My Poor Lavender Plant

I’ve always had a fascination with herbs, but never a green thumb. I even killed a morning glory vine I planted several years ago, and those are supposed to be hard to kill. Several months ago though my mom gave me a pot that had belonged to my great-grandmother, so I decided to give herb cultivating a try again. This cute little lavender plant caught my attention, so I brought it home and then puzzled over what to do with it next. The tag in the potted soil just said it needed direct sunlight, so I pulled out some old potting soil, remoistened it, and potted the lavender. It did amazing—grew quickly and within a month I had small little purple blossoms over it. My mom watered it a little in the mornings but other than that we left it alone. (Read: I didn’t go near my own plant!)

Now it’s not doing so hot though and I’m worried about it. It was left outside during a week-long rainy period so got way too much water, and the underside of all the stems are starting to turn brown and lose their petals. I’ve since brought it inside so it can dry out, but over the past week and a half that I’ve been watching it, it’s not getting any better.

At this point, it’s staying in the 60s outside, and my research indicates they can survive the cold without too much problem. (Though I’m not sure if it being potted, and therefore not insolated by the ground, changes that.) I don’t know though if I need to cover it, water it more or less, trim it back or what to keep it from dying. So here’s a shout-out to all my more herb-wise bloggers out there—does anyone have any suggestions?


About Ayslyn'sCorner

I am an eclectic Pagan bordering on atheist who has made her way through a number of different spiritual spaces. You might wonder what a person self-identifying as an atheist has to discuss in a religion/spiritual context – and, well, so do I. That’s one of the things I aim to explore on Ayslyn's Corner. Check out Ayslyn's Corner at Check out Invisible Ink Blog at Check out wombs in rebellion at
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17 Responses to My Poor Lavender Plant

  1. sammiwitch says:

    I’ve not much of a green thumb myself. I grow lavender outside in a big tub and leave it outside all year round…sorry for not being much help…Brightest Blessings

  2. 2 Witches in a Box says:

    What zone do you live in?

    I’m up in Zone 3 here in the north.. I have seen many a lavender plant go beyond when left in a pot during the winter months (left outside). I’m not sure how cold it gets where you are. You might consider burying the pot, but if you are going to go so far? If you can get it into the ground at all and get it protected with mulch or another type of natural material, it may be okay. Mine thrive when wintered over and double in size when spring comes. Just make sure you add some insulation to it to keep it safe.

    I can see from the photo that you are using bagged soil.. The problem with garden soil for lavender is that it is often too heavy and they tend to soak up far too much moisture. Most of ours are planted in a mixture of local earth/dirt and a touch of black soil just to give it a bit of moisture to the roots. I have killed lavender with too much water on the roots using straight garden soil. Even when we gift out cuttings, the plants go in a mix of the soil (never straight bagged soil).

    I found this site that has a bit of helpful info on it:

    It kind of covers a lot of the basis..

    If you are worried about losing the plant because it’s a family generation kind, why not try gently splitting it off and trying various methods to winter it over? Carefully though, I’d feel bad if I suggested this and the plant was damaged and didn’t make it.

    Hope this helps,

    • 2 Witches in a Box says:

      Just a quick note as I was thinking this… Planting this time of year in our zone area? Is not the easiest or suggested (due to frozen ground) and it can damage the plants as they have no time to root in… So I’d check your zone first if you are thinking of going this way.

    • Val, thank you for your comments and insight. Clearly, I lack a lot of know-how for cultivating herbs or any kind. Burying the pot isn’t an option, so I’ve brought it inside for now. The soil has had a chance to dry out, and in the past couple of days, it’s actually started to bloom again. The underside is still kind of brown and dark, though I honestly don’t know if that’s just it preparing for winter or a direct result of it getting too much water a few weeks ago. Perhaps learning about herbs and how to care for them will become a series here. Thanks again, and brightest blessings.

  3. eispoison says:

    Your plant looks wonderful, just give it love and all that.. i think you should be fine. ^^ my lavender plant isn’t doing to well right now. But that’s okay, I will give it to my mother (which she a green witch). Just make sure you read up what you need to do before the winter for it, and all. That’s what i would. 🙂

    • Ayslyn'sCorner says:

      Thank you Eispoison. 🙂 Since this is my first lavender plant, I’ve been unsure if it’s just preparing for winter or actually sick. Good luck with your own lavender.

  4. elfkat says:

    They like to have their feet fairly dry. It’s a Mediterranean type herb. So it likes sun and dry like sage does. In fact rosemary, sage and lavendar have basically the same growing likes and are grown together here.

    • Ayslyn'sCorner says:

      That is good to know, as I am hoping to begin cultivating more as soon as weather and location permits. Thanks, elfkat, as always. 🙂

  5. Cassandra says:

    Merry meet Ayslyn,
    Lavender is a Mediterranean herb, that means — besides that it comes from the Mediterranean coast, of course 😉 — that it needs a lot of sun and not too much of water. I don’t think that potted plants can survive outside during the winter and the temperatures below zero. Mediterranean climate has hot and dry summers, and not too cold (around 10–15 °C) winters with some rain. I recommend you to keep your plant inside during the winter (not in a too warm room though), and put it outside again in the spring. The brown leaves should fall off, and then the new leaves will grow back.
    Hope that your lavender will be all right! 🙂
    Blessed be,

    • Ayslyn'sCorner says:

      Thank you Cassandra! My own instincts were to bring the lavender inside, so I did that shortly before actually posting this. It’s sitting in my bedroom by the window, so I hope that’s enough sunlight for it.

  6. Pingback: Let’s Talk About Gardening | Ayslyn's Corner

  7. Plant it in the ground and leave it alone. Water it sometimes. It should do just fine.

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