Lavender plants (Lavandula) are beautiful, fragrant, and diverse in appearance, and they produce aromatic essential oils. lavender is a hardy, elastic plant that thrives in the native Mediterranean area under full sunlight. The soil is well drained and the fertility of sandy soil is low to moderate. As long as you replicate some of the natural conditions of lavender, lavender can be a drought-tolerant plant that is very easy to grow. Despite these wonderful qualities, sometimes they will not remain healthy and there are some problems that may cause the death of lavender plants. In this article I have listed are some reasons why is my lavender dying, and I also added some suggestions to help you solve the problem.
The most common causes of lavender plant death are improper watering, over-fertilization, acid soil pH, disease, pests, or insufficient sunlight. Careful inspection of plants and growing conditions is essential to help identify and solve problems.
The most likely causes of your lavender death and solutions to each problem:
1. Improper watering
For lavender plants, overwatering and underwater are dangerous. Plants that remain in moist soil are prone to root rot, while completely dry lavender plants will droop and grow dry yellow leaves. Both of these conditions can cause your lavender plant to die.
* How to recognize overwatering?
Look for the following signs that you are watering lavender plants;
It usually yellows the leaves and usually affects the lower leaves first.
Sagging despite drinking a lot of water
The smell of soil rotting may indicate root rot.
The soil takes a long time to dry out. This may be due to the pot being too large for the plant, poor soil or pot drainage, or insufficient light causing slow growth.
* How to recognize underwater?
Before watering the plants, the soil will feel completely dry and it will begin to sag. If your plant is constrained by roots or placed in hot, overly bright conditions, it will dry out quickly.
It's easy to forget to water the plants, but fortunately, lavender is much better at dealing with underwater problems than overwatering. Set a schedule and check your plant every few days to see if it needs watering.
The ideal way to water these plants is to make sure they are completely soaked. Before watering the plant again, make sure the top one inch of soil feels dry.
It is important to remember that the season and location of the plants directly affect the necessary watering speed. Outdoor plants lose water faster than indoor potted plants. Air volume and humidity also affect the moisture content of the soil.
Lavender plants, especially adult plants that have fully rooted, are very hardy. Although submerged plants can usually be resurrected, over-watering can easily lead to the death of lavender plants.
If you think the lavender plant is over-watered, check for root rot by sliding the plant out of the pot. If there is no root rot, just reduce watering.
If there are signs of root rot, you will need to act quickly to save your plants. The affected roots need to be trimmed and the plants transferred to new pots and proper fast-draining soil.
2. Soil problems
Another issue that may threaten the health of lavender plants is the soil in which it is grown. lavender performs best in loose soils with high gravel content. This allows excess water to drain from around the root structure. Closely packed soil retains too much water and restricts root growth.
Another soil consideration is proper pH, which is a measure of whether the soil is acidic or alkaline.
Lavender grows best at a higher soil pH of 6 to 8. Acidic soils with a pH of 5 or lower will kill plants (source). To increase the pH, you can sprinkle garden limestone into the soil.
3. Lighting and temperature issues
Many growers bring potted lavender plants indoors during the colder months. If you do bring lavender indoors, placing it near a south-facing window will give the best results. Make sure to rotate the pots every week to promote balanced, symmetrical growth.
Ornamental lavender grown outdoors grows dynamically in full sunlight. As the amount of seasonal sunlight decreases, you can improve the growth of lavender by passively increasing sunlight. This is achieved by trimming or using light-colored mulch or illuminating the surroundings of the plants.
It is important to know that lavender will dormant in winter when the sun is minimal. Some growers may think their plant is dead, when in fact, it is just dormant. There is no green or white on the stems or branches of dead lavender. If it dies, the branches will become brown and hollow.
There is no need to cover the lavender plant while it is dormant. Snow is harmless to dormant lavender. Snow provides enough water to meet the winter water needs of dormant plants.
Lavender plants thrive in bright sunlight. Ideally, these plants should receive six to eight hours of sunlight every day. New plants cannot withstand the heat of summer, so if they grow outdoors, it is best to plant new plants in early to mid-spring so that they can mature before the arrival of the sweltering heat.
