How To Transplant Lavender Seedlings?

Do you wonder when to transplant lavender seedlings? Lavender is a perennial herb known for its beautiful purple flowers and delightful fragrance. Cultivating lavender from seedlings can be a rewarding gardening endeavor, but it comes with its unique set of challenges.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about when to transplant lavender seedling, care, and how to transplant them, watering requirements, dealing with common problems, and more.

When To Transplant Lavender Seedlings?

Lavender seedlings are best transplanted when they have formed several sets of true leaves and have a well-developed root system. This is typically around the six to eight-week mark after sowing. The timing is critical because this is the stage when the young plants are strong enough to handle the stress of transplanting.

It’s also essential to consider the outdoor climate when deciding when to transplant your lavender seedlings. It is recommended to wait until after the last expected frost date in your area, as lavender is a warm-weather plant that could be damaged by cold temperatures. This generally means transplanting in late spring or early summer for most regions.

How To Transplant Lavender Seedlings?

Transplanting lavender seedlings involves several critical steps to ensure their survival and growth. Begin by preparing the planting site, which should have well-draining soil and receive plenty of sunlight. Lavender plants prefer a slightly alkaline soil pH, so it might be necessary to amend the soil accordingly.

The next step is to carefully remove the seedling from its current container, taking care not to damage the root system. Make a hole in the planting site, place the seedling in the hole, then backfill with soil, ensuring that the seedling’s base is level with the soil surface. Finally, water the transplanted seedling thoroughly and continue to monitor its progress in the following weeks.

How Deep Should I Plant Lavender Seedlings?

The depth at which you plant lavender seedlings is crucial to their survival and growth. As a rule of thumb, the hole should be deep enough to accommodate the seedling’s root ball completely. Generally, this is about the same depth as the container in which they were grown.

When placing the seedling in the hole, ensure that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Planting too deep can lead to root rot, while planting too shallow might expose the roots to air and dry them out. After placing the seedling, backfill with soil and tamp down gently to remove any air pockets.

How Often Should I Water Lavender Seedlings?

Watering frequency for lavender seedlings depends on several factors, including the size of the plant, the type of soil, and the local weather conditions. As a general rule, lavender prefers well-drained soil and does not do well in overly moist conditions. This means you should allow the soil to dry out between watering.

In the first few weeks after transplanting, it’s advisable to keep the soil consistently moist but never waterlogged. Once established, watering can be reduced, typically once every two weeks, or when the soil is dry to touch. Keep in mind that overwatering is a common mistake and can lead to root rot in lavender plants.

Can I Grow Lavender Seedlings In Pots?

Yes, you can absolutely grow lavender seedlings in pots. This can be an excellent option for those who have limited space, or if the soil conditions in your garden are not ideal for lavender. When selecting a pot, ensure it’s large enough to accommodate the mature size of the lavender plant and has excellent drainage.

Plant the seedlings in a well-draining soil mix, ideally one designed for Mediterranean-type plants. Place the pot in a sunny location, as lavender requires lots of sunlight to thrive. Remember that potted plants may require more frequent watering than those planted in the ground, but avoid overwatering.

How Do I Thin Lavender Seedlings?

Thinning lavender seedlings is crucial to prevent overcrowding and promote healthy growth. This process should start when the seedlings have at least two sets of true leaves. Thinning involves removing some plants to ensure the remaining ones have enough space to grow and develop properly.

To thin out your lavender seedlings, choose the strongest and healthiest looking ones to keep, and remove the weaker or smaller seedlings. This can be done by gently pinching or snipping them at the soil line. Remember, the goal is to provide enough space for each remaining plant to receive adequate light, water, and nutrients.

What Should I Do If My Lavender Seedlings Are Leggy?

If your lavender seedlings are becoming leggy, this often indicates that they are not receiving adequate light. The seedlings may be stretching towards the light source, resulting in tall, thin, and weak stems. To correct this, move the seedlings to a location where they will receive more light, preferably direct sunlight for at least six hours a day.

You can also rotate the plants regularly to ensure all sides receive equal light exposure. Pruning might be necessary to promote bushier growth. Pinch back the tips of the seedlings, encouraging the plant to branch out and become fuller.

Why Are My Lavender Seedlings Wilting?

Wilting in lavender seedlings can be a sign of several problems, including overwatering, underwatering, or a disease. Overwatering can cause root rot, which results in wilting and yellowing leaves. In this case, you need to reduce watering frequency and ensure the plant has proper drainage.

Underwatering can also cause wilting, as the plant doesn’t have enough moisture to sustain its growth. If the soil is dry and the plant is wilted, increase your watering frequency. If wilting is accompanied by other symptoms like spots or discoloration, it could be a sign of disease, and it’s best to consult a local extension service or a plant disease guide.

Why Are My Lavender Seedlings Turning Yellow?

Lavender seedlings turning yellow is often a symptom of overwatering or poor drainage, which can lead to root rot. Lavender prefers dry, well-drained soil, and waterlogged conditions can cause the roots to become oxygen-starved and start to decay. To rectify this, reduce watering and ensure the plant is in a well-draining location or pot.

Another possible reason could be nutrient deficiencies, particularly nitrogen. If the yellowing is accompanied by stunted growth, consider applying a balanced, slow-release fertilizer, ensuring it doesn’t have a high nitrogen content, as lavender prefers a lean soil.

Why Are My Lavender Seedlings Turning Black?

Lavender seedlings turning black is usually a sign of a fungal disease, often caused by overly moist conditions. Root rot can cause the plant’s roots to decay and eventually affect the stems and leaves, turning them black. If you notice blackening on your lavender seedlings, it’s best to remove and dispose of the affected plants to prevent the disease from spreading.

Ensure the remaining plants are in well-draining soil and are not overwatered to prevent future issues. Applying a fungicide may also be beneficial, but it’s always a good idea to consult a plant disease guide or a local extension service for specific advice.

What Should I Do If My Lavender Seedlings Are Not Growing?

If your lavender seedlings are not growing, they might be experiencing stress from improper watering, inadequate light, or nutrient deficiencies. Ensure the plants receive plenty of light, ideally direct sunlight for at least six hours a day. Adjust your watering schedule to keep the soil consistently moist but never waterlogged.

If the seedlings still aren’t growing, consider the nutrients in the soil. While lavender doesn’t need rich soil, it does require some essential nutrients. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer might help boost growth. However, remember to keep the nitrogen content low as too much can lead to soft, leggy growth.


Successfully growing lavender from seedlings requires knowledge and patience. Transplanting at the right time, providing appropriate sunlight and watering, and addressing issues like leggy growth or discoloration promptly are all critical for healthy lavender plants. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well-equipped to cultivate your own thriving lavender garden, whether in the ground or in pots. Remember that each plant is unique, and observing and adjusting to its individual needs is the key to successful gardening.