Lavender Watering Basics: Simple Steps for Optimal Plant Care

While lavender plants are relatively easy to care for, I find that they can be susceptible to problems. One of the main challenges lavender owners face is watering their plants on a proper schedule. In this guide, I’ll cover when and how I water my lavender plants to keep them happy and thriving.

When and How to Water Lavender Plants

When Should I Water My Lavender Plants? Key Takeaways

Lavender plants require low to moderate amounts of moisture and prefer their soil to dry out in between watering. I water my lavender plants when the top two inches of soil is dry. Depending on environmental conditions, you may need to water every 7 to 10 days for optimal care.

When to Water

Potted lavender plants in red planters growing indoors
Most lavender plants need watering every 7 to 10 days indoors

Lavender plants like to be watered when their soil is slightly dry. The goal is never to allow the soil to dry out completely but also to prevent the soil from remaining moist.

The best way I find to determine when to water a lavender plant is to check the soil. If your plant is showing signs it’s lacking water, you’ve waited too long to water.

That said, you should water your lavender plant when the top two inches of soil are dry.

How to Check When to Water

My favorite technique to check soil moisture levels is with my fingertips. If the top two inches feel dry, it’s time to water. If they feel moist, hold off on watering.

Watering Frequencies

In my experience, lavender plants need to be watered once every one to two weeks. However, the exact frequency you’ll need to water will depend on a few different factors.

Environmental Considerations

A lavender plant with pink flowers and green foliage growing in a pot next to a window indoors
Warm temperatures and exposure to bright sunlight can accelerate watering frequencies

When determining how often to water your lavender plant, keep the following factors in mind.

  • Temperature: A higher temperature means increased rates of transpiration. Therefore, you will need to water more frequently at higher temperatures.
  • Humidity: Low humidity will also lead to high transpiration rates. Therefore, you can expect to water more often when the air is dry.
  • Sunlight: More sun equals more transpiration, meaning you must water more often.
  • Airflow: Increased airflow from drafts or vents means watering your plant more often.

Seasonal Considerations

When the shorter days of winter arrive, many plants slow their growth. This is true for lavender plants. As such, plants transpire less and require less water.

However, the humidity is often lower during the winter, which may mean you need to water your plant more frequently.

How to Water

A collection of lavender plants growing in containers outside
I prefer the ‘top-down’ watering technique for lavender plants

Lavender prefers deep wet and dry cycles. This means you should thoroughly water your lavender plant’s soil and allow it to dry before watering again.

Top and bottom watering are both appropriate for lavender.

To top water, slowly water the soil while aiming not to wet the plant’s foliage. Remove any water that has been collected in the pot’s catch dish. This is what I do.

Bottom watering involves sitting your lavender pot in a dish with an inch or two of water. The water will dry up through the soil over a few hours. Remove the pot from the water dish when the top of the soil is moist.

What Type of Water is Best?

Most types of lavender plants generally aren’t too picky about the type of water they receive. That means tap water is often fine to use.

However, consider using rainwater or filtered water if your tap water is hard or filled with lots of minerals.

Signs You Might be Overwatering

A close shot of purple lavender flowers in bloom during the growing season
Be careful not to overwater your plants which can lead to root rot and pest problems

If you’re overwatering your lavender plant, you may notice one or more of the following.

If the soil is constantly moist, roots may develop rot. This prevents the plant from taking up water, possibly resulting in drooping or wilting leaves.

If you remove your lavender plant from its pot and notice soft or mushy roots, it’s like your plant has a fungal infection known as root rot. Since this condition occurs most often in wet soil, it can be a sign of overwatering.

Yellowing or browning leaves may also indicate watering your lavender plant too much.

I’d also recommend not misting or placing your plant too close to a plant humidifier. Lavender plants typically need massive amounts of humidity to thrive and the excess moisture on the foliage can lead to other problems.

Signs You Might be Underwatering

Wilting and drooping leaves can also indicate that you’re not providing your plant with enough water.

Wrapping Up

Remember to only water your lavender plant when the top few inches of soil is dry. If you’re unsure if you should water, edge on the side of keeping the soil dry rather than moist.

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