Can Lavender Grow in the Shade? [How Much Sun is Needed?]

can lavender grow in the shade

Lavender is a beautiful and versatile plant that thrives in climates that are sunny . They’re known for their beautiful and fragrant purple flowers that are used for aromatherapy, dyes, food, and more. You might be wondering if it’s possible to grow lavender in a shadier environment, like indoors or under a shady tree.

But can lavender handle heavy shade? The short answer is, no, lavender plants don’t do well in shady conditions. Even the more shade-resistant varieties grown at home will do better in a full-sun environment.

In this article, we’ll discuss why lavender plants need full sun, why sunlight is beneficial for plants, which lavender varieties are more shade resistant, and more.

Why do lavender plants need full sun?

While some plants can thrive in partial sun or even full shade, lavender is not one of them. But what are the real risks of growing lavender in a shadier spot?

One main difference you’ll notice with a lavender plant that doesn’t get that much sun is the size and lack of flowers. A shade-grown lavender plant will likely not flower nearly as much and will often grow to be much smaller.

But the main problem with growing lavender in the shade is the risk of root rot. Root rot occurs when there’s too much moisture in the soil for the roots to absorb, leaving them to decay in the water. Ample sunlight helps to keep excess water from absorbing into the soil, helping prevent root rot in plants.

Are there lavender plants that are more shade resistant?

There are several different lavender plants that may do better in a shadier environment. Still, if you can plant them in a sunny spot that gets several hours of direct sun today, they will always do better than in the shade.

  1. English lavender is the most common and well-known variant of the plant, and is the kind that comes to mind when you hear the word “lavender”.
  2. Mona lavender is the ideal option if you’re looking to grow lavender in a pot. It flourishes with minimal care. Native to South Africa, it’s known for its small purple spikes of blooms just above its foliage.
  3. French Lace lavender, also known as Egyptian lavender, is a much smaller variety and a good choice to be grown in pots. This is especially the case since it does not tolerate the cold and must be brought indoors during the winter months.
  4. Grosso is a French hybrid Lavender famous for its stunning dark blue spikes and wide green-gray foliage. In the right conditions, it grows large and fast, with wide leaves and an abundance of flowers.
Grow Your Yard Tip
While some varieties of lavender will grow with less sunlight, it’s important to note that even the hardiest lavender plants need sunlight to thrive. If you grow it in shadier conditions you’ll risk seeing fewer blooms with a weather fragrance.

DON’T MISS: Take a look at your extensive guide to Lavender Planters.

Is it possible to grow lavender in the shade?

While it’s tempting to want to throw some lavender in your yard under a tree or in a shady spot to bring color and vibrancy to your garden, it’s important to remember that you’ll run the risk of a smaller and less vibrant plant. However, it’s possible to grow a lavender plant in the shade or indoors if you follow certain steps:

  • Use quick-draining soil. It’s so important to keep water and moisture from accumulating in the roots, so choose sandy loam soil with plenty of drainage and mild nutrients.
  • Give your lavender as much sunlight as possible. This is especially true in the spring and summer since enough sunlight during the growing season is crucial to creating a healthy plant.
  • Use a planter with plenty of drainage. Another great way to cut down on the excess moisture in the soil is to ensure you plant your lavender in a pot with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom to help prevent root rot.
  • Do not overwater! Less is truly more when it comes to watering lavender. To prevent oversaturating your plant, wait for the soil to become completely dry before watering again.

How do you Revive a Dying Lavender Plant?

If you notice your lavender plant has yellowing/drooping leaves or leggy growth, you should act quickly to keep your plant from dying; these are symptoms of root rot and not enough sunlight.

If your lavender has been left in the shade too long or overwatered, you have to act quickly to save it. Transfer the plant directly into a dry terra cotta pot with new soil (do not water it if the roots are already wet!), and set it out in direct sunlight.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many hours of sun does lavender need?

Most varieties of lavender need at least 6 hours a day of full sun. Ideally, lavender plants will receive 3 hours of sun in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. This means you’ll want to grow your lavender in open areas with few obstructions.

Where does lavender grow best?

Lavender is most famously grown in sunny and sandy locales like France, Spain, and Italy. They do well in environments that have well-draining soil, not too much rain, and lots of unfiltered sunlight.

Is it possible for lavender to get too much sun?

Lavender is an incredibly hardy plant, and you’re unlikely to find an environment where it gets too much sun. As long as it has well-draining soil and isn’t allowed to wither away, too much sunlight will never be a problem.


While lavender makes a beautiful addition to any herb garden or backyard, it’s important to take into consideration the environment you’ll be growing it in.

In addition, choosing the right variety of lavender for your growing situation can make the difference in whether your plant thrives or withers away. Choose more shade-resistant plants if you’ve got a shadier backyard or balcony, and especially if you’ll be growing indoors. But don’t assume any lavender plant can grow in full shade.

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