12 Common Lavender Plant Growing Mistakes to Avoid

Lavender is prized for its fragrant blooms, attractive foliage and medicinal benefits. This easy to grow perennial plant, does well in sunny spot and blooms in summer.

If you’re looking to grow lavender in your backyard, here’s what you need to do: make sure it gets plenty of sun, use soil that drains well, and don’t forget to prune it regularly.

That’s the key to keeping this beautiful plant thriving!

But, many gardeners struggle to grow lavender as they end-up making common mistakes.

As growing lavender plant successfully requires understanding its needs and avoiding common plunders.

12 Common Mistakes of Growing Lavender Plant

1. Choosing the Wrong Lavender Variety

Lavender comes in several varieties, each with different requirements and characteristics. One common mistake is selecting a variety unsuitable for your climate or garden conditions. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) thrives in cooler climates, while French (Lavandula dentata) and Spanish (Lavandula stoechas) lavenders prefer warmer, more humid environments.

How to Avoid: Research the different lavender varieties and choose one that matches your local climate and garden conditions. Consulting with local nurseries or extension services can also help you make an informed decision.

2. Planting in Poorly Drained Soil

Lavender plants are highly susceptible to root rot, which occurs when their roots sit in waterlogged soil. Planting in poorly drained soil is a common mistake that can lead to the demise of your lavender.

How to Avoid: Ensure your soil is well-draining. If necessary, amend your soil with sand, gravel, or organic matter to improve drainage. Alternatively, consider planting lavender in raised beds or containers to prevent waterlogging.

3. Overwatering

Lavender is drought-tolerant and requires less water than many other garden plants. Overwatering is a frequent mistake that can lead to root rot and other problems.

How to Avoid: Water lavender sparingly. Once established, lavender typically only needs watering every two weeks during dry periods. Always allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

4. Planting in the Wrong Location

Lavender needs plenty of sunlight to thrive. Planting it in a shaded or partially shaded area can hinder its growth and blooming.

How to Avoid: Choose a planting location that receives full sun for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. Lavender plants will perform best in these conditions.

5. Neglecting to Prune

Pruning is essential for maintaining the health and shape of your lavender plants. Neglecting to prune can result in woody, leggy plants with fewer blooms.

How to Avoid: Prune lavender annually after the main flowering period. Trim back about one-third of the plant’s height, but avoid cutting into the woody part of the stems, as this can damage the plant.

6. Incorrect Spacing

Lavender needs adequate air circulation to prevent fungal diseases. Planting too closely together is a common mistake that can lead to problems.

How to Avoid: Space your lavender plants according to the variety’s mature size. Generally, a spacing of 2 to 3 feet apart is recommended to allow for good air circulation.

7. Using the Wrong Soil pH

Lavender prefers slightly alkaline soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Planting in soil with an incorrect pH can affect the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients.

How to Avoid: Test your soil’s pH before planting. If the soil is too acidic, add lime to raise the pH. Most garden centers carry soil testing kits and amendments.

8. Fertilizing Too Much

Lavender plants are not heavy feeders and do not require regular fertilization. Over-fertilizing can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of blooms.

How to Avoid: Avoid fertilizing lavender frequently. A light application of compost or a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring is usually sufficient.

9. Ignoring Pests and Diseases

While lavender is relatively pest-resistant, it can still fall victim to aphids, spittlebugs, and fungal diseases. Ignoring these problems can lead to significant damage.

How to Avoid: Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests and diseases. Remove affected plant parts and use organic pest control methods when necessary. Ensure good air circulation and avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal issues.

10. Transplanting at the Wrong Time

Transplanting lavender at the wrong time can stress the plant and hinder its growth. The best time to transplant is during the cooler months when the plant is less likely to experience heat stress.

How to Avoid: Transplant lavender in the early spring or fall when temperatures are milder. Be gentle with the roots and water the plant well after transplanting to help it establish in its new location.

11. Not Mulching Properly

Mulching helps conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. However, improper mulching can cause problems such as moisture retention around the plant’s base.

How to Avoid: Use a light mulch such as gravel or sand around the base of lavender plants. Avoid using heavy organic mulches that can retain too much moisture and lead to root rot.

12. Neglecting to Deadhead

Deadheading, or removing spent blooms, encourages more flowering and keeps the plant looking tidy. Neglecting this task can result in fewer blooms and a less attractive plant.

How to Avoid: Regularly deadhead lavender by snipping off spent blooms. This practice promotes continuous blooming and helps maintain the plant’s appearance.

Important Tip: How to Increase Lavender Blooming

To enhance lavender blooming, focus on providing the right growing conditions: full sun, well-draining soil, and proper pruning. Additionally, avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to more foliage and fewer flowers. Consistent deadheading will also encourage more blooms throughout the growing season.


Avoiding common blunders such as over-fertilizing, selecting the wrong soil, overwatering, fungal diseases, and neglecting regular pruning can greatly contribute to successfully growing lavender.

By choosing the right variety, ensuring proper soil drainage, providing adequate sunlight, and following good gardening practices, you can enjoy the beauty and fragrance of healthy, blooming lavender plants in your garden.

Remember to prune space correctly, and monitor for pests and diseases to keep your lavender thriving year after year.

With a bit of care and attention, your lavender plants will reward you with their stunning blooms and delightful aroma.

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