you have and cannot determine the correct species that might be worth knowing that the flowering typically occurs as early as May.  The season for the flowering of lavender applies to areas that have mild summers and winters.

Then you should see another array of colors in June and finally a flush of flowers in late summer or fall. If these beauties still do not show their face, it would be advisable to look at what area they are lacking.

Users Also Read: Lavender Turning Gray: 4 Likely Causes And Effective Solutions

How To Increase Flowering In Lavender Plants?

 It would be best if you used the proper pruning techniques, and keeping lavender plants healthy in general is essential for producing flowers in these lavenders.

  • The pruning of lavender plants should be done in the spring when new growth occurs. Remove about one-third to about one-half of the outer stem with a pruning gardening tool.  Avoid cutting the inner portion of the woody stems of the lavender.  This type of pruning not only helps in the shaping process of the plant but also encourages flowering.
  • In the second season of bloom, if your lavender plant variety grows to 3 or 4 feet tall, cut it back about one-third. The cutting prevents the lavender plant from retention of any woodiness.  If this phase of woodiness has already occurred and there appears, start by pruning the lavender plant from the center.
  • Wait until new growth appears and continue pruning a few more of the woody lavender branches.  If new growth still does not appear, then there is a strong possibility that the lavender plant is too old. You can reverse this initial negative impact by spreading an even layer of coarse sand or small gravel 2 inches thick under and around each lavender plant.
  • The use of thick, heavy mulch will help promote the growth of flowers.  The mulch will also help protect the lavender plant during the winter season.  Re-locate your lavender plants to an area that has ample sunlight exposure.  They will flourish best when exposed to at least 8 hours of sun per day during bloom time.
  • Ensure that the lavender plants are provided with well-drained soil.  Replace clay soil with peat or compost.  The replacement of this soil will help promote drainage. The soil must have a  PH  balance of 6.5 to 8 for lavender plants to flourish.
  • The soil needs to be watered well, and the soil has given time to dry out between watering. The lavender foliage needs to be kept dry. Position the lavender plants with plenty of space between them. The spacing will ensure that the water is evenly distributed amongst the plants; planting them too close together will restrict their growth.
  • Remove all deadhead spent blooms regularly for the entire blooming season. The removal of deadhead spent blooms will help prolong the overall blooming period and promote bushier flower growth.
  • Fertilizing does not necessarily work well for all plants, especially not for lavender plants. In the case of these perennials, the fertilizer ends up stagnating their growth instead of nourishing them.  The lack of growth will reflect in their disability to flower. It is therefore advisable that you avoid fertilizing your lavender plants.
  • The use for fertilizing promotes leggy plants with few blooms and low oil content.

What Can I Do To Get My Potted Lavender To Flower?

Lavender flowers

Water when the soil is dry and then drench so that water flows freely out the bottom of pots. Feed weekly with a liquid fertilizer to encourage more prolific flowering and improved flower color.

Conclusion on Lavender Not Flowering

Lavender oils are concentrated in their blooms. Increasing the blooms in a lavender plant means that you get more oils and fragrances. If lavender is not flowering, then it loses the essence of its true purpose.  It is, therefore, key that using the information supplied, you determine which is the contributing factor to the lack of flowering and amend it accordingly.

There is no greater joy than to watch the fruits of that hard work when you see those purplish flowers appear. Happy lavender leads to a Happy Gardener.