HappyFunCadet
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Location: Zone 6b

Drooping and Scraggly Lavender

Hi everyone! I've very much enjoyed looking through this forum and am excited to learn more now that I have discovered it!

I'm hoping that you might be able to help me troubleshoot what is up with my lavender (this is year 2 trying to make lavender work and although I've managed to not kill it yet, it certainly does not look happy!). I already know from reading this forum I made my first mistake purchasing it from the big orange box store, lesson #1 learned! I also chucked the tag so I'm not quite sure what type of lavender it is, but we live in zone 6b.

It was so nice and perky when we brought it home but alas, now here's what I've got:
IMG_1094.JPG
IMG_1095.JPG
I think it got pounded by a heavy rain and hasn't recovered since? I have been watering it sparingly as I think that's where I made my mistake with my first ones. I've let it dry out quite a bit and then give it a good water before letting it dry out again. Also, I moved it from our front steps to where it can get 6-8 hours of sun a day and if I know it's going to pour outside for a while I've been bringing it in.

I have obviously not transplanted it yet, but am thinking perhaps that will help? I'm afraid to shock it though. If so, should I transplant it into terra cotta planters or do I have to set it into the ground? If I can put it in a pot, do I need to put it on some feet to help with draining?

Thank you all in advance for taking the time to read this and offer your help, especially because I'm sure some of these questions are very novice. I promise I won't run away! :) Let me know if there's any other info that I have omitted that would be helpful as well. Thank you again!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Drooping and Scraggly Lavender

Buying it from the box store, I think you will find it is not one lavender plant in a pot, but several. They do that to make the pot look very full and bushy.

So yes, get it out of those pots and transplant. It prefers to be in the ground and needs very good drainage. Mix some coarse sand into the soil where it will be planted or cactus mix.

One caveat, especially since you don't know what kind of lavender you have. There are different varieties and they aren't all cold hardy in zone 6. English types: Lavandula angustifolia cultivars are the most cold hardy. You could go back to your big box and see what type they are selling. But even so. I used to live in 6b. I had English lavender that survived outside for several years. Then we had one of those super-extra cold winters and all the lavender in town died (even some huge old ones)! (The nurseries quickly sold out of lavender that spring as everyone tried to replace it.) So you might want to keep one or two in pots (bigger than what they are in now) with cactus mix or extra perlite mixed in to the potting soil, so that you can bring them in if you need to.
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HappyFunCadet
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Re: Drooping and Scraggly Lavender

Thank you rainbowgardener! Hmm, maybe since there are a few, I'll replant a couple in the planters in front of our house with cactus mix (I'm ok to plant it right in the terra cotta planters, right? Do I need to put something in the bottom for drainage?) and then plant the rest right into the ground. Should I spread them out a bit more so they have some room?

I did try to go back to Home Depot to see if they have more so I could figure out what it is before posting on here, but they looked to be all out.

Fingers crossed! Thank you so much!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Drooping and Scraggly Lavender

"I'm ok to plant it right in the terra cotta planters, right? Do I need to put something in the bottom for drainage?) and then plant the rest right into the ground. Should I spread them out a bit more so they have some room? "

Yes, plant it right in the terra cotta planters. No, don't put anything in the bottom "for drainage." That's a myth and doesn't work. Yes, spread them out and give them room.

You will have to check to see if I am right about more than one plant per pot; it is hard to tell from the picture. Start by sliding the whole root ball out of the pot together.

Lavender branches out just above ground level, but it starts from one main stem:
Image

one stem, one plant
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

HappyFunCadet
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Re: Drooping and Scraggly Lavender

You were right! Multiple plants in one pot. It's almost like they have a little...something around their roots. No idea what it would be called, but i'd think I would be something "biodegradable" seed starter thing. Should I try to take that off? Thank you again for your patience, going to replant and will keep you posted! Fingers crossed! And in the future, I'll make sure to buy from our local nursery.

Susan W
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Re: Drooping and Scraggly Lavender

Happy, Lavender can be a bit iffy. I always say win-some-lose-some. Where are you? Important question.

I have several lavender plants, and sell starts at the farmers market, and I am no expert. Here in the mid-south there is rain upon rain. The plant usually does better in container than ground, unless raised drained area. For us I don't think it's hot summers, chilly winters, but warm muggy summer nights (the kind with cicadas showing off their sound skills).

As your pot has several plants, YES to separate! Each plant in separate ground/container. Lavenders don't grow out with multiple stems that need dividing, as just one stem/trunk. Well draining soil mix good, and I admit to using MG potting mix. Sometimes I use my bagged mix of top, compost, kow etc. (whatever I am doing at the time!) 12" pot minimum per plant. If it does, bump up next year. With as many stems as you have, try some in containers, some in ground.
Have fun!
Susan

HappyFunCadet
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Re: Drooping and Scraggly Lavender

Hi everyone!
Lavender is replanted in separate containers and hoping to move 2 of them (there were 3 plants in each pot) to the ground as soon as I figure out where would be a good place. Used some cactus soil, potting soil, and perlite in with them too. Still droopy but I see new growth near the soil.
I actually did find the tag with the plant info and all it said was "lavender"...helpful, right? Lol! I was back at home depot and saw more lavender (same generic tag) and all the plants there were so pretty and perky too.
Susan, we are a bit north of you in PA, zone 6B.
Thank you all for your help!

HappyFunCadet
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Re: Drooping and Scraggly Lavender

Hi everyone! Just wanted to follow up to say how great all the lavender is doing. Between replanting and using cactus/perlite soil and cutting back the watering, they are flourishing and have lots of new growth and blooms. Thank you again for your help!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Drooping and Scraggly Lavender

Glad to hear it!! :D Thanks so much for coming back and letting us know!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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