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Lavender's dying

(19 Posts)
Grandmabatty Thu 18-Mar-21 12:27:27

I understood that lavender was fairly indestructible, however I've noticed my lavender plant seems to be dying off in places. Is there a specific disease that might be responsible? It's in a raised bed, the soil is poor and quite dry and I didn't prune it much last autumn. Could it be a spell of snow and ice at the end of February?

Grannybags Thu 18-Mar-21 12:36:47

I have a lavender in a tub which is quite a few years old and has always seemed happy. However last year it died for no apparent reason.

I found a tiny little baby in the tub which I have been nurturing and it seems to have survived the winter and is starting to grow

Sorry not much help to you as I don't know why!

MaizieD Thu 18-Mar-21 12:46:40

It sounds as though it's in perfectly OK conditions for lavender so it might well be the cold spell. Has there previously been a hard winter since you planted it? We seem to have had a succession of mild ones recently.

It might be the variety. The French lavender, Stoechas, is less hardy than English lavender so would be affected by extreme cold (and, boy, did we have some extreme cold this winter!). I wouldn't grow it up here in the NE because of that.

It's not recommended that you prune into woody growth, but I would prune the dying shoots practically to ground level and the rest as normal. See how it fares this year. If it goes on dying have it out and put something different there...

MaizieD Thu 18-Mar-21 12:48:34

However last year it died for no apparent reason.

Isn't it odd how plants do that! I lost a lilac (also supposedly indestructible) like that a few years ago. It just turned up its toes and died...

grandMattie Thu 18-Mar-21 12:52:22

Our lavender hedge was looking decidedly seedy this time last year. I decided to prune it very short, thinking that if it survived, I’d lost nothing, if it died - well, it was dying anyway.
To my surprise, it came back vigorously, and flowered well, albeit a bit late in the season. Try it?

J52 Thu 18-Mar-21 13:37:32

Lavender doesn’t respond to being pruned into old wood. It is one of those plants that goes on for several years and then that’s it.
This year I’ve removed an old lavender from my font door. Looking at the very thick, gnarled stem, it must have been there many years and has always been spectacular since we’ve been here. But this spring it was obviously not going to do much.

Grandmabatty Thu 18-Mar-21 14:45:36

Thank you for the good advice. It's less than three years old and I was careful not to prune into hard wood in the autumn. However we had a very hard frost for over a week at the end of February so that's maybe done for it. I'll prune all the dead and dying bits hard, cross my fingers and hope for the best!

Callistemon Thu 18-Mar-21 15:00:23

We've followed all the advice with our lavender border but still find we have to replace some bushes every now and again as they die for no apparent reason.
We had Hidcote which are very neat and upright and thought we'd bought more Hidcote to replace some but find they are a sprawling, messy variety which, of course, thrive better. They were wrongly labelled at the garden centre.

Our soil in that border is very poor but I understood lavender likes poor soil and little ones do appear growing in cracks in the path. I'm nurturing those on in pots.
It's a mystery.

Katie59 Thu 18-Mar-21 15:36:00

Hidcote is pretty hardy the other varieties are sensitive, I’m not sure if it’s frost, maybe. I lost a couple of Hebe shrubs after a hard frost.

Juliet27 Thu 18-Mar-21 15:44:01

I found a tiny little baby in the tub which I have been nurturing and it seems to have survived the winter and is starting to grow

I’m impressed grannybags - makes a change from a gooseberry bush.

Grannybags Thu 18-Mar-21 16:03:34

Juliet27 ?

Greyduster Thu 18-Mar-21 16:15:17

We have a few Hidcote lavenders that haven’t survived the winter. DH grew them from seed a few years ago. Even cutting them back is not going to revive them I don’t think. The others seem to be fine. One of the worst is a French lavender that my daughter gave me last year. I was also shocked this afternoon to see a corner section of a pyracantha hedge at the back of our garden wall is as dead as a doornail. Didn’t think anything could kill that! If I didn’t know better I would think it had been sprayed with something but it’s inconceivable for that to have happened. I’m sure we’ve had harder winters before with less damage to plants.

Esspee Thu 18-Mar-21 16:35:58

I lost a couple of variegated hebes this winter and all my perennial wallflowers. The latter are normally short lived perennials but I was disappointed with the Hebes.
Lavender never copes with winter in my clay soil.

Auntieflo Thu 18-Mar-21 16:57:52

Perhaps you just had a few more 'delicate' ones. I have a small bed in the front garden with a hibiscus tree ( it was a bush) in the centre, surrounded by lavender. Three quarters of them thrived, the others just died off, and the space is now filling with bulbs and a very small hydrangea.
Apologies to the gardeners out there, but my planting skills are in the same class as my flower arranging prowess.

MrsJamJam Thu 18-Mar-21 17:02:02

Lavender isn't a particularly long lived plant so it's probably just old age!

MrsJamJam Thu 18-Mar-21 17:04:12

I would add that the recent cold snap has done for several things in my garden which I thought were bomb proof. Just the joys of gardening I think.

Katie59 Thu 18-Mar-21 17:48:58

We had one very cold night here in the midlands a week or 2 ago -10C
Last May some frosts were very late, none of the usually hardy plants liked that, roses notably took ages to recover.

sazz1 Sun 21-Mar-21 11:47:11

Mine looked totally dead a couple of weeks ago but I've now noticed new shoots on it the last few days.
Glad I didn't pull it out

4allweknow Sun 21-Mar-21 12:46:36

Frost and cold winds damage lavender. Neighbour had a beautiful lavender hedge/border in front garden. Devastated as damaged in sections - we had frost, snow and cold winds. When I spoke with her she intends to cut out the damaged stems leaving as my husband as possible healthy looking stuff in the hope the good will grow and fill in any gaps. I've never had any luck with lavender even though bought hardy versions from all over the UK whilst holidaying. A NT gardener did point out when I was bemoaning my lack of success that I should consider the areas of the world lavender originated from - warm and sunny!