Overwatered lavender is a huge matter of tension for the gardeners who grow this bushy, strong-smelled plant as it is very sensitive to overwatering due to its Mediterranean origin. Overwatering lavender can cause death, so you must be careful while caring for it.
If you are worried about the whole thing, our expertise is here to enlighten you about when and how much you should water your lavender to keep it healthy.
Keep reading this article and you will know all the important information.
- What Are Signs of Overwatering Lavender?
- How To Save Overwatered Lavender?
What Are Signs of Overwatering Lavender?
Overwatered lavender would give you signs such as developing root rot, being infected with fungal diseases, having color changes appearing yellow or even brown. In addition, you would even feel the overwatered plant through the rotting smell of the plant.
– Lavender Root Rot
Lavender root rot is the main problem overwatering usually creates by stirring Fungi infection. The roots of this plant are a thick, expansive system. Pathogens live under the soil, an ideal place for fungus growth and booster, and are responsible for fungus on lavender roots.
The roots will be harmed, as they are the ones transmitting the water and nutrients from the soil up to the blooms and the stems, when they have been overwatered and root rot has infected them, the roots will degenerate. When the roots degenerate, slowly but surely the plant will be harmed and start to droop.
Though fungal spores can be developed and expanded by insects, the common fungus disease the lavender encounters is because of the wet and moist environment, which causes black root rot on the plant.
A wet, humid environment replicating the weather of high rainfall regions instigates pathogens to grow. In such atmospheres, mulches tangle and hold dampness, which multiplies the possibility of fungal growth in lavender’s roots.
Which means that wet, humid soil caused by overwatering can invite fungus to your plant, and your plant can succumb to death if it doesn’t get proper treatment.
– Fungal Disease
A few Pathogenic fungi that cause root rot on lavender plants are Fusariumavenaceum, Phytophthora megasperma, Pythium nicotianae, and Rhizoctonia, found by plant clinics.
There are plenty of Phytophthora species discovered in the soil, mainly common pathogens along with P. nicotianae and P. palmivora grow and spread in cold, humid soils, which lavender plants do not like. Overwatering encourages these fungi to be spread by making soil wet.
This is the medium which these little creatures would love to grow and prosper in, they would increase and cause harm to the roots or the soil of the plant.
However, the different fungi will affect your lavender plant differently. To elaborate further, Pythium doesn’t impact the stem while causing root rotting, but Phytophthora causes stem rot.
So be careful about your lavender’s watering schedule because prevention is always better than cure, and you may not save your dying lavender when it starts to rot already.
– Color Change
Lavender leaves will be seen turning yellow, which means discolored leaves will appear. Some leaves can also turn brown, and your plant will start to droop, and you may wonder why my lavender is wilting. It’s because of a fungus infection that can stop your Lavender’s growth as well.
You can identify fungi without looking at symptoms, as they look like black bruises on the lavender root system as their fungal spores are constructed.
Gradually, the affected plant dies because the rotten roots lose their capacity to provide water and other nutrients to the lavender plant. The foliage will fade slowly and the lilac buds on top will not show the perfect color, as the lavender plant will slowly become weaker in appearance and faded in color.
– Rotting Smell
Rotting smells from the plants and soaked soil taking a long time to dry also imply that your lavender is impacted by the fungus.
Being a plant from the Mediterranean climate, it doesn’t require much water even in dry seasons because it is drought-resilient. Which means that giving too much water than it needs will cause so many problems, including roots rot, and the plant can die. In addition, the smell would be a sign that you are overwatering your plants.
How To Save Overwatered Lavender?
You can save lavender by not watering it for a few weeks till recovery, repot the plant, and prune the rotten roots. In addition, you can adopt a watering schedule, and follow up with the moisture of the soil, you can even place some sandy soil, and use fungicides.
– Don’t Water for A Few Weeks
The first solution to save your overwatered lavender is simple. Stop adding more water to the plant until the soil gets completely dried if you want it to restore its lost health. No watering period can last for a few weeks, letting the roots return to life.
Maybe the remedy comes to your mind as instinct as your plant is suffering from issues caused by overwatering, and the good news is the experts also bolster it.
