Knowing how to grow lavender is essential for every gardener who wishes to add the beautiful and fragrant plant to their gardens. Lavender is not only a great addition to flower borders and dry gardens, but it also thrives in containers, making it a versatile plant for any situation.
When choosing lavender plants, consider the hardiness and variety that will best suit your garden. English lavender varieties are hardy and can withstand harsh winter conditions, while lavandin and stoechas varieties are less hardy and need to be protected when frost is expected. The color and fragrance of lavender flowers also vary, with common varieties offering shades of purple, white, and even pink.
To ensure healthy growth and flowering, lavender requires specific growing conditions. Well-drained soil is crucial, as lavender plants are vulnerable to root rot in heavy, wet soil. If your soil is not well drained, consider planting lavender in raised beds or in containers with good drainage.
Spring is the best time to plant lavender, as it allows the plant to establish its roots before the hot summer weather arrives. Lavender plants should be placed in a sunny spot, where they will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Once planted, lavender requires little maintenance and is drought-tolerant, although regular watering is necessary until the roots are established.
In terms of styling, lavender can be used in various ways in the garden. It looks beautiful when planted in flower borders, where its vibrant color and aromatic fragrance can be appreciated. Lavender also adds charm to dry gardens and rockeries, where its silvery foliage provides a lovely contrast against the surrounding plants.
In summary, growing lavender is a rewarding experience for any gardener. By choosing the right variety, providing the necessary conditions, and giving care when needed, you can enjoy the beauty, fragrance, and versatility of lavender in your own garden. Whether you have a flower border, dry garden, or container, lavender is sure to bring a touch of elegance and serenity to your outdoor space.
How to grow lavender – the different varieties
Lavender is a popular choice for home gardeners due to its beautiful flowers, aromatic fragrance, and low maintenance requirements. There are several different varieties of lavender, each with its own unique characteristics and growing needs. By understanding the different varieties, you can choose the ones that are best suited for your garden and enjoy the beauty and fragrance of lavender year-round.
Variety 1: Lavandula angustifolia
Lavandula angustifolia, also known as English lavender, is one of the most popular lavender varieties. It is a compact and bushy plant that typically grows up to 3 feet tall. English lavender is known for its beautiful blue-purple flowers and strong fragrance. It is highly tolerant of dry conditions and is ideal for growing in flower borders and dry gardens.
Variety 2: Lavandula stoechas
Lavandula stoechas, also known as French lavender, is another popular variety. It has distinctive flowers with short, tufted bracts on top. French lavender is more tolerant to heat and humidity compared to English lavender. It blooms from late spring to early summer and can add a splash of color to your garden. French lavender is often used for dry flower arrangements and potpourri due to its strong fragrance.
Variety 3: Lavandula x intermedia
Lavandula x intermedia, commonly known as lavandin, is a hybrid between English lavender and spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia). It is a vigorous grower and can reach a height of 3 to 4 feet. Lavandin is known for its long-lasting flowers and strong fragrance. This variety is often used for commercial lavender production due to its high essential oil content.
Choosing the Right Variety
When choosing a lavender variety for your garden, there are a few factors to consider. If you live in a colder climate, English lavender is a good choice as it is winter-hardy. French lavender and lavandin are less tolerant to freezing temperatures and may require additional protection in winter. If you are looking for a lavender variety that is suitable for pot cultivation or has a specific color or fragrance, do some research to find the perfect match for your needs.
It is worth noting that lavender can be grown from seeds, but it can take a long time for them to germinate and develop into mature plants. Many gardeners prefer to propagate lavender through cuttings or by purchasing young plants from a nursery. Lavender cuttings can be taken in spring or early summer, while plug plants can be planted in the ground or containers. Lavender prefers well-drained soil and a sunny spot in the garden.
Caring for Lavender
Lavender requires minimal care once established. It is important to prune lavender regularly to maintain a compact and bushy shape. This can be done in late summer or early spring, depending on the variety. Harvesting flowers can encourage lavenders to produce new blooms. Dry lavender flowers in a cool, dark place for later use in potpourri or as decorative elements.
