Lavender is a welcome addition to any garden with its beautiful flowers and wonderful scent. It grows rapidly and is highly regarded. All it takes to grow and maintain a fragrant flowering of this plant is a suitable garden spot and a little horticultural skill. Very soon you will have this skill!
Method 1 of 3: Getting Started
Step 1. Choose a well-lit area
Lavender is a Mediterranean herb (medicinal), so it thrives in hot, sunny places. Choose a location in your garden where the plant will receive plenty of sun, for at least eight hours a day. The site should be as sheltered as possible to protect the plant from winter winds.
- Planting lavender next to a large rock or wall is a good idea as this will provide extra warmth and protection.
- Make sure the soil is well drained. Dampness is the enemy of lavender, so the main thing to do is choose a location with well-drained soil. For optimal conditions, the soil should be light, fluffy and airy.
- To improve soil drainage, a little gravel can be mixed in before planting.
- Also, try to plant your lavender on a raised surface, on top of a slope, or against a wall to maximize drainage.
Step 2. Check the acidity of the soil
Lavender grows best in slightly alkaline conditions, with acid levels ranging from 6.7 to 7.3 pH. You can check the soil pH level using a special test. They are sold at local shops and garden centers.
If necessary, you can increase the alkalinity of the soil by adding a little lime. You need to add 3-5.4 liters. lime for every cubic meter of soil
Step 3. Buy lavender
There are many types of lavender available for home growing. Whether they grow or not depends on the conditions and area where you live. Lavender species sold at your local nursery or garden center will generally suit the climatic conditions in your area, although if you are unsure you can check the label on the plant or ask a nursery officer.
- Munstead and Hydcot Lavender are two particularly hardy varieties.
- It is possible to grow lavender from seeds, but this is not recommended as the seeds require stratification and cooling, and germination can take about a month.
Method 2 of 3: Landing
Step 1. Dig a hole large enough for the roots
Use a spatula to dig a hole in the location you chose for the lavender. The hole should be deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the roots. In fact, lavender grows best in slightly cramped conditions.
If you are planting lavender in a pot or container, choose one that is large enough for the roots and has a 3cm margin on each side
Step 2. Prepare the soil
Prepare the soil for planting lavender and optimize growth conditions by placing two handfuls of round stone with a diameter of 2-3 cm in the hole, along with half a cup of a mixture of lime, well-rotted manure and lime flour. Mix thoroughly. Cover this mixture with a thin layer of soil.
The stone will help with drainage, lime will alkalize the soil, while bone meal and fertilizer will help the lavender grow well
Step 3. Water the potted lavender before planting
You should water the lavender in the pot you bought it in at least an hour before planting. This will ensure that the roots are moist but not damp before planting.
Step 4. Trim the lavender
Prune the lavender lightly before planting. This will allow good air circulation through the stems, stimulate new stem growth and prevent the centers of the stem from becoming lignified, which is a common problem in lavender.
Step 5. Prepare the roots
Remove the lavender from the pot and shake gently to remove excess soil from the roots. Lavender should be planted in a bare-rooted new home to make sure it adapts quickly and easily to its new growth environment.
Step 6. Plant lavender
Place lavender carefully in the prepared area. Place it on a layer of soil, just above the rock mixture you mixed earlier. Make sure the roots are not in direct contact with the mixture. Fill the space around and above the lavender roots with soil, tamping lightly around the base of the stems.
If you are planting more than one lavender, leave a distance of about 90 cm between them. This ensures good air circulation and gives the plant room to grow
Method 3 of 3: Grooming
Step 1. Fertilize the soil
Lavender is a fairly undemanding plant that only needs to be fertilized once a year. Use a light top dressing with a mixture of manure and bone meal, sometime in early spring. You can also feed lavender using liquid fish emulsion or seaweed extract once or twice during the summer.
Step 2. Water a little
As mentioned earlier, dampness is the enemy of lavender, and if its roots become excessively damp, it will kill the plant faster than any drought or cold temperatures. In fact, over-watering new plants in the spring is the main reason for plant growth to stop.
- To achieve proper watering, make sure the soil is completely dry between each watering. However, the plant itself should not dry out.
- If you are growing lavender in a pot, make sure the pot has good drainage so that water does not collect in the bottom of the pot.
Step 3. Prevent the spread of weeds
You can prevent weeds that grow around the lavender by covering the soil with a thin layer of mulch. Use a light colored mulch such as coarse sand, gravel, or oyster shells. Mulch will also help protect plant roots from winter frost.
Step 4. Prune the lavender
You should prune the lavender before new growth begins, about once a year, preferably in the spring. You should trim about 1/3 of the entire plant using pruning shears or garden shears to give it a neat, rounded shape.
- Pruning will stimulate new growth and stop the plant from spreading.
- Make sure not to prune the lavender too much, as this can kill new growth altogether.
Step 5. Harvest the flowers
The best time to harvest lavender is when the bottom flowers of each stem are just starting to open. At this time, lavender is the brightest and most aromatic. Cut flowers at the base of the stems, close to the foliage.
- To dry lavender, tie about a hundred flowers with an elastic band and hang on a nail, flowers down, in a warm, dark and dry place, for about 10-14 days.
- If you want to decorate your home with lavender, place the flowers in a vase, but don't put the roots in the water. This causes the flowers to fall off quickly and leaves the stems soft.
- The foliage of lavender is of different colors: from dusty green to silvery gray. Several species have bright, greenish yellow leaves. Not all species are easy to find commercially, you may need to search for them on websites or in seed catalogs.
- Perennial lavender grows to a height of 30-90 cm, depending on the variety. She needs at least six hours of direct sun every day, the more the better.
- Lavender blooms in mid-summer with flowers ranging from gray to vibrant purple. There are also varieties that bloom in other colors: white, pink, and yellow-green. The flowers themselves are small, sometimes bud-like, but open and full on other branches, and they grow on thorny stems.
- Some lavender varieties can be grown from seed (especially the Munster variety), or potted plants can be purchased in the spring. Popular varieties: Grosso, Provence, Royal Purple, Gray Lady and Hydcot.
- Later, the stems of the lavender become stiff and the plant does not divide as easily as many perennials. If replanting is necessary, dig up the plant in the spring, just after the new growth begins, and repot immediately. The plant can be propagated by layering.