Lavender is a beautiful, fragrant plant that can add a touch of elegance to any home or garden.
Although it is often seen as a delicate flower, lavender is actually quite easy to grow and care for.
With just a few simple steps, you can have lavender plants that thrive for years to come.
Lavender Plant Facts
|Height and Width||20-24 inches tall and wide|
|Flower colors||Usually purple, but also pink, white, yellow, and blue|
|Foliage color||Dark or light green|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil Type & pH||Well-drained, alkaline soil|
|Special features||Low Maintenance, heat loving, good for containers|
How to Grow Lavender
Lavender is a member of the mint family, which includes other plants such as basil, sage, and rosemary. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used for centuries in that part of the world. In recent years, lavender has become popular in North America as well.
The plant is known for its pretty flowers and its relaxing scent. Lavender can be used in cooking, as a decoration, or for its therapeutic properties.
Growing lavender is relatively easy and does not require much care once established. The plant grows best in full sun and well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH level.
If you want to grow lavender, follow these simple tips.
Propagating lavender is a simple and satisfying process that can be done with just a few supplies. All you need is a sharp knife, some rooting hormone, and some well-draining potting mix.
The first step in propagating lavender is to take cuttings from the mother plant. Begin by choosing a branch that is healthy and free of disease.
Using a sharp knife, cut the branch at a 45-degree angle about four inches below a leaf node—this is where new roots will form. Be sure to make your cuts cleanly so that the plant can heal quickly.
Once you have made your cuttings, remove the lower leaves from each one so that only two or three remain at the top. These leaves will help the plant to photosynthesize and produce food for the new roots to grow.
After you have taken your cuttings, it’s time to prepare them for rooting. Dip the base of each cutting into rooting hormone powder or gel. This will help to stimulate root growth and increase your chances of success.
Once you have dipped each cutting, tap off any excess powder or gel so that it doesn’t interfere with the plant’s ability to absorb water.
Fill a pot or tray with a well-draining potting mix—lavender does not like its roots to stay wet, so be sure to use a mix that will drain quickly and won’t compact too much over time. Once you have filled your pot or tray, make small holes for each of your cuttings and insert them into the mix.
Gently firm the mix around each cutting, being careful not to damage the delicate stems. Water lightly, taking care not to overwater—a light misting is all that’s needed at this point.
Lavender prefers well-drained soil that is on the alkaline side, with a pH between 7.0 and 8.0.
The best way to achieve this is to mix composted manure into your existing soil. This will help to increase the drainage while also raising the pH. If you don’t have access to composted manure, you can also use limestone gravel or wood ashes.
In terms of specific soil types, lavender does well in sandy loam or loamy sand. These soils are made up of a combination of sand, silt, and clay particles. They have good drainage and hold nutrients well. If your soil is mostly clay or mostly sand, you’ll need to amend it before planting lavender.
Although often considered a low-maintenance plant, lavender bush actually benefits from regular pruning. This process helps to promote new growth, encourage bushier plants, and prevent the spread of disease.
Lavender should be trimmed back in early or late spring, just as new growth begins to emerge. You can also trim lavender in late summer after the blooming period has ended. Doing so will help to ensure that your plants are strong and healthy going into winter.
Start by removing any dead or dying stems. These can be easily identified by their brown or black coloration. Next, cut back the longest stems by about one-third. It’s important not to cut too much at once, as this could shock the plant.
Once you’ve trimmed the longest stems, shape the plant by cutting back any side shoots that are longer than the rest. Finally, remove any leaves that have begun to yellow or brown.
Pruning your lavender plants on a regular basis will help them to grow strong and stay healthy. Keep an eye out for dead or dying stems, and trim back the longest stems by about one-third. Shaping the plant will also promote fuller growth, so be sure to cut back any side shoots that are longer than the rest.
Repotting and Transplanting
There are several reasons why you might need to repot or transplant your lavender plant. Maybe your plant has outgrown its current pot and needs more room to spread its roots.
Or maybe the soil in its current pot has become depleted of nutrients and needs to be replaced. Whatever the reason, repotting or transplanting your lavender plant is essential for keeping it healthy and happy.
The best time to repot or transplant your lavender plant is in early spring before new growth begins. This will give your plant time to settle into its new home before it starts putting all its energy into growing new leaves and stems.
If you can’t repot or transplant your plant in early spring, don’t worry – you can do it at any time during the growing season. Just be sure to water your plant well after repotting or transplanting to help it recover from the stress of the move.
Repotting or transplanting your lavender plant is relatively simple. First, water your plant well so that the roots are moist but not soggy. Then, remove the plant from its current pot or location being careful not to damage the roots.
If you’re transplanting your lavender plant into a new location in the garden, loosen the roots gently before planting. Once your plant is in its new pot or location, fill in around the roots with fresh soil and water well again. That’s it!
