Watering Lavender Plants (How Often & How Much)

watering lavender

The fragrant and vibrant lavender plant is an alluring addition to any garden. But, if you’re going to get the most from these attractive flowers, it’s important to understand the basics of watering lavender plants. 

Are you wondering how often and how much you should water your lavender plants? If so, this article is for you! 

How frequently you should water lavender depends on a number of factors, including how recently it was planted, whether it was put in a pot or in the ground, how much rain has fallen in the previous two weeks, and the time of year.

Here, we will explain why it’s important to get the amount and frequency of watering right. We’ll also discuss why it’s necessary to adjust the water needs of your lavender plants depending on the season and soil type.

Whether you’re a budding gardener or an experienced cultivator, if you want to keep your lavender plants looking healthy, read on and find out the answers you need!

woman watering lavender raised beds
woman watering lavender raised beds

How Often To Water Lavender

Lavender plants are naturally drought-resistant, especially after they are established, so watering them once they reach maturity is pretty easy. 

During the first year of its growth, lavender needs to be watered more frequently. Once the plants are established, they are much more drought-resistant, but they should still be watched and given supplemental watering, especially right before and during flower blooming.

Once the lavender is planted outside during its first year of growth, it should be watered once a week or twice-weekly with 1/2 to 1 inch of water per watering.

Due to lavender being a drought-resistant plant, it must be planted in well-draining soil. Sandy loam soil or a mix of equal parts potting soil and fine pearlite is best for new lavender plants to help the soil drain well. Adding mulch to the soil will also aid in water retention and proper drainage.

In the second year of growth and beyond, lavender plants should be watered every two to three weeks until buds begin to form, and once or twice weekly once buds appear, depending on temperature.

This plant needs something like 0–2 inches of water per month during the winter and 1-2 inches of water per month just before and during flowering.

Lavender should not be watered if the soil surrounding the plant is still moist, but should only be watered once the soil around the plant is dry.

An easy way to test if the plant requires watering is to feel the soil. If the soil is still moist, it is not time to water yet. The soil should be completely dry before the next round of watering.

For the sake of simplicity, I’ve put together a table that shows how frequently lavender should be watered at various phases of growth and under various environmental circumstances.

Lavender Phase StageWatering Lavender Plants (How Often)
Lavender Newly Planted For the first week following planting, you should water the plants twice a day. This is to reduce the effects of transplant shock. During the first three months, watering should occur every three days.
Lavender in PottedYou should water thoroughly every two weeks.
Lavender in Raised BedsIf there has been a lot of rain, you should wait until the soil has dried up before watering every two weeks.
Lavender plants indoorIndoor lavender may need watering every two weeks or even every ten days if the weather is hot, humid, or dry.

Are Lavender Plants Drought Resistant?

Lavender plants are known for their ability to thrive in dry, arid climates. The Mediterranean region, where these plants come from, is known for having hot, dry summers and mild winters. Lavender plants are adapted to survive in these harsh conditions, making them naturally drought-resistant.

One reason lavender plants are able to survive long periods without water is their deep root system. Lavender plants have roots that can grow up to three feet deep, which allows them to tap into underground water sources. This deep root system also helps the plants stay put in the ground and stand up to strong winds.

Lavender plants have deep roots and waxy coatings on their leaves that help them hold on to water. This coating keeps the plant from losing too much water through evaporation, so it can live in dry places.

Lavender plants can also handle heat well, and they can live in temperatures as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes them a great choice for gardeners living in hot, dry regions.

Despite their natural drought-resistance, lavender plants still need a regular watering schedule to thrive. Be sure to water your lavender plants deeply once a week or as needed, and avoid overwatering to prevent root rot. By following a proper watering schedule, you can help your lavender plants stay healthy and thrive in even the driest conditions.

Can You Overwater Lavender Plants?

If the plant receives too much water and lacks proper drainage, it is possible to overwater lavender. Lavender is a drought-resistant plant that does not require a lot of water.

Only water the plant when the soil is completely dry. Watering already moist soil increases the chances of the plant being overwatered.

Root rot is the most common disease that happens when lavender gets too much water, but there are other fungal diseases that can hurt lavender plants. These diseases can appear not only due to overwatering but also if the plant is kept in a humid climate.

