Lavender is an attractive, aromatic flower that can be used in many different ways. If you grow lavender in the yard you will be able to lure pollinators too.
Lavender is often use for production of oils, to spice up beverages and foods, for its medicinal properties, to create potpourri and for many other things. This flower also brings pollinators and similar bugs that are useful for the garden.
We should point out that there are many different lavender varieties:
Lavandin thrives in 4-24 zones and comes with branching stems that have flowers that occur at specific intervals close to the top.
On the other hand, English lavender thrives in sunset zones 2-24. It has a sweet scent that is frequently used in sachets and perfumes. Many people use it to enhance the flavor of jams, ice cream, pastries and meat rubs.
Spanish lavender can be found in zones 4-24. This is a sturdily built plant that can reach height of 3 feet. Spanish lavender has distinctive gray-green or just gray leaves and pink/purple bracts that look very similar to rabbit ears. The blooming period of this lavender variety is during spring and summer.
Finally, Grosso is one of the most commercial varieties of lavender and it is frequently found in France and Italy. It is known for the strong scent and grows up to 2 ½ feet. Grosso comes with silver foliage and big spikes as well as violet-blue flowers. This variety is great for drying and usually has repeated bloom in the end of the summer.
The soil where you will plant the lavender must be loamy, sandy or gravelly.
It is crucial to rely on soils that are drained thoroughly. You can also use raised containers and beds in case you want to grow lavender outside.
Opt for low-fertility soil.
Lavender is fond of alkaline soil that comes with a pH value of 6.5 or even higher. Use a soil test to measure the value. If you want to keep a high pH level in the soil add some lime to it.
Make a mound (18-12 inch) with cultivated soil and 2 stacked shovelfuls of one-inch firm stone incorporated in the mound.
Dig a hole with the help of a trowel and make sure that the depth is adequate for the plant.
Mix together the organic matter that will boost the level of nutrients in the soil. It is the best idea to mix equal amounts of lime, bone meal and composted manure. Pour about half a cup in the lowest part of the hole and mix everything well. The soil will drain fast with the help of the stone, the lime will boost the pH value and on top of that, the compost and bone meal will create a healthy environment.
Lavender is fond of arid climate and conditions in and above the soil. So, in case your garden is located in a humid climate, the plant will make more progress if there is light, reflective mulch present.
Pots with Lavender
Lavender has short roots, so you don’t have to use large pots. Learn more about the mature diameter dimensions of the type of lavender you will plant in order to find adequate container/pot. Generally speaking, the average spread of the root and depth is between eight and ten inches. Make sure that there is sufficient drainage for the lavender planted in a pot. You will also have to water this plant more during the summer period because the soil will become dry very fast.
Lavender in pot thrives in a soil that is about 10-15 degrees colder than the one in the ground, so you will need to use protection in winter or when the weather is cold. By performing these activities, you can rest assured that the plant will make great progress:
Put the pot in a warm and relatively sunny area of the home to keep it safe from winter winds.
Use burlap or bubble wrap to wrap the pot. In this way you will keep the heat.
In case the temperature goes down to 32 degrees or less at night, put a blanket on top of it or bury the pot in compost pile.
Taking Care of Your Lavender
The lavender should be planted under sun in soil with good drainage. Feel free to add some organic matter to boost the soil especially if it is heavy.
Water the lavender well, but not very frequently. Wait until the soil gets dry.
When the harvest time or early spring comes, prune the flower. In case you have a variety that grows low, trim the foliage to 1-2 inches. When the plant is in the second year and is about 3-4 feet tall, trim it to the 1/3 of its height. In this way, you will prevent the plant from becoming too woody. In case the plant is already too woody, just eliminate a small amount of its old branches and trim more until new growth starts.
Strip the flowers from the stems and cut the flower spikes to harvest for potpourri and sachets in the moment when the blossoms starts to change color.