By knowing the different lavender varieties and their specific growing needs, you can successfully grow lavender in your garden and enjoy its beautiful flowers and aromatic fragrance for years to come.
Where to grow lavender
In terms of choosing a spot to grow lavender, there are a few important factors to consider. Lavenders require a sunny and well-drained location, as they are native to the Mediterranean region and thrive in warm and dry conditions. The soil should be light and not too heavy, as lavender does not like wet feet and can suffer from root rot if the soil is too moist.
When it comes to replicating the ideal conditions for lavender, it’s important to know that they will not tolerate being moved once established. Lavender plants are less hardy when they are young, so it’s best to choose a location carefully and plant them there initially, rather than trying to move them later.
There are three main varieties of lavender to choose from: English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), French lavender (Lavandula stoechas), and lavandin or Dutch lavender (Lavandula x intermedia). English lavender is the hardiest and most commonly grown, while French lavender is known for its unique white and pink flowers and strong fragrance. Lavandin is a hybrid between English and French lavender and tends to have longer stems and a less intense fragrance.
When selecting a spot for your lavender, there are a few things to keep in mind. Lavender plants need plenty of space to grow and should be planted at least 2 to 3 feet apart. They also benefit from good air circulation, so avoid planting them too close to other plants or structures.
In terms of timing, lavender can be sown from seed or propagated from cuttings. Sowing lavender from seed requires patience, as it can take up to a year for the seeds to germinate and the plants to start growing. If you choose to go the cutting route, take your cuttings in early summer when the plants are in full leaf. Once cut, strip the bottom leaves from the stem and place the cuttings in water until they develop roots, which usually takes about two weeks. Then, transfer them to a pot with well-draining soil and continue to care for them until they are ready to be planted outside.
Lavender can be planted either in the spring after the last frost or in the fall before the first frost. This timing allows the plants to establish their root systems before the harsh weather sets in. Watering is essential when the plants are establishing themselves, but once they are established, lavender is fairly drought tolerant and does not require much watering.
When choosing a location for lavender, also consider the size and color of the flowers you want. English lavender typically blooms from June to July and comes in shades of purple and blue, while French lavender blooms from late spring to early summer and has white, purple, or pink flowers. Lavandin, on the other hand, often has light purple or violet flowers and also blooms in late spring to early summer.
In terms of styling, lavender can be a great choice for flower borders, dry gardens, and containers. It adds a lovely scent and color to any garden, and the flowers can be harvested and dried for use in potpourri and other crafts. However, always remember to harvest lavender before the flowers have fully opened and turned brown to prevent the loss of fragrance.
The editor, who has aged past her 9th annual of Living in the South, advises those new to gardening to choose a spot that provides the best drainage system. Though varieties like English lavenders and intermedia lavender can thrive in a range of conditions, choosing the spot with the least amount of moisture will yield the best results. With this knowledge, happy planting, and may your inbox be filled with the sweet fragrance of lavender.
How to plant lavender
Lavender plants are a great addition to any garden, adding their beautiful fragrance and stunning color to flower borders and dry gardens. Whether you choose to plant lavender from seed or buy young plants from a nursery, there are a few key steps to keep in mind when planting this versatile herb.
1. Choose the right spot
Lavenders are sun-loving plants and thrive in full sunlight. Choose a spot in your garden that receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. Lavenders also prefer well-draining soil, so make sure the soil is loose, sandy, and slightly alkaline. If you have heavy clay soil, consider adding organic matter and sand to improve drainage.
2. Planting from seed or young plants
There are two options when it comes to planting lavender – you can either start from seed or purchase young plants from a nursery.
- Planting from seed: Lavender seeds can be sown indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date. Fill a seed tray with seed compost, sow the seeds on the surface, and cover them with a thin layer of compost. Keep the tray in a warm spot and make sure to water regularly. Lavender seeds usually take two to three weeks to germinate.
