Ask a Question forum: Lavandula stoechas anouk - SUFFERING?

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London, United Kingdom
sharkfur
Jul 19, 2015 4:33 AM CST
Hello friends,

I usually don't have problems with my lavender plants, they are usually thriving, something seem to have happened though. They seem to be suffering, bending, leaves are becoming scruffy, too. Soil should be fine, pots and planters have gravel in the bottom, soil itself is mixed with plenty of grit, They are in the right spot too..
Can you lend me your experience or insight so that I could help them out??

Thank you ever so much,
M
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 19, 2015 4:49 PM CST
Hi and welcome to ATP. Hope we can help you out.

It would help to know where you are, and what your climate is like right now - have you had a cool, rainy summer so far, or hot and dry? Has anything changed drastically in the past week or two?

Those look like fairly small plants, but you say "I usually don't have problems with my lavender plants, they are usually thriving". So are these new plants this year, or did you cut back old plants from last year? Or do you plant new ones each year? (that's what I have to do here in Florida because they just won't live through our humid summers)

Did you use a different potting mix than you have used before? Some of the "Moisture Control" mixes have that water holding gel stuff in them and can stay too wet for a dry climate plant like lavender.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
London, United Kingdom
sharkfur
Jul 19, 2015 5:06 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Hi and welcome to ATP. Hope we can help you out.

It would help to know where you are, and what your climate is like right now - have you had a cool, rainy summer so far, or hot and dry? Has anything changed drastically in the past week or two?

Those look like fairly small plants, but you say "I usually don't have problems with my lavender plants, they are usually thriving". So are these new plants this year, or did you cut back old plants from last year? Or do you plant new ones each year? (that's what I have to do here in Florida because they just won't live through our humid summers)

Did you use a different potting mix than you have used before? Some of the "Moisture Control" mixes have that water holding gel stuff in them and can stay too wet for a dry climate plant like lavender.


Hello,

thanks for replying to my thread.
Well, by that I mean that I had success in the past with this type of lavender, I did grow quite a nice little garden piece at the place we previously lived, but I left them there, because they were growing nicely, and I left them in capable hands, I just couldnt take them out of that lovely garden. So I bought some new pots, and I replanted them into a bigger planter and these balcony planters..I live in the United Kingdom, London, So far our summer has been warm with the odd cooldowns at times, but nothing lavenders around here cannot meet. So basically, I bought them a few months back, replanted them about 2 months ago, they seemed to be nice and lush, and now they are just becoming scruffy, leaves are losing that vibrant green colour... NOthing changed in the last few weeks that I can remember. I really want to save them...
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
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Arico
Jul 19, 2015 5:56 PM CST
Even though lavenders are very much at home in a hot and sunny climate with poor sandy/gritty soils they are still plants and therefor need watering.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 19, 2015 6:56 PM CST
So true, Lee-Roy but I was going for the other angle, that this kind of distress can happen from over watering, rather than too little water. London UK is usually fairly far from a hot and sunny climate.

Sharkfur, have you checked on the drainage in your nice planters? Maybe dig an exploratory hole or two with a long narrow trowel, and see if the soil is soggy, or dry down near the bottom of the boxes. You can do this between the plants or near the corners where you won't disturb the roots too much. Wiggle your finger down in there and feel the soil.

On the other hand, the planters are a dark color, I wonder if they are getting really hot during the day when the sun is shining on them? That sure would tend to dry them out faster.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 19, 2015 7:17 PM CST
The lawn looks rather dry though. It can get hot and dry in the UK.
London, United Kingdom
sharkfur
Jul 20, 2015 12:42 AM CST
Thanks for all the comments!

I am a bit puzzled with the amount of watering needed now... I checked the soil, not soggy, and the gravel in the bottom drains any excess, so that is good. I had the same thought that they might need more water, but I found that watering them every day would be a little too much for lavenders.... hmmm... I might have been wrong, maybe I lean on my experience with the lavenders I had in an open garden too much, maybe the ones in my planters do need more water... oh sheesh, so hard to find the balance...took another closeup of the green bits that are showing bad signs ...for you guys to see
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jul 20, 2015 8:05 AM CST
I agree with Lee-Roy on this one. Plants seems thirsty. It is different when these plants are in containers, compared to having them planted in ground. It can handle the heat, and it blooms nicely, but as new plants in a container they are more thirsty not yet fully established. I used to have this plant, but it did not thrive since my garden lacked full sun being shaded by trees and it hated our mild winter cold. I was a newbie in watering it then too, misunderstanding the drought tolerance aspect. I have realized later on all my plants here in summer needs a bit more water since our conditions are excessively hot and dry and my plants are in containers.

I have often wondered why my plant did not work, seeing lavenders ably growing and full of blooms in parking lots, and it became clear to me, the plants were planted in ground, in full sun, and they get their drip watering at night everyday.
London, United Kingdom
sharkfur
Jul 20, 2015 8:11 AM CST
It is interesting….Checked the soil, seemed to be on the border of dry and just a little bit wet… so I am puzzled now…
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Jul 20, 2015 8:48 AM CST
The appearance of over and underwatering oftentimes appear the same, but at this time of the year in summer and if your temps are soaring higher than usual, I would think it is getting underwatered.
London, United Kingdom
sharkfur
Jul 20, 2015 8:50 AM CST
tarev said:The appearance of over and underwatering oftentimes appear the same, but at this time of the year in summer and if your temps are soaring higher than usual, I would think it is getting underwatered.


