The robust smell and diverse shades of purple, blue, soft pink and white flowers, learn how to grow lavender in this article.
Lavender is a must grow old world plant. Every garden should have at least a few bushes of this beautiful, fragrant herb (if possible). Also, growing lavender is easy, however, there are some basic requirements and tips that must be fulfilled.
Usually, lavender blooms from June to September. Growing on long, thin stalks its flowers sway gently in the wind, spreading intoxicating aroma. An additional advantage is its slightly mossy and serrated silvery foliage that looks marvelous in landscaping.
Also Read: Landscaping With Lavender
USDA Zones – 5-9
Difficulty – Easy
pH level – 6.5-7.5
Requirements For Growing Lavender
All lavender varieties like full sun and, light well-drained slightly alkaline soil. Clay-rich waterlogged soil is harmful to lavender. Lavender does not tolerate competition. If it is planted densely, it doesn’t grow well. The plant requires good air circulation too.
3 Most Popular Varieties of Lavender
Lavandula Angustifolia (English lavender) – Grows to a height of 70 cm during the flowering time and about 50 cm without flowers, creating a rounded dome. It can be planted in intervals, or as a hedge, over which beneficial insects swarm and wonderful aroma wafts from it. This lavender variety grows well in the cold climate (USDA Zones 5-8).
Lavandula stoechas (Spanish lavender) – Comes from the Mediterranean countries, it is also called as topped lavender. It is a tender perennial, looks very impressive, nicely scented flowers have a purple or white color that forms a fluffy dome shape and carries the scent of camphor (USDA Zones 6-9).
Lavandula dentata (French Lavender) – A somewhat delicate scent between lavender and rosemary erupts from the whole plant. It has serrated silvery green colored foliage and purple colored spiky flowers. It is more suitable for subtropics and tropics (USDA Zones 8-10)
Also Read: Is It Possible To Grow Lavender In Tropics?
Sowing lavender seeds depend on the variety you’re growing and climate, basically spring is the best season to start this. Although you can sow seeds anytime during the growing season when the temperature ranges from 40 F to 80 F as this is the optimum germination temperature of lavender seeds.
Seedlings will germinate in two to four weeks after sowing; transplant them in a favorable location in a well drained potting mix using bone meal, lime and compost in equal amount in a total of ½ cup, you can also add sand if your soil is heavy and clay-rich. To read more on how to grow lavender from seeds, read this article.
Before transplanting, just make 18” mound of soil and plant lavender in it. This is the best technique to restrict soggy and water logged soil and to improve air circulation.
Take care about watering, water only when soil becomes dry. You don’t need to fertilize lavender often but if you want, add compost or manure in the beginning of growing season, that’s enough.
Pruning lavender is important to encourage new growth and flowers. You should prune it twice in a year: Once in a spring in the beginning of growing season (soft pruning) and once after the end of flowering as well.
If your plant is small and has no flowers, it doesn’t need pruning. But if the plant is big and shrubby, prune it after the flowering when the flowers lose their color in late summer; grab the bush and neatly cut it back to 1/3 of its height.
A Few Tips
- Don’t cut down to its leafless wood.
- After about 6 years of growing, lavender starts to look unsightly, you’ll need to rejuvenate it by heavy pruning or replace that plant with a new one.
Diseases and Pests
Lavender is a tough plant and repels most of the pests but due to lack of maintenance and inaccuracy in growing it suffers (especially in winter). Read this article to learn how to care for lavender in winter.