Lavender is a versatile herb and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various ailments. Its soothing aroma and healing properties make it a popular choice among people worldwide. However, as the plant ages, it undergoes certain changes that can affect its fragrance and appearance. One such change is when lavender becomes woody. In this article, we will discuss what causes lavender to become woody and how to deal with this issue.
What Causes Lavender to Become Woody?
Lavender is a perennial plant that grows up to three feet tall. It produces woody stems as it ages, which can lead to a reduction in its fragrance and the size of its flowers. The causes of lavender becoming woody are multiple. Here are some of the most common ones.
- Lack of pruning: Lavender requires regular pruning to maintain its growth and prevent it from becoming woody. If you neglect to prune your plant regularly, it can become woody quickly.
- Environmental factors: Lavender is a hardy plant and can grow well in most soil types. However, if it is exposed to too much heat, cold, or drought, it can become woody.
- Old age: Lavender, like all plants, has a natural lifecycle. As it ages, it produces more wood and fewer flowers, resulting in a woody appearance.
How to Deal with Woody Lavender?
If your lavender has become woody, don’t worry. There are several things you can do to rejuvenate it and get it back to its former glory. Here are a few tips that can help.
Pruning is one of the essential tasks to prevent lavender from becoming woody. By removing damaged, dead, or overgrown branches, you can encourage your plant to produce more flowers and maintain its shape. Pruning should be done regularly, preferably after the flowering season or in the early spring. Avoid pruning too much as it can cause damage to the plant.
If your lavender has already become too woody, you can use renewal pruning to bring it back to life. Renewal pruning involves cutting back the plant to its base, leaving just a few inches of foliage. This method works well for younger plants that have not yet developed a full woody structure. It might be best to do this in early spring, so the plant has time to recover during the growing season.
Amend the Soil
Lavender thrives in well-drained soil with a pH level of 6.5 – 7.5. If your soil is too acidic, it can make it difficult for the plant to absorb nutrients, leading to a woody appearance. You can amend your soil by adding dolomite lime or garden lime to increase the pH level.
Replace Old Plants
If your woody lavender is too old or beyond repair, you may want to consider replacing it with new plants. By planting new lavender, you can start fresh and avoid any issues that come with an older plant. Ensure that the new plant you choose is grown from a reputable nursery with healthy roots.
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In conclusion, lavender becoming woody is a natural process that occurs over time. However, you can prevent it from happening by pruning regularly and providing optimal growing conditions. If you find that your lavender has already become too woody, you can use renewal pruning, amend the soil, or replace old plants. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy the beautiful fragrance of lavender for years to come.
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Last update 2023-05-30. Price and product availability may change.