With summer comes Lavender season! Lavender is a flowering plant from the mint family that’s easily recognized by its strong floral scent. In the past, it was mainly used for its fragrance for personal items such as clothes and hair. However today, it brings with it a lot of health benefits too, which makes it all the more popular and desirable.
In this blog post, we will see Gardening tips lavender, how to plant, grow and care Lavender in garden, how to prune lavender, growing lavender in pots, lavender growing zones, English lavender.
This sweet scented perennial herb is a well-liked ornamental plant for a variety of garden and landscape uses. The smell lasts for quite a while, and can be used to give your home a nice aroma, making it just the perfect addition to your garden. Due to the strong essential oil it produces, it keeps away critters and pests, which is an added advantage.
Gardening Tips Lavender
Growing lavender is easy and rewarding. It is a resilient plant that is drought-resistant and low maintenance. It is ideal for any home garden, as it does not require much attention throughout the growing season, just adequate space and sunlight. This plant does not need external resources such as fertilizers or pesticides. If grown in the right manner, it can give you lots of added benefits. With these basic gardening tips, you’re all set!
Below are the Gardening tips lavender for your garden.
How to Plant Lavender
To grow lavender successfully, it needs well-drained soil and lots of sunlight.
Lavender thrives in alkaline soil. If your soil is acidic, add a half-cup of lime and bone meal mixture to your planting hole to sweeten it up a bit. Keep adding this mixture to the soil every year to ensure strong growth.
If you have heavy soil, improve drainage by adding horticultural grit to the planting hole before planting.
Follow these easy steps to get great results:
- Buy healthy lavender plants for your garden; look for cutting-grown, rather than seed-started lavender plants
- Select a location for your lavender, preferably a spot that receives a lot of sunlight
- Dig your hole, line with gravel, then fill and mound the earth up to 12-24” above the soil line before planting
- Plant and water your lavender
- Provide consistent watering until the lavender becomes established
- Prune back your lavender each spring
Planting on a slight mound can help prevent waterlogging. Piling the earth up before planting will maximize drainage around the plant. The height improves airflow, and good circulation results in a good plant!
The third year of growth is when lavender reaches its peak. If your plant is not meeting your expectations after the first 2-3 years, it’s time to test your soil.
Lavender can also be planted in pots. When planting it in pots, choose terracotta pots with drainage holes. They should be placed in a place that gets ample sunlight, away from overhanging trees and shrubs. You can also grow lavender in pots or containers.
Considering lavender originates from hot, arid climates similar to that of Italy, France and Spain, it’s understandable that cold or humid weather is not ideal for it to grow. Warm, dry conditions are ideal for its growth. However, that being said, English lavender was named because it grows well in England’s cooler climate and has long been a staple in English herb gardens. Under the right conditions, it can last for several years since it’s a perennial.
The best time to plant lavender is as a young plant in the spring (from March to May), just as the soil is warming up. It may be challenging with the wet weather, but it gives your lavender enough time to strengthen before the following winter. If planting in the fall, use larger, more established plants to ensure survival through the winter.
If you live in a place where summers are long and hot, then you’ll need to make sure to provide slight shade during the peak heat of the day. In such a climate, air circulation is crucial. This can be done by generously spacing out of your plants.
If you live in a region with significant humidity, then your plants are going to need ample room to get maximum airflow and prevent diseases.
Consider a variety of Lavandula dentata or stoechas when growing in hot climates, as they naturally thrive in hot weather.
The Northern region presents more of a challenge when growing this species of plant due to the cold weather and saturated earth. However, it can be grown if you are patient. A good subspecies to grow for the colder northern climates is Lavandula angustifolia, a very cold-hardy hybrid.
Different varieties thrive in specific climates, so find out your zone and then you can identify the best species for your garden by contacting your local nursery or other gardeners in your area.
If your region experiences harsh winters with very wet weather, you should consider planting your lavender in a container so it can be brought in during the darkest winter months. The biggest concern however, of growing indoors, is the lack of light. Place near a southern-facing window and look at options for providing supplemental lighting if you’re in the darker, northern climates.
Growing Conditions for Lavender
It is important to remember that lavender needs adequate space to grow, allowing for maximum airflow, especially in southern regions with humid climates.
Plant lavender as far apart (at least 2 to 3 feet) to ensure ample room and so that it can stretch out easily. This will result in a greater height as well as a healthy plant. They typically reach between 1 and 3 feet in height.
Another essential element to consider is drainage. Proper drainage is the key to successful produce, especially in regions with rainfall averaging around 12-15 inches. Lavender can’t tolerate an excess of water in the soil or in the air.
In areas where the soil drains poorly, you can grow lavender on raised beds. Set full-size varieties 3 to 4 feet apart, smaller types 18 inches apart.
A spot that gets 6 or more hours of sunlight is perfect to keep your plants happy and healthy!
- To keep weeds to a minimum, add mulch (rock or pea gravel). In order to prevent excess moisture and root rot, make sure to keep the mulch away from the crown of the lavender plant
- Water once or twice a week after planting until plants are established. The mature plants can be watered every two to three weeks until buds form, then once or twice weekly until harvest.
