How to Tell if Lavender Needs Water

How to Tell if Lavender Needs Water
Gracie Owens
Gracie Owens she/her - Author at YardPrep October 01, 2023

Lavender is a beautiful, fragrant plant that is popular in gardens and as a decorative indoor plant. However, it can be challenging to know when and how much to water lavender to keep it healthy and thriving. In this article, we'll explore how to tell if lavender needs water and the best practices for watering this lovely plant.

How to Tell if Lavender Needs Water

To tell if lavender needs water, check the soil moisture level by sticking your finger 1-2 inches into the soil. If it feels dry, water the plant deeply until water runs out of the drainage holes. Avoid overwatering and make sure the soil has good drainage.

Understanding Lavender

Introduction to Lavender

Lavender is a flowering plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family and is known for its fragrant, purple flowers and gray-green foliage. Lavender is a popular plant for gardens, borders, and containers, and is also used in aromatherapy and as a culinary herb.

Lavender Watering Needs

Lavender is a drought-tolerant plant that prefers well-draining soil and infrequent watering. Overwatering can cause root rot and other problems, so it's important to let the soil dry out between waterings. However, lavender also needs enough water to stay healthy and produce flowers.

Signs of Overwatering

Overwatering is a common problem for lavender plants, and it can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and the roots to rot. Other signs of overwatering include wilting, mold or fungus growth, and a sour smell coming from the soil.

Signs of Underwatering

Underwatering can also cause problems for lavender plants, especially in hot, dry weather. Signs of underwatering include drooping leaves, dry soil, and a lack of new growth or flowers.

Checking Lavender's Water Needs

There are several methods for checking if your lavender plant needs water:

Soil Moisture Test

One of the easiest ways to check if your lavender needs water is to stick your finger into the soil. If the top inch of soil is dry, it's time to water your plant. If the soil is still moist, wait a few more days before checking again.

Leaf Appearance Test

Another way to check if your lavender needs water is to examine the leaves. If the leaves are wilted, dry, or starting to turn yellow or brown, your plant may be thirsty.

Plant Weight Test

You can also lift the pot or container to determine if your lavender needs water. If the pot feels light, it's time to water your plant. If the pot still feels heavy, wait a few more days before checking again.

Watering Lavender

When it's time to water your lavender, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

Watering Techniques

Water your lavender slowly and deeply, allowing the water to soak into the soil. Avoid getting water on the leaves or flowers, as this can cause them to rot or develop fungus. If you're growing lavender in a container, make sure the pot has drainage holes to prevent water from pooling in the bottom.

Watering Frequency

The frequency of watering your lavender will depend on several factors, including the climate, the type of soil, and the size of the container. In general, lavender should be watered once a week during the growing season and less frequently during the winter months.

Watering Amount

The amount of water your lavender needs will depend on the size of the plant and the size of the container. As a general rule, water your lavender until the soil is moist but not waterlogged. You should also avoid letting the soil dry out completely, as this can stress the plant and cause it to wilt.


By following these tips, you can ensure that your lavender plant stays healthy and vibrant. Remember to check the soil moisture regularly and water your plant slowly and deeply when needed. With a little care and attention, your lavender plant will reward you with its fragrant, beautiful flowers for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my lavender plant needs water?

To determine if your lavender plant needs water, check the soil moisture level by inserting your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry at that depth, it's time to water. However, if the soil feels moist, hold off on watering as lavender prefers well-drained soil.

How do you tell if lavender is over or underwatered?

Overwatered lavender may exhibit yellowing leaves, root rot, or a wilting appearance. Underwatered lavender will have drooping leaves and may appear weak. It's important to strike a balance and ensure the soil is adequately moist but not waterlogged.

How often should lavender be watered?

Lavender plants generally require watering once every 7 to 10 days, depending on environmental conditions. However, it's crucial to adjust the watering frequency based on factors like temperature, humidity, and soil type. Always prioritize well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging.

Should you water lavender every day?

No, lavender should not be watered every day. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues. It's best to allow the soil to dry out between waterings to promote healthy root growth and prevent waterlogged conditions.

Why is it important to avoid overwatering lavender?

Overwatering lavender can be detrimental to its health. Excess moisture in the soil can cause root rot, leading to the plant's decline or death. Lavender prefers drier conditions and thrives in well-drained soil, so it's crucial to avoid overwatering to maintain its vitality.

Can lavender tolerate drought conditions?

Lavender is known for its ability to tolerate drought conditions. In fact, it prefers slightly dry soil over being consistently wet. Once established, lavender plants have deep root systems that help them access moisture from deeper soil layers. However, during prolonged droughts, it's still important to provide some water to prevent extreme stress.

Is it better to underwater or overwater lavender?

It is generally better to underwater lavender than to overwater it. Lavender is a drought-tolerant plant and can withstand dry conditions better than excessive moisture. Underwatering may cause temporary wilting, but the plant can recover once watered adequately. Overwatering, on the other hand, can lead to root rot and severe damage to the plant.