Lavender makes a wonderfully versatile addition to any garden. Once harvested, it can be used in everything from cooking to body-care products, to cleaning products and herbal medicine. So whether you’re planning to use lavender in a craft project or enjoy its lovely fragrance, here are some tips you should follow to get it growing. Read on to learn how to care for lavender plants.
Tips for Planting Lavender
Like any new plant, lavender requires plenty of water and lots of attention until it has well established its root system. If you’re planning on growing lavender in pots or other containers, be sure to provide it with lots of water throughout the year. And after lavender has established itself in your garden, be sure to prune the plant every year.
Tips for Choosing Lavender
The best part about lavender is that there are so many varieties to choose from—you may well wonder how to pick which type of lavender you want to grow. Here are a few varieties of lavender you should first consider: ‘Goodwin Creek’ showcases light gray, deeply toothed foliage with tiny, deep purple flowers. ‘Proven Winners’ is an annual (with the exceptions of Zone 8 and above) that’s well-suited for a large container that grows a large mixture of plants. ‘Sharon Roberts’ offers repeat flowering and is very hardy, but is susceptible to fungal disease in certain zones. ‘Sweet’ is disease resistant, blooms through the summer, and is stunning when planted in a container.
For one of our favorite lavenders, look no further than ‘Lavender Lady’. This lovely lavender plant was a 1994 All-American Selections winner that grows easily from seed. Start growing it in February for an attractive, fast-growing bloomer by summer. It should make it through most winters. Seeds are inexpensive enough that folks living in climates that are too cold or too hot can still have plenty of lavender plants blooming without breaking the bank. Treat as an annual.
Tips for Growing Lavender
Whatever lavender you settle on, remember that it will want a good deal of sunshine for about six to eight hours each day. The main reason lavender can die is because of wet roots. Be sure to provide your lavender plant with well-drained soil. Its soil should also be sweet, or alkaline. Add crushed oyster shell to lighten clay or heavy soil.
Whether you treat lavender like a perennial or an annual will depend on your location, both your zone and the actual location of the plant in your garden. You may also want to consider growing lavender in a pot or container. This makes it easier to shelter your precious plant on cold, wet days.
With the proper care, you will have these fragrant plants flowering and attracting butterflies in no time.