How To Get Lavender To Bloom

Learn how to get lavender to bloom with these easy tips.

Lavender is a beautiful flowering herb that smells wonderful and has many uses. This stunning plant thrives in full sun and provides the world with calming lavender oil, culinary uses and vibrant beauty.

Bees and butterflies love the lavender bloom and the pretty light purple tones look lovey in the home garden.

How to Get Lavender To Bloom

Like any flower, lavender has to grow in the right conditions to bloom. You can give your lavender the best chance at blooming each year by planting it correctly to begin with:

  • Plant your lavender in FULL SUN (at least 6 hours, but preferably more)
  • Use sandy, well-draining, alkaline soil
  • Give your lavender space from other plants for air circulation
  • Test your soil to ensure it is not acidic
  • Add drainage in the form of small rocks, sand, and organic matter
  • Don’t over water or over fertilize

Lavender does not need a lot of water or fertilizer, so don’t pamper it. It is also important to understand what type of lavender you have and when it will bloom.

Be sure to check your local climate and growing zones to make sure lavender is compatible to your specific environment. Most are hardy and can act as perennials in zones 5 to 9.

If you’ve planted lavender correctly and it still isn’t flowering, read on for these trouble shooting tips!

Learn how to grow gorgeous French lavender here!

Why Isn’t My Lavender Plant Blooming?

Lavender plants fail to bloom because they are stressed in some way.

The beautiful blooms of a lavender plant are lovely to behold and beneficial for man and beast. As herbaceous perennials, you should be able to enjoy lavender blooms in your herb garden year after year.

But at times, this herb may not be thriving because it does not have the right growing conditions.

Today we are sharing the reasons why your lavender plant may not be blooming, and how to troubleshoot them. Then you’ll learn how to give your lavender proper care to keep it blooming year after year.

Reasons Lavender Plant Is Not Blooming Or Flowering

8 most common reasons a lavender plant is not blooming:

  • Not enough sunlight
  • Heavy clay soil that is not well drained (water logging plant0
  • Over watering
  • Soil is acidic (lavender prefer slightly alkaline)
  • Soil is too fertile or you have been fertilizing too much
  • The lavender plant has been over pruned or pruned at the wrong time and can’t produce new growth
  • It is the wrong time of year for your lavender species to bloom
  • The lavender plant is too young to bloom

Like most plants, lavender need specific conditions in which to thrive.

If these needs are not met, the lavender plant becomes stressed and may not produce blooms. Soil, sunlight, nutrients, disease and type of lavender species all effect a lavender’s ability to bloom and the time frame they do it in. Let’s dig into each problem!

Lavender sending up flower spikes in early summer.

Lack Of Sunlight Prevents Flowering

Lavender is a heat and sun loving herb, and it needs at least 6 or more hours of direct sunlight every day. Plentiful sunlight is an essential requirement for lavender flowers to bloom.

If you are limited in sunny locations in your yard, you can easily grow lavender in a patio container. A different location with ample sun is often just what the lavender needs. Make sure the container is large enough to sustain the growth of the lavender plant.

What happens if lavender does not get enough sun?

A lack of sunlight will cause stunted growth to the lavender plant, decreased blooms, and potential death of your plant. So, don’t risk planting lavender in shade!

How To Transplant Lavender To Full Sun

The good news is that if lavender is in a shady location you can easily transplant it to a sunny spot. The best times to transplant lavender is in early spring or late fall before cold frosts set in.

Transplant lavender 30 days prior to the first fall frost. This gives the lavender plant plenty of time for new root growth. This is also the best time for new plants to be established.

Heavy Clay Soil

Another problem that can prevent lavender from blooming is heavy soil.

Lavender plants can’t stand having “wet feet”, or soil that stays consistently moist. These fragrant bloomers need well-draining, sandy soil to thrive.

Heavy clay soil can prevent lavender plants from accessing the valuable nutrients they need from the soil. Over watering and heavy, drenched soils can cause root rot.

If the lavender plant is located in heavy soil it may fail to bloom, develop root rot and even die. It is a good idea to improve clay soil before planting lavender.

Heavily amend the soil to have good drainage with sand, organic matter, and loose, quality soil. This new well-draining soil will allow your lavender plant to thrive.

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Watering Too Much

Lavender is a drought tolerant plant and does not need a lot of water once established. Yellowing leaves can be a sign of over watered lavender. Eventually, the roots will rot, the plant will wilt and blooming will stop.

If you think you may be giving your lavender plant too much water, slow down your watering routine and see if your plant improves.

How Often Should Lavender Be Watered?

Lavender is drought tolerant! Established lavender plants only need to be watered once every two weeks in typical hot summer weather.

If there has been rainfall, you can skip watering.

Water new lavender plants more frequently for the first month as they become established plants.

Acidic Soil

Another reason a lavender plant may fail to bloom is because of acidic soil.

Lavender plants crave soil that is slightly alkaline, which a pH of 6.7-7.2. You can check your soil with a pH meter like this one to see if acidic soil may be contributing to the lack of blooms on your lavender plant.

If the soil is too acidic, you can add lime to it to raise the pH.

Learn how to grow snapdragons in pots here.

Soil Is Too Fertile Or You Have Been Over Fertilizing

Your lavender plant may not be happy because the soil is too fertile and nutrient rich! It may sound surprising, but some plants, like lavender, actually need a less nutrient dense soil to thrive.

Remember, lavender enjoys sandy, well draining soil….but has no need for a rich soil chock full of nutrients.

Fertilizing your lavender plant can increase foliage growth and decrease the energy put into the blooms. Avoid using chemical fertilizer on lavender.

Pruning

Annual pruning of lavender plants is a good thing, however you want to make sure that proper pruning timing and technique is used.

If you prune lavender too harshly or at the wrong time, it may become very stressed and fail to produce blooms. Prune lavender in the early spring. Avoid harshly pruning your lavender in the fall, as it may struggle to re establish growth over the winter months.

Use this guide to properly prune lavender.

Type Of Lavender And Bloom Time

Lastly, if your lavender plant is not flowering, you may need to check what kind of species you have and when it is supposed to bloom.

There are about 47 different lavender varieties and the flowering time can range depending on the species. Some common types of lavender are Spanish Lavender, French Lavender, and English lavender. Varieties can range in bloom time from early spring to late summer.

Different Types Of Lavender and Bloom Times

Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas): Spanish Lavender is an early blooming lavender variety. Expect it to bloom in late spring to early summer.

French Lavender (Lavendula dentata): French lavender plants have a long blooming season. They start blooming in late May to early June and can bloom up to 3 months!

English Lavender (lavandula angustifolia): English lavender bloom time is typically mid season. Expect this species to bloom in mid June to July and bloom for 4 weeks.

Planting different varieties of lavender can you give fragrant blooms that will open sequentially throughout the summer months.

Age Of Lavender Plant

Keep in mind that lavender plants may take several years to come into maturity and fully bloom. If you have a young lavender plant, it’s bloom display may not be impressive it’s first year.

How To Care For Lavender Blooms

To keep lavender healthy enough to bloom, avoid heavy soils and plant in loose, sandy soil. Check your soil to ensure it is alkaline, not acidic.

Plant your sun loving lavender in the sun and don’t over water or fertilize it. Don’t crowd your plant, allowing for proper air circulation– and keep up on healthy pruning methods.

Lavender blooms are a wonderful flower that add joy to both formal gardens and more casual backyard design. From pollination to essential oils, lavender flowers are a valuable plant, and their bloom is important! We hope your lavender bushes thrive this year!

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