Best Tips for Planting and Growing Lavender Plants

Bushes of lavender in landscape design. Lavender in the garden.
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Are you in search of a plant that is vibrant, fragrant, and perfect for borders and perennial gardens? If yes, then you check out lavender plants.

The easy-growing Lavender Plant has three main essential stages: Seed Preparation, Soil Preparation, and Spacing and Planting. It need lots of sun, much less water and good drainage. Give it what it wants, and you can happily watch it slowly grow!

How To Plant Lavenders

Generally, there are three steps in planting Lavender. These are growing from seed, soil preparation, spacing, and planting. These are the needed steps to follow before you can grow your lavender plants.

1.     Seed Preparation 

Before anything else, growing lavenders from seeds is quite challenging.

That is why some people prefer to grow them from cuttings because it is less difficult and the Lavender can already inherit the characteristics of the mother plant.

However, growing Lavender from seeds is not impossible if you follow the correct procedures.

Start the process with a sterile seed starting mix. The quality of the soil is very important which is why the lavender seeds should be grown in a sterile seed starting mix to prevent exposing them to diseases that can contaminate them.

You can buy this mixture from your local garden house or order online.

Now Begin:

Carefully scatter the mixture in the seed tray once your sterile seed starter mix is ready.

Place the seed in the mixture and barely cover them because lavender seeds need enough light to germinate.

Transfer the seed tray to a warm location with a temperature around 70 degrees Celsius after settling the seeds.

The lavender seeds will germinate after 14 days to a month, under the right conditions.

After they have sprouted, you can now transfer them in 2-inch wide pots.

Before you can plant them directly in the ground, they need to stay in the growing pot for three months because this is the time they have reached their transplanting size.

Remember, Lavender is a slow grower, which means they need a lot of time to establish.

After transplanting, you may have to nurse them for a while until they are fully grown.

Tip: Refrigerate the seeds in a sealed plastic bag for 21 days before planting to help them prepare for sprouting and germination.

2.     Soil Preparation 

Soil preparation will determine the growth of lavender plants. The ultimate threat of lavender plants is a fungus, so it is imperative to use a sterile seed starter mix during their early stages.

There are a few essential points to know when preparing the soil for lavender plants.

First, the soil should have a well-draining system. A well-drained soil keeps the roots moist without soaking them in wet. Waterlogging is the main reason for many problems plants face, so avoid them at all costs.

During winter, some soils tend to retain water, resulting in root rot. With this in mind, consider using winter drainage to prevent facing such problems.

Transfer the Lavender to a room with controlled temperature if you grow them in pots or install a greenhouse when grown from the ground.

Consider mixing sand or fine limestone to improve the drainage system in cases where the soil in your area has terrible drainage.

To ensure the lavender plants are safe, plant them in a raised growing bed for about 12 to 14 inches tall.

It will provide enough drainage in the soil to stay happy and healthy for the lavender plants.

Second, the soil should be slightly acidic. Lavender plants need some acidity to grow fully. You can achieve soil acidity by mixing crushed oyster shells or limestone gravel into the planting holes. 

The planting hole should be enough to fit both the lavender plant and the crushed oyster shells or limestone gravel to prevent instability.

The roots can immediately access the acidity from the crushed oyster shells or limestone gravel while improving the drainage system simultaneously.

 3.     Spacing and Planting 

The last step is spacing and planting, and this process should be done correctly.

Take note:

Lavender plants do not work well in an overcrowded environment because they belong to the perennial family.

It means they need enough space in which to grow.

The need to make enough space for lavender plants for planting is crucial for good air circulation.

Lavender plants need air to grow healthy as ever, and following the specified space for planting is the way to do it.

On top of that, spacing lavender flowers evenly can give enough elbow for the flowers to grow. 

The ideal spacing when planting lavender plants is similar to their height when fully grown.

The standard height of lavender plants is between 20 to 24 inches, and this is where you should base your measurement.

Be sure to dig a hole enough for the roots to be stable when planting the lavender plants after covering them with soil. 

The same procedure also applies to lavender transplants.

