It is generally thought
that lavender is a drought-tolerant plant. This may be true where plants are
mature and there is little wind. In areas where there are a lot of drying
winds, lavenders can dehydrate quickly and die. Young lavender in particular
needs to be watched for any sign of dryness. Older plants are much more likely
to withstand dry conditions.
When transplanting stock, planting new plants or encouraging your plants, watering is vital. Adequate moisture at this time will also increase stem length and the number of spikes and help to minimize stress for the hot summer months.
have been grown in harsh, dry conditions will survive but may appear stunted
with short flower stems (peduncles) and much-reduced spikes (inflorescences).
Trials have also shown marked differences in oil quality between plants that
have been unduly stressed compared with those that have not.
Over watering or high rainfall (particularly in potted plants) can stress plants in the other direction causing lush growth resulting in plants that are incapable of holding a compact form and causing foliage to split open and stems to sprawl. Too much water, especially combined with humidity, can also leave the plant susceptible to root rot and other fungal and bacterial diseases.
As each area’s
climate differs, use your knowledge of your local environment to determine
how much water your lavender will require. If your soil holds moisture well
or rainfall is sufficient, you may keep watering to a minimum or not at all.
Also, consider carefully your method of watering before planting a large area of lavender. Overhead sprinklers may be used for young plants when they are starting growth for the season, but once the stems have elongated and spikes are almost fully developed, sprinklers may cause the bush to split open in the center. There is also the risk of bacterial and fungal diseases, particularly in more humid conditions. For that reason, trickle or drip irrigation is a better choice.
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