I love growing lavender. It smells amazing because of the lavender oil it produces, and the lavender blooms are a great way to attract pollinators and beneficial insects. You can literally plant any lavender species in my garden and I’d be a happy camper.
If you’re lucky enough to have lavender in your garden, you might be wondering how often to water your lavender. The answer, of course, depends on a number of factors, including the type of lavender you have, the weather, and the soil.
How Much to Water Lavender Plants
Lavender plants are drought-tolerant plants, meaning they can survive with little water. However, for optimal growth, lavender flowers need 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) of water per week. This amount should be adjusted based on the type of soil, weather conditions, and the size of the plant.
If your potted lavender is inside, you should be fine watering it every other day after checking to make sure the top inch of soil isn’t still wet.
When you are watering lavender plants, drench the soil thoroughly (deep watering) so it sinks down far below the surface. But make sure your container has good drainage holes so the excess can run through.
How Often to Water Lavender
As a general rule of thumb, you should water lavender about once a week. If the weather is particularly hot or dry, you may need to water more frequently. On the other hand, if it’s been raining a lot, you may be able to get away with watering less often.
Ultimately, the best way to determine how often to water your lavender is to check the soil regularly. If it feels dry about an inch below the surface, it’s time to give your plants a drink.
Most people know that lavender needs water to grow, but how often should you water them? Of course, the amount of water needed by a lavender plant depends on a variety of factors.
Whether you’re growing in-ground plants, in a pot, or are starting seedlings, they are going to have different needs. Let’s take a look at each scenario to grow lavender.
Watering Lavender Seedlings and Plants Indoors
If you grow lavender indoors in a pot or container, you can generally water it once every few days. The soil can dry out quickly in indoor settings, especially if it’s in a warmer room.
Keep the soil moist and warm, water as often as every three days. But also make sure the plant does not sit permanently in wet soil or this can cause overwatering issues (see below).
Watering Lavender in Pots
If you planted lavender in a pot outside (even if it’s sitting by the door or on the patio), it will require more attention because of its climate. The sun’s rays are much stronger than the light it will get indoors, and that could cause the soil to dry out faster.
I like to use a method called deep watering, where you water plants fully and make sure the entire pot is wet. Usually, after a good watering, you can skip the following day (unless it’s going to be very hot).
If the weather is calling for a lot of rain, hold off on watering the plant so it doesn’t get too much water.
If the weather forecast is super dry and hot, make sure to check the plant daily (sometimes more than once per day) to see if it needs a drink of water.
With container-grown lavender plants, you want to water often so the soil does not dry out completely, but be aware that overwatering can also damage the plant. Avoid watering after dark, as this could cause mildew to grow. If you’re growing lavender as a companion plant, make sure the growing conditions are similar.
Watering Lavender in Raised Beds & in the Ground
If you have outdoor lavender plants in raised beds or in the ground, you usually only need to water them every few days unless there are extreme heat conditions. Depending on where you live, your lavender plants can often see quite a bit of rain during parts of the season.
If you live in a more dry area or are experiencing weeks where there is no rain in sight, you’ll want to check your lavender plant daily to make sure it doesn’t need water.
With tender plants that are younger, they often do best getting watered more regularly. Check on them daily to make sure they are doing alright.
With a more mature, full-grown lavender plant, they are hardier and can usually go a few days without being watered. However, if the weather is very warm and dry, check on them daily.
When overhead watering, be sure to use your hose nozzle on the lowest setting or invest in an inexpensive watering wand that helps with accuracy. You want to water the ground and lavender plants slowly, not wetting the leaves themselves.
Lavender can run into a few issues if its leaves and flowers get and stay wet, this is especially common if you end up watering your plant closer to the end of the day or at night. The leaves won’t have time to dry out and this can introduce pests and diseases to take root.
- Made with aluminum making it lightweight, yet durable
- Rubber foam along the wand for additional protection at the natural wearing point.
Add Mulch to Your Garden
When growing lavender in the ground, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by mulching around the plants.
This helps reduce evaporation and keeps the soil from getting too warm so your lavender doesn’t dry out too quickly. But also it won’t send the lavender plant into shock if temperatures fall.
Another added benefit of organic mulch is that it reduces the splash-back effect and helps prevent dirt and possible disease from splashing up onto the leaves when it gets watered or it rains.
Add 1-2 inches of cedar mulch (my favorite), leaf mulch, straw/hay, or other kinds of mulch.
Drip Irrigation System
You can also cheat the system and use a drip irrigation system, which essentially can take most of the guesswork out of when to water lavender.
You essentially hook the system up to your hose and it automatically drips out the water regularly throughout the day. You can really get crazy and get an automated one that will stop watering when it rains.
How to Tell if Lavender Needs Water
There are a few ways to check if your lavender plants need to be watered.
Look for Wilting
Oftentimes, when lavender needs water it will tell you. No, it won’t say anything out loud, but actions speak louder than words anyway right? 😉
Lavender leaves are one of the first things to show signs of drying out. So its leaves will often look like this and that’s a sign to you that you need to give that bad boy a drink.
Test the Soil with Your Finger
You can also check the top inch or so of the soil surface. If it’s dry and you don’t feel water an inch down, go ahead and water it.
If you can feel any kind of soil moisture, it’s probably best to wait a day so you don’t overwater your lavender.
Can you Water Lavender Too Much?
Yes, there is a way you might be watering lavender plants too much. Overwatering your plants consistently can even lead to root rot, which is not good for flower production. If you’ve had problems with overwatering in the past, you can water with a spray bottle to make sure you’re not drowning the plants.
How Many Times a Week Should You Water Lavender?
You want to be maintaining consistent soil moisture, but not letting your plants be constantly wet. A little moisture is nice to keep around your plants.
How Often to Fertilize Lavender?
Fertilizer can be added every 1-2 weeks during the growing season to potted lavender plants and container-grown lavender plants alike.
Whether you’re growing English or French Lavender, getting the proper watering schedule right is critical. Overwatering can lead to root rot for your lavender plants, but underwatering can lead to stunted growth and minimal fruit production.