How To Grow Lavender Plants

After successfully planting the lavender plants, the next step is to make sure they grow healthy and happy.

But how exactly should you do it?

Interestingly, lavender plants do not need much attention when provided with the right conditions.

1.     Pruning 

Pruning lavender plants is essential as it encourages the plant to produce branches.

It is recommended to prune the growing tips of lavender plants annually. This is one key to successfully growing a lavender plant.

To Prune A Lavender Plant: 

Make a schedule around late summer to fall, right after the plant produces a flower.

This helps open the interior of lavender plants to improve air circulation.

Moreover, pruning can also reduce winter damage, especially in areas with extremely cold temperatures.

You can perform pruning before and after the lavender plant has been established.

Pruning before the plant is established promotes growth which can help the plant to grow thick and bloomy.

Conversely, pruning when the plant has established helps new growth to emerge.

When pruning an established lavender plant, be sure to cut above the woody area of the stem because the buds in those areas do not reproduce sprout. 

Aim to remove at least one-third of the plant when pruning. Do not over-prune the lavender plants.

 2.     Watering Requirements  

Lavender plants do not need regular watering – only when the soil is completely dry. Large-scale growers of lavenders water their plants twice a year.

Watering them regularly will only result to root rot. Water only when they need it.

Remember, when watering Lavender, be sure to check the moisture in the soil so you can adjust the amount of water to put.

The soil should remain moist and not wet.

Checking the earth is a golden rule when watering, especially since soil conditions are different from one place to another.

3.     Climate Requirements 

Lavender plants love the full sun and will survive in dry soil. But this doesn’t mean you will not attend to them even in the hottest and driest condition.

It simply shows the resistance of this plant that other plants don’t have. That’s the power of originating in the Mediterranean regions.

If the lavender plants do not thrive, that is most likely due to overwatering, lack of sunlight, and high humidity levels.

These are the critical elements to look for to keep lavender plants healthy.

4.     Harvesting  

The end-product of growing lavender plants is none other than harvesting.

Lavender has several uses: 

As part of a recipe, or the main ingredient in scent production, there is a proper way to harvest Lavender.

To harvest Lavender, start by looking for the plant with opened flower buds. It indicates that the plant is mature enough for harvesting.

Perform harvesting early in the morning because this is the time the oils in the plant are concentrated. 

Cut the stems as long as possible and gather all the cuttings in a bundle.

Secure the bundle with a rubber band.

Do this until you have finished harvesting.

After the harvesting is finished:

Dry the bundles by storing them in a room with controlled temperature and good air circulation. A dark and cool room is the ideal shelter for the lavender bundles to stay. 

5. Pests and other Problems 

The greatest threat to lavender plants is a fungus. Fungal diseases will likely occur in humid climates, so lavenders dislike wet environments.

Avoid watering to prevent fungal infection.

Next is root rot. Overwatering will cause root rot.

If you have yellow leaves, that is a sign of overwatering. Not overwatering lavender plants is like killing two birds with one stone.

Varieties of Lavender Plants

Today, about 450 varieties of flowering lavender plants exist worldwide.

That is a lot of options, and it can be annoying and time-consuming to scan all of them.

Don’t worry because this article introduces you to the popular varieties of lavender plants to save you time and hassle.

Despite growing in the Mediterranean, lavender plants have several varieties that grow in different parts of the world. Such types have different bloom times, colors, flower forms, and sizes.

That makes lavender plants versatile because anyone who wishes to grow them will have choices.   

French, or Spanish, or Butterfly Lavender

With the botanical name of Lavendula stoechas, this variety can thrive in hot climates. That means that this variety is the perfect choice for people who live in hot areas. This type is fragrant and showy – and makes excellent dried flower arrangements.

English Lavender 

This variety is the most common of them all, and it goes by the botanical name of Lavandula angustifolia.

It’s frequently valued equally as much as a herb and a flower because of its sweetly fragrant flowers and aromatic leaves. They make a good decoration for gardening because of their vibrant purple flowers.

Lavandins

A hybrid of English lavender and Portuguese Lavender, it goes by the botanical name of Lavandula x intermedia. It is known for its large plants that only bloom once every year.

