Why Are Lavender Flowers Turning Brown?

Last Updated on November 20, 2022 by Stephanie

The flowers of lavender can be brown due to fungal diseases (due to moist soil) and frost damage. They can also natural browning when the flowers transform to seed heads.

If the leaves are also becoming brown, it could be an indication of fungal illness. If the leaves appear unaffected but the flowers are turning brown, then a late frost could harm the delicate flowers, or the flowers are turning brown and require deadheading in order to encourage more flowers.

Continue reading to find out the reason why your lavender flowers have become brown, whether it needs any attention, and the best way to fix it…

1. Brown Lavender Flowers Due to Over Watering or Poor Drainage

The flowers of lavender (and foliage) may turn brown due to stress caused by over-watering or poor drainage of the soil, or possibly due to the pot not having drainage holes at the bottom.

The native plant of lavenders is Mediterranean climates that have sandy soils, scorching summer sun and frequent rain or irrigation.

While certain lavender species can tolerate the colder temperatures (such such as English lavenders as well as Intermedia lavenders) They are all adapted to live in sandy, dry or stony soils that have moderate to low nutrients.

If the lavender plant is in a soil that is water-retaining (such like clay) or compost that is able to hold a lot of water, then the lavender is more susceptible to fungal diseases as well as root rot.

When you notice that the lavender is falling in appearance, it could be a sign of fungal illness.

Lavenders are at their peak in terms of flowers and scents when they are in well-drained soil. Their roots also like to remain dry in between watering sessions.

If you tend to your lavender more than twice a week, youre probably overwatering your lavender.

They are drought-resistant and heat-tolerant, so they do well in dry conditions and dont require to be watered as often as the majority of plants that are found in typical gardens.

The fungal pathogens that target the lavender thrive in moist soils, which is why it is important to ensure that the soil is well draining (with plenty of gravel or sand) and to water it less frequently or not at all once the lavender has established.


(To find out more, read my article on how often should you wash the lavender).

Most lavenders get more than enough water from rain and dont require additional irrigation. This is especially the case in climates that are temperate, with periods of overcast and rainy days.


  • Reduce the amount of watering your lavender to once each two weeks and even during hot weather, to allow the roots to dry between waterings.
  • Add a layer of grit or sand for horticulture. This will help improve drainage and help ensure the proper level for nutrients within the soil, resembling the conditions found in the lavenders natural habitat.
  • If the foliage is turning quite brown, as have the flowers, it is likely that the lavenders are under attack by a fungal disease. Take the lavender out of the pot or ground and examine the roots. If the roots appear like they are brown and have a rotten appearance, cut them off using the help of a sterilized pair of pruners . Remove any lavender that is brown.

The lavenders with a large amount of brown flowers and foliage might not last because it is contingent on the severity of the damage.

But lavenders with brown flowers are often able to be regenerated after planting in a soil profile that has more drainage, and the need for water is greatly less.

(Read the article to find more details on how to deal with the fungal infection that causes lavender).

It is also essential to plant your lavender in pots with drainage holes at the base , to allow any excess water to drain away otherwise the soil will stay damp, which increases the risk of fungal diseases. Check out my article on selecting the most suitable pots to plant lavender in.

It is crucial to remember that while the lavender needs certain environment of the native Mediterranean to be healthy and bloom in a healthy way however, they dont necessarily require the extreme Mediterranean temperature and moderate winters in the event that they are in full sunlight and you select an ice-hardy plant like English lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia) or ( Lavandula x intermedia) lavender to plant in your garden.

(Read the article I wrote to find out about the best way to make the ideal mixture of soil for the lavender).

2. Flowers Turn Brown up to Three Times per Year

The various varieties of lavender are likely to flower at various times during the summer and spring. the individual lavender lavender flowers usually last for a month before becoming brown. At that time they need deadheading, which causes new flowers to appear.

The French, Spanish and Lavandula x intermedia varieties all bloom three times during the Summer, Spring and even into the fall when you live in a warmer climate with moderate temperatures.

Every time it blooms, itll last for about 1 month or so, before the flowers change color and need deadheading, which encourages the blooms to continue.

It is a natural process, so dont be concerned if some of the flowers have turned brown, whereas others remain vibrant and healthy.

Just deadhead the lavenders using pruning pruners, and youll be able to see more blooms throughout the growing season.

If the flowers that are brown remain untrimmed, theyll turn into seeds that you feel rattle when shaking the lavender. This is a great method to collect seeds if you wish to plant new lavenders however I would suggest that you propagate the lavender cuttings and than grafting them from seeds as its much more straightforward.

English lavenders are known for their smaller bloom than many lavenders, but they are more hardy to cold (hardy up to USDA zones 5) that can withstand frost in winter, and live longer than those of the French as well as Spanish varieties, and the scent of the leaves is more sour and pronounced than the French as well as Spanish lavenders.

Deadheading lavenders encourages more flowers since deadheading diverts the plants energy away from seed production to forming more flower buds and showing more flowers.

3. Late frost in Spring

A late frost can be the cause when it comes to the lavender flowers becoming brown. The flowers that emerge are usually less tender than the leaves of the lavender, which could cause damage to frost.

This is especially true of those varieties that flower early like French as well as Spanish lavender, which are more susceptible to freezing and bloom earlier in the season when compared to the English as well as intermedia types.

The answer…

If you live living in a region that experiences cold winters, I suggest that plants English ( Lavandula angustifolia) and ( Lavandula x intermedia) lavenders since they are more hardy to cold (hardy up to USDA five) and can withstand winter with aplomb, able to withstand freezing and snow temperatures, whereas Spanish as well as French lavenders typically only last for one season if there is the mild winter climate.

The lavender Hidcote and Munstead are excellent choices for cold-hardy English lavenders that have a highly-respected scent of sweetness.

Take care to remove the damaged frost flowers that have changed color as this can increase the likelihood of flowers blooming later in the summer and there shouldnt be any serious harm to lavender.

(For the most effective ways to care for your plants, check out my article on on how you can plant lavender in containers and pots).



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)