These aromatic subshrubs are popular in herb gardens as well as in the perennial border, and the intensely perfumed blue-violet, mauve, pink, or white flowers are treasured for drying and making potpourri. The foliage of Lavender is a standout in the garden where its silvery or gray-green hues contrast nicely with its neighbors.
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 didnâ€™t have such a heavenly scent.
Thereâ€™s more good news, too: lavender is easy to prune, and when you do it, youâ€™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(s): Lavender
Flower colours: Lavender blue
Bloom time: June to August
Max reacahble height: Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Difficulty to grow:: Moderate
Planting and care
Soak it deeply in the evenings, daily until planted, then water again for about an hour before planting, and of course, after as well.
Prune the top of the plant to ensure a productive plant.
Loosen the roots from the potting soil by working the trowel teeth into the soil block.
Place plant just above the blend of stone/ lime / bonemeal / compost, not allowing the roots to touch the blend and gather soil around base of plant. Water deeply.
Space largest plants 5 â€“ 6 feet from one another for good air circulation.
Sunlight: Full sun.
Soil: Grow in average, dry to medium, require well-drained neutral to alkaline soil,, 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.
This should be unnecessary after establishment, except plants in pots which need frequent watering during summer. See also Overwintering below.
Temperature: 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
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.
Caring for Lavender
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.
Pruning and harvesting lavender are essentially the same - you're removing the flowering stalks from the bush.
This promotes new growth in the plant's roots, keeps the plant looking neat, and leaves you with 1 - 8 bunches of fresh lavender flowers.
Lavender should be cut when the flower have just opened in spring.
This is the time during which they're most fragrant and beautiful.
Monitor the lavender in the early spring so you can catch it right when the flowers open.
If you cut lavender in the spring, the plant may have time to produce more flowers for a second harvest.
Typical uses of Lavender
Special features: One of the most distinguishing characteristics of lavender is its fragrance.
Culinary use: Try mixing lavender with other herbs in a vegetarian pizza or goats cheese tartlets to produce a floral herbal flavour.
Chicken, lamb and salmon are also suitable savoury dishes where lavender can be used effectively either as whole flower spikes, grains or as a rub in oil or with other herbs.
Ornamental use: Dried lavender is used in bunches, bags and pot-pourri for its scent and as a moth and insect repellant.
Lavender is one of the most highly prized plants for medicinal use.
It is well known as an antiseptic and anaesthetic and is fantastic for relieving anxiety and stress. A few drops of oil on a pillow will help with sleep.
Lavender is commonly and increasingly used as an oil in aromatherapy and is great as a massage oil for relieving muscular tension and rheumatic pain.
Lavender oil can be used to soothe burns, insect bites and stings.