How To Prune New Lavender Plants
Start pruning lavender when its small to encourage your new plant to focus on making more roots and branching stems, which results in a nice mounded habit later. The dotted line in the illustration above shows you how to cut foliage and any flowers back by one-third to one half before planting. With the outside stems slightly shorter than the center ones so the plant will have a mounded growth habit from the start. You may get a light rebloom. Go ahead and remove those too.
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Picking A Plant By Zone
Growing lavender isnt much of a challenge for any gardener, experienced or not. However, there are a few staunch guidelines that every gardener should keep in mind when starting out:
- Needs space
- Wants lean soil
Considering that lavender originates from hot, arid climates similar to Italy, France, and Spain, its understandable that cold or humid weather is not ideal.
If you fail to compensate for climate, then your plant will not yield as bountiful a harvest, or even fail to survive.
How To Dry It And Enjoy It
Harvest flower spikes just when the first few flowers are opening on each. Cut stems in the soft new growth, in the morning after the dew has dried and before the sun gets too hot. Gather into small bunches, and tie each near cut ends , then hang upside down in dark, dry, airy, dust-free room.;When thoroughly dry, gently rub down each stem to remove flowers.Store dried flowers in an airtight jar to sprinkle into bathwater, or tie a handful into a pretty hanky to make an “instant” sachet for a linen cupboard or drawer . Slightly crush the dried flowers every so often to freshen their scent.You can also use the dried flowers in the kitchen. Freeze them in ice cubes for summer drinks, and add to herbed butters, sweet desserts, tea mixtures and savoury meat and cheese dishes.Or indulge in a recent trend and shower your just-married friends with dried lavender, instead of confetti.Although it’s not native to Canada, disease-resistant lavender is a good green choice, as well. Its easy-care attributes mean that it doesn’t want any chemical help to grow and, once established, requires almost no watering. Its nectar-rich flowers attract butterflies, bees and other beneficial pollinators to the garden more important than ever, now that these are being threatened worldwide.
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Where To Grow Lavender
Lavenders thrive in an open site in full sun in a well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil . They cope well with drought conditions and may suffer in wet, heavy soils, particularly over winter.
Half-hardy and tender lavenders, such as Lavandula stoechas, are best grown in pots so that they can be moved to a light, airy frost-free spot for winter.
Harvesting And Using Lavender
Harvest when approximately one-half to one-third of the flower buds are open if you are using lavender for oil. Cut low on the stem about two inches from the stalk early in the morning to conserve the volatile oils.
Dry lavender by hanging it in a dry, warm spot away from sunlight for 2-3 weeks.
You can keep cut lavender alive for a few days by placing cut stems in a jar of water.
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Regal Splendour French Lavender
If you want to showcase the elegance of French lavender in pots or containers on your terrace or patio, or if you need a touch of royalty in your borders and hedges, then Regal Splendour is what you are after!
This is a variety with thick violet blue spikes and long and upright deep magenta bracts or ears, which look a bit like fairy crowns on top of heads among the foliage.
- Hardiness:;French lavender Royal Splendour is hardy to USDA zones 8 to 9.
- Size:;2 to 3 feet in height and spread .
- Spacing:;plant them 30 to 36 inches apart .
- Flowering season:;from mid spring to late summer with three consecutive blooms.
Growing Lavender In Michigan: Advice For A Purple Garden
Lavender thrives in alkaline, rocky soils where many other agricultural crops do not grow. Learn the basics of lavender production.
Its that time of the year to start thinking about your perennial garden, and whats showier and more aromatic than lavender? Not only is it a beautiful addition to your garden, but its multiple uses mean you can harvest sprigs as bouquets, for the kitchen, for your medicine cabinet and bath and body needs. Lavender is also an excellent pollinator plant for pollinator gardens. If you are considering planting lavender, here are some guidelines to follow.
First, consider where you plan on sourcing your plants. Commercial greenhouses or nurseries often start their plants from seed, but this method is most successful in a controlled environment or greenhouse; it can take up to two to three months for lavender to germinate in field conditions. Therefore, residential or commercial lavender growers transplant young plants into the garden. Growers should purchase plants from a reputable propagator who uses best management sanitation and disease management practices. Lavender can be planted from May to September in Michigan.
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What Are The Characteristics Of Lavender
Lavender is a shrub belonging to lamiaceae, mint family. It is both decorative and cultivated plant. Lavender typically reaches half a metre, however there are also higher species. Its characteristic feature is purple, sometimes blue flowers, growing vertically. They release a slightly camphoric scent. Lavender is valued for its health benefits. The plant is also used in perfume industry and for culinary purposes.
The valuable parts are flowers, usually in dried form. They are also used for essential oil production. It has antiseptic purposes.
