Lavender - Seeds
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A tough plant for sunny dry spots and one of the longest-blooming tough semi-shrubs around, lavender (genus Lavandula) would find a place in most sunny gardens even if it didn’t have such a heavenly scent.
There’s more good news, too: lavender is easy to prune, and when you do it, you’ll be covered for the rest of the day in those aromatic oils. This is one of the few gardening tasks that is a good idea to do right before a hot date!
A sweetly fragrant lavender used for perfume and sachets; also good for flavoring ice cream, jams, meat rubs, and pastries.
Common name: Lavender
Color: Lavender blue
Bloom time: June to August
Height: Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Difficulty level: Moderate
Planting & Care
Sunlight: Full sun.
Soil: Grow in average, dry to medium, well-drained, alkaline soil in full sun. Prefers a light, sandy soil with somewhat low fertility.
Water: In the summer plants in pots will need frequent watering, but remember be careful not to waterlog lavender.
Lavender plants in the ground once established should not need watering. For newly planted lavenders give the plant a good drink of water 3 times a week rather than every day for the first couple of months, but remember be careful not to waterlog lavenders. We would always suggest checking your plants carefully as individual garden conditions can vary and adjust your care accordingly.
Fertilizer: Lavenders do well on poor soils and need little fertiliser, we just add a sprinkling of potash around the base of the plant in the late summer and spring. Do not add high nitrogen feeds or manure this can cause the plants to grow tall and weak.
- The two basic requirements for successful lavender growing are full sun and good drainage.
- Lavender is a very hardy plant and will tolerate some neglect but for best results try to follow our plant care guidelines.
- Site Lavenders need a sunny place in the garden where they receive sun for all or most of the day.
- They don’t like to be grown under trees.
- Soil Lavenders grow best in neutral to alkaline soil* which is free draining.
- They don’t like to have long periods of wet at their roots.
- If your soil is a bit heavy, or not well drained it can be improved by digging a large hole and forking over the bottom of the hole.
- Then mix sharp sand or gravel to the soil that will surround the lavender plant roots.
- On heavy soils the plant may also be planted on a slight mound to improve the drainage away from the roots.
- *Lavender x intermedia will grow on slightly acid soils and Lavender stoechas will grow on more acid soils.
- Spacing If you want to plant your lavenders randomly with other plants, depending on the ultimate size of your lavender, we would leave 18-36in ( 45-90cm) between plants.
- If you have space try to plant in groups of 3’s or 5’s this will give you an effective drift of colour.
- If you want to create a hedge again ,depending on the ultimate size of your lavender selected we would leave 12-16in ( 30-40cm ) between plants for a lavender that will grow up to 2ft ( 60cm) wide.
- For a wider growing lavender selected over 2ft ( 60cm ) wide we would leave 16 – 20in ( 40-50cm ) between plants.
- Growing in Pots The dwarf, smaller growing and stoechas lavenders can be grown in pots which are bigger than 12in ( 30cm).
- Use a free draining potting compost ideally a John Innes No 2 or No 3 mixed with some grit.
- Remember though that these plants are dependant on you for food and water! A slow release fertiliser is ideal for feeding, just push a couple of food plugs into the soil.
- Lavenders in pots will need potting into a larger size pot regularly every year or so.
- Many people enjoy a plant on the patio for a few years then if it becomes too large plant it in the garden.
Harvesting: Flower spikes have the strongest scent just as the pretty little flowers begin to open. Cut long stems and gather in bunches to dry out of the sun – this will take four to five days in warm weather. Spread stems on a screen or sheet so air circulates easily. Use the stems of fresh or dried flower spikes in arrangements or remove the flowers for sachets and potpourri mixtures.
- Pruning: Lavender is a woody subshrub, and pruning techniques should reflect this.
- Do not prune in spring until new growth appears, and leave plants alone for the winter.
- Plants may be sheared back and shaped after flowering, but do not cut low into old wood.
- If older plants become unsightly, cut back by a third every three years.
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