Why is My Lavender Plant Wilting? (How to Solve it)

Why is My Lavender Plant Wilting? (How to Solve it) Why is My Lavender Plant Wilting?

Lavenders can be long-lasting and fragrant plants that require minimal care if provided with suitable growing conditions.

There are specific factors that can lead to the wilting of a lavender plant.

If your lavender plant is wilting after being planted, it could be due to stress caused by the difference in growing conditions between the garden center and your garden; however, over-watering, transplant shock, using small pots, and nutrient-rich soil or fertilizer can also cause lavender plants to wilt.

Lavender may experience wilting after being planted due to the adjustment period it needs to acclimate to its new surroundings, but with proper care, it typically recovers.

Lavender plants that are established may also experience wilting due to various factors.

Continue reading to learn more about the reasons behind your wilting lavender plant and effective solutions to fix it.

1. Lavender Wilting After Planting or Transplanting

Lavenders may experience wilting as a result of stress caused by changes in their environment after being planted.

Lavenders are sturdy plants (especially English lavenders) and can survive in both hot and cold weather conditions.

When there is a significant change in the environment, such as temperature, Lavender plants may experience shock and require some time to adjust, leading to a temporary wilting of the plant.

Upon planting lavender, it needs to adjust to the unique conditions of your garden, which differ from those of the garden center, shop, or greenhouse where it was previously located.

The reason for this contrast could be due to various factors such as temperature fluctuations, humidity levels, soil composition, watering frequency, and more.

Lavender plants, especially their root system, need to adapt to their new environment and attempt to acclimate to the different soil conditions, including water availability, nutrient content, and drainage rate.

Assuming you are adhering to the recommended care practices for cultivating lavender, there is no need to fret if your plant has wilted, as it will eventually recover and adapt to its surroundings, which could take up to a week.

(To gain further insight, check out my article on how to transplant lavender and prevent transplant shock).

For a guide to caring for lavender and all the best practices, check out my article on Lavender Hidcote and Lavender Grosso. You can find it at https://www.allaboutyourgarden.com/lavender-hidcote/ and https://www.allaboutyourgarden.com/lavender-grosso/, respectively.

Watering Lavender after Planting to Prevent Wilting

Lavenders are hardy plants, native to the Mediterranean region, and can usually tolerate dry conditions, but when they have been moved to a new location, they may need more water. Too much H2O, however, can also be detrimental and cause the lavender plant to wilt.

Getting watering right can be a challenge, as it is influenced by factors such as the time of year and the prevailing weather conditions in your area.

Wilting lavender after planting or transplanting may be caused by:

    • Excessive watering can cause Lavender plants to wilt as they need time for the soil to dry out between watering sessions.

Lavender plants may wilt as a result of being exposed to excessively hot conditions, which is a sign of stress; therefore, it is advisable to plant them in the spring or fall rather than during the summer.

READ
Lavender Care: How to Grow Lavender in Pots and Containers

Spring or Fall is a better time to plant or transplant lavender instead of Summer.

Two reasons make Early Spring the ideal time for planting:

During Spring, the cooler temperatures provide an opportunity for the roots of lavender plants to acclimate to new soil conditions, allowing them to absorb water as needed without being exposed to intense heat and sunlight that can cause wilting.

    However, if temperatures are excessively high, the lavender may still experience wilting.

  1. Spring planting allows the lavender to adjust to its environment and prepare for blooming in Summer, while planting in Summer can lead to wilting due to excessive heat.

Planting lavender in the summer can still be successful, but it will need extra care and attention, especially when it comes to watering.

Lavender plants need adequate water to establish their roots after planting, but it is crucial not to overwater them, which can lead to consistently damp soil.

The frequency of watering and drying out your lavender plant will depend on the climate and weather conditions. However, if there are continuous high temperatures and intense sunlight without any cloudy days, and you notice your lavender starting to droop, then water it once every three days for the first two weeks (assuming the soil drains well). Afterward, water it once a week for the first month to allow the roots to establish themselves and adapt to drawing water from the soil, thus preventing wilting.

To gain insight into the issue of why your lavender plant is wilting, read my article on solutions for why newly planted lavender is drooping).

Over watering lavender and keeping the soil consistently damp can lead to root rot, which is a problem for lavenders as they need the soil to be somewhat dry between watering.

It is recommended to water the plant thoroughly to promote root establishment.

2. Over Watering Lavender Causing Wilting

Over watering is a frequent cause of wilting in lavender plants.

Once planted, lavenders flourish with minimal attention and favor arid, well-draining, sandy soil that requires occasional watering.

Overwatering can lead to excessively moist soil, creating an environment conducive to fungal infections and root decay.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but lavenders can wilt and the leaves may turn brown, which is actually a sign of too much water being given to the plant. This is often misconstrued as an indication that the lavender needs more water, thus exacerbating the issue.

  • Under temperate weather conditions characterized by cloudy days and occasional rainfall, mature lavender plants usually don’t need watering, except in cases of severe drought.
  • In hot areas (like southern California or Spain), lavenders only need to be watered every two weeks if there has been no significant precipitation. Potted lavenders may require more frequent watering of every 2 weeks regardless of rain because pots have favourable drainage conditions.