Lavender has many other purposes that might be appreciated by every woman. In the age of natural cosmetics lavender becomes more and more appreciated. It hinders skin sebum production, therefore it is perfect for oily and combination skin. Its a great help for acne and pimples, as well as skin discoloration.
Lavender has a soothing effect on human nervous system. It is also a good stimulant in case of mental fatigue. Drunk as a herbal tea or added to various dishes, lavender stimulates digestive system and relaxes muscles. It also soothes pain.
How To Care For Lavender
- Water once or twice a week after planting until plants are established. Water mature plants every two to three weeks until buds form, then once or twice weekly until;harvest.
- In colder growing areas, plants may need extra winter protection. Cover the plants with a winter mulch of evergreen boughs or straw, which will insulate from freezing winds and temperatures.;
- Another option for cold areas is to grow lavender in a pot, keeping it outdoors in the summer and indoors in winter.;While indoors, place the pot in a south-facing window with as much light as possible. Water sparingly, as the plant will be dormant at this;time.
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Alba Nana English Lavender
This dwarf dawn variety of English lavender will mix its beautiful candid and white blooms with the most soothing scent in the world, and its diminutive size makes it perfect for containers and pots, patio gardens and terraces.It will also add an unmistakable fragrance to white gardens or rock gardens though, and it too has won the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
- Hardiness:;Alba Nana English lavender is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 9.
- Size:;between 10 and 12 inches tall and 1 to 2 feet in spread .
- Spacing:;plant them between 12 and 16 inches apart .
- Flowering season:;it will bloom in mid to late summer and only once.
Different Types Of English Lavender Plant
1. Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote
One of the dwarf varieties of English lavender, it grows dark purple-blue flowers with strong fragrance. Drought-tolerant and hardy to hot climates, these plants are great for attracting butterflies and bees, while they are also deer and rabbit resistance. Blooms once some time from late spring to late summer.
Height: Around 1.5-2 feet
Width: 1.5-2 feet
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9
Utility: Walkways and garden borders where its fresh scent can be appreciated; excellent choice for container plant
2. Lavandula angustifolia Munstead
Tolerant to hot and humid conditions, the perennial variety has low maintenance needs. Blooming twice in a year, during later spring to mid- to late summer, the sweetly fragrant flowers are of a cool bluish lavender shade, which contrast nicely with the plants gray-green foliage.
Height: 1 to 1.5 feet
Width: 1 to 2 feet
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9
Utility: Borders and flowerbeds where its feathery flower-heads can sway in breeze; container plant; cut/dry flower
The Best Soil For Lavender In Pots
Lavender performs well in alkaline, little organic matter, and well-drained soil.
However, with time, the soil becomes compact leading to poor drainage which will in turn bring a lot of problems later on.
To avoid this, do not fill your containers with soil from your garden or bagged topsoil.
You can save yourself the trouble associated with soil-based media by using a recommended “soil-less” blend that will retain moisture and resist compaction. Organic potting soil is a suitable alternative.
Most commercial potting mixes have balanced, slow release and regular nutrient supply so your lavender remains strong and healthy throughout the season.
Choosing Lavenders To Grow
The type of lavender you grow will depend on personal choice, including flower colour and shape, plus the shade and fragrance of the foliage . However, there are some pointers to be mindful of when choosing which lavender to grow in your garden. Firstly, its worth noting that English lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, is more hardy and long-lived than French and Spanish lavenders, Lavandula dentata and Lavandula stoechas. Its thought that English lavender is also more attractive to bees than French or Spanish lavender.
Traditional English lavender varieties include Hidcote and Munstead. These are undeniably lovely and rightly popular, but have you considered intermediate lavenders? Sometimes called lavendins, these hybrid; lavenders have Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia as their parents. Lavendin lavenders are more robust than other lavenders and therefore more tolerant of wetter soils and colder winters. Theyre larger in habit than English lavenders and flower for a longer period, providing more flowers for you to enjoy and more pollen and nectar for bees. Popular hybrid lavenders, or lavendins, include Lavandula x intermedia Edelweiss and Lavandula x intermedia Grosso.
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Lavender Plant Care Guide
Lavender is a plant that does not like to stand in shade. Excessive wetness is also not good for it. Water it 1-2 times a week. Make sure not to overwater the lavender, or it might stop growing. It is better to leave the soil to dry a little instead – although do not let it dry completely. Fertilise the soil every two weeks from April to July. A liquid fertilizer is best for this purpose.
Lavender needs pruning. Do it approximately twice a year to keep the good look of the plant. Such procedure also prolongs blooming time. While you can cut up to half the length, it is best to cut back 2/3 of a branch.
Lavender also needs to hibernate. For this purpose move the plant to a room with lower temperature. Dont forget to water it, otherwise the plant will die. Lavender is not very popular among vermins its strong smell works as a natural repellent. The plant can be transplanted into a new spot after it stops blooming.