- Planting young plants: If you prefer to skip the seed-starting process, buying young lavender plants from a nursery is a convenient option. Look for well-grown plants with green foliage and a good root system. If possible, choose spring or early summer to plant, when the weather is warmer and less frost is expected.
3. Planting technique
When planting lavender, there are a few important steps to follow:
- Prepare the planting area by removing any weeds and loosening the soil.
- Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of the plant.
- Place the plant in the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
- Backfill the hole with soil, gently firming it around the roots.
- Water the plant well after planting to settle the soil.
4. Care and maintenance
Once planted, lavender requires minimal care and maintenance:
- Watering: Lavenders are drought-tolerant plants and dislike excessive watering. Water the plants deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
- Pruning: Pruning helps to promote bushier growth and extends the lifespan of the plants. In late summer or early fall, trim back the spent flowers and cut back about one-third of the plant’s height. Avoid cutting into the brown or woody parts of the plant.
- Winter protection: Lavenders are hardy plants but may need some protection during harsh winters. Consider covering the plants with a layer of mulch or moving potted lavender indoors during freezing temperatures.
By following these steps, you can successfully plant lavender in your garden and enjoy their fragrant blooms and beautiful color throughout the summer months.
How to grow lavender from seed
Growing lavender from seed is a rewarding and cost-effective way to add these beautiful, fragrant plants to your garden. While it may take a little bit more time and effort compared to buying established plants, the satisfaction of growing lavender from seed is well worth it.
Choosing the seeds
When choosing lavender seeds, it’s important to know that there are many different varieties available. Some varieties are annuals and only bloom once, while others are perennial and will continue blooming year after year. Additionally, there are three main lavender varieties: English lavender, lavandin, and Spanish lavender.
English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the most common variety and is known for its fragrant blue flowers. Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia) is a hybrid variety that is often grown for its higher oil content and larger flowers. Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) has unique bracts on top of its flowers, giving it a distinct look.
Starting the seeds
To start growing lavender from seed, you can either sow them directly into the ground or start them in containers indoors.
If planting directly into the ground, it’s important to choose a well-draining spot in your garden. Lavender plants don’t like to be in overly moist conditions, so good drainage is crucial. Prepare the planting area by removing any weeds and loosening the soil. Sow the seeds according to the packet instructions and lightly cover them with soil.
If starting the seeds indoors, fill small pots or trays with a seed starting mix. Moisten the mix, then sow the lavender seeds on the surface. Cover the seeds lightly with a thin layer of seed starting mix and gently water them.
Nurturing the seedlings
Once the lavender seeds have been planted, they will need consistent moisture to germinate and grow. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, as excess moisture can cause the seeds to rot.
Place the pots or trays in a warm, sunny spot, such as a windowsill. Lavender seeds need plenty of sunlight to germinate and grow. As the seedlings emerge and grow, you may need to thin them out to prevent overcrowding.
After the seedlings have developed a few sets of true leaves, they can be moved into individual pots or planted in the garden. Allow the lavender plants to grow in their pots or in the garden until they are large enough to be transplanted.
Caring for lavender plants
Once your lavender plants are established, they are relatively low-maintenance. Lavender is drought-tolerant, so be careful not to overwater them. Water them deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
Lavender plants also benefit from an annual pruning in early spring to promote bushier growth and prevent them from becoming woody. Harvest the flowers as soon as they start blooming to enjoy their fragrance or for drying purposes. Lavender can be dried by hanging the cut flower stems upside down in a cool, dry place.
Lavender plants generally start flowering in early summer or late spring, depending on the variety. They will continue to flower until late summer or early fall. After the first flush of flowers, you can stimulate more blooms by lightly shearing the plants.