If you are providing your lavender with more than biweekly hydration and it is still wilting, then you should reduce the amount of water and the plant should revive once the soil dries out. (Check out my article for the ideal well draining soil mix for lavenders).

If the leaves have taken on a brown or black hue, this is likely an indication of a fungal infection, which is usually caused by overly damp soil. To find out how to fix it, take a look at my article on resolving lavender that has gone black.

READ
How to Increase Hydrangea Blooms (6 Methods)

3. Wilting Temporarily due to Heat

Adapting to hot days is another reason why lavender plants may wilt. This usually happens when there has been a period of mild weather, followed by a sudden spike in temperature.

If the lavender appears normal in the evening during cooler temperatures, there is no need to worry about this type of wilting. It is a typical response to excessively hot days and does not indicate stress on the plant.

More water may not be necessary for the lavender plant as wilting could be a temporary reaction to heat rather than drought.

Lavenders can withstand high temperatures and drought, making them suitable for countries in Southern Europe with a Mediterranean climate where sandy soils and infrequent rainfall are prevalent.

As lavender plants are adapted to dry and harsh conditions, they often suffer from overwatering rather than underwatering. Therefore, it is important not to water them more frequently as they do not thrive in damp soil.

Without any negative consequences, the lavender plant will appear relatively normal once the temperature cools down later in the day following hot days.

Check out my guide to dealing with lavender in warm temperatures).

4. Lavender Wilting in a Pot

All the reasons for lavender wilting can affect it whether it’s grown in garden borders or pots, but there are certain factors that may cause lavender to wilt when grown in a pot rather than in garden soil.

One possible cause is the pot’s size.

It is recommended to plant lavenders in a pot with a diameter of 12-16 inches.

Choosing a container of adequate size will guarantee that the lavender plant’s roots have sufficient space to grow and absorb the necessary water and nutrients, as well as enough soil to protect them during the colder months.

Lavenders thrive in direct sunlight, and if the container is insufficiently sized, the soil will dehydrate rapidly on scorching days.

Lavenders can withstand drought and prefer dry conditions, but if planted in a small pot, the roots may become pot bound, causing the soil to dry out quickly and preventing the plant from absorbing water even after rainfall or watering.

When the potting soil becomes dry and hot, it can cause the lavender to experience stress and wilt due to increased soil evaporation.

Simply increasing the frequency of watering will not solve the problem of a wilting lavender plant, as its roots are probably confined to a small pot. The recommended solution is to relocate or transplant the lavender into a bigger pot filled with sandy soil mixture.

Providing enough space for the roots to establish and draw up water when needed without the soil drying too quickly is crucial.

The lavender plant’s wilting can also be influenced by the type of pot used, as it can affect the rate at which the soil dries.

READ
Choosing the Best Pots for Azaleas

Metal or plastic pots are better heat conductors compared to clay, terracotta or ceramic pots.

During scorching hot days with elevated temperatures, the evaporation rate of soil moisture can escalate, leading to a rise in soil temperature, which can cause plants to wither and droop.

Move the lavender to a pot that is suitable for it and it should start to revive. Check out my article, Selecting the Appropriate Pot for Lavenders.

5. Nutrient Rich Soils causing Lavender to Wilt

Soil type can cause a lavender plant to have a drooping or wilting appearance.

Lavenders thrive in soil that is not overly nutrient-dense, as opposed to soil with a high concentration of nutrients. Medium levels of nutrients are best for this type of plant.

Lavenders thrive in sandy or stony soils in their natural habitat and exhibit optimal growth of foliage and flowers when planted in nutrient-deficient soils.

Excessively rich soils can lead to spindly growth that may seem to be drooping at times, with leaves that become yellow.Check out this article for more information.

Rich soil usually results in abundant foliage growth but fewer blooms.

This is also applicable to the utilization of fertilizers or soil amendments that are rich in nitrogen like manure.

If your lavender plant is wilting despite using additional fertilizer or planting it in nutrient-rich soil, you can solve the problem by adding horticultural sand or grit to the soil.

For pot or container planting, approximately one-third of the volume should consist of sand, while the remaining two-thirds should be filled with potting soil or compost.

Incorporating sand into the soil can mimic the ideal growing conditions for lavender, as it does not hold onto or provide excessive nutrients. This can help to counteract overly nutrient-rich soils and create a more suitable environment for cultivating lavender.

Sand or grit can improve drainage and prevent lavender from wilting due to excessive moisture in the soil.

To prevent your lavender from wilting, it is advisable to refrain from fertilizing or planting it in nutrient-rich soil; doing so will result in increased flower production, healthier growth, a more robust fragrance, and most importantly, the plant’s recovery from its wilted appearance.

Conclusion

  • Wilting of lavender plants can occur due to various reasons such as changes in environmental conditions, excessive watering, usage of small pots, adaptation to high temperatures, and nutrient-rich soil.
  • It is common for Lavender plants to experience temporary wilting as a result of stress when adjusting to new conditions, but they typically recover once they have become established.
  • To prevent lavender from becoming root bound and to provide sufficient soil for the roots to access nutrients and water, it is recommended to plant them in a pot of adequate size.
  • Lavender plants can show signs of stress and wilting due to over watering, so it is important to plant them in a well-draining soil mix and only water them once every two weeks. This is because lavenders are drought-resistant and can tolerate heat.

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