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Lavender has turned brown!

I’ve planted a few lavender (hidcote) plugs into a large 30cm container, with a drainage hole, using some vermiculite at bottom then topped with multipurpose compost with John innes3, then a sprinkle of vermiculite on top and around plugs. I then watered using general plant food, then watering almost everyday. Within a few days all lavender has turned brown! Only one plug has stayed mostly green. Have I done something wrong? and how can I resurrect them? Please help 


  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 619
    Lavender likes dry conditions and low nutrient soil with good drainage. General plant food on fresh compost might have been a bit much or maybe they got caught by the recent frosts. If they have died I don't think its possible to bring them back but if it is only recent that they have gone brown I would allow a bit of time before giving up on them. I would be inclined to leave them get a bit dry in between watering and hope for the best for a few weeks.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337
    I think they've been too well watered and are in a compost mixture which retains too much water.  Lavender needs really well drained soil, so something like 50% grit and 50% JI#3.  Plant the plugs in that, water once and don't water again until the top inch pf compost has dried out.  In the wild, lavender grows in rocky areas and in poor sandy soils, so they really don't need lots of water or feed.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks you both. I think it’s the plant food on fresh soil, as I put that in once potted with new compost out the bag! Plus poor drainage in soil. I really don’t want to re plant them, what would I do with the compost? Don’t want to waste it. But if that’s the best way then can I use multipurpose compost as I have that ? Thanks again 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337
    If you don't want to re-plant them, I'd do as @robairdmacraignil says and let them dry out now and not water again until the top inch of compost is completly dry and see how they do.  A bag of horticultural grit is well worth investing in if you have to start again.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you both, this is what they look like now ( I put in a flower from my other lavender). Is the compost I got( multi with jl3) suitable? I’ve ordered potting grit so as soon comes I’ll put a layer on bottom and top. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,179
    I think it would have been better to grow them on a bit in small pots. Small plugs - big container - lots of very wet compost. Not great for any plant. 

    Don't put a layer of grit - mix the grit into the rest of the mix. Layers of grit or gravel can create a sump, giving you more problems  :)
    Your pic isn't showing unfortunately.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks. Should see the photo now. There’s 4 plugs, 3 have turned brown and 1 is mostly green 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,179
    I'd take them out and put them in small pots to give them a chance. Just keep them somewhere sheltered for now too- not in full sun. That doesn't work well with tiny plugs like that either. 
    Gritty compost. Or the vermiculite with the compost if you have nothing else.

    The one on the left looks viable, and the other two might also be - given a little time. The right hand one should be ok.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • PoppypussPoppypuss LancashirePosts: 90
    I’ve also made this mistake with lavender, planted in way too rich clay soil in my rose bed. They’ve now gone and the only one really thriving is treated mean between paving on the patio and planted on builders rubble. 
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