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Young, healthy, established lavender plants suddenly die.

Help! I have several healthy lavender plants, young but well estabilished. Over the past month I have seen one of my beautiful lavender plants suddenly die, today I have noticed the next lavender plant some 3 feet away is now terminally ill, but the Dianthus that are planted in between the lavender are healthy & strong. Any ideas what could be going wrong please.


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,088
    The only thing that springs to mind is a lack of water or too much water.
    Whilst they do need good drainage, if the roots dry they keel over.
    If the roots are too wet for too long they do the same.
    That said I also have lavender growing alongside dianthus too as they like similar conditions, so a bit of a mystery.

    If you could post a pic that may give us a bit more to go on
    and welcome to the forum btw :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Hi Pete, Thanks for the welcome, but I'm not sure I will be of any benifit to the forum as I'm a rubbish gardener. I moved to a OAP bungalow a couple of years ago & inherited a back garden that sloped like the north face of Everest & was full of horsetail weed, because I wanted a bird/ insect friendly garden & pesticide free, it took some time painstakingly removing the horsetail by hand, some thing I now can keep control of. I also needed a low maintenance garden (due to ill health) hence as you will see from the photos some graveled area which has a membrane underneath.The middle pic is the next lavender plant in the line of fire.  :/  Regards Carol
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,088
    Hi Carol
    The whole point of the forum is for gardeners (or aspiring gardeners) to ask questions in the hope that someone knows the answer and can share that with others.
    So feel free to ask away, that's what the forum is for :)

    It's tricky to say what has done for your lavender plants, but the one above sadly looks past its sell-by date now I'm afraid.
    The only thing I can think of is a possible lack of water with it being on quite a slope, but we've had vast amounts of rain recently.
    Could it have dried out when we had the long dry spell a while back?
    If you pull the dead one out, you'll get some idea if it had a good root system and if it looks very dry.
    Well done on keeping the horsetail at bay. I'm glad I don't have any and I hope it stays that way!

    Maybe another lavender grower can shed more light..
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    I don't grow it [hate the stuff!] but is there a possibility of local cats using them to mark territory?
    That's also quite a common problem.
    I'd say it's most likely to be a water problem though. It's easy to think they don't need watering after planting because they like sun and free draining soil, but they need watering regularly until established, just like any other plant.
    Dianthus are actually much more forgiving in their growth.  :)

    I'd agree with @Pete.8 - lift the plant out and see what the roots look like, and that will give you an idea of what went wrong. If you bought them as young plants, or plugs, there's also a chance they were planted/sown into what we call 'teabags' on the forum. It's common practice nowadays, but many plants simply don't grow through the material, and the plants just suddenly die because they're strangled and dried out. 
    You'll be able to see the material round the root if that's the case. It is, literally, like a tiny teabag. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,686
    Are they planted into clay? Is something peeing on them?
  • Thanks everyone for your help. Yes it could well be a watering problem, climbing up the north face with my watering can  be a bit of effort at times, so may be I've been a little mean & not given them their share, it is a hot, sunny part of the garden. I did try to find some way of pumping water via a hosepipe up the garden using water from my water butts (as my water preasure in the bungalow is not powerful enough). Any ideas? May be you could solve 2 problems in one go. :). I feel terrible now that I have murdered 2 lovely lavender plants, gardening is a steep learning curve, no pun intended, I also know what you mean about the "teabags" used them to grow some bean seeds in last year, worked ok but noticed the roots hadn't worked though the material, won't be using them again. The lavender & my other plant roots are not restricted in any way.
  • Hi Fire, no they are not planted in clay, but I did have a problem with red ants in that area managed to get them to move into next doors garden using nematodes, please don't tell my neighbour :). I have a german shepherd bitch but she wouldn't pee on the plants, had 5 ton of soil removed so she would have a flat area in which to do her business & easier for me to clean up after her, I haven't noticed any animals in the area who have been using it as a toilet, think they would have to have 2 legs shorter on one side to cope with the slope  :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    Cats don't lift a leg though - they spray. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Yes I know, it was meant as a joke! Anyway the cats are to busy messing in my front garden, just invested in a sonic cat deterrent, hope it doesn't send them round the back garden, another joke :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    I feel your pain. They're a bl**dy nuisance round here. I hate to think what I've spent in water scarecrows over the years, and I can't use them from October to about April because they freeze.
    One of the forum members suggested this sonic deterrent, and I'm considering it
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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