The temperature of the lavender is another important consideration. Most lavender plants are hardy perennials that can withstand temperatures of 10°F (-12°C) when they are mature. However, newly transplanted lavender is difficult to handle at temperatures below 40°F (4°C) at night.
4. Fertilizer problems
Lavender requires very little fertilizer. Although they thrive in bright sunlight, they do not require constant feeding. Overfeeding lavender plants can burn growing branches and leaf extensions and make the plant more susceptible to seasonal factors.
Choosing the right fertilizer depends on whether the plant is an indoor potted plant or an outdoor ornamental plant. Indoor plants have little chance to get nutrients from the soil, so they need fertilizer.
It is sufficient to apply a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every month at half the recommended intensity. There is no need to fertilize lavender in winter. External lavender does better without commercial fertilizer. High-nitrogen plant foods may cause plants to grow faster, but they will weaken the branches and reduce the viability of the plants. Simply mix the compost into the soil around the growing lavender, and perhaps a small amount of potassium fertilizer (source). When feeding lavender plants, the bottom line is "less is more".
5. Pest problems
Lavender plants are quite resistant to insects. Nevertheless, there are still several insects that can infect and harm these plants.
A more common lavender pest is spittlebug, also known as frog-hopper bug. Spittlebugs first start in spring and produce a foamy substance that covers the stems of lavender. Usually, the branches of the plant may die from spittlebugs, but not the whole plant.
Spraying the entire plant with a powerful stream of water usually removes foam and insects. In some cases of large infestations, commercial insecticides are necessary.
The second pest that attacks lavender plants is whitefly. Whiteflies gather at the bottom of lavender leaves and drink the sap of the plant.
Whitefly infestation can distort the appearance of plants and hinder their vitality. The greater danger caused by whiteflies is the accompanying substances they leave on the leaves, which can cause mold infections.
Commercial insecticides have little effect on removing whiteflies. They can be manually removed from the plants with strong water currents. Placing aluminum foil or other bright reflective materials around the plants can also prevent whiteflies.
Aphids can also infect lavender plants. Although aphids themselves are not particularly harmful, they carry a disease called alfalfa mosaic virus, which we will discuss in the next section. However, to prevent infection, growers need to stop aphids.
Horticultural oil, neem oil or diatomaceous earth (DE) are all effective methods for controlling aphids. Remember that using commercial insecticides to control aphids will also kill other beneficial insects, including insects that feed on aphids.
6. Disease problems
Alfalfa mosaic virus is a fairly common disease in lavender plants. When you see bright yellow patches under the leaves of plants, you will recognize its presence. Usually, yellow patches will distort the leaves.
Although alfalfa mosaic virus does not usually kill lavender plants directly, it does hinder plant growth. Because the virus is contagious, growers should remove and dispose of infected plants to prevent the disease from spreading to other lavender plants.
Lavender plants can also be infected by the genus Lavandula, a fungus that causes black spots to grow on the leaves. Eventually, the spots grow together to form egg-like clumps.
The best protection against this virus is not only to remove aphids from the lavender plant, but also to remove aphids from any plants in the neighboring area. On its own, Septoria lavandula will not kill the lavender plant. The key to prevention and treatment of lavender is to ensure that the plant is not in moist soil.
Make sure that there is adequate ventilation around the bottom of the plant. Fungi first appear on the bottom leaves of plants, so keep checking these leaves for brown, gray, or purple spots.
I hope we have been able to solve your problem and help you discover why is muy lavender dying and what you can do to fix it. lavender is a very good plant, especially suitable for our little bee friends.
Make sure you do your best to replicate the native conditions of their sandy, well-drained soil, and your lavender should continue to thrive for many years.
Your lavender is dying with many different obvious symptoms. Yellowing may indicate excessive nitrogen fertilizer, browning may indicate root rot, and poor growth and aroma may indicate that the plant is not getting enough sunlight.
The only way to revive lavender that has been in the shade is to transfer it to a flower pot and place it in the sun as soon as possible. lavender needs sunlight all year round, including during winter dormancy, so plant lavender in a nice open space, not in the canopy or any other shade.