Why Isn’t My Lavender Blooming?

Lavenders must have beautiful blooms that produce a distinct scent in your garden every growing season. The Mediterranean environment is the best for lavenders to flower.

Lavenders thrive on sandy soils with medium to low fertility and full sun. They love regular watering.

Lavender tied with a bow

If you are concerned that your lavender isn’t blooming properly or producing very few flowers then it is worth going through this checklist to identify the problem. This will help you to determine how to make your lavender bloom again during the next growing season.

Why lavenders don’t bloom …

  1. The soil is too fertile for lavenders
  2. Adding fertilizer to the soil
  3. Not enough sunlight (Lavender needs full sun)
  4. Wrong soil pH
  5. Over pruning lavender foliage
  6. Too much water
  7. Soil drains too slowly
  8. Lavender not yet mature
  9. Wrong lavender for your climate

1. Soil Too Fertile

Lavenders can be found in the Mediterranean region of their indigenous species, on sandy soils that have low to moderate fertility in France, Spain, and Italy.

These soil conditions are where plants will naturally produce the most beautiful flowers and scent.

Lavenders with a lot of nutrients tends to produce more leaves than flowers.

Lavenders thrive even in the most challenging conditions. To help them thrive, gardeners will provide rich soil that is high in organic matter. Many garden plants thrive in rich, fertile soils.

Roses will thrive in high-fertility soil. However, it does not replicate the natural growing conditions for lavender. They won’t bloom to their full potential.

What should you do? Plant lavenders in pots or raised beds. Or amend the soil where they are already planted.

Lavenders thrive on sandy soils like those found in France and Spain. These soil conditions can be replicated by adding lots of sand or grit.

Grit and sand are naturally low in nutrients so they won’t counter rich soils’ high fertility.

You need to amend the soil so that it is 30-50% sand and grit, with the rest of it as soil or well rotted compost (if you are planting in pots.

Amending soil for lavenders is not an exact science and may require some trial and error depending on the specific conditions of your garden, but the more naturally fertile your soil is, the closer to a 50: 50 mixture of sand (or grit) to soil you should aim for to counter the effect of high fertility.

The best time of the year to plant lavenders or amend soil is late winter or early spring. This is the time when the lavender enters winter dormancy. This will decrease transplant shock.

You can stir the soil gently with a fork if the lavender is already in its container. You can then use a fork to extract the plant. Avoid using a spade or shovel as they can cause damage to the roots.

You can now take out lots of fertile soil to use in your garden as mulch. You can replace soil with sand or grit (both good options), but you should aim for at least one-third to two-thirds soil.

Plant the lavender in the amended soil. Give the soil a good soak before watering it back in. This will help reduce transplant shock and increase the chances of your lavender blooming in spring and summer.

2. Fertilizer

Lavenders can be fertilized with fertilizer to increase their chances of producing stunning purple flowers.

Although it may seem contradictory, most plants won’t produce strong blooms if they don’t have fertilizer. Lavenders are an exception.

Lavenders need low fertility conditions in order to flower well.

Fertilizer (much like high-nutrient soils) will encourage leaf growth, but few flowers.

Adding fertility can have a negative impact on lavenders’ natural preferences, and it may even cause roots to burn.

How to deal with it. It’s a very simple question…don’t fertilize. If they are allowed to use their sandy soils, lavenders will blossom in stunning ways.

Lavenders do not require fertilizer or mulch. However, it is acceptable to add woodchip mulch or other mulches to beautify the garden or keep weeds under control.

Lavenders thrive on low-fertility sandy soils. These soils are less likely to support weed growth. This will allow you to spend more time with your lavenders.

You can return fertilizer if it was in granular form if you have used it. If liquid fertilizer was used, you’ll need to be able to tolerate substandard flowering and stop using it next year.

Lavender should be able recover and bloom next year, provided there is plenty of sunshine.

3. Sunlight (Lavenders require at least 6 hours of sunshine )

In lavenders that don’t get enough sun, poor blooms are quite common.

Lavenders will only thrive in sunny areas that are well-lit and where they are exposed to sunlight throughout the day. Shade is not a good environment for lavenders . They won’t thrive and bloom well there.

Lavenders won’t bloom if they receive less sunlight. If there is less sunshine, lavenders will not flower well in areas that have poor weather. This is luck of nature.

Lavender should not be affected by one poor growing season. If the weather is perfect and the sun is shining, they should be able to bloom next year.

What should you do? Lavenders need to receive at least six hours of sunlight each day in order to bloom. If possible, more.

Make sure to remove any branches and other vegetation that could block the light from your lavenders. You can place your lavenders in pots if they aren’t getting enough light.

You may have to move your house if the sun is not shining on it.

English lavender varieties can thrive even in cold, temperate environments. They can withstand winter frosts, but they still need lots of sunshine to bloom.

4. The pH of the soil for lavenders

Lavender that does not bloom or has poor growth could be suffering from too high soil acidity.

Lavender is able to tolerate mild soil acidity ,, but prefers a soil with a pH neutral pH (7 or higher) or slightly alkaline (upto pH 7.5)

The majority of garden soils are pH neutral or slightly alkaline because this is the pH at which most organic material has once it has fully decomposed.

Garden soil may be too acidic for lavenders to thrive, due to many factors.

What you should do. It’s easy and inexpensive to test the pH of your garden soil. Amazon has a soil test kit that you can use to test your garden soil’s pH. This soil test kit can provide an easy reading of soil pH.

Soil acidity is another reason for poor blooms.

Lavenders can be grown in soil pH between 6.7 to 7.5.

You need to amend your soil pH with garden lime if it is below pH 6.7. You can buy garden lime online or at your local garden shop.

Garden Lime can be used to raise the soil’s pH. It can be used for alkalizing soils that are acidic.