How to Care for Lavender
Lavender is a beautiful, fragrant flower that is popular in gardens and as a potted plant. Though it is generally low-maintenance, there are a few things you should know about how to care for lavender so that it will thrive.
With these lavender care tips you can follow, your lavender plant can provide years of enjoyment.
Lavender likes to dry out between waterings, so water it deeply but infrequently. During the spring and summer months when the plant is actively growing, aim to water it about once a week.
Let the soil dry out completely in between waterings. In the fall and winter months, you can reduce your watering to once every two weeks.
Be careful not to overwater your lavender plant. If the leaves start to turn yellow or brown, that is a sign that you are watering too much. When you do water your plant, make sure to water at the base of the plant rather than from above. This will help prevent mildew and rot.
One of the reasons for its popularity is that lavender is very tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. However, one thing that lavender does need in order to thrive is sunlight.
Lavender plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight every day in order to bloom and stay healthy. If your lavender isn’t getting enough sunlight, you’ll notice that the plant becomes leggy and produces fewer flowers. In extreme cases, lack of sunlight can even cause the plant to die.
To make sure your lavender is getting enough sunlight, choose a spot in your garden that gets full sun for at least six hours per day.
If you’re growing lavender indoors, place it in a sunny window where it will get plenty of light. You may need to supplement indoor plants with grow lights if they’re not receiving enough natural light.
Although lavender needs plenty of sunlight to thrive, too much sun can be just as harmful as too little. If your lavender plant is exposed to direct sunlight for more than eight hours per day, the leaves will begin to turn yellow and the plant may suffer from sunburn. To protect your plant from too much sun, provide some afternoon shade during the hottest months of the year. A light sheer curtain hung over a south-facing window can help filter out some of the harsh midday rays.
Temperature and Humidity
Lavender plants thrive in sunny, warm conditions. They should be planted in an area that receives full sun for at least six hours per day. The ideal temperature range for lavender plants is 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the plants will become dormant. If the temperature rises above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the plants may experience stress and wilting.
Lavender plants also require high humidity levels in order to stay healthy. The ideal humidity range for lavender plants is 50-70%.
If the humidity level drops below 50%, the plants will become dried out and their leaves will begin to brown. If the humidity level rises above 70%, the plants may experience fungal growth or root rot.
Lavender is a beautiful, fragrant plant that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. However, in order to keep your lavender plants healthy and looking their best, you’ll need to fertilize them on a regular basis.
Lavender plants should be fertilized every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. For most lavender varieties, the growing season runs from early spring through late summer. If you live in a climate where lavender can grow year-round, then you’ll need to fertilize your plants every 2 months.
The best type of fertilizer for lavender plants is a well-balanced, water-soluble fertilizer that can be easily absorbed by the plant. You can find this type of fertilizer at your local nursery or home improvement store.
Avoid using a fertilizer with too much nitrogen, as this can cause the leaves of your lavender plant to become green and lush at the expense of its flowers.
The easiest way to fertilize lavender plants is to mix the fertilizer with water according to the manufacturer’s directions and then pour it directly onto the soil around the plant.
For best results, water your plants deeply immediately after adding the fertilizer. This will help ensure that the roots of your plant are able to absorb all of the nutrients they need.
Pests and Diseases
Just like any other plant, lavender is susceptible to pests and diseases.
One of the most common pests of lavender plants is the aphid. Aphids are small, winged insects that feed on the leaves and stems of lavender plants. They can cause the plant to become stunted and produce fewer flowers.
Another common pest is the spider mite. Spider mites are very small insects that spin webs on the leaves of lavender plants. They can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually drop off.
Lavender plants are also susceptible to several diseases. One disease that affects lavender plants is powdery mildew. Powdery mildew looks like white or gray powder on the leaves of the plant. It can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and drop off.
Another disease that can affect lavender plants is root rot. Root rot is caused by too much moisture around the roots of the plant. This can cause the plant to become stunted, yellow, and wilted.
Common Varieties and Cultivars
There are many different types of lavender plants available on the market today. It is important to choose a plant that is well-suited to your climate and gardening conditions.
Lavender is a perennial plant. If you live in an area with warm summers and mild winters, English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a good option. For cooler climates, French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) is a better choice.
Some other popular choices of Lavandula angustifolia, besides English lavender and French lavender, are Spanish lavender, fringed lavender, and Lavandula x intermedia.
Whichever type of lavender you choose, be sure to buy plants that are already blooming or close to blooming. This will give you an idea of what the plant will look like when it reaches full maturity.
When you are ready for harvesting lavender, remember that lavender plants require regular pruning so you may just want to trim the upright flower spikes as you see fit – this will keep the plant healthy and will also give you beautiful violet blue flowers for your home.
With just a little bit of care and attention, you can have healthy lavender plants that will thrive for many years to come! By following these simple tips on planting, watering, fertilizing, pruning, and deadheading, you can enjoy beautiful lavender blooms all season long!