I am really leaning towards that now..I will try to rejuvenate them slowly, without shocking them with overwatering…let's see if it helps.
Thank you so much for sharing your ideas..
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Jul 20, 2015 8:57 AM CST
I looked at your temperature forecast online..love your temps! Wish we have that, we are soaring 20 degrees higher than that at the peak of the day. Temperature-wise, you are right when you say your lavenders should be okay with it. So if temps are okay, sun is okay, then maybe it is the frequency of watering. Agree, do it slowly, and observe if the plant perks up after getting watered. Good luck! Smiling
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 20, 2015 2:25 PM CST
I don't have an answer but may I add something to the question please?
Looking at the photos I see that some of the planters are hanging from metal railings and are next to/near a metal table and what looks to be a metal floor. Other planters are next to a brick wall. Could the effect of the metal and brick be causing increased heat and decreasing the humidity in the immediate area? I think the word may be 'transpiration"...perhaps the plants are losing too much moisture through their leaves due to the arid local micro-climate? Thank You!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
London, United Kingdom
sharkfur
Jul 21, 2015 12:08 AM CST
greene said:Could the effect of the metal and brick be causing increased heat and decreasing the humidity in the immediate area? I think the word may be 'transpiration"..


Really good point! I will take that factor into account now..

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 21, 2015 6:30 AM CST
According to the UK newspaper I read, it has been fairly hot there, up to 98F (36.7C) earlier in July.

I have a lavender plant (L. dentata) in a pot on a sunny windowsill because it isn't likely to survive a winter outside here and I don't want to risk it. It is a far more thirsty plant in a pot than I expected and absolutely hates to get too dry. Ditto for rosemary in a pot, surprisingly. I checked a few articles from lavender growers this morning and it seems this is a known thing with potted lavender (and rosemary) - while they certainly don't want wet feet they both also hate to get too dry.

On another note, having gravel in the bottom of a pot doesn't increase drainage (it actually reduces it- the technical term is a perched water table) but does reduce the amount of potting soil available to the plant. Personally I would replace the gravel with more potting media with same texture throughout the pot. You say the soil was mixed with plenty of grit, did you use garden soil or a soilless potting mix (or maybe John Innes if they still sell that there these days!).
London, United Kingdom
sharkfur
Jul 22, 2015 12:52 AM CST
Interesting - first thing I learned about these things is gravel or pebble in the bottom... Of course, just to make sure, I did drill small holes on the bottom, too, to actually create drainage.

The soil I used is an all-purpouse one....In the garden center I was told that it would be perfectly fine for it. And I also mixed in some grit, to make it a better choice.

It might be just me, but since I started watering them more, they seem to be feeling a lot better. It seems like I did calculate it wrong initially, based my idea on the lavenders I had in the open....

sooby said:According to the UK newspaper I read, it has been fairly hot there, up to 98F (36.7C) earlier in July.

I have a lavender plant (L. dentata) in a pot on a sunny windowsill because it isn't likely to survive a winter outside here and I don't want to risk it. It is a far more thirsty plant in a pot than I expected and absolutely hates to get too dry. Ditto for rosemary in a pot, surprisingly. I checked a few articles from lavender growers this morning and it seems this is a known thing with potted lavender (and rosemary) - while they certainly don't want wet feet they both also hate to get too dry.

On another note, having gravel in the bottom of a pot doesn't increase drainage (it actually reduces it- the technical term is a perched water table) but does reduce the amount of potting soil available to the plant. Personally I would replace the gravel with more potting media with same texture throughout the pot. You say the soil was mixed with plenty of grit, did you use garden soil or a soilless potting mix (or maybe John Innes if they still sell that there these days!).


Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 22, 2015 1:03 PM CST
sharkfur said:Interesting - first thing I learned about these things is gravel or pebble in the bottom...


I know, it does seem counter-intuitive but its true. When I first learned that coarser material at the bottom of a container impeded drainage rather than improved it I did my own experiment and was surprised to find that it is true. See also:

http://puyallup.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/403/2015/03...

Glad to hear the plants are feeling better, I imagine so are you Thumbs up
London, United Kingdom
sharkfur
Jul 22, 2015 4:04 PM CST
sooby said:

I know, it does seem counter-intuitive but its true. When I first learned that coarser material at the bottom of a container impeded drainage rather than improved it I did my own experiment and was surprised to find that it is true. See also:

http://puyallup.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/403/2015/03...

Glad to hear the plants are feeling better, I imagine so are you Thumbs up



It is a good thing I drilled holes on the bottom of the containers..so I guess that helps...
yes, thank you. not entirely happy though, some of the lavenders seem a tad slower in terms of rejuvination, I just hope it is not too late for them.
London, United Kingdom
sharkfur
Jul 23, 2015 8:05 AM CST
OH no…I don't know if there is any hope for these guys…what do you think?
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Jul 23, 2015 9:34 AM CST
You have received several good suggestions. It's only been what? for days?. Why not just stick the plants in a hole in the soil in that back garden area and see how they do? I see lawn chairs and a place to hang laundry; even if this is an apartment and not a private home, I'm almost certain no one could object if you planted the Lavender out back.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

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