It is safe and simple to use. To achieve the desired results, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It can take time to alter the soil’s pH. can take some .. time

 

If you have established you have acidic soil and the lavender is showing signs of stress then I would transplant the lavender as a matter of urgency to a pot that is once third sand and two thirds multipurpose compost and water it in well (see my guide to watering lavenders in pots for details).

 

5. Over Pruning Lavender Foliage

When pruning lavenders, it is important not to cut into their wood stems. This can cause the lavenders to lose their blooms or make them more susceptible to infection. If the lavender is not cut back to its original form, it will not flower. Leave at least a few inches softwood when pruning lavenders.

After flowers have bloomed, late summer is the best time to prune them. Spring growth will be stimulated by a tidy prune.

What should you do?

A visual guide is the best way to show how to prune lavenders. This YouTube video will help you.

6. Too much water for lavenders to bloom

Gardeners who overwater lavenders are making the most common mistake. Lavenders come from the Mediterranean countries that have hot, dry summers with infrequent rain.

If lavenders are watered too frequently their soil will be too wet for the roots which will lead to the disease root rot.

Lavenders may show signs of stress such as wilting or browning if they are subjected to too much water. This can often be mistaken for waterlogging. To make the problem worse, a gardener could increase the frequency of watering.

Lavender can stop blooming during summer if it is overwatered.

What should you do?

Lavenders thrive in desert conditions. In hot summer heat, water your lavender plants only once every two weeks to ensure they grow well.

You should not water your plants for two more weeks if there has been heavy rain or overcast days within the last two weeks.

While it might seem small in comparison to other plants in the garden, lavenders are drought-resistant and can thrive on fast-draining, dry soil.

Lavender should recover from overwatering after two weeks of dry weather. Overwatering can be caused by slow draining soils.

7. Too Slowly Drainage

Lavenders should grow in porous soil that drains quickly and doesn’t retain water. It is essential that lavenders grow in soil with a porous texture because they love dry roots. Root rot can occur if roots are left exposed to too much moist material.

Lavenders can be stressed by slow draining soil. It can cause a droopy appearance, browning or even yellowing of the leaves, and eventually no flowers.

Clay soils and soils with too much organic content can cause water to pool around the roots of lavender.

It is possible to amend soil to improve drainage and structure, making it more suitable for lavenders.

What should you do? The Mediterranean lavender home range has sandy soil. The soil is porous enough that water can drain quickly and roots can grow easily. Roots may have difficulty setting up in clay or compacted soil.

You’ll need to amend your soil if it is not draining quickly or stays damp for a long time to allow lavender to grow well.

Lavenders do well with a soil profile that is roughly 30% sand or grit (both work well) to 70% compost. However this ratio may rise to 50: 50 if the soil is particularly slow draining or your garden is in an climate that receives a lot of rainfall.

Add sand and gravel to the soil before you plant. You can carefully remove lavenders from pots or in the ground using a knife. Before replanting, add the sand/grit.

It is best to do this in the late winter or early spring as it will reduce transplant shock. Sand and grit are good for soil texture and drainage. They also improve fertility. This is great for lavender as they don’t like to bloom in densely nutrient soils.

Adjusting soil for drainage can be difficult. Each garden is unique and will need different conditions. The soil should have enough sand or grit to allow lavenders to thrive. It should not feel wet or too moist. It should drain well and be able to drain easily.

For more information on the best soil for lavenders, take a look at my article What Soil do Lavenders Like?

8. Lavender is not yet mature enough to bloom fully

It is possible that your lavender is still in its initial stages.

Lavenders always flower better in their second year of growth. They should continue to bloom for many more years.

It should be noted that lavender is a relatively short lived plant, with some lavenders hybrids producing blooms for only fours years.

Lavenders are easy to propagate because of their hardiness and tolerance for low temperatures. To replace the best lavenders, you can create a line.

This video shows you how to propagate lavender. It is so simple!

What should you do? This solution requires no extra effort. These are the best ways to grow lavender. If there is enough sunlight, lavender can be in full bloom by the next growing season.

I have found that the fourth and fifth years produce the most beautiful flowers.

You don’t have to fertilize the soil. The less you neglect lavender, the more it will benefit.

9. Wrong Lavender for Your Climate

Lavenders require the same conditions to thrive. It is essential to have full sun and good drainage. You also need to water frequently.

This applies irrespective of whether the lavender comes from France, English, or Spain.

There is one distinction. English lavender and its variety are the only types of lavender that can withstand frosts. They also tolerate warmer climates better than French, Spanish, or Italian lavenders.

French Spanish and Italian lavenders thrive in dry climates with mild winters. They are therefore very popular in California and other areas with dry winters.

What should you do? If you live in colder areas, English lavenders should be planted.

Gardeners who are subject to frost in winter will be more likely have well-drained soil. This allows water to drain from roots and not buildup in soil. Root rot can develop when temperatures fluctuate close to the point at which frost is formed.

English lavandes can still produce beautiful blooms and perfume, even in cold winters. But, lavenders from continental Europe are more susceptible to stress. They may even die if temperatures rise.

Lavenders will be more available if your garden experiences mild winters. All varieties are expected to thrive and produce beautiful flowers.

English Lavenders should not be planted in winter gardens that are susceptible to frost damage.

Conclusion

To ensure beautiful lavender blooms, it is important to place them in full sun, to water only rarely and to make sure that they are in well-drained soil with low nutrients.

Lavenders are easy to take care of, as they thrive with the right attention.

If your lavenders are having trouble, use this checklist to help you make sure that they are happy.

By making the correct adjustments, your lavender plants will grow flowers and have a strong fragrance by the next growing season. This can be done over many years.

Stephanie

Stephanie

Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)