Your lavender plants are dying despite all your efforts?
Well, actually lavenders are very easy to grow if you can replicate the conditions of the Mediterranean region. But here’s the catch – they are so choosy of the environmental conditions that if you don’t provide the exact conditions to them, they’ll die.
There are 10 reasons why your lavender plant is dying. Those are overwatering, compact soil, excess amount of fertilizer, lack of sunlight, transplant shock, wrong soil pH, high humidity, wrong lavender variety, pest, and disease problems.
I know the reasons seem to be a lot but trust me once you go through the article everything will be clear to you. Because this article is going to tell you how to save a dying lavender plant by replicating the desirable conditions.
So, without any delay let’s get things under the way-
What's On the Page
- 1 Why Are The Causes of Lavenders Dying?[Treatment]
- 2 How to Revive a Dying Lavender Plant?
- 3 Conclusion
Why Are The Causes of Lavenders Dying?[Treatment]
1.Overwatering The Lavenders
The most common reason for the lavender plant dying is overwatering. You see, lavenders are native to Europe where the weather is dry. Therefore lavenders can tolerate drought exceptionally well. Also, they require very little water to produce flowers.
Overwatered lavenders look like they are wilting and dying in the middle. Additionally, the whole plant becomes leggy and the leaves start to turn brown.
You should strictly avoid overwatering because it will cause many fungal diseases including root rot. Root rot will turn the lavender leaves brown or grey. Moreover, the whole plant will have a wilting appearance.
Now, one can wonder how to revive the overwatered lavenders?
If your lavender is showing the signs of overwatering issues like wilting and droopy appearance then cut back on the water for at least three weeks in a row. Protect them from rainfall otherwise, they will end up dying because of all the extra water. In the case of potted lavenders, bring them inside your house during the rainy season.
Usually, when the lavenders are 2-3 years old they don’t need much watering. watering once every two weeks is more than enough during very hot spells. But the amount of water they need is not fixed.
Watering lavenders is not so easy. Because there is no basic rule in this case. So, it’s hard to tell how much to water. Watering needs depend on many things like rainfall, humidity, etc. It’s best to check the soil with a moisture meter to find out exactly how much to water (Our pick: Atree Soil Soil Tester Kits with Moisture, Light, and PH Test for Garden).
2. Lavenders In Compact Soil
Lavender roots like to be in well-draining and dry soils. Being adjusted to the dry weather lavenders love the soils that hold very little moisture. Clearly, when they are planted in heavy and compacted clay soil their roots cannot withstand the moisture and the plant starts to die.
If you see your lavender leaves are wilting without turning brown, this means they are dying because of the wrong kind of soil.
Lavenders like to be in sandy soil that drains water very quickly. You see, overwatering and unsuitable soil kind of work together and cause problems for lavenders.
Make sure the soil doesn’t contain much organic matter. Because organic matters hold moisture which creates an overwatered situation for the lavenders.
To save your dying lavenders you need to remove them from the ground temporarily. Then add some sand to amend the soil. A soil that has 40 % of sand and 60% of soil is good for the lavenders. After that, replant the lavenders back in their place.
You can make raised beds and plant your lavenders there to avoid any kind of waterlogging condition. After replanting the lavenders wait for 2 weeks before watering. When the roots will dry out properly you will see your lavenders are starting to look healthy. Then you can continue your regular watering schedule.
If your indoor lavenders are dying the same way then change the potting mixture and plant them in a pot that is big enough to let the roots grow freely.
3. Lack of sunlight
Lavenders are native to Countries like France, Italy, and Spain where they get full sunlight the whole day. When they are not getting enough sun exposure they won’t be producing many flowers. If lack of sunlight keeps continuing they will gradually start dying.
Your lavenders need at least 6-7 hours of sunlight every day to stay healthy. If they get less than that the leaves will turn yellow and slowly the lavenders will die.
Relocate your potted lavenders under the sun. But if the lavenders are planted in the garden then transplant it to another place that receives plenty of sunlight every day.
4. Transplant Shock Of Lavender
Lavenders are very hardy plants. However, they cannot tolerate cold soil that well. If you have transplanted your lavender especially in the winter then this might be the reason why the lavenders are dying.
Transplant the lavenders in early spring. This will allow your plant to avoid transplant shock as much as possible. And while transferring make sure you get them out of the ground very carefully. Remember to look out for the root injury
Now, you might be wondering how to help the lavenders that are dying because of transplant shock?
Let me give you some tips. If you’ve transplanted them during spring or summer then water only once every week for a month. After a month, water every two weeks.
But when you have already transplanted them in winter then stop watering after one or two weeks. Let the lavenders revive themselves gradually.
5. Overdose Of Fertilizer
Lavenders require a very little amount of fertilizer. Surprisingly, if they get a generous amount of fertilizer, they die. Overfeeding them also reduces the huge number of flowers on the lavender.
The choice of fertilizer depends on where the lavender is planted. You see indoor potted plants do not get many nutrients from the potting soil. This is why they need some additional fertilizer. But for the outdoor lavenders, a very little dose of fertilizer is enough.
Feed your potted lavenders the best water-soluble blooming fertilizer at half the recommended strength in 3-4 months intervals. In the case of outdoor lavenders feed them only once or twice a year (our pick: Espoma PT18 Plant Tone).
Apply the fertilizer by following the instructions on the label. And make sure you never apply any fertilizers during the winter season.
6. Wrong Soil pH
Lavenders grow in slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soils with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5. If the pH is not within the range then the lavenders will suffer. Their blooms will not be satisfactory and gradually their roots will get injured.
For your potted lavenders, you can use any store-bought potting mixture because they are usually pH 7 or neutral in nature. But in the case of outdoor lavenders, it’s not that easy. Because even if the pH isn’t within the range your lavenders won’t show a lot of symptoms.
So, when your lavenders are not doing very well, test the soil with a pH test kit. Usually, garden soils are acidic because of the application of organic products. So if you find the soil acidic, amend it with garden lime (our pick: Jobe’s Organics Garden Lime) or wood ash.
But remember, even after applying the soil pH won’t change overnight. It will take a lot of patience to come to a neutral condition. Till then you have to take care of your dying lavender and they’ll soon fix themselves.
7. High Humidity
Lavenders are native to dry weather. So, in high humid conditions lavenders don’t grow very well. In addition, the lavenders will show the symptoms of overwatering and will take up a droopy appearance with brown leaves. And if this situation continues then the lavenders will be dying gradually.
We cannot change the humidity of nature but we can make some arrangements to help the lavenders to cope with the high humidity. Start by spacing your lavenders at least 3 feet away from one another. And make sure your lavenders are planted in full sunshine.
For your potted lavenders, you need to expose them under the direct sun for 6-7 hours a day. Also, keep them in a windy environment on the porch for a longer part of the day.
Here’s another great tip: buy some white stones and spread them around the plant like mulch. These white stones will reflect the sunlight and reduce humidity. If these stones are spread nicely then they’ll work as ornamental decoratives also.
8. Pest Problems
Lavender plants are usually pest-resistant. Still, there are some insects that attack the lavenders. If environmental problems aren’t the cause then Spittlebugs, whiteflies, and aphids are the reason why your lavender is dying.
Because when these insects attack in bulk they harm the lavenders a lot. As a result, the plants cannot endure anymore and die.These insects start attacking mostly during the spring.
Spittlebugs make a foamy substance on the stems. On the other hand, whiteflies and aphids stay on the underside of the leaves and feed on sap from the lavenders.
Getting rid of these pests is very crucial because aphids cover the lavender leaves with a sticky substance that encourages mold growth. As a result, many kinds of fungal diseases infect the lavenders. Also, aphids work as a vector of mosaic virus which is deadly for your lavenders
Spraying insecticide is the best way to control these pests. In other plants, we usually start the treatment by spraying a strong stream of water. But in the case of lavender if you do that you’ll end up overwatering them. And the lavenders will die anyway.
So, get the best insecticide for your lavender that’s equally effective and safe for application (our pick: Monterey organic Garden Insect Spray).
You can also treat them with some homemade insecticides that are very effective. Here are the recipes-
#Recipe:-1 Insecticidal Soap Recipe
- 500 ml of Alcohol
- 1 liter of water
- 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap
- Just combine everything and put the solution into the sprayer.
- Spray on both sides of the lavender leaves.
#Recipe 2:- Neem Oil Recipe
- 3 teaspoons of neem oil
- 2.5 liters of water
- Mix the ingredients and spray in the lavender plants every week.
- Apply this mixture regularly on your lavenders to prevent pest attacks.
9. Disease Problems
Lavenders suffer from some diseases like root rot, leaf spot, and alfalfa mosaic virus. Leaf spots will make brown or black spots on lavender leaves. In the case of root rot, the leaves will start to turn brown at the bottom
Alfalfa mosaic virus is a very common viral disease of lavender. You can recognize it by yellow mosaic-like patches on the leaves. Moreover, the leaves become twisted and curled.
Both alfalfa mosaic virus and fungal disease spread very fast from one plant to another. Moreover, lavender plants become very weak and die when the mosaic virus attacks them. So you have to take immediate steps to get rid of them.
Apply the best fungicide on your lavenders by following the manufacturer’s instructions (Our Pick: Bonide Copper Fungicide).
If your lavender has already started dying, remove it from the soil and cut the roots that have become soggy and black. Then plant the lavender plant in another location.
Besides, you can make fungicides in your home and try them on your lavender plants. Some recipes are given below:
#Recipe 1:- Baking Soda Fungicide Recipe
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap
- Combine everything and give a good shake
- Spray this solution on the infected leaves of lavender plants
# Recipe 3:- Epsom Salt Spray Recipe
- 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt
- Half gallon of water
- Mix the salt with water
- Put the solution in the sprayer and start spraying on your lavenders
- You can spray this solution every other week until the problem is solved
Diseases like root rot and leaf spot prefer damp and humid conditions. So, make sure you provide your lavender with good aeration. For that, keep proper planting distance between plants ( at least 2-3 feet).
Water your lavenders in the morning and avoid wetting the leaves. Cut off the infected parts and throw them in the garbage wrapped in a plastic bag. This will help to prevent the further spreading of the disease.
In the case of the alfalfa mosaic virus, be very cautious about pest control. Because this mosaic virus is transmitted by aphids. So, kill them with a good insecticide as soon as you notice them.
10. Wrong Variety Of Lavender
Lavenders have many varieties including English, Spanish, French, Italian with their various hybrids, and so on. These varieties have slightly different requirements.
One of the major reasons why your lavender is dying can be choosing the wrong variety for your climate. For example, English varieties can tolerate frost conditions but other varieties like Italian and French cannot. So if you plant the variety that doesn’t suit your climate, the lavenders will die.
If you live in cold climates then I’d suggest planting the English varieties of lavender. But if you want to plant other European varieties like Spanish or Italian then plant them in pots. And bring them indoors during the frost season.
How to Revive a Dying Lavender Plant?
To revive the dying lavender at first you need to check for the reason. Multiple reasons combinedly can cause this to your lavender.
Transplant your plants to a suitable soil that has a good drainage capacity and plenty of sunlight. Water them only once every two weeks. Protect them from rainfall. Keep the disease and pest away.
Take your potted lavender indoors during the winter season and put them near any south-facing window. In humid conditions get additional airflow from an electric fan if there’s no breeze.
If you respond quickly to the symptoms you can save your lavenders from dying. And for this, you can take the help of this article.
Lavender plants thrive in poor conditions but when they are dying you need to inspect the plant carefully. Try to find out what the cause is. And try to amend the situation by doing some adjustments.
If your lavenders are dying during the winters, don’t do anything and wait for the spring season to come. Because sometimes lavenders stay dormant in the winter season.
I have tried to make this article resourceful as much as possible. I hope it helped you to find out what is wrong with your lavenders and how to care for a dying lavender plant.