Herb Garden Essentials: Grow Your Fragrant Lavender

If any plant can be said to possess it all, or at least a fantastic portion of it all, it’s lavender. This Mediterranean native is easy to grow even beyond its preferred growing conditions, is mostly pest- and disease-free, is fragrant and attracts bees, butterflies and birds.

It’s equally at home as an accent plant, trained into a hedge or grown in a boundary, blending into a garden or suppress strip planting bed, dangling over a stone wall or climbing into a container. If you’ve got a bright window, you may even grow lavender for a houseplant.

Lavender can be amazingly easy to crop and use. Use fresh flowers in to taste ice cream, teas and lemonades, cakes and cookies, salads and sugars. Dry the flowers to use in wreaths, swags and arrangements or to put among clothes or in closets to add some fragrance and also help deter moths. Oils from the plants can be added to soaps and perfumes.

Barbara Pintozzi

Numerous types of lavender are available, but those grown most frequently are English lavender (Lavendula angustifolia or L. officinalis), lavandin (L. X intermedia) and Spanish lavender (L. stoechas).

English lavender, given its common name because of its prevalence in English gardens and not its region of origin, is the hardiest and the best choice for edible flowers. Lavandin is the famously fragrant lavender found in Provence, France, used for soaps and perfumes. Spanish lavender looks rougher, with its larger flowers, but really is a little less hardy than lavender.

David Buergler Architecture

Lavender flourishes in drought and poor soil; humidity and wet toes are its nemeses. If you reside in a humid climate or possess poor-draining soil, consider growing Spanish lavender or French lavender (L. dentata). It is also possible to plant it in a raised bed or on a slope, expand it in containers or treat it as an annual.

Derviss Design

It’s best to buy called nursery plants to make sure to get exactly what you would like. Seeds have a long time to germinate and may not develop true to variety.

Huettl Landscape Architecture

Light requirement: Full sun

Water requirement: Routine to establish, then minimum

Prime growing period: Spring to summer

When to plant: Spring through autumn, except during the hottest summer days

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Jean Marsh Design



L. angustifolia:Alba, Hidcote, Lady Lavender, Munstead, Nana Alba, Sharon Roberts
L. xintermedia: Grosso, Provence, White Spikes
L. stoechas:Dark Eyes, Hazel, Ruffles show

Zeterre Landscape Architecture

Planting and care: select a place in full sun with very good drainage; add sand or compost prior to planting to improve drainage. Lavender does best in poor soil.

Place plants 1 to 4 feet apart, depending on their eventual height and spread. If you reside in a humid climate, be sure to permit for plenty of air flow between them. You can even put in a mulch of sand or pea gravel.

If you are growing it into a container, choose one that’s only an inch or two larger than the root ball, eventually reverted right into a 12- to 16-inch container. Provide adequate drainage water and fertilize somewhat more often than for a plant in the floor.

BE Landscape Design

Water regularly during the first year to establish the plants; in subsequent years allow the plants dry out before watering again. Insert a light fertilizer in spring when growth begins.

Verdance Landscape Design

Shear back the plant by roughly twenty five to fifty after the blossom; you may get another harvest. In spring, after growth has begun, prune lightly to remove dead and broken growth and to shape the plant.

If the plant has woody in the middle, cut those branches out and permit new growth to fill in. Lavender isn’t long lived; you will probably have to replace it every 10 years or so.

Gardening with Confidence®

Lavender will be fine during most winters. If you reside in an area subject to ground freezes and thaws, mulch with gravel or sand to protect the roots. From the coldest climates, pay for the plants to protect them.

JMS Design Associates

Pests and disease are rare. There could be an occasional spider mite infestation, and fungal infections may be a problem in humid climates or where the soil is always wet.

Dig Your Garden Landscape Design

Harvest. Start choosing flowers before they open for the best odor. Harvest randomly throughout the plant to help keep it appearing full (every third branch is a fantastic way to go).

Hang the flowers in a cool, dark place with good air flow to dry.

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