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How Often to Water Lavender

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Lavender (Lavandula) is a plant that requires minimal attention when grown and is straightforward to maintain. However, one common question among lavender growers is how often to water lavender. Proper watering is crucial for the health and vitality of lavender plants, as both overwatering and underwatering can lead to various issues. In this article, I will explain step-by-step how often to water lavender in pots and when they grow in the ground.

Watering a young lavender is not the same as watering a mature lavender plant which is more drought-tolerant. That is why I will explain in detail everything about lavender watering in this article. By following all the tips, you will have no problems with the growth and development of lavender. Continue reading to learn all about how often to water lavender.

How Often to Water Lavender

Several factors determine the watering needs of lavender plants. First and foremost, it is essential to consider your region’s climate and weather conditions. Lavender thrives in well-drained soil and prefers drier conditions, making it suitable for areas with low humidity and mild temperatures.

During the establishment period, which typically lasts for the first year after planting, lavender requires more frequent watering to develop a strong root system. However, it is crucial to strike a balance, as overwatering can lead to root rot. Regular monitoring of the soil moisture level is essential during this period.

Once lavender plants are established, they become more drought-tolerant. In fact, overwatering can be detrimental to their growth. It is generally recommended to water mature lavender plants sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions.

Also, watering a lavender planted in the ground is not the same as watering a lavender in a pot. It is also important to mention that lavender watering will differ in summer and winter. In the next paragraphs, I will explore lavender watering more in-depth.

To make all these explanations more straightforward, I have created a table on how often to water lavender in its different stages of life and other conditions:

Lavender StageHow Often to Water Lavender
Newly Planted LavenderFor the initial week following planting, water every alternate day to minimize the impact of transplant shock. During the initial three months (if planted in spring and summer), water every three days.
Potted LavenderGive lavender a substantial amount of water every two weeks.
Lavender in Garden BedsIrrigate every two weeks unless there has been significant rainfall; in such cases, wait until the soil has moderately dried before watering.
Established LavenderWater solely if there has been an absence of rain for a span of two weeks.
Winter LavenderDuring winter, outdoor lavender does not require irrigation. However, potted lavender that has been brought indoors for winter safeguarding should be watered approximately every 4 to 6 weeks.
Indoor LavenderFor indoor lavender, watering will be necessary on a bi-weekly basis and may need to occur as frequently as every 10 days during periods of elevated temperatures.

How Often to Water Lavender in Pots

My wife loves her potted lavenders in the gallery. But maybe a like tricky to have them thrive. When growing lavender in pots, monitoring the moisture levels more closely is crucial. Pots tend to dry out faster than the ground, so you may need to water them more frequently. Regularly monitor the soil’s moisture level and irrigate when the upper inch of the soil seems dry. Also, a moisture meter can better control the moisture in potted lavender.

Under regular circumstances, it is advisable to water potted lavender every two weeks. Even if there has been rainfall within two weeks, I suggest irrigating potted lavender, considering containers tend to dry out faster due to their elevated position above the ground.

When watering lavender in pots, water deeply until you see water draining from the bottom. That will ensure that the entire root ball is thoroughly moistened. Avoid allowing the container to sit in standing water, as it can cause root rot.

how often to water lavender in pots
How Often to Water Lavender in Pots? Water potted lavender when the top inch of soil is dry; usually every 2 weeks. Ensure good drainage to prevent root rot.

How Often to Water Lavender in Summer

With its stunning purple blooms and wonderful, soothing scent, lavender is a showstopper in gardens. Now, when watering this beauty in the summer, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, lavender has a unique way of handling water, thanks to its long taproot and well-established root network. When you plant lavender in a garden bed, it’s pretty self-sufficient regarding water and nutrients. Its roots can reach down into the deeper soil layers, meaning it doesn’t need as much frequent watering as other plants.

So, in a garden bed, you only need to water your lavender when we’re facing a severe drought. It’s challenging and used to handling some dry spells. Also, avoid getting the flowers and leaves wet when you water. Lavender prefers to keep its foliage dry, and that can help prevent issues like mildew.

how often to water lavender in summer
How Often to Water Lavender in Summer? During the summer water lavender only if it has not rained for more than two weeks.

How Often to Water Lavender in Winter

Lavender is a plant that can handle drought well and enters a dormant phase during winter. As a result, you won’t have to worry about watering lavender frequently, or perhaps even not at all, during the colder months.

But here’s the thing – the real danger isn’t really about it being too dry during winter. It’s more about the fact that cold soil tends to stay wet for longer. Lavender’s roots don’t like being stuck in cold, soggy soil, and this is when they’re most prone to getting something called root rot.

Now, there’s a smart way to prevent this risk. When you’re planting your lavender, ensure the soil has some sand or grit mixed in. These materials help with drainage, which means that water won’t hang around and soak the roots the way it might in richer, more organic soils.

English Lavender, scientifically known as Lavandula angustifolia, is a type of lavender plant that can handle cold. On the other hand, French lavenders are not as cold-hardy.

Suppose you are growing a type of lavender that (like an English Lavender), leaving it outside over the winter. In that case, it will likely manage just fine without extra watering. It will get what it needs from the weather.

If you have a potted lavender that you’ve moved indoors to protect it from frost, such as a French Lavender, you might need to give it a bit of water during winter. Not too often, though; once every 4 to 6 weeks is enough to keep it from drying out completely.

Remember that when growing lavenders, it is all about balance. Lavender likes to rest in winter in soil that is not too wet. So a touch of care and a good knowledge of your species or type of lavender will help keep it happy during the colder months.

how often to water lavender in winter
How Often to Water Lavender in Winter? Reduce watering in winter. Water lavender every 4-6 weeks.

Best Time to Water Lavender

If feasible, provide water to your lavender in the morning from spring to late summer. As late fall approaches, ensure a thorough watering before your lavender enters its natural winter dormancy, and cease watering after the initial frost occurrence.

If you decide to move your lavender indoors to a protected environment, be conservative with watering, maintaining the soil slightly damp during its winter dormancy phase. Allow the top soil layer to become notably dry before considering further watering.

watering lavender plants
Water lavender in the morning. This allows foliage to dry during the day, preventing disease. Avoid evening watering to prevent excess moisture overnight.

Final Conclusions

Lavender, known for its hardiness and drought-resistant nature, thrives when it’s not constantly soaked but not left bone-dry. It is easier to ruin a lavender by overwatering than by underwatering. That is why controlling the substrate’s moisture in the lavender plant is essential, especially during the winter and in potted lavenders.

I hope this article on how often to water lavender will be helpful and that you will be able to water your lavender plants correctly. I recommend you read our article about how to dry lavender at home.


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About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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