Is My Lavender Plant Dying? 8 Likely Factors and Effective Solutions

If you ever find yourself wondering: “Is my lavender plant dying?” I’ve written this article for you! Continue reading to find out exactly why your lavender plant may not be flourishing and how to revive it.

Many factors can cause a lavender plant to die. The most common reasons are over or under – watering your lavender, over-fertilizing your plant, the plant not having enough sunlight or sufficient airflow, and not pruning your lavender correctly. Pests can also lead to a lavender dying.

As you can see, many things can cause a lavender plant to die. The great news is that if caught in time, the problem can be reversed and your lavender plant can be restored to a healthy and vibrant plant. Let’s take a look at what you can do to save your dying lavender plant.

Incorrect Watering Of Your Lavender

Things can go wrong in two ways in terms of watering your lavender plant. You over-water the plant causing it to die. Or you can under-water your plant, also causing it to die.

Dog smelling a plant

Over-Watering Your Lavender

It is easy to over-water a lavender plant, especially one that is in a pot. Plants love water, right? But the problem is that if the soil becomes over-saturated with water, meaning the water takes too long to filter into the ground, your lavender’s roots might start to rot. Rotting roots will eventually lead to the roots, and your plant, dying.

To prevent this from occuring, you should regulate the amount of water in the soil. Stick your finger into the ground. If there is one inch of dry surface soil or less, you should not water your lavender. If the water is slow to drain, mix some sand into the soil to help with drainage.

Under-Watering Your Lavender

On the flip side, you might be a person, not unlike myself, who forgets to water your lavender plant regularly. If this happens and the lavender gets too little water, the roots will start to dry out. You can see that the lavender is under-watered if the bottom leaves start to turn yellow.

In order to prevent this from occuring, you should also check the water content of the soil and water the lavender if there is more than one inch of dry topsoil. Choosing specific days of the week to water the plant is also an excellent way to remember to do it.

Also Check: Growing Lavender Plant in Colorado – Detailed Guide

Choosing The Right Pot For Your Lavender

This section also ties in with the watering part. To ensure a suitable moisture content in the soil, you will want to plant your lavender in the right type of pot if you have a potted lavender. In general, potted lavenders require more attention in terms of watering, so choosing the right pot will help a great deal.

Terracotta-clay pots are great for lavenders because the clay helps to absorb some of the water and lets some air pass through. This means that your lavender will not only have a better airflow, but it will also be less likely to die of over-watering. It would also help to use a pot with enough draining holes to prevent the water from accumulating in the pot.

Insufficient Sunlight And Airflow For A Lavender Plant

Lavenders are full-sun plants. They require at least six hours of sunlight per day during spring and summer, or else they will have stunted growth and eventually die. Be sure to plant your lavender in a sunny spot in the garden or move it to a sunny windowsill indoors.

Lavender plants also need plenty of airflow to survive. Make sure that your lavender is not in an area where there is no breeze or movement. Because lavenders are initially from dry and sandy areas, their foliage is sensitive to moisture. Having the lavender in a well-ventilated area will help the foliage stay dry.

Over Fertilizing Your Lavender Plant

Fertilizing Lavender

When it comes to fertilizing your lavender, you need to consider which fertilizers you are using and how often you use them. Lavender plants need fertilizers, but if they are fertilized too often, they might burn and die.

You should really only be using one of two types of fertilizers: compost or a slow-release fertilizer. Using compost is easy, as you just add some compost to the topsoil and water the lavender after doing so. When using a slow-release fertilizer, you want to use a small diluted amount and water your lavender generously after using the fertilizer.

If the ground you are planting your lavender is high in nitrogen, your lavender might get yellowing leaves and look dry. In this case, you would want to buy a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen. In general, using a fertilizer that is formulated to encourage flowering is advised.

In terms of when you should fertilize your lavender, it is suggested to do so once per year. This might not sound like enough, but over-fertilizing could cause damage to your plant. It would be best if you only were fertilizing your lavender in the springtime, at the start of the growing season. Giving your lavender some fertilizer, then, will ensure it has plenty of nutrients for the rest of the year.

Pruning A Lavender Plant Incorrectly

Another mistake people seem to make is pruning their lavender plants incorrectly or at the wrong times. You might want to prune your lavender to have it grow in a specific direction or improve the lavender’s shape by making it grow bushier. Pruning the foliage can also help to improve the air circulation around the plant.

Ideally, you should be pruning your lavender twice per year, once in the spring and once after harvesting the flowers.

You might want to prune your lavender to have it grow in a specific direction or improve the lavender’s shape by making it grow bushier.

Pruning in the spring is essential to encourage new stems to grow. Lavender flowers grow at the top of the stems, so be careful not to trim too much off your plant. You only want to remove about an inch or so off the tips of your plant. You should Pruning should prune your lavender in the early spring to ensure you don’t cut off any undeveloped flowers.

You may also want to prune your lavender after harvesting the flowers in autumn. You don’t want to prune the lavender later than mid-October, as this might cause the plant to have stunted growth in the winter.

If you happen to stay in an area that has a freezing winter climate, don’t over-prune your lavender in the autumn. In the colder regions, more foliage can help to isolate your plant from the cold. It is not advised to do a hard prune (cutting back more than 1/3 of the plant) in areas where the winters get very cold.

If you don’t live in an area that experiences harsh winters, giving your lavender a generous prune in mid to late October will help it grow better and bushier in the next season. During this time, you want to cut back any dry or damaged stems and some of the foliage.

Related: Lavender Plant And Bees: Important Facts to Know

Pests That Can Infest Lavender Plants

While lavender plants are mainly resistant to pests, there are some cases in which pests may become a problem. The most common pests found on lavenders are Spittlebugs, Whiteflies, and Aphids.

Spittlebugs cause a foamy substance that can be seen on the stem of the plant. They start to appear in the early spring. In milder cases, a strong stream of water will be enough to wash off the foam and the insects. However, if the infestation is severe, commercial pesticides will be necessary.

Not only do whiteflies literally drain the life out of lavender plants by sucking their juice from the bottom of the leaves, but they also leave a residue that attracts and causes mold on the lavender plants. The best way to get rid of whiteflies is to wash them off with a strong stream of water. Placing reflective material, for example, aluminum foil, around the lavender will also deter whiteflies.

Aphids are carriers of the alfalfa mosaic virus, which might cause lavenders to have stunted growth and later die. Aphids themselves are not harmful to lavender and can be treated with Neem oil, Horticultural oil, or Diatomaceous earth. These methods are preferred, as commercial pesticides will kill beneficial insects that feed on Aphids.

Conclusion: Is My Lavender Plant Dying?

There are many causes for a lavender plant dying, including improper placement, watering, and pruning techniques. Using the wrong fertilizers and pests may also cause lavender to die. The best advice is to monitor your lavender closely and control what you can. By doing so, you will give your lavender the best chance of flourishing.