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Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

Posted by just_me_6 WV 6 -Tri State: Ohi (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 10, 08 at 20:26

In late March of this year I bought a Provence Lavender plant in the herb section at Lowe's for $2.89. The foliage was thick and green and beautiful when I bought it and it's still doing well in my garden, however the plant has not shown any signs of blooming. Is there a difference in the lavender that is sold in the herb section and the lavender that is sold in the perennials section?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

Nope, it is just too young to bloom yet. It will probably bloom lightly in September. Be prepared for a bigger display every year. Pick the lavender when the bud show color when viewed from above if you are wanting to make dried arrangements or potpourri; allow the flowers to open and the blooms to be more mature (but not brown) if picking to make sachets. Harvest the full length of the stem all the way to the first few leaves of the bush and hang in a warm area out of direct light to dry. Provence is the premier herb for sachets and soaps; great sweet scent but not a lot of color when dried.


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

I have some lavender that never bloomed! And we got these several years ago from a nursery. I think they said it was Spanish Lavender.


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

While I can't say exactly why a particular plant doesn't bloom, I can say:

1.) Perennials usually put the energy in the first year or two into growth. Blooms come when the plant has matured and established itself enough.

2.) Plants don't bloom when they are "unhappy." Bad soil, not enough sun, too much sun, too much water,not enough water, transplant shock, and more. Read up on your plant and see if you are giving it what it requires.

3.) Some plants are forced or abused by growers or merchants before you get them. Some of these poor things never-ever bloom again after bringing the plant home - that's saying they even survive any length of time to begin with. Some plants are also of poor stock and quality to begin with. To avoid these problems as much as possible, buy plants from reputable nurseries. Buy plants from discount, "big-box" places if you choose, but sometimes you get exactly what you pay for.

4.) Some plants just don't bloom for whatever genetic happenstance that may have occurred when the seed was created. Plants from cuttings are "clones" of the parent and should be true to the parent plant's characteristics. Seeds have variety and that can be the beauty of seeds as well as the drawback.

5.) Some plants are mis-marked, mis-labeled and otherwise not as advertised.

FataMorgana


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

I am the original poster of this thread. It is the end of July and my Provence lavender that I bought from Lowe's has still not bloomed. It looks as healthy as can be but there are no signs of blooms.

I had also ordered several Provence, Hidcote Giant, and Grosso lavender from a mail order company this spring before I came across this one at Lowe's. The mail order plants were smaller than the Lowe's plant and they were planted a couple weeks after the Lowe's plant and yet every one of the small mail order plants has bloomed.

I just don't get it why this one Provence lavender that bought from Lowe's still hasn't bloomed. I guess I'll keep watching it and see what happens. I just wasn't clear as to whether there might be something different about a lavender that was in a little pot in the herb section of Lowe's as opposed to the bigger lavender plants that were located in the perennial section of Lowe's.


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

Did you see my previous post? Same comments apply.

Other than that, I would say to make your future plant purchases from a local or mail-order nursery rather from some discount big-box place. Cheaper isn't always better - as your experience has shown.

FataMorgana


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

I don't want to discourage you, but I too purchased a lavender plant from Lowe's herb section 2 years ago and my lavender plant still has not bloomed. It is getting large, about 2ft tall and wide. The leaves are lovely and the plant seems very happy where it is, but no flowers.

Have you gone back to Lowe's and asked about it? I plan to and do some research with lavender farms in my area. You may want to do the same.

I feel your frustration, but I do hope that we have great rewards for our patience too.


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

I baught and planted a lavender plant from Pikes, last winter (Jan 08). It has been growing fine and gettign bushy, but no signs of bloom. We have had 2 months real hot weather so far(average day high aroun 95F)??

I should add that my herb garden gets about 6 hours of sun. Everything in it doing great, so is the lavender. My thymes, marjorams, savory, dills, cress.. all have flowered.
I think that my lavender plant is not quite feeling at home. Too touchy???


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

Fatamorgana is right again. She lists the reasons why the plant might not be blooming. I've had to move a few perennials to find a place where they seemed "happy".
I also bought a lavender plant from Lowes. It had a few blooms on it when I bought it- none since I planted it and it's been almost three months. It is just now starting to look content. However, if it doesnt bloom by next year, I'll either try more water, shade from nearby flowers, soil drainage, whatever- or perhaps I'll have to move it.
In my experience lavender is just a little more sensitive than other herbs. Just my experience.


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

Many of the plants that you purchase in the spring that have blooms on them have been fed several chemicals to make them bloom. Sometimes these chemicals linger. With my Provance I do not expect them to bloom the first year. The oldest one I have had was 10 years old when the gutter burst on it in the middle of winter and died. I had allowed it to become very woody and beautiful. For those that do not get any blooms this year remember you can use lavender leaves in many dishes. I love in all kinds of soaps and stuck in steaks or chicken. Use any where you would use rosemary the experiment with other uses.


