History of Lavender
Lavender originated in the Mediterranean and is used prized for its beauty as an addition to the home garden as well as for its essential oils.
Lavender is a perennial with over 100 cultivars that vary in height, spread, and aesthetics. Generally speaking, lavender grows between 1-2’ with a spread of 2-4’ depending on variety. Flowers are most often showy purple.
Sun Requirements: Choose a spot for your lavender that receives full, direct sunlight all day. Lavender requires full sun to thrive. It does not flourish even in partial shade.
Soil Moisture Level: Lavender can tolerate droughty soil but it must be well-drained.
Soil pH: Lavender prefers an alkaline soil of 6.4 to 8.2.
How to Plant Lavender
Sowing: Lavender seeds germinate very slowly and require indoor planting prior to germination. The seeds can take from 1-3 months to germinate. Some cultivars can only be grown through cuttings. For this reason it is best to purchase lavender plants rather than attempt to grow from seed. Smaller plants can be planted in the spring. If you plan on planting later in the season, the lavender plant should be purchased in a 4” pot or larger to ensure an established root system that will survive the winter.
Spacing: Spacing will depend on the size of the particular cultivar but should allow for 2-4’ between plants and 3-6’ between rows.
How to Care for Lavender
Lavender is drought tolerant and overwatering can inhibit plant growth. Following planting, water your new plants twice a week until the plants become established. After the plants mature, you will only need to water them every three weeks until the flower buds form. Once the flower buds form, they will require more frequent watering once or twice weekly until you are ready to harvest.
“List of Common Lavenders.” University of Illinois Extension. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2012. <urbanext.illinois.edu/Lavenders/list.cfm>.
Kimbrough, K. A., and C.E. Swift. “Growing Lavender in Colorado.” Colorado State University Extension. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2012. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07245.html
“Explore Cornell – Home Gardening – Flower Growing Guides – Growing Guide.” Cornell Garden-Based Learning. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2012. http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scene9108.html