- Don’t overwater. Give your lavender a long soak to enhance root growth, short and frequent watering cycles result in unhealthy roots that may rot.
- In colder areas, plants may need extra protection. Cover the plants with a winter mulch of evergreen boughs or straw, which will block freezing winds and temperatures. Another option for cold areas is to grow lavender in a pot, keeping it outdoors in the summer and indoors during the winter. As mentioned earlier, when indoors, remember to place the pot by a south-facing window with as much light as possible.
Pruning is very essential as it aims to slow down the growth of woody stems, and forces the plant to produce new foliage. The best time to prune is right after it blooms, and again towards the end of summer months to help prevent a damaging winter season. It is ideal to prune it three times a year, once in early spring just after the new growth appears, again in the summer after the first bloom, and prune a third time in fall after the second round of flowers have finished.
Cut back 2- to 4- foot tall varieties by a third, low growing types by 2 to 4 inches. Pruning in early fall helps slow down the process of woody stems and increases flower blossoms the following year. If you have an especially woody plant, prune lightly throughout the growing season for best results.
Here we saw how to prune lavender.
The ideal time to harvest the lavender stems is when approximately half of the flower buds have bloomed. The morning hours are the best time to do it, as that’s when the oils are the most concentrated.
Be sure to cut the lavender on top of the start of the woody stem and then allow it to dry for two weeks. Cut stems as long as possible.
Gather into bundles and secure them with rubber bands. Use no more than 100 stems per bundle. Dry the bundles of lavender in a cool, dark place where there is good air circulation. You can bundle dried branches together to create a bouquet for a friend, or for an added sense of poise around your home. Strip the blossoms off for use in potpourri or baking.
Varieties of Lavender
English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Hundreds of varieties available in many colors and sizes. It often blooms twice in one season. A sweetly fragrant lavender used for perfume and packages, also good for flavoring ice cream, jams, meat rubs and pastries.
- ‘Hidcote’: Compact, silver-gray foliage, deep purple flowers. Ideal for growing in home gardens.
- ‘Munstead’: Compact, green foliage, violet-blue flowers. Neat and tidy. Best flavor for cooking.
- ‘Thumbelina’: Ideal for small space gardeners grows only 12” tall and blooms up to three times a season!
Lavandins (L. x intermedia)—a hybrid of English and Portuguese lavender (L. latifolia)—are generally larger plants that bloom only once, later in the summer.
‘Phenomenal’: A robust variety that is extremely tolerant of heat and humidity and resistant to common root and foliar diseases. Long flower spikes.
‘Provence’: A healthy, long-stemmed variety, very fragrant.
Grosso is a commonly planted commercial variety in France and Italy; considered to be the most fragrant lavandin amongst all. Compact growth to 2½ ft. tall and wide. Silvery foliage; large, conical spikes of violet-blue flowers with darker calyxes. Often repeats bloom in late summer. Super easy to dry.
Provence often described as perfume lavender, but this type doesn’t produce the kind of oil used in perfumery. It grows 2 ft. tall, with fragrant violet-blue flowers that dry well. If you just want an attractive hedgerow for lining walkways and driveways, try growing this kind of lavender.
Spanish lavender (L. stoechas) Stocky plants grow to 3 ft. tall with gray or gray-green leaves. Bracts resemble rabbit ears; they come in shades of purple and pink. Bloom spring into summer.
Edelweiss – This is a medium-sized plant with white flowers, primarily grown as a landscaping plant.
Uses of Lavender
Lavender is used for a variety of purposes, decoration being the most obvious one. Its flowers are used in gift baskets and other decorative items.
It was first documented being used by the Romans in 77 A.D. to repel insects and sooth insect bites.
Lavender is most famous for its beauty and lovely fragrance. It can be used as an ingredient in homemade soap, shampoos, lotions, perfumes and much more.
It is also used for a variety of medicinal and therapeutic purposes, such as for calming, and to induce sleep. The essential oils in these plants have many medicinal properties, and are often used as antiseptics and for stress relief, helping with insomnia, reducing blood pressure and heart rate, improving bronchial asthma, and to reduce hot flashes in menopause etc.
Just like the Romans did in the past, lavender can be used as a natural pest repellent near patios and porches. The scent repels mosquitoes, flies, fleas and other insects while attracting the more desirable ones like butterflies and bees.
Lavender has been used for centuries as a delicious flavoring in both sweet and savory foods. English lavenders are the best varieties for cooking purposes, and both the buds and leaves can be used fresh or dried. Due to its strong flavor, use it sparsely so it won’t overpower your dishes. The buds are best harvested right before they fully open, when the essential oils are most evident.
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With this guide, you are set to go and grow yourself some lavender! Whether you’re growing it indoors or outdoors, just follow the instructions and you’re good to go. Make sure to buy healthy plants and give them ample space and sunlight when planting. We guarantee you; it is totally worth the years of planting, it will reward you in more than one way. I hope these Gardening tips lavender will help to grow lavender in your garden. Happy growing!
I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
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