Find SolutionsPesky Insect Solutions
Critter & Animal Solutions
Fungus & Disease Solutions
Organic Fertilizer Solutions
Cover Crop Solutions
How to grow lavender
Jun 25, 2011 - Charlotte from Peaceful Valley
It’s easy to get carried away by the virtues of lavender.
Here are the somber reasons to plant it:
There are lots of fun reasons too:
Don’t forget the useful reasons:
As Linnie shows in our video you can make lavender wands and wreaths.
All lavenders require full sun, good drainage and alkaline soil. If your soil tends toward acid clay then one-quarter of the total planting soil should be compost, along with a small amount of gravel to assist drainage. If bought as a plant, the lavender should be sited on a mound or slope so that excess water runs off. Water weekly in the first summer, and then every three weeks in following summers.
A busy gardener is rewarded by the fact that lavender does not have a yen for fertilizer and rich soil. Mulch it with gravel, to recall its Mediterranean home.
If you have only one lavender in your garden, make it English lavender, Lavandula angustifolia. Its fragrant flowers dry well, and their flavor is delicate enough to use in food. The hardiest of all lavenders (USDA zones 5-11), it is perfect in Northern California and in most other parts of the United States.
Confusingly, the ancient plant has many valid names, such as:
Some of the most beautiful and popular lavender varieties in the world are cultivars of this plant. Flowers come in a range of colors from deep purple through blue, mauve-pink and white. Look for:
The natural form is rounded, so prune lightly after June blooming to keep the dome shape. If it is pruned heavily the blooms in the next season will be dramatically reduced.
Lavandula dentata, French lavender, has distinctive little “teeth” along the edges of its leaves. Hardy to USDA zone 8b, it’s a vigorous addition to your garden. This is not the lavender grown in France for essential oils—that is Lavandula x intermedia, a cross between English lavender and spike lavender. Enjoy this one for its beauty and fragrance in the garden and bouquets. Like its Spanish cousin, the flavor is strong and this should be used only when you want an assertive taste.
Lavandula multifida, fernleaf lavender brings unusual fern-like foliage to your lavender collection. The distinctive foliage and trident-shaped flower heads are attention getters. Indigenous to Spain and Portugal, fernleaf lavender is hardy only in Zones 9-11. Grow this as an intriguing ornamental (there is no floral fragrance and the foliage is too strong to be used in cooking). It grows easily from seed, making it simple to bring back every year.
Choose lavenders that will suit your climate, and any cooking or crafting you’d like to do. Then relax and enjoy that fragrance!
Categories: Herb Seeds, Edible Landscaping, Organic Gardening 101