In conclusion, growing lavender from seed is a rewarding process that allows you to enjoy the beauty and fragrance of these plants in your own garden. Whether you choose to start them from seed or buy them as plugs from a nursery, lavender plants can thrive in a variety of conditions and add an aromatic touch to your flower beds, borders, or dry gardens.
How to grow lavender in pots
Growing lavender in pots is a great option for those who don’t have a lot of space or want to keep the plants closer to home. Lavender is a versatile plant that can thrive in containers and still provide all the beauty and benefits of its blooming flowers. Here’s what you need to know:
Choosing the right variety
When selecting a lavender variety for your pot, it’s important to consider the size of the container and the conditions it will be placed in. Some varieties of lavender, such as Lavandula angustifolia or English lavender, are well-suited for containers due to their compact growth habit. On the other hand, lavandin and Lavandula stoechas, also known as French lavender or Spanish lavender, can develop into larger plants and may need more space.
Planting and care
To plant lavender in pots, choose a container with good drainage and fill it with well-draining potting soil. Lavender plants prefer sunny conditions, so place the pots in a sunny spot where they will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Water the lavender plants regularly, but make sure to let the soil dry out between waterings to prevent over-watering.
During the growing season, lavender plants benefit from a little fertilizer. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month, following the package instructions. Prune the plants once they finish flowering to encourage new growth and maintain the desired shape.
In colder climates, lavender plants in pots should be brought indoors or moved to a protected area before the first frost. Lavender is generally quite frost-tolerant, but potted plants are more susceptible to cold temperatures. Place the containers in a cool and bright room, and reduce watering during the winter months.
Harvesting and using lavender
When the lavender plants start blooming, you can harvest the flowers for their fragrance and dried for decorative purposes. Cut the flower stalks just as the flowers begin to open, and hang them upside down in a dark, well-ventilated area to dry.
Once the flowers are dry, you can use them in various ways. Lavender flowers can be used to make essential oils, sachets, or potpourri. They can also be added to recipes, such as lavender-infused sugar or lavender honey.
In conclusion, growing lavender in pots is a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty and fragrance of this beautiful plant, even if you have limited space. With proper care and attention to their specific needs, lavender plants can thrive in containers, replicating their natural growth habits in the garden. Happy gardening!
How to care for lavender plants
Lavender plants are a popular choice for home gardeners due to their beautiful flowers and aromatic scent. To ensure that your lavender plants stay healthy and thriving, it’s important to provide them with proper care and attention. Here are some tips to help you care for your lavender plants:
When planting lavender, it’s important to choose a well-drained spot in your garden. Lavender plants do not like wet feet and are prone to rotting in heavy, poorly drained soil. Make sure to plant them in a sunny spot with good air circulation.
While lavender plants require regular watering in their first year, they are drought-tolerant once established. Water your lavender plants deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can cause root rot and lead to the death of the plant.
To prevent your lavender plants from becoming straggly and woody, it’s important to prune them regularly. Pruning can also help to stimulate new growth and prevent the plant from becoming too leggy. In early spring, trim back any dead or brown growth, as well as any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other.
Lavender plants produce beautiful flowers that can be harvested for various purposes, such as making sachets or potpourri. Harvest the flowers when they are fully open and the color is at its peak. Cut the stems just above the leaves and gather them into small bouquets. Hang the bouquets upside down in a cool, dry place to dry.
If you want to replicate your lavender plants, you can do so by taking cuttings. In late spring or early summer, take cuttings from the non-flowering shoots of your lavender plant. Dip the cut ends in rooting hormone and then plant them in pots filled with well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist until the cuttings have rooted, which usually takes 4-6 weeks.
In conclusion, caring for lavender plants involves providing them with proper planting conditions, regular pruning, and harvesting the flowers at the right time. By following these care tips, you can ensure that your lavender plants will thrive in your garden, adding beauty and fragrance to your outdoor space.
Lavender varieties to grow
- English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): This variety is known for its strong fragrance and is the most common type of lavender grown. It is tolerant of dry conditions and prefers well-drained soil. English lavender plants are typically hardy and can withstand cold winters.
