Why lavender is not flowering | 9 Easy Hacks for more flowers

Lavender plants will not flower if the soil is too acidic, has too much nitrogen or too much water. Transplant shock can delay lavender flowing and warm, humid weather can also slow flower growth. Plant lavender in sandy, well-draining soil in a sunny position and add a handful of garden lime to make the soil more alkaline. Prune the old flower heads off after they have dried, and you will get loads of flowers in the next spring.

Top reasons why lavender will not flower

  1. Soil is too acidic
  2. Too much nitrogen
  3. Transplant shock
  4. Tropical weather
  5. Too much water
  6. Not pruning the old flowers
  7. Wrong time of year
  8. Not enough sun
  9. Soil is too heavy
Lavender flowers will grow well in well-draining, alkaline soils.

How to get your lavender to flower

Soil is too acidic

Lavender like alkaline soil meaning the pH is above 7. Use a pH meter to check the level of your soil. Add a handful of garden lime before planting lavender to increase the pH of the soil making it more alkaline.

Click on the link below to head to Amazon to check out garden lime.

Success Hack: Companion planting lavender with Mediterranean herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary will make a great display and all of these plants like dryer conditions.

Too much nitrogen

Lavender plants that get too much nitrogen will grow lots of leaves and stems and will not flower as well. Adjust the ratio of nitrogen to potassium by adding a potassium rich mix like sulfate of potash. This will stimulate the plant to grow flowers.

Nitrogen rich fertilizers like pelleted chicken manure are great for get your plant growing strong when you first plant it out.  Switch to potassium rich fertilizers to trigger flower growth after the plant is established.

Success Hack: Only fertilize your lavender once per year in Spring to avoid adding too much nitrogen.

Transplant shock

Transplant shock can stop or delay the lavender plant from flowering. Moving the plant from a pot to the ground or moving it to larger pot can cause damage to the root system in the move. This can slow down the plant growth for a short time until the plant repairs its own roots and recovers.

After a few months the plant will re-grow new roots and will flower again.

Tropical weather

Lavender will not flower as well in warm, tropical areas. Lavender comes from the Mediterranean and so loves hot dry summers and cold winters. If you live in an area with higher humidity lavender can struggle to grow and form flowers.

Success Hack: If you live in a tropical area plant lavender in pots with well-draining potting mix. This will stop them getting too much water. Place them in a sunny spot and don’t over water.

If you live in an are that gets lots of summer rain, plant lavender in pots or raised garden beds to improve drainage.

Too much water

Giving lavender too much water can cause the roots to rot and can stop them from flowering. Lavender likes to dry out between watering so make sure you check the soil before adding more.

Success Hack: For rich clay soils add a mix of compost and river sand at a rate of around 25% of the soil ratio. This will mimic the rocky mountain soils that lavender loves.

Not pruning the old flowers

After the lavender has finished flowering and the lavender heads have dried off make sure you prune the plant. Cut the stems back to the bushy base taking around 1 inch of leaves off at the same time. This is usually done at the end of summer but you can do an early prune at the beginning of the season to encourage a second flush of flowers.

Success Hack: Use hedge shears to get a neat trim over the top of your lavender to shape it into a ball. This will encourage good leaf and flower growth the next year.

Wrong time of year

Lavender will begin flowering in spring and continue through to summer. Very cool spring weather and frosts can delay flowering to later in the year. It may simply be the wrong time of year for the type of lavender you are growing to flower.

When lavender flowers

Lavender TypeBotanical NameFlowering Time
Spanish LavenderLavandula stoechasMay-July
Common Lavender or English LavenderLavandula angustifolioJune-July
Hybrid lavendersLavandula x intermediaJuly-August

Success Hack: Plant a variety of lavender plants to get flowers from early spring all the way into late summer. They will attract bees to pollinate your fruit trees and tomatoes.

How long it takes for lavender to bloom

Lavender will usually bloom in the first season after planting out starting in spring and summer if the plant is established. Buy an established plant in a pot at least 4 inches across if you are looking to have flowers by the next season.

Very young lavender seedlings that are less than 4 inches high will usually take at least 1 year planted out in the ground or pot before they are ready to flower.

The larger plant you buy, the quicker you will have flowers.

These small lavender seedlings can take 2 summer seasons before they will flower.

Top 3 tips to grow more lavender flowers

Improve the soil with compost in the first year

In the first year focus on getting the lavender plant established in your soil by adding compost, aged cow manure and pelleted chicken manure. The plant will establish a strong root system and create a healthy plant for the next 4-5 years.

Although this may slow down flowering in the first year, your plant will be stronger in the long run and produce many more flowers in the second season.

Deep water lavender plants

Water your lavender deeply rather than adding a small amount each day. Test the soil with your finger around 1-2 inches below the surface to see if it dry. Add water from your hose or watering can with added seaweed solution to encourage good root growth.

Sun is your friend

The more sun your lavender gets the more flowers you will get. Plant lavender in an open area of your garden to get the most flowers. I have had the most success growing lavender in open yard areas in my home in the southern state of Australia.

I have now moved to the eastern states, we get a lot more rain and lavender does best when planted in a pot.

Lavender is a great addition to your garden and a fantastic companion plant to your vegetables. Summer growing tomato plants, peppers and strawberries will grow more fruit with lavender planted nearby.

Lavender is not growing flowers – Summary

Lavender comes from the Mediterranean so try to mirror these conditions by giving them free-draining, alkaline soil and a sunny outlook. Lavender is a great companion to vegetables so plant them around your garden to attract bees.

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