Lavender Plants In General 

The gray to green leaves combined with vibrant flowers that are very fragrant and refreshing make lavender plants stand out among other plants.

The scent of this plant is truly extraordinary, which is why lavender plants are important in scented products.

Apart from its fragrance, lavender plants make a wonderful sight in the garden.

This plant inspires the shade of Lavender in the color wheel. It is described as medium purple or light pinkish purple.

Lavender plants are not merely for decorative purposes because they can also serve as a herb.

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Welcome to Green Garden Tribe

The leaves and flowers of lavender plants are edible, making this plant a favorite, especially for food preparation.

With all these positive descriptions about Lavender, the next question perhaps is how to grow them.

There is more to the lavender plants that makes them exciting.

It’s also grown for the production of essential oils, derived from the distillation of Lavender flower spike of specific type.

Whilst it’s believed to have certain medicinal qualities, the oil has cosmetic purposes.

The plant is safely edible but, the Lavender essential oil is not and can be toxic if swallowed. 

Benefits of the Lavender Plant

The oil of this plant is thought to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory poperties. It has often been used in household to help to heal burns, bug bites and some minor skin rashes such as eczema.

Research on the Lavender Plant tells us that it can be used for treating anxiety, and insomnia – also depression.

Certain studies hve suggested that drinking Lavender as a tea is a help in digestive disorders such as vomiting, nausea and upset stomachs.

It is also believed that Lvender is frequently used in household to relieve pain from headaches, sprains, toothaches and sores.

Note: Lavender hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and therefore it shouldn’t be taken in place of approved and prescribed medicines –

We, at Green Garden Tribe are not recommending anything – we’re simply providing you with as many details as we can find within the limits of this article.

Background of Lavender Plants

The lavender plants are perennial herbs and semi-shrub plants because of their appearance.

The botanical name for this plant is Lavandula angustifolia, but they are commonly known as “lavender”. For anyone who hears that word, it immediately conjures up that incomparable fragrance it gives off.

Another thing that makes lavender plants fascinating is that they attract pollinators to the garden.

European honey bee( Apis mellifera) on a lavender flower

To pollinate is the process of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of the flowers to the female stigma to encourage offspring.

This process is carried out by natural pollinators such as birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, bees.

Alternatively, if it’s that important to you, you can also do it manually with the help of a brush or cotton swab.

Moreover, lavender plants are not picky and demanding.

They can survive in different soil conditions even in poor soil except for compacted soil. All they need is great access to full sun and well-draining soil.

Lavender’s Origins

Did you know that the Lavender is part of the Mint family, Lamiaceae?

You can trace its history back and see it’s a native of the Old World, where it can be found in Cape Verde and the Canary Islands; also Europe, and the Mediterranean.

You’ll also find it in Southwest Asia and India. Lastly, it loves growing in the conditions of Northern and Eastern Africa.

You could say that it’s a  water-wise plant for South Africa. It’s an extremely popular plant, and there are many reasons for this.

Final Thoughts on Planting and Growing Lavender Plants

To grow Lavender you need to learn about it first. Because Lavender is such an easy going (and growing) plant, people think that it can’t be so easy and so they expect it to be more complex.

When you expect difficulties – you encounter difficulties, because that’s what you expected!

Just let it and let it grow. It needs lots of sun and little water. It’s not a picky or difficult plant if it gets those two conditions and good drainage.

Growing lavender plants should be a pleasure – and a reward. Now it’s your turn to grow your Lavender!

Jenny Marie

Tribal Writer

On a personal note: As a small child, when I couldn’t sleep, my Grandmama fetched a handful of Lavender from the garden and  placed it under my pillow – it worked.

When my head hurt, she brought me a bunch of Lavender to sniff at and the curative aroma quickly restored me.

After she passed and I grew up; a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil on my pillowcase or on a cotton handerkerchief had the same effect.

For a very long time, it’s been used in soap, shower gels, body creams and many other products and that unmistakable scent wafts back across the decades of time and still comforts the small child within me.

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Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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