- French lavender (Lavandula stoechas): These plants have distinctive flowers that resemble butterfly wings. They are less hardy than English lavender and may not survive harsh winter conditions. French lavender is best suited for growing in pots or containers that can be moved indoors during the colder months.
- Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata): This variety has long-lasting flowers and is known for its beautiful color. It is tolerant of heat and drought and can thrive in sandy or rocky soil. Spanish lavender is great for adding a pop of color to flower beds or dry gardens.
- Hybrid lavender (Lavandula x intermedia): These plants are a cross between English and French lavender and combine the best traits of both varieties. They are often used for culinary purposes, as well as for their fragrance and beautiful flowers. Hybrid lavender is hardy and can withstand colder temperatures.
If you live in an area with very cold winters, it’s important to choose a lavender variety that is hardy and can tolerate frost. English lavender and hybrid lavender are good choices for such climates. On the other hand, if you live in a milder climate, you have more options and can experiment with different varieties.
When growing lavender, it’s also important to consider the type of soil and drainage. Lavender plants prefer well-drained soil, so if you have heavy clay soil, you may need to amend it with aged compost or sand to improve drainage.
Some lavender varieties, such as Lavandula stoechas, can be grown from seed, but they may take longer to germinate and establish. It’s best to start seeds indoors in late winter or early spring to give them a head start before planting them outside.
In terms of styling, lavender can be planted in beds or borders, along walkways, or even in containers. They are particularly stunning when planted in mass, creating a sea of purple flowers. Lavender flowers also make great dried flower arrangements, adding a touch of elegance to any space.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, growing lavender is a rewarding experience. With its beautiful flowers, delightful fragrance, and variety of uses, lavender is a versatile and popular choice for many gardeners.
Is it easy to dry lavender
Lavender is not only a beautiful and fragrant flower, but it is also easy to dry. Drying lavender is a great way to preserve its beauty and fragrance for long periods of time, so you can enjoy it even after the blooming season has passed.
There are several varieties of lavender, but the most common ones are the English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and the French lavender (Lavandula stoechas). Both varieties can be easily dried.
When it comes to drying lavender, timing is crucial. The best time to harvest lavender for drying is in the summer, right before the flowers fully develop. This is usually around June or July, depending on your location.
To dry lavender, start by cutting the flower stems just above the leaves. Bundle a few stems together and secure them with a rubber band or string. Hang the bundles upside down in a cool, dry and well-ventilated spot, away from direct sunlight. Leave them hanging until the flowers have completely dried, which usually takes about two to three weeks.
Once dried, you can remove the flowers from the stems and store them in an airtight container. The dried lavender can be used for various purposes, such as making potpourri, sachets, or even culinary preparations like lavender-infused sugar or honey.
- There are a few things to consider when drying lavender:
- Choose a sunny spot with good air circulation for drying.
- Make sure the lavender plants are grown in well-drained soil, as excessive moisture can cause the flowers to develop mold or rot.
- The lavender plants should be at least three years old, as this is when they develop woody stems that are best for drying.
- Some varieties, like the lavandin hybrids, are more tolerant to winter conditions and can be left in the ground until spring, while others may need to be potted and brought inside during the winter.
- If you don’t have a garden, you can still grow lavender in containers. Choose a well-draining potting mix and a sunny spot for planting.
- In terms of growing lavender, it is a relatively low-maintenance plant. It is drought-tolerant and prefers sandy or rocky soil. Avoid heavy or clay soils, as they can cause the lavender plant’s roots to rot.
- In the first year after planting lavender, it is important to prune the plant to promote bushier growth. This can be done by cutting back about one-third of the plant in early spring.
- When choosing lavender varieties, consider their different fragrance and flower colors. While most lavender flowers are shades of purple or blue, there are also white and pink varieties available.
In conclusion, drying lavender is a simple process that can be done at home. With proper timing and care, you can easily preserve the beauty and fragrance of this beautiful flower for a long time.