– Repot the Plant
If you identify that your lavender plant is overwatered, look at whether your pot is congenial to grow lavender or not. If the pot doesn’t have enough drainage holes at its base to let the water drain freely, you must report your plant as quickly as possible.
The ideal pot you should choose for repotting your lavender must have several holes that allow extra water flow from the pot, and you should never place any saucer under it because it will hinder water draining.
Make sure you layer the bottom of the pot with about one inch of gravel to provide air pockets so that soil does not get pressed together at the bottom and slows water drainage out of the pot. Your ideal pot would be 16 inches wide, have a depth of around 12 inches, and have a good drainage system to grow a healthy lavender.
Keeping the pot in the air away from the ground using pot feet or upheld by stones will allow water to flow and drain away accurately, which is also helpful to revive your lavender. Using different soil by putting on a drainage mix to the pot, including Perlite, Pumice, Calcined Clay, etc., would be a great decision to save your dying plant.
– Prune the Rotted Roots
Overwatering causes root rot which ends in the plant’s death. So, if you see any symptom of root rot, you must prune off the roots that have been initiated rotting. You also need to remove your lavender plant from the planted soil and replant it in the new ground with a good drainage facility.
Chop off any roots which have become black because you won’t be able to save them. However, if all roots of your lavender seem to be rotten, then the plant will unfortunately die, and you cannot hold it even by pruning the affected roots. Always use a pair of sterilized scissors while cutting off the rotten roots.
When you finish your pruning job, replant your lavender in a pot or, if you plant it in your garden or lawn, ensure the plant has six to eight hours of sunlight.
Water the new soil, but never repeat this as long as the top one inch of the new soil is dry. Watering at the base of the plant to keep the leaves dry will help you to make your plant free from any fungal disease.
In addition, you need to cut back lavender bushes yearly so that they would gain their strength, and they don’t spread widely. In addition, chopping lavender assists it in its new growth and blooming along with being a long-lasting plant, and you can harvest them all season.
– Water Schedule
Watering premature lavender plants once or twice a week is necessary and enough until they are established in the ground if you want to grow lavender perfectly.
Mature plants require water once every two to three weeks until buds come out, then again once or twice weekly until you don’t harvest them.
– Follow up the Soil Moisture
Monitoring soil moisture is another way to protect your lavender plant from overwatering. You should never water the plant until the top few inches of the soil it has been planted are dry. So, frequently checking whether the soil is dry or not will help you to water it in an accurate time.
You can use a soil probe, a great device to check soil moisture you can buy from nearby shops or online. The device needs to completely penetrate the soil and be put under the ground until it reaches the best moisture level. Then it will help you to know when to water the plant, and you will get rid of the problem of improper watering.
– Place in Sandy Soil
It’s another excellent technique to save your lavender, though it sounds odd. If you stop providing water to your plant and use soil that drains perfectly, your overwatered plant can revive within three to four weeks.
Besides, using sand in the pot is effective even when you decide to water your plant because sand is very important in the healthy growth of the lavender as lavender holds optimum fertility in sandy soil; being a Mediterranean plant and inherently more fertile in sandy soil, and the sand improves drainage system of the soil.
So, planting lavenders in a sandy potting mix is a good idea. It will make the soil more capable of draining the water from the pot. Thick soils and clay should never be used in lavender planting because they will hold water for a long time which will cause root rot.
– Using Fungicides
Using different organic and chemical fungicides in proper amounts accurately when the root rot disease starts can be useful to eliminate the problem.
When you solve this issue in the lavender, and it starts to regain its strength and if you plant lavender plants in the correct way and water them decisively, lavenders usually live for five to seven years.
After reading the article, we learned all the necessary information about overwatering lavender.
Now, let’s point out the final thoughts.
- Overwatered lavender plants encounter root rot due to being affected by fungus and can even die.
- Pruning the infected roots, re-potting the plant, and sometimes using organic and chemical fungicides save your lavender.
- To avoid overwatering, you must water it once or twice a week when it’s premature and in blooming season till harvesting, and in the case of mature plants watering once every two to three weeks is enough until buds are seen.
- Remebber that you can revive your lavender and it can recover from being overwatered, as you provide it with a better care, it will last for more than five years.
If you water your lavender according to our expert’s advice, you don’t have to worry about your plant’s healthy growth in the future.
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