Lavender flowers turn brown due to a number of reasons which include fungal diseases as well.
So if you have the question of why is my lavender turning brown, the answer to that is probably in this article.
If the foliage is also becoming brown, it is most likely due to a fungal infection. If the leaves appear unharmed, but the flowers are browning, a late frost may have damaged the sensitive blossoms, or the flowers have turned brown and need to be deadheaded to stimulate additional blooming.
Continue reading to find out why your lavender flowers have turned brown, whether they require maintenance, and how to fix the problem!
Why Is My Lavender Turning Brown?
Overwatering, inadequate soil drainage, or a pot without proper drainage holes in the base can cause lavender flowers (and foliage) to turn brown as a symptom of stress.
Lavenders grow best in Mediterranean areas with sandy soils, hot summer sun, and little rain or irrigation.
While certain lavender species (such as English lavenders and Intermedia lavenders) can withstand freezing temperatures, they are all adapted to growing in dry, sandy, or stony soils with low to medium nutrition.
The lavender is more susceptible to fungal disease and root rot if it is planted in water-retaining soil (such as clay) or compost that retains a lot of moisture. Lavenders blossom and smell their best in well-draining soil, and their roots prefer to be kept dry between watering sessions.
You are likely overwatering your lavender if you water it more than once every two weeks.
Lavenders are heat tolerant and drought resistant, so they flourish in arid climates and don’t require nearly as much watering as most garden plants.
Because the fungal disease pathogens that attack lavender thrive in damp soils, it’s critical to maintain the soil well draining (with plenty of sand or grit) and only water the lavender sparingly once it’s established.
Lavenders often get more than enough water from rainfall and don’t need to be watered at all. This is especially true in temperate climates with rainy spells and cloudy days.
The answer is to reduce your lavender watering to once every two weeks, even in hot weather, to allow the roots to dry out between waterings.
Add horticultural sand or grit to the soil. This will promote soil drainage and ensure the proper nutrient balance in the soil, simulating the lavender’s natural environment.
If the foliage has turned brown in addition to the blooms, the lavenders are most likely infected with a fungal disease. Examine the roots of the lavender plant after it has been removed from the ground or a pot. If the roots appear brown and decaying, clip them off with a sterile pair of pruners and remove any brown parts of the lavender.
Lavenders with a lot of gray foliage and flowers might not make it, depending on the extent of the damage. Lavenders with brown blooms, on the other hand, can typically recover if they are planted in a more favorable soil profile with better drainage and less watering.
Plant your lavender in a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain; otherwise, the soil will stay damp, increasing the risk of fungal disease.
While lavender does require some of the growing conditions of its native Mediterranean to grow healthy and produce healthy flowers, they do not require the high Mediterranean temperatures and mild Winters as long as they are in full sun and you choose a cold-hardy species like English lavender or lavender for your garden.
When lavender flowers start to turn brown, it’s usually due to a late frost. The lavender’s emerging blooms are generally more delicate than the foliage, resulting in frost damage.
This is especially true with early flowering lavender cultivars like French and Spanish lavender, which are more susceptible to frost and flower earlier in the season than English and intermedia lavender.
If you live in a cold climate, I recommend planting English and intermedia lavenders because they are far more cold-hardy and will survive the winter, tolerating snow and freezing temperatures, whereas Spanish and French lavenders only last one season in a mild winter climate.
The lavender varieties’ Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’ are excellent cold-hardy English lavenders with a sweet perfume.
If the frost-damaged blooms have turned brown, snip them off; this will enhance the likelihood of new blooming later in the summer, and the lavender should be unharmed.
Natural Browning (Happens 3 Times a Year)
If you live in a warmer climate with mild temperatures, the French, Spanish, and Lavandula x intermedia varieties all bloom up to three times during the Spring, Summer, and even Fall.
Each time it blooms, the flowers will last about a month before turning brown and necessitating deadheading, which will encourage further blooming.
Because this is a normal occurrence, don’t be alarmed if some of the blossoms turn brown while others remain purple and healthy.
With a pair of pruners, deadhead the lavenders to encourage additional blossoms throughout the growing season.
If the brown blooms are not clipped, they will transform into seed heads, which may be heard rattling when the lavender is shaken. If you want to grow more lavenders, this is obviously a fantastic approach to harvest the seeds, but I advocate propagating lavender cuttings rather than growing from seed because it is much easier.
Although English lavenders have a shorter bloom than many other lavenders, they are significantly more cold tolerant and can tolerate frost in the winter. They also live longer than French and Spanish lavenders, and the aroma of the leaf is noticeably sweeter and richer.
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- How to Transplant Lavender – 6 Effective Tips
I hope this article answers your question of “Why are my lavender flowers turning brown?”