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

I hear you! AND I bought mine from a real nursery!! Still no bloom after 2 years. I have a new drip system, so I may chop it in half along with the garlic, and make a new herb garden with morning sun. It will be in the vineyard under the vines. It might be happier in a container!!


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

Growers may apply chemicals that control growth (growth regulators) to ornamentals to keep them looking good for longer. They also may apply chemicals that cause branching to reduce the cost of having to pinch the plants by hand. If your plants received too much of either of these they may be permanently stunted in one way or another. Usually, plants are forced to bloom by altering the growing environment by controlling the temperature up or down and/or controlling the day length. Plants will "reset" to their growing environment once planted if they have been "forced" to bloom in this way.
In general, the large commercial growers that supply places like Lowe's have limited knowledge about herbs. I have seen lavender labeled as rosemary in these places.

So, assuming that they were properly identified at least as lavender...

A hard pruning in late spring may prevent blooming.

A likely scenario, already mentioned earlier is that they are not 'Provence'. They may be 'Dutch' which is not a prolific bloomer, although it is widely offered in the U.S. It is possible the are actually L stoechas. After a long, cold winter in Northern VA, (assuming this more tender species survives) L. stoechas may not bloom. It is usually the first of the hardy/semi-hardy species to bloom for me but severe cold damage often prevents them from blooming. In the Seattle area, L. stoechas may re-bloom all summer or longer.

Assuming the plants are getting the proper sun and are otherwise thriving and have not been chemically damaged in some way- in order to bloom well, L. angustifolia and L xintermedia generally need:
1) A cool or cold winter. Some won't bloom in areas of Texas for instance.

2) Long days. That is why these two species of lavender generally only bloom once or twice. This will vary depending on the area of the country/world you live and the cultivar.
The typical bloom time in the mid-Atlantic area is late June for the L. angustifolia cultivars and early July for L. xintermedia. This will be slightly earlier or later as you move South or North in latitude from Washington, D.C.

Both these species will produce more flowers if mulched with white sand/gravel or oyster shells.

There are also several other tender species, often offered in the hotter, more humid, areas of the country, that bloom or re-bloom nearly continuously.

FYI 'Provence' is not a cultivar grown for oil in France. It is a beautiful, large plant though.

F. DeBaggio


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

Well I am happy to say that 3 summers later my lavender is blooming. I have been giving it random drinks of miracle grow every 4-6 months and leaving it alone. Patience paid off. It has 4 flowers and many buds that will soon be flowers. Mine gets sun in the middle of the day, shade in morning and evenings. Don't know if this will help you out. The little Lowe's plant that could finally pulled through.


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

I am glad you have a few blooms but I am guessing the lack of sun is your problem. Lavender needs as much sun as you get get it at Least 6 hours preferably 8. In addition they are a xeric plant which does not require or like much water, or fertilizer or even an organic mulch. If you give it fertilizer it will give you growth but few flowers. Lavender in the fields of Provence has no supplemental water, the soil is very nutrient POOR, and is made up of rock more than soil.
Although many of you feel it is touchy, or finicky you couldn't be farther from the truth. I have 14 varieties in the garden, planted in a rocky mixture, No water other than rain even in our drought last year, no fertilizer and they have been there for 7 years. Beautiful, full of flowers and other than being wicked and cutting they back severely to force new growth they are as low maintenance as you can get.
herbgal


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

Thank you for all the postings. I too have a lavendar that has been in place for over 5 years, has really healthy foliage, but just wont bloom. It gets a good amount of sun too. I will try and miracle grow and see what happens.


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

Many herbs resent fertilizer. I'd skip the fertilizer.

FataMorgana


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

I have a provence lavendar and it blooms. The problem is that the flowers rise way above the foliage and so the plant in bloom looks out of place where I have it (I need a lower plant there). I am considering giving it a haircut or pinching out the high growth. Can either of these be done? Do I have to worry about pinching off/cutting the flowers stalk? If the latter is a problem, what is the latest pruning can be done without destroying blooms? I am in zone 5.


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

I agree about them NOT liking overly fertile soils--they'll resent it! Excessive fertility may be encouraging them to produce vegetative growth and inhibit flowering. Lavender excels with FULL SUN and under some conditions of drought stress with well-draining soils.


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

I have my lavender in full sun and I hardly ever water it in Phoenix. Same with my rosemary. My brother is on the botanical gardens staff. His backyard looks like a xeriscaped botanical garden, full of lavender and it is planted in gravel, almost never water, full, hot AZ sun.


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

while on the subject of lavender, I too have one that is POTTED & a beautiful bush, but no blooms since purchasing it at Lowe's? I'd like to save it & see what happens next year. Can anyone tell me how to protect it during the winter?


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RE: Do Some Lavender Never Bloom?

You need to know the specific variety of your lavender. French and Spanish varieties are much more tender than some of the English varietals which can go down to zone 4.

Are you wanting to bring it indoors for winter, or overwinter outside?


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