As gardeners and people who love spending time outside amongst our lavender plants, we know how many others love spending time outdoors. When winter is at its worst, our thoughts return to spring weather that is on its way. Before the warm weather arrives, we have begun making plans for the spring weather.
Each year we lose a few lavender plants due to winter so we’ve decided to share a few tips and tricks for caring for lavender plants you can use when growing your own lavender plants at home.
Lavender is tough!
Grown around the world in different climates, lavender plants, once established, are hearty and tough. Lavender plants can grow in nearly any type of soil, including cracks between rocks around the Mediterranean. Lavender plants can grow 30 – 60 cm or 1-2 feet tall when full-grown.
Lavender plants need and love sun and great drainage. Growing lavender plants in areas of full sun will ensure that these plants thrive. Ensure your plant has excellent drainage as lavender plants can develop rot if the soil is too damp. If you know about your soil, aim for a slightly alkaline soil.
Growing from Seed or Seedling/Cutting
Growing lavender plants from seeds can be incredibly challenging. Sometimes lavender seeds can take up to a month to germinate. Though it can take as few as 14 days. We typically purchase seedlings/cuttings from a mother plant and use these baby plants to replace plants that died over the winter. There are growers around the world who offer their cuttings to people around the world, who start the baby plants you will see at your local nursery or greenhouse. Cuttings grow with a growth agent to ensure that their roots are established before shipping.
Consider putting a top dressing of mulch around your lavender. If the area you live in is experiencing a dry-spell be sure to include the lavender plants in your watering routine. We suggest that you water once or twice a week. Lavender plants hate soil that is too damp or fails to drain properly. When planting in your own garden, wait until the threat of frost has passed before planting lavender.
Pruning is needed to keep your lavender plants in healthy shape. Ideally the time to prune your lavender is after the plant has flowered in late summer to early fall. We suggest that if you’re pruning lavender, remove one-third of the green growth. Avoid pruning the woody areas. Mature parts of the plant turn to woody stems in their third year. These woody stems won’t produce much lavender buds. When pruning, you’re allowing better air circulation to reach the interior of the plants.
Lavender, like many flowering plants, attracts pollinators. Bees and insects are incredibly important to our work, both as a grower and a florist. As people who support the bees, we’re always looking for different ways to support pollinators. When harvesting lavender flowers, be sure to leave some of the flowers behind specifically for the bees and other pollinators that visit. Did you know that we have a series of bee hives located on our farm?
Have a lavender plant in a pot? You can bring it outside for the late spring and summer. You can keep it in its original pot or plant it in the garden directly. Remember to water once or twice a week but be cautious of the dampness of the soil. Lavender plants thrive in a drier soil.
Whether a beginner or seasoned gardener, growing and tending lavender is a great way to spend some time outside, enjoying nature’s beauty.