How To Grow Lavender


English Lavender plants will grow in a wide range of growing conditions but it does best in full sun in a very well drained soil.  For best results we recommend amending your soil with a small amount of compost and a couple of shovels of sand.  The sand will help provide drainage, and good drainage is a critical factor when growing Lavender. Established plants are extremely drought resistant but you will need to supply water to newly planted ones but do not over water. One of the biggest mistakes we see people make is over watering new plants in the spring - you must let the soil dry between waterings or the plant will perish quickly. It is dampness, more so than cold that is responsible for killing Lavender plants.  Humidity can also be a problem - make sure you do not crowd the plants so that air can flow between them.  In colder areas where the ground often freezes it is beneficial to add a layer of mulch to help protect the roots. 

Planting Tips:  Plant in full sun and provide a decent well drained soil. Fertilize in early spring with a top dressing of compost and bone meal.  Liquid feed twice during the summer with fish emulsion or seaweed extract.  Lavender must be grown in dry soils - it will not tolerate wet feet. To improve your soils drainage, add pea gravel or sand.

Lavender ‘Munstead’:  This is by far the most popular variety of English Lavender we sell.  Customers just cannot seem to get enough of this wonderfully fragrant perennial.  Rich lavender flower spikes fill the air with their classic lavender scent all summer. Blooms are held above compact plants that grow to a height of around 15 inches in height.  Its short, compact, growth makes Munstead a good choice for edging  along pathways or as a small hedge.   This particular variety is considered to be the hardiest Lavender on the market.   Zone: 5 – 9    Blooms: Jul-Sep   Height: 14" - 16"   Light: full sun   Soilwell drained   Spacing: 12"

Lavender ‘Hitcote’: A must have plant for anyone who is trying to create the cottage garden look.  Lavender Hidcote is a compact plant growing to a height of only 14 inches, perfect for edging or creating a low growing hedge. Its beautiful blue-green foliage is evergreen and remains attractive throughout the year. The sweet perfumed fragrance of Lavender is strong in both the foliage and the gorgeous deep blue flowers.  Flowers first begin to appear in mid July and continue to appear into the later parts of September.  Hidcote is a very popular variety of Lavender and tends to sell out early in the season.  Order early to avoid disappointment.         Zone: 5 – 9   Blooms: Jul-Sep   Height: 14" - 16"   Light: full sun    Soil:  well drained   Spacing: 12"

Properly pruning your lavender plants is crucial to maintain the health, vitality and beauty of this remarkable little herb. Lavender doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance, but some attention is needed in the pruning department. The most important thing to remember is to begin pruning lavender while the plant is still young. This way new growth will be encouraged right from the start. It also prevents the stalks from becoming woody in the center, which is a common problem amongst lavender plants that have not been pruned regularly.

Pruning Young Lavender Plants:  When the lavender plants are young, and preferably still in pots, simply pinch out any new growth, and cut off the flower heads in the very first year. After this, you’ll only need to continue pruning lavender plants about once per year throughout their lifespan.

Pruning Lavender after the First Year:  Lavender plants should be pruned once per year, preferably in the spring, just before new growth starts. Use hedge trimmers or pruning shears, if possible, to keep things nice and tidy. Prune back about 1/3 of the new growth each time, shaping the lavender bush into a nice mound shape. Pruning lavender any more than 1/3 off the top may cause it to wither and die, so use caution. It’s better to prune too little than to prune too much. Do not cut all of the new growth down to the stems, as lavender may not survive this type of heavy pruning.

Pruning Old Lavender Plants:  Pruning lavender plants that are beyond three years old, or of an indeterminate age, and have never been pruned before is a little trickier. Older lavender plants will not survive heavy pruning, especially if there is more woody growth than new, green growth. If there is new growth visible above the woody stalks, begin by pruning back as much of as possible above the woody areas, without actually cutting into them. This is best performed in the summer time, and only once per year. This technique for pruning lavender will encourage new growth along the entire stem, and may eventually result in a plant that can be reshaped.


Suzanne Hill said...

Great information! Thank you! :)

Dale Kern said...

Great advice! I love lavender and grow lots of varieties. Now if only my dog would stop peeing on them!!!

Anonymous said...

Ah that's why mine died..oh well i now have four new plants and with this great info i feel sure i can care for them properly. Thanks for this great advice.