Is Lavender a tropical plant? Is there any variety of it that grows in hot and humid climates easily? Find Out!
Can lavender grow in the tropics? The answer is yes! You can grow this herb in tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world as a short-lived perennial or as an annual specimen, but you’ll need to care for it more often, especially in summer.
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How to Grow Lavender in Tropics
USDA Zones — 8-11
Difficulty — Moderate
Soil pH — Slightly alkaline
Grow lavender in a pot so that you can change its location during heavy rain or when the temperature rises.
If you’re growing it on the ground, take care to plant it in a location where it’ll be saved from wind, heavy rain, and heat, not receiving full sun, especially in the afternoon as the sun in warm climates shines more intensely, and it can scorch your plant.
Planting it under a tree is a good idea.
Planting and Soil
Planting lavender in pots is really easy. Start with seeds. Sow them in early winter and place the seed tray in full sun. Seedlings will germinate in two to three weeks; transplant them in a favorable location in a well-drained potting mix using compost with bonemeal and lime both of equal amounts in half a cup.
Also, add sand if your soil is heavy and clay-rich. So how long does it take to grow lavender? You’ll have a beautiful plant in 4-5 months. But it’ll start flowering in the second year.
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Transplanting and Watering
Before transplanting, make an 18” mound of soil and plant lavender in it. This is the best technique to restrict soggy and water-logged soil and improve air circulation.
Take care about watering, water only when the soil becomes dry. You don’t need to fertilize lavender, but if you want, occasionally add compost in the growing season.
In colder zones, Lavender should be planted in spring or summer, but in the tropics, growing conditions are different. Sun is more intense in summer, and afterward, it rains, which increases the humidity level and makes it intolerable for the plant to thrive. That is why winter is the best month to plant lavender in the tropics.
But can lavender grow indoors? Of course, it can. Place it near a south-facing window for light – the other care needs are similar. It’ll thrive.
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Fertilizing in the tropics requires special attention due to heavy rainfall and high temperatures. You should pick a slow-release or organic fertilizer like compost or bone meal. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers that can hinder flowering. Dilute it to half-strength and only apply it once or twice in the growing season.
Lavender Varieties for Tropics
Lavender can grow in tropical climates if you pick the right variety. But which Lavender to plant? We recommend Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) and French Lavender (Lavandula dentata) – they do well in warm climates.
You can also go with Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia), Portuguese Lavender (Lavandula latifolia), and Egyptian Lavender (Lavandula multifida).
You need to experiment, go to your local nursery, and check if you find a lavender plant growing there – buy it, or you can order seeds online.
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Additional Tips for Tropical Lavender
- Mulching can help you out a lot. A layer of organic mulch will conserve moisture and regulate the soil temperature in warmer climates.
- Provide temporary shade when the sun is at its peak during those scorching tropical afternoons. A protective cover during heavy downpours will also benefit the lavender.
- Keep the soil moist. Give it a deep, generous soak every 2-3 days. More if you feel the soil’s drying out quickly.