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Problems with Lavender ?

Common Problems Growing Lavender


    Lavender is an easy plant which thrives under the right conditions.  New gardeners or those not experienced frequently have some problems with their Lavender plants.

     You might be wondering "Is my Lavender Plant dead?" Well, if the above ground portion of the plant looks dead it is dead. Unlike other perennials Lavender will not spring back up if the top is totally dead.

     The other problem might be dead areas or sections of the plant that doesn't look so hot. You are probably asking the question "Can I save a dying Lavender plant?" Dead areas can be removed immediately when found. Simply clip them out all the way back to the ground.

     Whether the plant lives depends on the problem and the cause of why it is sick. Read on to find out What's wrong with my Lavender?

     Every experienced gardener has had to deal with a plant dying so don't give up. Learn about common problems people face when growing Lavender plants.




Wet Soil Conditions & Humidity


    One of the biggest problems and causes of Lavender dying out is the overwatering of potted Lavender or excessive soil moisture for those plants grown in the ground. Lavender grows in loose, slightly sandy or gritty alkaline soil that is fast draining. Learn about what Lavender likes in terms of planting and growing conditions.

     Over wet soil conditions leads to fungus and root rot problems.  This can cause wilted black leaves where the plant is dying back. Treatment involves cutting back of the diseased areas and allowing the plant to dry out. Read about my trick for Lavender plants and excessive rain.

     Fungus can live almost anywhere. The most common fungii are Botrytis (gray mold) and Pytophthora (root rot.) They occur principally because of excess moisture either in the air or soil.

     What can you do? Clear out around the plant as much as possible such as removing dead leaves, stems or debris. Use a heat reflecting mulch of coarse builders sand, pea gravel or washed shells. Use proper spacing when planting to allow good air circulation.

     Frequently, once started it is too late to save a plant suffering from this condition. High humidity in the air can promote this type of problem as well. What do you do? You can take cuttings from the remaining healthy sections and root them to get a new plant.

     Lavender prefers loose soil that will not compact around its roots preventing the excess moisture from draining away. Plant in raised mounds to allow for proper water runoff. Place a handful of sand or small gravel in the bottom of your planting hole to allow for good drainage. Learn about the best potting soil mix for those Lavender plants grown in pots.

     Plants occasionally wilt during the heat of the day to conserve moisture if it's really hot. I am not talking about full flop over limpness but a slightly noticeable droop. If you see droopy wilting Lavender do not run for water but check back in the early evening and see if the plant looks different before fetching that watering pail.

     Plants can wilt from too much water meaning that the roots are waterlogged and cannot absorb what is there. If this happens your plant is a goner. The health of any plant starts with the roots. Happy roots usually mean healthy plant.

     Plants do well in dry, stony poor soils which makes it an excellent plant to grow on a hot sunny bank where the water can easily run off.


Yellowing Leaves or Foliage


     A Lavender with yellowing leaves is a common problem. Lavender leaves turning yellow are indicative of different things depending on planting conditions. A potted or container grown plant with yellowing foliage could indicate too much or too little nitrogen.

     Yellow leaves for those plants grown in the ground usually means a moisture problem so humidity and drainage need improvement . Yellow leaves with a gray or sooty black color is a fungal problem.


Lack of Enough Light


     The second biggest problem is not enough sun. Lavender comes from a dry climate region that has tons of sun. This plant loves to sunbathe! Think about hot, sunny, breezy days at your favorite beach and you have what it likes. Learn how to move or transplant your Lavender plants.



Choosing the Wrong Location


     Frequently people plant Lavender where they want it to be and not where it prefers to be. Find a warm, sunny, airy location, and choose the right Lavender variety for your area. Prepare the soil if necessary by loosening it and adding sand to loosen compacted clay soils and promote much needed drainage.

This is one of the keys to success. A loose friable gritty slightly alkaline soil that is fast draining will make all the difference in the world.





Problems with Pruning Lavender Plants

     The last problem many people have is with pruning and shaping their plant. If you want a compact bushy plant that has a nice mounded shape you will need to prune twice a season cutting back the green growth by half shortly after harvesting your Lavender flowers.

     Learning about when is the best time to prune your Lavender can make all the difference for those of you in areas with extremely cold climate. A little winter care and a few fall preparations for cold weather conditions lessens problems for plants.

     In olden times people did not prune their plant and allowed it to grow large forming a big shrub.  This occurred in the cottage herb gardens where there were drifts of flowers.  These Lavender plants had old woody growth and bare spots but were loved all the same.

     Now a days many prefer them as well groomed cushion shaped plants which does greatly increase the flower production. We do grow it for the Lavender flowers don't we?

     Understanding what kills Lavender plants and learning about Lavender plant care - how to care for your plant greatly reduces any problems you might have leaving you time to focus on crafting things from your plants instead. Learn about the many other ways to use Lavender and Lavender oil uses.






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