Why Is My Lavender Dying?

“This is the 2nd lavender I am having problems growing.  I can pull up part of it like it’s rotting.  What am I doing wrong?  There is another Lavender about 3 feet away that is looking great.” Question from Jacklyn  of Portland, Oregon

Answer: When lavender (Lavandula spp.) struggles, it is almost always due to a problem with soil quality and drainage. If fungal rot has taken hold, it is definitely caused by excess soil moisture. The frequent rains of the Pacific Northwest make it even more important to give your lavender very sharply drained soil. The difference between soil from one garden spot to another can be quite dramatic, even if they are only 3 feet away.

Lavenders naturally grow along sunny uplands with very well-drained soil, and they require full sun. If the soil is too moist and does not drain fast enough, rot will take hold. I encourage you to read our article titled, Soil Matters to Lavender; it will give you all of the information you need to properly amend your soil for lavender growing. You might also consider growing lavender in large containers and cutting their mix with part Black Gold All Purpose Mix and part Black Gold Cactus Mix. Topping the pots off with decorative pebbles would also be helpful.

I hope that these tips help!

Happy gardening,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

Leave a Reply

Content Disclaimer:

This site may contain content (including images and articles) as well as advice, opinions and statements presented by third parties. Sun Gro does not review these materials for accuracy or reliability and does not endorse the advice, opinions, or statements that may be contained in them. Sun Gro also does not review the materials to determine if they infringe the copyright or other rights of others. These materials are available only for informational purposes and are presented “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement or other information is at your own risk. In no event shall Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution, Inc. or any of its affiliates be liable to you for any inaccuracy, error, omission, fact, infringement and the like, resulting from your use of these materials, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting there from.