Lavender smells amazing in my garden but it does require some care when growing. If you’re not careful, the plant may start dying from the bottom up.
Your lavender is drying from the bottom up because of overwatering. The wet soil causes fungal disease called root rot that damages the roots and stem causing them to dry and blacken. You’ll need to dig out the plant and check the roots. Cut the diseased roots and replant in better soil.
There are some other reasons as well that your lavender plant may start dying and I’ve written more details below. I’ve also added some suggestions that may help you solve the problem.
The most common reason why your lavender starts dying is that you are overwatering the plant.
The lavender plant originates from the Mediterranean region that has a dry environment with few spells of rainfall and sandy soil. So the plant prefers to have infrequent watering and dry soil so it can grow well.
The general rule for watering plants in the garden is that you provide an inch of water every week. You check the soil every day and if you find it dry you water it.
But you cannot do the same when growing a lavender plant. Once the plant is mature, you should only water it every two or three weeks.
If your lavender plant is dying, the first thing you should check is how often you’re watering the plant. You can reduce the frequency of watering and check if the plant recovers.
You also cannot grow the lavender plant in a place that gets a lot of rainfall. If you want to do so, you will need to protect the plant from the rainfall by growing it in an indoor environment like a greenhouse.
I would also suggest you don’t add any mulch to the soil near the lavender plant as mulch helps to retain moisture longer. But we don’t want to do this when growing a lavender plant so the soil dries out faster.
The lavender plant will start dying if you grow it in soil that retains moisture for a long period of time. This will happen if the soil contains more clay and less sand.
The lavender plant prefers to grow in dry, sandy soil that does not hold water for a long period of time.
You want to ensure that the soil you use to grow lavender has at least 30% or more sand. You can figure this out by a simple soil test. And you can add the sand to amend the soil.
If you have already planted the lavender in poor soil, you’ll need to take it out and transfer it to a part of the garden where the soil is right.
I would suggest either use a container to grow the lavender or build up a raised bed with the right soil. These methods will help you control the type of soil you can mix up before planting the lavender.
Several fungal diseases will kill your lavender plants such as Botrytis, Phytophthora, Fusarium fungus, and Shab fungus.
The main reason these fungal diseases will attack the lavender plant is that there is too much moisture in the soil.
This can happen because you are overwatering the soil for the lavender plant. Or the soil contains too much clay and is retaining moisture for a longer period of time.
These fungal diseases attack the roots of the plant and will cause root rot or stem rot. It’s best to prevent this problem from starting by taking care of how much water you give the soil and keeping the right amount of sand in the soil.
If the lavender plant has already started dying, you need to pull it out from the soil and cut off the roots that have become soggy and black. Then replant the lavender plant in another location of the garden that is free from such issues.
If all the roots of the plant have been attacked by the fungal disease then there is nothing you can do but dispose of the plant.
Your lavender plant will start dying from the bottom up if you’re trying to grow the plant in humid conditions.
The lavender plant as we have seen originated in the Mediterranean region where the conditions are dry. In humid conditions, the plant does not feel comfortable and will get stressed.
The stress will reduce the immunity of the plant and it will tend to attract pests and diseases. Fungal diseases are common to attack the lavender plant in humid conditions and cause them to start deteriorating.
I would not suggest you try to grow the lavender plant if you live in a region that tends to get humid.
Lack of growing space
If your lavender plant does not get enough growing space, it will compete with other plants for nutrients. The crowding will also cause moist conditions causing fungal diseases.
If you’re growing other plants near the lavender plant, you may need to water them often. This will not help the lavender plant that needs a lot less water.
You want to ensure that there is at least a three feet distance between the lavender and other plants growing in the garden.
I would suggest you grow the lavender plants in a separate area of your garden away from the other plants. This way you don’t have to worry about crowding or overwatering the plant.
If the lavender plants are already close to each other, you’ll need to pull some out and create the required space between them. You can transplant them to another area of the garden ensuring good space between them.
You should also prune the lavender plant every few weeks if you find that there are lots of branches developed. They may start to interfere with the sunlight and air reaching the inner areas of the plant causing moist conditions.
The lavender plant thrives in conditions where it does not have easy access to nutrients. If the soil contains good organic nutrients or you are adding fertilizer to the soil, the lavender plant will start dying.
I have already suggested you grow the lavender separate from the other plants. This will help you control the soil and nutrients that the plant will get.
You can continue using rich soil and adding slow-release fertilizer for the other plants but keep it away from the lavender plants.
If you are already having soil rich in nutrients and fertilizer, you need to transplant the lavender plants to another area of the garden Make sure the soil in that area has the required amount of sand and is lacking any fertilizer.
Lack of sunlight
The lavender plant likes to grow in full sunlight which means at least 6-8 hours every day. If it does not get this amount of sunlight it will get stressed. This is an invitation to diseases that will kill the plant.
You want to ensure that the area of the garden where you are going to plant lavender gets the required amount of sunlight.
If there are any obstructions like tree branches or other plants, you may need to clear them out. Or choose another location of the garden. Don’t plant lavender near a wall or fence that gets partial sunlight.
If you’re growing lavender in a pot, it’s easy to just move the pot to a suitable location. If it’s in the ground, you need to transplant it to a suitable location.