Wild About Lavender: How to Grow This Beautiful, Versatile Plant
How to Grow Lavender
Lavender is pretty easy to grow, and the results are more than worth it! Here are the basics:
- Buying Lavender Plants: It’s best to buy a young lavender plant from your local garden center rather than growing lavender from seed, because you’re much more likely to get healthy plants this way. Common English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 5a to 9a, but be sure to check the hardiness range of the plant you buy if you’re planning to grow your lavender outdoors as a perennial.
- When to Plant Lavender: You can plant lavender from spring until fall as long as there is no danger of frost. If you’re planting in the fall, choose larger plants.
- Soil Requirements: Lavender grows best in well-drained, sandy soil with a pH between 6.7 and 7.3. It does not grow well in heavy, clay soil.
- Sun Requirements: Lavender does best when planted in an area that receives full sun.
- Planting Lavender: Space lavender plants 12″ to 18″ apart when planting. Since lavender requires well-drained soil, raised garden beds are a good option since they provide good drainage. You can also grow lavender in containers; but don’t use an overly large container, since lavender likes to keep a tight root system.
- Weed Protection: Lavender isn’t a very competitive plant, and it can easily be overcome by weeds. Use mulch or a weed barrier to help protect lavender from weeds.
- Watering Lavender: Lavender is drought-tolerant, but it will flower best if you don’t allow the plants to dry out. Water lavender as needed for your climate conditions.
- Propagating Lavender: If you want to share with family and friends, the best time to propagate your lavender is right after it has bloomed. To propagate, select stems that don’t have any flower buds on them. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the stem and insert it into a pot of horticultural vermiculite or sterile potting soil. Water and mist the cuttings regularly. The cuttings should grow roots within about three weeks, with no need for any rooting hormones. Once the cuttings have developed roots, transplant them into pots 2″ to 4″ in diameter. They will be ready for transplanting into the garden once they have developed a full, healthy root system.