Hey, gardening enthusiasts wondering how to grow lavender at home?
We’ve got you covered. With a little preparation, you’ll be able to cultivate this aromatic herb in your own garden or windowsill with ease.
To ensure success when growing lavender, it is important that you choose the right variety for your climate and prepare the soil correctly before planting.
Once planted, there are certain steps that must be taken in order to care for and harvest your fragrant crop of lavender flowers.
Read on for our top tips on how to grow lavender successfully from start to finish.
Table of Contents
Choosing the Right Lavender Variety
When it comes to lavender, there are many varieties to choose from.
The most popular types of lavender include English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) and Spanish Lavender (Lavandula latifolia).
Each type has its own unique characteristics that make them ideal for different uses.
English Lavender is the most common variety used in home gardens. It grows best in full sun and well-drained soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5.
This type of lavender produces fragrant flowers that can be dried or used fresh in cooking or potpourri recipes.
Its essential oils are also commonly used in aromatherapy products such as massage oils, bath salts, lotions, and soaps.
French Lavender is another popular choice for home gardeners due to its attractive foliage and vibrant purple blooms which attract butterflies and hummingbirds alike.
This variety prefers slightly acidic soils with good drainage but will tolerate some shade if necessary.
French lavenders have a milder scent than English varieties making them great for use in perfumes or sachets where you don’t want an overpowering aroma.
Spanish Lavenders are the hardiest of all the varieties requiring little maintenance once they’re established and they thrive even during hot summers.
They produce long stems with bright blue-purple flowers that bloom throughout summertime attracting bees and other pollinators into your garden space while providing beautiful color contrast against green foliage plants like rosemary or sage nearby.
Spanish lavenders have a strong fragrance making them perfect for use in potpourris or homemade candles too.
No matter what type of lavender you choose, it is important to consider your climate when selecting the right variety for your home garden.
Some may do better than others depending on how much sunlight they receive each day as well as how wet or dry their environment is naturally.
So, it’s important to research any potential plant before purchasing so that you know exactly what kind of care it needs in order to stay healthy year round.
Now that you have chosen a suitable variety, it’s time to prepare the soil for planting.
Takeaway: There are three main types of lavender that can be grown in the home garden: English, French and Spanish. Each variety has its own unique characteristics and preferences when it comes to sunlight, soil type and pH levels.
Preparing the Soil
Before planting lavender, it is important to prepare the soil. This will ensure that your plants have a good foundation and are able to thrive in their new environment.
The first step is to test the pH of the soil. Lavender prefers slightly acidic soils with a pH between 6 and 7. If you find that your soil has too high or low of a pH, you can adjust it by adding lime or sulfur respectively.
Next, add compost or other organic matter such as manure or peat moss to improve drainage and aeration while also providing essential nutrients for plant growth. Compost should be mixed into the top 8-10 inches of soil before planting begins.
Finally, work some slow-release fertilizer into the top layer of soil prior to planting lavender plants in order to provide them with additional nutrients throughout their growing season. Be sure not to overfertilize as this can cause root burn and damage your plants’ health.
Once these steps are complete, you are ready to begin planting.
When planting lavender, it is important to choose the right variety for your climate and soil type.
Most varieties of lavender prefer well-drained soil in full sun.
Once you have chosen the right variety, prepare the soil by tilling or digging up to 12 inches deep and removing any rocks or debris.
Amend the soil with compost if needed to improve drainage and add nutrients.
When planting lavender, space plants about 18 inches apart from each other so they can get adequate air circulation.
Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball but no deeper than 6 inches below ground level; this will help keep water off of their crowns during heavy rains.
Place your plant in the hole and backfill with amended soil until it reaches ground level; tamp down lightly around base of plant to secure roots in place.
Water thoroughly after planting to ensure good contact between roots and surrounding soils.
Once planted, care for your lavender plants by providing consistent moisture throughout its growing season (spring through fall).
If rainfall isn’t sufficient enough, provide supplemental irrigation once every 7-10 days depending on weather conditions; avoid over watering which can lead to root rot issues.
Additionally, prune back spent flower stalks after blooming has finished for best results next year.
Trimming away old growth encourages new shoots from forming at base of plant come springtime.
Harvesting lavender is easy when done correctly.
Wait until flowers are fully open before cutting stems at an angle just above a leaf node using sharp shears or scissors.
Be sure not to cut too close as this could damage buds still forming beneath surface.
After harvesting, hang bunches upside down indoors out of direct sunlight until completely dry and then store in airtight containers away from heat sources such as radiators or ovens. Enjoy all summer long!
Now let’s look at how to properly care for lavender once it is established.
