The Reasons Lavenders Turn Yellow (And What to do About it)
If your lavender foliage starts to turn yellow/brown instead of the normally green leaves, it could be caused by various reasons.
In this article, we are going to discuss why your lavender is changing colour and how it can be revived.
Why Is Your Lavender Turning Yellow/Brown?
The most prevalent explanations as to why your lavender leaves are turning yellow are listed below:
- High Humidity
- High Levels Of Nitrogen
- Poor Soil Drainage
When it comes to caring for lavender, the most common mistake gardeners make is overwatering.
Lavender loves the sun so they are already used to the harsh weather conditions and they barely need to be watered, most gardeners mistake wilting of lavender for under-watering. Unfortunately, they have no idea that their plant is being overwatered.
Most lavender in temperate climates does not need to be watered, only during the season of drought.
How To Save Overwatered Lavender
- The best way to revive overwatered lavender is to allow the plant to dry out, it can get up to 2 or 3 weeks before the plants dry up
- It’s better not to water lavender especially during rainy seasons and cold temperatures.
- Ensure that your lavender is planted in pots during rainy climates, this will enable them to drain water from the soil quickly.
- Overwatering can also be caused by poor soil drainage, so it is advisable to check if the soil used for planting can hold moisture.
Yellowing of leaves Caused By High Humidity
Most lavenders prefer their roots and foliage dry, so high humidity makes it difficult for that to happen. High humidity supports the growth of fungal infections in the plants, your lavender will find it very difficult to bloom and thrive, but its chances of survival can be increased by the following:
- All lavender needs to stay under the sun for at least 6 hours. The more they bask in the sun, their roots will become dry and reduce the chances of the plants changing colour.
- In areas of higher humidity, sand can be added to the soil to dry the roots, if the foliage is dry, the plant will look healthier.
- It’s better to place your lavender in an area that has airflow, spacing the lavender occasionally will allow the air to flow through and dry the plant.
- Adding stones and pebbles to the lavender will help absorb moisture from the soil, reduce the appearance of weeds and enhance the aroma produced by the seeds.
Yellowing Of Lavender Caused By High Levels Of Nitrogen
We all know that nitrogen is a nutrient required by almost all plants, lavender included, but like they said when something is excess, it can cause problems.
Lavender is from the Mediterranean parts of Europe, so naturally, they thrive in soils that are poor in nitrogen content.
Excess nitrogen in the soil can cause the foliage of lavender to turn yellow, look messy in appearance and become leggy
How To Reduce High Levels Of Nitrogen In Lavenders
Below are key points in which excess nitrogen content can be reduced in lavender.
- Avoid using fertilizers on lavender as most fertilizers contain large amounts of nitrogen in them as the soil is already rich in nutrients.
- Adding sand and gravel will amend nutrient-rich soil because they do not contribute nutrients to the soil. Sand will also allow for fast drainage because it gives the soil optimal structure.
- If the lavender has already been planted, carefully ease the lavender using a fork and protect as many roots as possible. Use the sand to neutralise the levels of nitrogen.
- When sand is added to the soil, it helps to get rid of root rot. Rot root occurs because the soil is not able to absorb moisture quickly.
Poor Soil Drainage: Yellow/Brown with Drooping Appearance
Yellow leaves are a sign of the disease root rot. Lavenders are generally conformed to sandy soils which drain very rapidly and don’t grip onto the water for very long. Lavender grows naturally, in countries like Spain, France, and Italy where the soil is very sandy and occasionally hoarse.
Lavenders like the soil to dry out between intervals of watering as the roots do not sustain constant wet soil. The foliage of your lavender will change to yellow or brown if the soil cannot drain water properly.
How to Amend Poor Soil Drainage
- The important component in well-drained soil is oxygen. When planting perennial plants that like well-drained soils in clay, the best thing to do is to create a raised bed that contains a combination of organic matter, sand, and grit.
- To enhance the drainage in your garden soil or pots is to modify the area of planting with grit. A good percentage to aim for in most gardens is about 70% soil and 30% oxygen but this can be increased to 50:50 if the soil is slow draining.
- The soil used for the lavender plant needs to be modified with sand to a depth of around 16 inches as this will adapt the roots network of the biggest lavenders when they arrive at full maturity.
- As an alternative, if you notice that your soil is naturally damp, it is best to transplant your lavenders to pots or create raised beds to duplicate the right soil conditions for lavender growth.
Does lavender grow back every year?
Lavender is a perennial plant and it will grow back year after year, with the right care, appropriate temperature, and proper pruning.
Given the right soil and enough sun with proper soil drainage, your lavender will continue to grow throughout the year and become more full and bushy. Lavender can grow back for about 3-4 years, this is a great investment if you are considering growing them.
In conclusion, the most common reasons for lavenders turning yellow are; excessive nitrogen in the soil, too much fertilizer, overwatering, poor soil drainage, or high humidity.
Certain steps and precautions were examined above to help reduce the amount of yellow foliage in lavender. Putting this suggestion to work will help you as a gardener to grow beautiful lavender that thrives abundantly.