Why did my lavender plant not flower?

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A lavender plant that refuses to flower can be very frustrating -- after all, the plant's splendid purple blooms and delicate fragrance are among the primary reasons why gardeners grow lavender. Luckily, remedies for lavender blooming problems abound.

Reasons for failure to bloom

Many lavender plants fail to bloom because of poor care. Lack of adequate fertiliser, especially a lack of phosphorus, can cause shrubs and perennials to stop flowering. Excessive pruning can also damage a plant or remove flower buds, especially if done right before flowering in the summer. Poor location is also a frequent cause of perennials not blooming. Low levels of sunlight, harsh winter winds and poor drainage or inadequate moisture can all be causes of poor flowering.

Remedy for lavender problems

Identifying the cause is the first step in correcting the problem. Evaluation of the site for drainage and sunlight, soil testing and a review of pruning practices is essential. Adding fertiliser, perhaps only phosphorus, can correct the problem. Pruning after blooming or in the winter will also help your lavender to bloom the following season.

Additional considerations

Lavender plants do best when not grown in isolation. Planting in groups helps the plants stay healthy. Gardeners should also select plant varieties that do well in the UK's temperate climate. Some lavenders that bloom well in southern Britain may not prosper in the far north.

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