Is lavender easy to grow
Growing lavender is relatively easy and rewarding, making it a popular choice among gardeners. Lavender plants are known for their beautiful flowers, aromatic fragrance, and ability to attract pollinators.
Lavender can be grown from seeds, but it’s often easier and more reliable to purchase young plants from a nursery. The English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a common variety that is hardy and easy to grow. Other varieties like Lavandula stoechas and Lavandula x intermedia (lavandin) can also be grown, but they may have slightly different growing requirements.
Lavender is a woody perennial plant that can last for many years if proper care is taken. It prefers well-draining soil and a sunny location in the garden. Lavender plants should be planted in spring or early summer, after the danger of frost has passed.
When planting lavender in the garden, it’s important to consider the soil and drainage conditions. Lavenders don’t like heavy, waterlogged soil, so adding organic matter or sand to improve drainage can be beneficial.
Lavender can also be grown in containers, which allows for easier control of soil conditions. Just make sure to choose a pot with good drainage and use a well-draining potting mix.
Once established, lavender plants are relatively low-maintenance. They need regular watering, particularly during dry spells, but overwatering can be detrimental to their growth. In terms of feeding, a light application of a balanced fertilizer in spring can help promote flowering.
When does lavender bloom?
Lavender typically blooms in the summer months, usually from June to July. The exact blooming period may vary depending on the variety and local weather conditions.
During the blooming period, lavender plants produce beautiful purple, blue, or white flowers that are not only visually appealing but also highly aromatic. These flowers can be dried and used for various purposes, such as crafting, potpourri, or even culinary uses.
One popular lavender variety known for its intense fragrance and vibrant purple flowers is ‘Hidcote.’ This variety is highly recommended for its compact size and excellent flower production.
In conclusion, lavender is a relatively easy plant to grow, making it a perfect choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. With proper care and the right growing conditions, lavender plants will reward you with their aromatic fragrance and beautiful flowers.
Where does lavender grow best
Lavender is a versatile and beautiful plant that can thrive in a variety of growing conditions. When it comes to lavender, there are three main factors to consider: location, soil, and watering. By providing the right conditions, you can ensure that your lavender will grow and bloom with vigor.
When choosing a spot to grow lavender, it is important to find a location that receives full sun. Lavenders are sun-loving plants and require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day to thrive. In terms of temperature, lavenders are best suited to mild climates. They can tolerate some cold weather, but heavy frost can damage the plants.
Lavenders prefer well-draining soil that is slightly alkaline. If your soil is heavy and clay-like, you may need to amend it with sand or gravel to improve drainage. Lavenders are also tolerant of poor soil conditions and can adapt to sandy or rocky soil. However, they do not do well in wet or waterlogged soil, so make sure to avoid planting lavender in areas with poor drainage.
Lavenders are drought-tolerant plants, and overwatering can lead to root rot and poor growth. In the first year after planting, lavenders need regular watering to help them establish a strong root system. However, once established, lavenders require less water and can survive on rainfall alone. It is important to let the soil dry out between watering to prevent root rot.
In terms of timing, lavenders are best planted in the spring. They can also be grown from seeds, but it is important to note that lavender seeds can take several weeks to germinate and may require some patience. If you are starting lavender indoors in pots, it is best to sow the seeds in early June and transfer the plants outside when the danger of frost has passed.
Lavender varieties can differ in terms of their growth habits, fragrance, and flower color. Some varieties, such as Lavandula stoechas, have a more compact growth habit and are great for containers and smaller gardens. Lavandula angustifolia, also known as English lavender, is a popular choice for flower beds and borders due to its beautiful blue flowers and aromatic foliage.
In conclusion, lavender can thrive in a wide range of growing situations as long as you provide the right conditions. By replicating their native Mediterranean environment with full sun, well-draining soil, and minimal watering, you can enjoy the beauty and fragrance of lavender in your garden or home.