How to Tell If Lavender Plants Are Dead

Written by kimberly johnson
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How to Tell If Lavender Plants Are Dead
Lavender regrows for five to six years after planting. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Lavender is a perennial plant that grows in a bushy form with tall, vertical spikes. The top of each spike is covered in small, highly-fragrant purple flowers. Lavender plants are harvested and used for their fragrance; they're also used as herbs in food dishes. Although lavender plants die back in the winter, they regrow each spring or summer. If you are wondering whether your plant is dormant or dead, there are some signs to look for.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Look at the outside of the lavender stems to see if there is any green colouring on them at all. If any green remains, the plant is still alive. However, the lack of green colouring does not necessarily mean that the lavender plant is dead.

  2. 2

    Hold back one of the lavender stems that appears dead. Trace it down as close to the base of the plant as possible and scratch the stem deeply with your fingernail.

  3. 3

    Look closely at the scratched area of the stem. If you see any green colouring or white colouring that is moist, the lavender plant is still alive. If the stem is brown or hollow, the lavender plant is dead.

Tips and warnings

  • Most lavender plants die after approximately five to six years.
  • If you scratch one stem and find that it is dead, test three to four more stems before determining that the lavender plant is dead.

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