The only disease that may attack a lavender plant is botrytis . It will occur if the plant is overwatered. To prevent it, dont let the roots soak too much. Pour the water out of the saucer immediately, so that it is not sucked back into the soil.
Diseases And Pests That Attack French Lavender
There arent many. Actually, this flower often helps as a pest repellent. Like marigolds, it repels aphids.
In cases where the plant is severely weakened due to extreme drought or overwatering, the shrub may develop diseases such as leaf spot due to .
Although butterflies love to drink its nectar, you wont find any caterpillars on the leaves, none like to eat it!
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Growing Zone 5 Lavender Plants
In cool climates, it is best to plant lavender in spring so plants have time to establish during the summer. Choose a site with full sun and well drained, slightly acidic soil composed of a good portion of sand or rock. Excessively fertile soil is not preferred by this Mediterranean plant. Side dress with compost once per year but, otherwise, forego any fertilizing.
Established plants are drought tolerant but all forms will perform and bloom best with average water.
After flowering, prune the last years growth back. Trimming more will affect the following seasons bloom. Harvest flowers when they are just opening in the morning to get the most oil content and scent. Hang bunches upside down to dry and use them in potpourri, sachets and even baked goods.
Hardy lavenders will perform well for many years and can make excellent additions to container gardens as well.
Lavender In A Pot What Should You Know About It
Lavender in a pot is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy this plant on their balcony. You can decide to buy a seedling or seed it yourself. The latter method requires significantly more attention, as the seeds need to undergo stratification. It is nothing else than cooling the seeds, which should last approximately three weeks.
The best time for lavender seeds stratification is February. How to do it? Prepare a small container and fill it with soil. Plant the seeds and put the container in a room in which the temperature remains around 0°C for instance basement. You can also cool the lavender seeds in the fridge its a definitely more convenient method. This way you dont have to worry about ground frosts.
Growing a lavender plant at home is not a very difficult task. The plant does not need too much attention. Well planted, lavender will serve as a decoration for many years. There are many lavender species, and most of them can be potted. Plants that are not resistant to frost are perfect for this purpose.
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Other Cultivars And Crosses Between The Lavender Species
1. Lavandula x intermedia Hidcote Giant
This is an award winning variety with dense plump bright purple flowers with a strong sweet fragrance, growing on long stems. The showy evergreen plants bloom in mid to late summer.
Height: 2.5 to 3 feet
Width: 3 to 3.5 feet
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8
Utility: In large herb gardens, mass planting, garden hedges; cut flower arrangements
2. Lavandula x intermedia Impress Purple
The size and foliage somewhat resembles the grosso variety, but the flowers are a dark purple, growing on flatter spikes. The evergreen shrub flowers in summer, with the tall, upright gray-green foliage adding to its charm.
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Width: 3 to 3.5 feet
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9
Utility: Tall aromatic hedges; fresh cut flowers and dry flower arrangements
5. Lavandula x intermedia Grosso
It is often considered to be the most cultivated lavender plant, widely used in the perfume and cosmetics industry. Long dark blue flower spikes appear around the early or middle part of summer.
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Width: up to 3 feet
USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-10
Utility: Essential oil production
6. Lavandula x intermedia Grappenhall
Counted among the largest lavender plants, it produces highly fragrant light blue flowers, blooming from mid-summer to early fall.
Height: Over 3 feet
Utility: mass planting, flowerbeds, container planting; dry cut flower
How To Get Lavender To Bloom
When you’re growing a plant as prized for its blooms as lavender, it’s important that you do all you can to get it to flower profusely. If you’re having a difficult time getting your lavender plants to bloom, there are a few issues that could be to blame.
The first is also the most counter-intuitive: Soil that is too fertile for lavender to flower reliably. Highly fertile soil promotes a lot of green growth at the expense of bud production. If this is your issue, you can either relocate your plants or amend your soil with sand or gravel to aerate it and make it less nutrient-dense.
You should also make sure that your lavender plants are getting at least six to eight hours of sunlight daily, which will result in the most productive blooming. If your plant isn’t getting that much light in its current location, you can cut back nearby foliage that may be overshadowing it, or replant your lavender in containers so you can move them around and “chase” the light.
Lastly, pruning your plant each springeven if the size is suitable for your spacecan result in more frequent blooming. The reason: Lavender sets buds on new growth, so stimulating that process is a helpful signal to the plant that it should get growing.
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Advice On Buying Lavender
- Check the height, spread and hardiness of the lavender before buying it. They vary in size and some are much hardier than others
- Look carefully at the shape and colour of the lavender flowers. There are lots of subtle differences to choose from, which could make the difference to your display
- Check all lavender plants for damage, disease and signs of pests before planting