Why is My Lavender Plant Drying (Or Dried) Out? 5 Most Likely Causes & Solutions

The grey-green leaves and long flowering lilac or blue shoots of the lavender plant are reward enough for any gardening enthusiasts. Yet, the benefits of this plant extend far beyond just its beauty. It is indeed a mystery how one plant can possess so many attributes. Having a plant of this tenacious caliber dry out can cause much anguish and stir up one’s curiosity on the reasoning behind it.

If you have a problem with your lavender plant drying out, the culprit may be overwatering, humidity, or even the onset of a disease. True to its Mediterranean origins, lavender plants like warm, sunny spots with perfect drainage. If taken out of their natural habitat, you may be privy to watching them dry.

Lavenders are low-maintenance plants that can live up to 15 years with the proper care routine. Once they start drying out, the best way for revival is to understand their origination and try to replicate some of the conditions of their native environment. Let’s discuss the leading cause of the plant drying out and see if we can restore this once vibrant plant to its original beauty.

Also Check: How To Grow A Lavender Plant Indoors

Main Causes Of The Lavender Plant Drying (Or Dried) Out

There are many factors that may cause a lavender plant to dry out. Below are some of those reasons.

Incorrect Watering Routine

The lavender plant is a drought-resistant plant that thrives well in dry conditions; hence too much or too little watering can have adverse effects. A proper watering routine is crucial for the longevity of the lavender plant.

 Overwatering can cause root rot where the signs are visible by the drying of the leaves. Root rot starts from the bottom and then extends to the plant’s foliage; if left untreated, it can kill the lavender plant, as the plant cannot absorb the nutrients that it needs.

Unlike other plants in the garden, they can shy away from too much water. Seasons that produce heavy rainfall are not conducive to the optimal growth of the lavender plant.

Poor Drainage

If lavender is planted in water retaining soil such as clay or a moisture-holding compost, then it is likely that the plant will be at risk of fungal infection and root rot. The plant needs well-draining porous soil that will bear the brunt of moisture absorption during the process of watering.

This drainage will help ensure that the roots are not soaked in water during this process. Organic mulches can trap moisture around the plants’ bases. Most fungal diseases also thrive in damp soil; as a preventative measure, plant the lavender in some sand and grit.

High Humidity

Humidity sensor

Although the lavender plant is drought-resistant, too much humidity can adversely affect and cause the foliage to dry out. A humidity level of more than 55% is considered too intolerant for the lavender plant.

To ensure that the plant has the proper humidity level, the use of a humidifier is advisable. The use of a humidifier can benefit the plant and can be of benefit to you.

Frost

Frost can also be one of the contributing factors of lavender plant drying. Frost can generally affect the more vulnerable emerging lavender plants. The French and Spanish lavender species are more susceptible to frost damage.

Too Much Shade

A lavender plant needs ample sunlight to flourish. Excessive shade can cause the plant to dry up, signifying that it lacks essential natural resources. Lavender plants need at least 6-8 hours of daily sun exposure; failure to adhere to this requirement can cause the plant to dry out.

Fungal Infection

A lavender plant affected with fungal rotting of its root system exhibits telling symptoms.  The plant begins to wilt and dry up. When exposed, fungus on lavender roots appears as black lesions on the root system where fungal spores form.

 Over time, affected lavender plants succumb to the infection, as the root system can no longer deliver water and vital nutrients to the plant above the soil’s surface.

Restoring A Lavender Plant That Is Drying (Or Dried) Out

If your lavender plant is brittle, the chances are that it is already dead. The chances of revival based on this are almost slim to none.  You may, however, be able to salvage the rest of the plant that is just starting to dry up.

You can start by carefully removing the lavender plant from the ground with a gardening fork. If there are any soft rotting roots, snip off with a pair of sterilized clippers. Proceed by removing any dead leaves from the lavender plant.

If the lavender plant is in a pot, replant in a pot with a half-inch drainage hole, this will ensure faster drainage of the plant, which will aid in the recovery process of the rotten roots. It is also vital that you shelter the lavender plant from the rain and scale back on the watering. A wise decision would be to replant the plant in a new location, ideally in full sun.

If the cause of the drying out is due to it being planted in the shade, then the only way to ensure its revival is to transfer the plant to another pot and move it timeously to a sunny spot.

Lavender plants need sun all year round, including during the winter dormancy. It is advisable to plant the lavender in a nice open space, not under a tree canopy or any other shade, ensuring ample spacing between them to encourage air circulation.

Changing the moisture-retaining soil mix to sand and gravel mix will help speed up the process of plants revival. Considering that the lavender plant is already facing the Roth of overwatering, it would be advisable to refrain from watering it for at least two weeks to give it a better chance of survival.

Care Routine Of The Lavender Plant To Avoid It Drying Up

Dried lavender

It is well and good to try to revive the already dying plant, but if you have not fully educated yourself on the proper care routine within a spate of time, you will be reliving this experience. Hence it is crucial to ensure that a proper care routine is followed to ensure that the lavender plant remains healthy.  The below tips will help guide you in this process.

Watering Schedule

The watering schedule may vary depending on the age of the lavender plant. A newly planted lavender must be watered at least 2-3 times a week, more frequent than usual, to help mitigate the new growth process.

 A grown, well-established lavender will need to be watered once every two weeks. If they are kept as house plants, they would only require watering for four to six weeks. In months where winter is dominant, lavender plants will not require any watering.

 The Right Soil Mixture

Since soil absorbs water quickly, it would be wise to explore the correct soil formula. The mixture of 50% gravel and soil will prevent soil moisture retention. In the event of rain, the mixture will help the water to drain much quicker.

An alternate solution would be 30% of sand to soil. Dig at least 18 inches of the area, mixing in the sand and soil solution. It is best to grow lavender in soil with a PH of between 6 to 8.

Shelter The Lavender Plants

Since lavender plants do not fare well in rainy conditions, ensure they are planted in a part shelter with exposure to ample sunlight.  It might also be advisable to plant other plants around it so that the lavender plant is not solely exposed to root moisture absorption. This term can be classed as shared moisture absorption.

Users Also Read: How To Harvest And Dry Lavender

Pruning

Pruning lavender

Pruning of lavender plants should be done in early spring as soon as new growth has started and in summer when the flowers fade. Apart from this seasonal pruning, regular pruning is also imperative.

As soon as the lavender plant shows any signs of drying, cut away the dead foliage. Be mindful not to cut into the woody stems below the new growth as they will not regrow. Lavender only flowers on new seasons growth, so cutting into the woody will prevent it from flowering and potentially kill the plant.

Instead, cut the top third of green growth and prune the lavender  plant  into a mound shape as much as possible as this will help to resist the weather and prepare for winter.

Conclusion – Why is My Lavender Plant Drying Out?

As an amateur or professional gardener, it is always reassuring to know that you can depend on the purplish and blueish undertone of lavender to bring about a sense of peace and tranquillity.

However, the healing properties of the lavender meant to aid insomnia can be the source of stress if you are concerned about this perennial drying out.  Fear not; help is always a few gardening tools away. Tracing back the root cause of the problem and reversing this process can be the saving grace you require for the lavender’s revival.

References

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/lavender-plant-inside-drying-out-98423.html/

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-98750-x.pdf?proof=t+target%3D/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavandula/