My Lavender Plant Is Dying

dying lavender plant

Overview of Lavender Plants

Lavender plant is a good source of fragrance whilst being a pleasing plant to look at thanks to its flowers; it is also used in making essential oils such as lavender oil. Lavender plants normally thrive in dry and extreme heat weather conditions.

Why Is My Lavender Plant Dying?

Lavender plants dying can be a result of over or underwatering, over-fertilization, acidic soil with lower PH levels, diseases such as alfalfa mosaic virus and fungal diseases (stay away from commercial pesticides), pests which do not include beneficial insects, and limited sunlight.

Excessive water and the roots will go soggy soil resulting in root rot whereas lack of it can result in yellowing leaves and some leaves turn brown. Infected plants can result in nutrient poor soil and a lack of new growth in other plants in the surrounding as they form clusters in the soil after planting.

Most Common Reasons Why Lavender Is Dying

dying lavender

Our team searched the internet for possible reasons for lavender plants death. Here are some common problems that we found:

1. Over Watering Lavenders

Yes, the overwatering lavender plant is rather easy, as the plant in question requires drought-like conditions to grow. Most lavender plants require watering after every 2 weeks. Overwatering can lead to root rot as too much moisture in the soil can ruin the plant’s foundations leading to a weaker plant that droops.

2. Soil Drains Too Slowly

As aforementioned, the lavender plants that are planted in pots or containers need to be ridden of excessive water if you want the plant to thrive otherwise it can also result in mold infection. Water in the soil can lead to higher water levels which can kill the plant cells leading to a droopy appearance with browning/yellowing on the potted lavender inside it. It’s essential to ensure well draining soil can result in breathy and non-soggy soil.

3. Not Enough Sunlight

Lavenders of all types require sunlight throughout the year even during the winter season. Less sun or limited exposure to full sun can result in higher moisture which ultimately leads to the death of the plant. So make sure that whatever season it may be just keep your plant exposed to sunlight for at least six to eight hours every day to ensure that the soil is set at ideal conditions as poor soil can lower leaves resulting in lavender dying even in full sun.

4. Wrong Soil Acidity

Loosely packed soil is best for Lavender plants as it enables water to drain from the soil. For the best growing lavender plants, it’s advisable to keep soil ph higher between 6-8 as too greater acidity risks the death of the entire plant. So be sure if you’re planning to fertilize the soil, get the ideal fertilizer that has an alkaline balance.

5. Wrong Lavender for Your Climate

There are four main species of lavender that are English, French, Spanish and Hybrid plants. English and Hybrid plants have a special capacity that allows them to survive through the winter season enabling them to live for longer. Spanish and French lavender cannot survive the winter seasons.

  1. The Climate may be Too Humid For ideal Lavender Conditions

Yes, too much clay can be formed as a result of high humidity in the air which can kill your lavender plant. This is why most humid areas globally such as the Mediterranean region don’t have that many blooming lavenders. Lavenders suffer from root rot in humid areas where the plant also suffers from excess watering that can result in hydrophilic plant cells resulting in a dead lavender plant.

6. Aggressive Pruning

Pruning is an essential part of best lavender plant health, it’s crucial to avoid woody or leggy appearance with a weaker foundation. However, at the same time, too much pruning at the top and at the bottom is when your plant starts to lose a life.

It’s best to do pruning a few weeks before the spring and summer season to avoid unhealthy development. There is a certain limit to which the plant can grow back which is risked by aggressive pruning. Be sure to start the pruning process in early spring to avoid the woody or leggy plant.

8. Foliage Turning Yellow 

Yellowing in a plant is a sign of too much nitrogen or inadequate sunlight. A higher acidity level in the soil as a result of a greater quantity of nitrogen can result in the foliage turning yellow or brown.

Moreover, improper watering or lack of good drainage can result in the foliage turning yellow. It’s advisable in such conditions to use a low nitrogen level fertilizer as that will allow the soil to become suitable for intended growing plants otherwise it starts dying.

How to revive a dying lavender plant?

lavender plant dying

This depends on the condition of the lavender plant. Hence, before we get down to the nitty gritty details it’s best to first diagnose the issue and find the causes of the issue.

Root Rot

Root rot is mainly caused as a result of too much water in the soil, mulch or leaves, and close potting plants. A quick and easy way to identify if your plant is suffering from root rot is drooping appearance or browning/yellowing of the foliage.

So keep your area clean and free of referring traffic of water particles as that can greatly impact the surrounding conditions resulting in affected roots and stunted root development. It can often give off a rotting smell that is opposite of what lavenders stand for. Lavender belongs to the family or outdoor plants so be sure to leave it in the exposed sun.

Remedy

  • The first thing would be to scale back the watering schedule as lavender plants are drought-resistant plants that thrive in dry conditions.
  • If there are mulch or leaves around, cut them or remove them as they retain moisture that can result in root rot, also remove the pot and clean debris from around it.
  • Carefully remove the plant from the pot and inspect the roots and simply cut the diminished roots to revive the plant.
  • Transplant the lavender plant in fresh soil with access to sunlight for at least 6 hours every day otherwise, it’ll result in the lavender plant dying prematurely.

Leggy Lavender Plant

Leggy lavender growth means that there is too much fertility in the soil. It can be identified with leggy growth on the stems and the plant’s leaves turning yellow. This happens when there is too much nitrogen or fertility in the soil, as lavender plants prefer low to medium fertility for the healthiest plant.

Remedy

  • Immediately stop further fertilization of the soil as too much of it can increase the soil pH level which can result in the lavender plant dying.
  • Consider planting it in a pot with 30% sand and 70% compost for the best chances of revival.
  • Be sure to prune the leggy parts of the plants but be sure to only cut 1/3rd from the top only in the early or mid spring season.

Woody Growth

It’s easy to spot a woody lavender plant as the plant ends up looking rough and untidy with fewer flowers in new plants. The main cause for this is very limited pruning and poor management of splinters.

Remedy

  • Prune the woody parts of the plant in early spring and avoid over-pruning during the growth season as the flowers only bloom when there is growth.
  • Cut the 3rd of the top and avoid pruning the foundation as that reduces the chances of full growth in the growing season.

Sunlight

Lavender plants require sunlight exposure daily. It is easy to spot a lavender that has been in shade for too long as that is browning or yellowing in the foliage.

Remedy

  • Change the location of the pot and move the plant out in the open where there is sufficient exposure to sunlight ahead of the growing season.

Pot/Container

Symptoms of plants drying from limited space in a pot or container are simple the plant looks weak with a drooping appearance. So be sure to buy a pot that has at least 16-inch depth to accommodate the extensive root growth network whilst simultaneously draining soil.

Remedy

  • Replace the pot with a bigger one before planting again in a bigger pot at least 16 inches in depth with multiple drainage points to avoid retention of moisture.
  • Get rid of water bodies around as that can add to the issue for instance drain pots to collect the water from the plant as it impacts the moisture around the plant impacting its growth.

Can Lavender Come Back to Life?

Yes, with proper care lavender plants especially English lavender plants have a higher chance of revival even through the winter season. if you have french or Spanish lavender plants then the chances of surviving winter are quite low.

Final Thoughts

English or Hybrid plants can survive even through the winter season whereas others such as Spanish or French plants won’t be able to do so resulting in probable death. On top of that the acidity of the soil, exposure to the sun, under/over-pruning, and over/under watering can result in the lavender plants’ death. It is essential to have a high pH level soil to ensure that the lavender blooms when the time arrives.

Johan Perez
Having worked in the industry for many years, Johan is a licensed agriculturalist. Additionally, he has written for a number of agricultural periodicals, offering readers professional guidance on all matters pertaining to farming. Johan likes going on adventures and being outside in his free time.

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