Mature lavender plants can wilt and lose leaves if they are kept in a place that is too humid or if they get too much water. In the event of overwatering, lavender has a high chance of developing root rot and dying off.

Monitor lavender plants after rain or watering. There should never be standing water 24 hours after a rain or watering, and if there is, plants should be moved to an area with better draining soil.

How to Water Potted Lavender Plants

Lavender plants in pots should be watered sparingly, just like lavender plants in the ground. When you plant lavender in a pot, you should water it right away and keep it moist until it starts to grow. After that, you should only water it when the soil is dry.

Water a potted lavender plant until the bottom of the pot drains; do not water the plant directly.

Lavender leaves can become damaged if they are watered instead of buried in soil. Watering directly on the leaves will harm the lavender that has already grown.

Lavender that is planted in soil outdoors has the ability to drain through the soil and into the earth, but lavender plants that are potted have a smaller amount of water that is able to be drained.

Growing lavender naturally in a container with good drainage and using soil that drains well are the best ways to avoid overwatering. However, putting rocks in the bottom of a large container can also help.

How often you need to water a lavender plant in a pot depends a lot on how much sunlight it gets. Lavender plants require at least six hours of full sunlight a day while potted, and if indoors, they should be set near a south-facing window where they get the most sunlight.

On the other hand, too much sun could dry out the lavender and the soil, so you will have to water it more often.

Ideally, indoor lavender plants should be watered roughly every ten days from late spring to early fall and once every 3–4 weeks during the rest of the year.

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Tips On Watering Lavender Plants

If you have lavender plants in your garden, it’s important to water them properly to ensure they stay healthy and thrive. Here are some tips on watering lavender plants:

  • Lavender plants require more watering during their first year of growth than they do once they are mature, established plants.
  • Water deeply but infrequently. Lavender plants have deep roots and do not need to be watered frequently. Water them deeply once a week, or even less often in cooler weather. This will encourage the roots to swell deeper, which will increase the plant’s resistance to drought.
  • Avoid overwatering. Lavender plants are prone to root rot, so it’s important not to overwater them. Only water the plants when the soil is dry to the touch, and be sure to drain any excess water from the pot or container.
  • To know if you should water your lavender plants, feel the soil 3″ down. If it is still moist let it be and if it is dry then water. Younger plants and warmer temperatures might do better to be watered when the soil is mostly dry instead of bone dry.
  • Use well-draining soil. Lavender plants need well-draining soil to thrive. If the soil doesn’t drain well, the roots will become waterlogged, which can lead to root rot. Be sure to use a potting mix that is specifically formulated for herbs, or mix some sand into the soil to improve drainage.
  • Water in the early morning or early evening. Watering during midday leads to too much water evaporation from the air and topsoil and watering too late at night can leave foliage wet overnight which invites disease.
  • Use wunderground.com to know the expected rainfall for your area and a wide-mouthed rain gauge or some type of container to measure the actual rainfall where you are.

How to Care and Prune for Lavender

Water the plants once or twice a week after planting until they are established. Until buds appear, water mature plants once or twice a week until harvest.

Plants in colder climates may require additional winter protection. Wrap the plants in a winter mulch of evergreen twigs or straw to protect them from the cold. 

People who live in colder climates also have the option of growing lavender in a pot and bringing it inside for the winter. Place the container in a well-lit, south-facing window if you’re growing it indoors. During this time of year, the plant is dormant, so you should water it lightly.

Pruning lavender in warm climates: It is possible to do all the pruning in the fall.

Pruning lavender in a cooler climate: In the spring, as the plant’s green leaves begin to sprout from the base, prune to establish the plant. To prevent the plant from growing lanky and barren at the base, remove around one-third of the top. As long as you avoid cutting into old wood, it won’t grow back. Winter protection for fresh development is provided by leaving the leaves on the plants.

While in bloom, flowering stems may be picked or trimmed to maintain a neat plant.

Final Thought

In conclusion, properly caring for your lavender plants requires knowing how often and how much water to give them. With this information, you’ll be able to keep your lavender in good shape during the growing season and make sure it blooms a lot in the summer. 

Lavender plants should be watered every other day for the first week, and then once a week after that. You may consider different scenarios depending on the lavender stage and your climate. 

The soil must remain moist but not wet at all times. Overwatering can damage the plants and make them less fragrant. By following those simple steps above, you can enjoy lavender plants for many years to come.

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