Takeaway: When planting lavender, choose the right variety for your climate and soil type. Amend soil with compost if needed, space plants 18 inches apart and backfill hole until ground level. Water thoroughly after planting and provide consistent moisture throughout growing season. Harvest when flowers are fully open and hang bunches upside down to dry before storing in airtight containers away from heat sources.
Caring for Lavender
Lavender plants need to be watered regularly, but not too much.
Water them deeply and slowly once a week during the growing season, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
During periods of drought or extreme heat, you may need to water more often. Avoid getting the foliage wet when watering as this can cause fungal diseases.
Fertilize lavender plants in early spring with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 8-8-8. Follow label instructions for application rates and timing.
Do not fertilize after mid summer as it will encourage new growth that won’t have time to harden off before winter arrives.
Prune lavender plants annually in late winter or early spring before new growth begins by removing any dead wood and cutting back about one third of the plant’s height.
This encourages bushy growth and prevents legginess from developing over time due to lack of light reaching lower branches on tall stems.
Aphids are common pests on lavender plants, so check your plants frequently for signs of infestation such as distorted leaves or sticky honeydew secretions left behind by aphids feeding on sap from within stems and leaves.
If needed, use an insecticidal soap spray according to label directions for control measures against these pests.
Proper care for your lavender plants is essential to ensure a healthy, abundant harvest.
Now that you know how to properly care for your lavender, let’s move on to harvesting the plant.
Harvesting Lavender is a rewarding experience that can be done with minimal effort.
The best time to harvest lavender flowers and leaves is in the morning when the dew has evaporated, usually from late spring through early summer.
To harvest lavender flowers, cut off flower stems just above where they join the main stem of the plant.
Cut at an angle so that water will run off rather than collect on top of the stem. You can use pruning shears or scissors for this task; however, make sure they are clean and sharp to avoid damaging your plants.
For larger harvests, you may want to consider using garden clippers or loppers instead.
When harvesting lavender leaves, it’s important to remember not to take too much from any one plant as it could weaken it over time.
Leaves should be harvested before flowering begins for maximum flavor and aroma or their essential oils will start dissipating once blooming starts.
To harvest leaves simply pinch them off with your fingers or use scissors if necessary – again making sure they are clean and sharp beforehand.
Once harvested, you can dry your lavender by hanging bunches upside down in a cool dark place until completely dry (usually about two weeks).
Once dried, store in airtight containers away from direct sunlight until ready for use.
Freshly picked lavender makes great additions to salads while dried flowers can be used in potpourri sachets or added into teas for extra flavor and aroma.
Takeaway: Harvest lavender flowers and leaves in the morning when dew has evaporated. Use clean, sharp tools to avoid damaging plants. Hang bunches upside down to dry for two weeks, then store in airtight containers away from direct sunlight until ready for use.
How to Grow Lavender FAQs
Is lavender an easy plant to grow?
Yes, lavender is an easy plant to grow. It requires minimal maintenance and can thrive in many climates. Lavender prefers well-drained soil and full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade as well. When planting lavender, make sure to space the plants far enough apart so that they have room to spread out. Water regularly during dry periods, but be careful not to overwater or let the soil become soggy. Prune back dead stems after flowering for a neat appearance and new growth. With proper care, you will enjoy fragrant blooms of this beautiful flower all season long.
How do you grow lavender for beginners?
Growing lavender is a great way to add color and fragrance to your garden. To get started, choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Plant the lavender in spring or fall, spacing each plant about 18 inches apart. Water regularly until established then water only when the soil is dry. Prune back any dead wood after flowering for best results. Fertilize lightly once per year in early spring using an organic fertilizer specifically designed for herbs like lavender. With proper care, you can enjoy beautiful blooms of fragrant flowers every summer.
Where does lavender grow best?
Lavender grows best in well-drained soil and full sun. It prefers a slightly alkaline soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5, but it can tolerate some acidic soils as well. Lavender should be planted in an area that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day for optimal growth and flowering. For best results, water the lavender deeply once or twice per week during dry periods, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Additionally, lavender benefits from a light pruning after flowering to encourage new growth.
Does lavender come back each year?
Yes, lavender is a perennial plant that will come back each year. It is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and can survive cold winters with proper care. Lavender prefers well-drained soil and full sun exposure for best growth. To ensure it comes back the following season, prune off spent flowers and stems to encourage new growth. Mulching during winter months helps protect the roots from extreme temperatures as well. With regular maintenance, you can enjoy fragrant blooms of lavender every year.
Growing lavender is a great way to add beauty and fragrance to your garden.
With the right variety, soil preparation, planting and care instructions you can successfully grow lavender at home.
When it comes time for harvesting, be sure to cut back the flowering stems of your lavender plants so that they will continue to produce new growth in future seasons.
With a little bit of effort, you can have an abundance of fragrant blooms each year when you learn how to grow lavender!