Lavender plants (Lavandula) are attractive, aromatic, and come in a wide variety of colours. They also generate very fragrant essential oils. Despite these lovely attributes, they are not always healthy, and there are a few issues that might cause the Lavender plant turning gray problems.
Lavenders are low-maintenance plants that, with proper maintenance, can survive up to 15 years. All lavenders are native to Europe’s Mediterranean area and are adapted to a particular set of circumstances.
To reintroduce lavender into your garden, you must be aware of some of the characteristics found in the natural environment, most notably the soil requirements.
If your lavender appears to be in poor health, there are various ways to revive it; however, you must first determine what is causing the Lavender plant turning gray and the solutions for that.
Frost damage or a fungal disease caused by overwatering or poorly draining soils can cause lavender to turn gray. Lavender leaves that turn gray are mostly caused by the fungus botrytis spp., however there are a few illnesses that can cause lavenders to turn gray.
On this page:
- Why is My Lavender Plant Turning Gray?
- Frost Damage Causes the Lavender Leaves Turning Grey
- Lavender Fungus Disease
- Tips to Prevent Lavender Plant Turning Gray
Why is My Lavender Plant Turning Gray?
Lavender is a shrub-like plant with a Mediterranean origin that thrives in tropical and subtropical climates. Depending on the variety of plants, the plants are usually planted in vegetable gardens or as long-term border plants in difficult areas 5-9.
Lavender foliage’s vibrant ashy green hue makes it an excellent companion plant, providing an ideal contrast to other plants for an overall attractive visual presentation.
Lavender is a relatively straightforward plant to grow, and issues are uncommon. However, when the magnificent silvery grey lavender foliage begins to turn sickly grey, it might be due to frost damage, fungal disease(s), or a combination of the two.
Fortunately, resolving the issue of Lavender plant turning gray is rather straightforward as long as the plant is not severely damaged, particularly if it is the result of a fungal infestation.
Frost Damage Causes the Lavender Leaves Turning Grey
If your Lavender plant turning gray as a result of exposure to harsh cold, you most likely planted the incorrect species.
The most common symptom of frost damage in lavender is grey staining on the bottom stems and leaves. Apart from its grey hue, lavender looks to be depressed and neglected.
Having said that, this is not the end of the plant. It is possible to handle it with proper care and stop Lavender plant turning gray problem.
Lavender Fungus Disease
Fungal infections are a pretty typical cause of the Lavender plant turning gray. Often, the Botrytis fungus is to blame. You should be able to identify any damage occurring at the plant’s base.
As with frost damage, the lavender’s most vulnerable areas are the foliage towards the base of the plant.
However, fungal illnesses do not appear out of nowhere. Several reasons that cause Lavender fungus disease; however, the most typical ones are as follows:
Overwatering — Because lavenders are native Mediterranean plants, they can live for extended periods without water. This drought-resistant trait is ingrained in the DNA, and as a result, they grow best in drier environments.
In essence, too much water is more detrimental to lavender than not enough. When soil is moist or wet, the possibility of fungal development and resultant illness is increased.
Soil drainage — When it comes to soil and fungal disease, the fundamental concern is slow-draining soil. Again, this relates to lavender’s tropical origins, where the best soil for development is dry, rather sandy, and quick-draining.
Slow-draining soil holds water over an extended period of time, fostering the growth of hazardous fungi.
Humidity – Excessive relative humidity promotes the growth of fungal illness. For the most part, producing healthy lavender plants requires breezy circumstances with enough airflow in and around the plants.
Tips to Prevent Lavender Plant Turning Gray
Treatment for lavender that has been infected with fungus is often the same. If you treat the lavender in a timely manner, it is likely that it will recover from the fungal illness that produced the grey foliage and will grow normally the next year. Follow the above tips to prevent lavender leaves turning grey.
- Remove the lavender from the ground or container and check the roots for fungal infestation. If the roots appear to be decaying, use a sterile set of pruners to cut away any diseased roots. After each cut, clean the pruners with an alcohol disinfectant to prevent the fungus from spreading.
- Carefully snip any grey lavender leaves or stems and discard or burn them to prevent the fungus from spreading across the garden.
- Throw away the potting soil, as it contains the fungus and can spread to other plants. Treat the soil with an organic fungicide to eliminate any fungus present in the soil where your lavender was planted, and refrain from planting any more plants in the same spot for a period of time.
- Pot up the lavender and replant it in new soil to manage the soil’s properties and contain any potential illnesses.
- Add approximately one-third of horticultural sand or grit to the potting soil and two-thirds of potting soil or compost to the potting soil. (Read my post to discover how to make the ideal lavender soil mix.) This will recreate the lavender’s favoured sandy soils in their natural area, improve drainage, and provide the optimal nutrient balance for lavenders, which prefer low to moderate nutrition soils.
- After planting the lavender in the new pot, protect it from rain and do not water for two weeks if the roots exhibited indications of decay.
- Position the lavender in direct sunlight and water every two weeks till fall to stop the Lavender plant turning gray.
Do not be frightened, as lavender plant dried out issue that causes it to become grey can be stopped when properly treated.
Note that while fungicides are effective in killing fungus in the soil, they will not heal lavender that is already afflicted with the fungus.
Snipping away any unhealthy sections of the plant is still important to give the lavender the greatest chance of recovery.
Ensure that lavenders are planted at a distance of 2-3 feet apart to allow growth adequate ventilation. If the condition is too wet or stagnant, it is very important to separate lavender plants from other plants to prevent fungal infections.
Avoid using any moisture-retaining mulch (like leaf mold) next to the lavender plant and remove any dead leaves or organic matter to allow the soil to dry and the roots to stay healthy.
Avoid soils that are very nutrient-dense, soil amendments such as manure, and the usage of fertilizer. Lavender prefers soils that are low to moderate in nutrients. If the soil has an excessive amount of nitrogen, the lavender will grow lanky and produce an abundance of foliage, making it more prone to fungal disease.
The greying or lavender plant dried out is not always fatal, as long as the proper precautions are taken. Often caused by frost damage and fungal infections, symptoms appear near the base of the lavender plant.
Fortunately, it is not difficult to save or revive your lavender after it becomes grey. Even better, with the proper care, you can keep your lavender from going grey.