Lavender is a plant native to many regions throughout the Mediterranean. It has a very long and colorful history that goes back to the Old World.
Today, it is one of the most popular ornamental plants that can be added in a myriad of different kinds of gardens.
Lavender is not just used for landscaping or for improving the aesthetic appeal of gardens and outdoor spaces; it is also used for medicinal purposes, its lovely scent, and its pest repellent properties.
This is an incredibly hardy plant that doesn’t require a whole lot of care or attention during the growing season. Once the plant has established itself, it’s also an excellent pollinator that will bring beautiful blooms to your garden.
Some varieties of lavender are capable of reaching a height of about 3 feet when grown properly. However, if you want your lavender plant to reach such heights, you have to understand that caring for the plant is quite important.
The lavender plant requires heat and doesn’t like too much water. It needs space around it for air flow, and the plant generally thrives in sandy soil. If you have planted lots of lavender in a small and confined spot, the chances of a bloom are going to decrease.
How to Grow Lavender
The ideal time to plant lavender is during the spring after the last threat of frost.
Lavender can be a fantastic addition to a raised bed garden or an in-ground garden. You can also grow it really well in containers.
When planting lavender, it is imperative that you space each of the plants at least 12 to 18 inches apart. These plants need room for good air flow.
The spot you choose to plant the lavender should receive lots of sunlight and it should ideally have a more alkaline soil, with a pH value between 6.5 and 7.5.
Lavender needs to be planted in well draining soil. A sandy or gravelly soil is an ideal choice for this plant.
The best thing about the lavender plant is that it likes drier conditions. In fact, if you water it as frequently as you may water your other plants, you could end up having issues.
You will only have to water the plant when you notice that the soil is dry from the top couple of inches.
Once the stems are large enough for use, you can harvest them. It is important, however, that you do not harvest more than one-third of the plant at one time.
Where To Plant Lavender
Now you know that lavender should be planted in very well draining, sandy soil.
When choosing a location to plant your lavender, you will want to keep drainage in mind.
Lavender will do great along the top of a running wall or on a slope. In these locations, the excess water will be able to drain away freely and not pool up around the roots.
You can also plant lavender in a raised bed garden or on a mound of soil in a perennial bed.
Light and Water
The plant needs at least six hours or more of sunlight in a day. If you are not able to provide that to your lavender, it’s not going to grow properly. If you have taller trees that might cover the light, make sure you prune them regularly.
When it comes to watering, a lot of people overwater their lavender, and this is a major problem. It can cause the plant to die a premature death. Ideally, you should provide very little water to your lavender. It feels wrong when you are used to keeping your other plants well watered, but hold back on watering lavender too much.
Another common mistake that many people make when growing lavender is that they use sprinkler systems. The sprinkler water tends to remain on the leaves until it evaporates, which can cause sunburns.
You should always water the roots and let the plant absorb the water through the soil.
Fertilize or Not?
This is a common question among many people who want to grow lavender. Thankfully, the answer is pretty simple: you don’t need to fertilize the lavender plant. It is incredibly hardy and is able to get all of the nutrients that it needs from the soil only. It will even do great in nutrient poor soil.
Finding the right time to prune the plants is also important. Pruning and deadheading are both essential steps that you will have to take to promote the growth of the plant.
The best time to prune the lavender plants is in the late fall. Do not prune them during the summer months or when they are blooming. In the late fall, the flowers will be fading already, which makes it the ideal time for you to prune the plant.
You can harvest the flowers and dry them to keep in your home.
Fungus is a major problem that can have a dire impact on your plants. It is important that you take a close look at the growth of your plant and identify any fungi on the plant.
Fungi usually develop on plants such as lavender when they are not cared for properly and overwatered. The excess water in the soil provides the perfect conditions for the growth of fungi.
If you do not pay attention to this, it won’t take long before your plant succumbs to root rot and eventually dies. Pests generally stay away from the lavender plant, although if the plant continues to get weak over time, even they will start flocking over to your plant.
If the plant succumbs to root rot, your only option will be to remove the plant and then cut off the affected roots.
These are just a few things that you should know about caring for your lavender plants. As long as you follow these tips, your lavender plant should grow to its maximum height!
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.