Lavender is a rather difficult herb/flowering plant to discuss. Only because there are so many kinds of growing lavender it really boils down to which lavender suits you personally.
The attempt here will be to provide information on several types of growing lavender and then it is your decision as to what steps are next. After reviewing this page you should probably do a little more research before actually placing lavender in your garden.
I do want to touch on one aspect of lavender that is medicinal lavender.
It is one of the reasons gardeners grow lavender and since I don’t propose to know a lot of information in this area, I don’t want to recommend a wild potion which may work well for some and for others, could be a disaster!
Anyone interested in this area should research it carefully or you might want to share your experiences by responding to the content section of this page. If you want to add your comment now, then please scroll down to the bottom of this page:
These Are Best Grown Outside In Zones 8-10
Even though the headline refers to planting outside in zones 8-10, these can also be planted in containers in other zones. I will touch on growing lavender in containers a little later.
These lavenders commence their blooming in early to mid spring. The yellow and Spanish lavenders usually complete their blooming in four to five weeks. However, now I am going to contradict myself by adding that all three, do best if they have a good pruning about 5 weeks into the bloom cycle.
These are large growing lavender bushes and this not only cleans up the plants from becoming unruly and messy, but does produce the opportunity for a second round of blooms. All three of these have a difference in fragrant smell, size and color.
For instance the Spanish lavender grows low and wide, while the yellow growing lavender becomes tall and wide. You may want to try all three just to define what grows best for you and what fragrance you seem to like the best.
The English Growing Lavenders Good And Hardy To Zone 5
There are quite a number of these most fragrant growing lavender flowers and I will mention just a few here, but all are great and work well to zone 5. They are Munstead, Hidcote, and Vera.
These will appear very engaging when in their flowering stage. This type of growing lavender can bloom into early summer. They also require pruning after the bloom is gone, which results in a dense and thick ball or you can prune and shape giving them a hedge like appearance.
The leaves “AH” the leaves the most enchanting fragrance will continue the rest of the year. This is an extra added benefit and another reason why gardeners are into growing lavender.
It Is Time To Discuss Growing Lavender, Picking It, and Making Use Of It
I spent a lot of time researching this plant to see what the best approach is in producing lavender. I thought that the best method would be starting them from seeds, but then I found that a great many of the terrific lavenders are difficult to find in the seed stage.
I also discovered that in the seed stage germination is slow, and the number of seeds out of 100 sown may result in just a few popping through the soil. There is definitely a long sprouting time and as I know, from past experience, this can result in the promotion of fungus.
The other discouraging thing is the length of time it takes for these little guys to obtain a plant of any size. After transplanting to small pots, it could take as much as THREE MONTHS for the plant to be large enough to move to the garden.
The best way to start your growing lavender is from cuttings from already established plant, or pay visit to your local garden shop and purchase the type of lavender you want already growing in pots.
Drainage is of definite importance in planting lavender. Lavender has no desire to grow in soggy and wet areas.
Good organic material should be worked into the soil, making a very crumbly and loose texture. I would suggest the use of compost in this instance because compost will allow the soil to breath because of its uneven structure.
You should also be aware of the soil’s pH, assuring yourself that the level is somewhere around 6.5 to 7.5. Acidic soil will result in your growing lavender being very skimpy or not growing at all.
If the soil is too alkaline, you may experience yellow leaf caused by the soil not releasing the nutrients to the soil. You can first apply nitrogen fertilizer but if the foliage is not greener in three or four days, then don’t add anymore.
You will need a cheleated iron product. This condition occurs also with indoor plants. If you click here you can review a short discussion on cheleated iron, Scroll down to Indoor Plants Sign Of Trouble
Mulching Your Growing Lavender
You should provide your plants with some smaller sized mulch, which helps to keep the weeds under control. However, you need to circle the plant leaving a gap of at least 2 inches all around the plant.
If you mulch up to the stem, it could deprive the plant of proper air circulation. You must also be aware of hot and humid areas.
It maybe advisable to adjust planting methods but planting on a mound of soil or utilizing a raised bed. The growing lavender plant is not particularly fond of either humidity or heat.
Once you have good and striking color, then is the moment to cut your flowers. The flower stems should be cut during the cool mooring hours and make sure all dew is gone.
Flower arrangements from your growing lavender should be prepared while the lavender is freshly picked. Lavender keeps its cool by producing its fragrance, so remove from the sun as quickly as possible or less oil and fragrance will remain.
Drying Your Lavender
If the plan is to use the flowers in a dry state, you can allow them to dry in a vase with no water. However if your plan is to use later, then dry them in small lots tied together and hang in a dark place.
After drying you can also remove the buds and use them as a sachet or potpourri, or find some good recipes and use for cooking. Just remember that it requires approximately 3 years for lavender to become full in size.
Plants should definitely be pruned after blooming. This has absolutely nothing to do with picking, as pruning assists in keeping the plant alive and well for years.
Growing Lavender In Containers
The first thing is to make sure your container is of the proper size. Because of the type of plant and its origin of the Mediterranean part of the world, it performs well in tight spots with good draining soil.
Lavender much prefers the crowded pot, and so the container should be in ratio to the size of the rootball. To put it another way, the container should be only an inch or maybe two larger than the rootball.
Another important factor is to assure that your container has adequate drainage holes. If your pot lingers in extreme wetness because of less than sufficient drainage, it means your lavender plant will die to put it bluntly.
So purchase a pot with drainage holes in the bottom or drill them yourself. I think, besides the drainage holes, I would add an inch or two of small stones or gravel to the bottom of the pot.
If you have potted plants before, you should be aware that with a smaller amount of soil available, the more rapidly your container soil dries out. This should not be misconstrued as a license to water daily, but only when the soil feels dry to the touch.
Unfortunately lavender is not fond of dehydration and once it is has been dry, for a period of time, it is almost beyond the possibility of returning it to its former glory. You recall our discussion earlier about the depletion of nutrients in the soil, well use that rule when dealing with the container lavender.
Lavender should be repotted on a yearly and this would be the time to add a time-release fertilizer to the soil. I recommend a light pruning before growing lavender buds in the spring, and one after all blossoming has past.
Your lavender must be placed in a sunny location. It requires at least eight hours of sun just as we found in the garden. If need be, rig up some artificial lightning early on before you can move your container lavender outside if you live in those temperate zones 6 and below.