If you’re considering growing lavender in your garden this September, here are a few tips for growing lavender successfully. Plant lavender from seed, water young plants regularly, prune woody parts, and make sure your soil pH is right for lavender. After you’ve planted your lavender, you can start enjoying its sweet fragrance!
Planting lavender from seed
Lavender seeds are easy to germinate and grow. Lavender grows best in full sun, so be sure to plant them in a spot that gets adequate sunlight. Once the seeds germinate, cover them lightly with soil. Avoid watering too often and let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. It can take from two to four weeks for lavender seedlings to grow. Water them about twice a month to maintain a healthy plant.
Thousands of lavender varieties exist. Some have purple blooms while others have white flowers. English lavender is the most common variety grown in the United States, and it can grow up to 30 inches tall. There are two types of English lavender: tall, bushy varieties, and dwarf varieties.
Watering young plants regularly
Lavender is a low-maintenance perennial plant that doesn’t require much fertilizer. Its heady fragrance not only lures humans, but also deters garden pests. Although lavender is naturally resistant to many common pests, it can suffer from powdery mildew and fungal diseases. In such cases, treating your lavender plants with a mild insecticidal soap is a good option. In cold weather, lavender plants may be damaged by frost. If possible, mulch your plants with a layer of straw to protect them from freezing temperatures.
Young plants need regular watering to stay healthy. Lavender requires about eight hours of direct sunlight each day. To achieve the best possible growth, choose a spot where the soil temperature is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and has little or no risk of frost. After the plant has sprouted a few true leaves, it’s ready for transplanting.
Pruning-woody parts of plants
Lavender plants need to be pruned when they have green buds at the base of their stems. These buds should be cut about two to three inches above the woody base of the plant. This will promote air circulation and even spacing between blossoms. You can prune lavender plants in midsummer or early spring, or wait until they have finished flowering and then prune them again later.
Lavender likes alkaline soil with a pH level of 6.5 or higher. This isn’t as important as drainage, but you should test your soil for proper pH before planting lavender plants. Also, if your soil is too acidic, you will need to add some pH-balancing soil amendments.
If your soil pH is too acidic, lavender will die off. To prevent this, amend the soil with lime. You can test the pH level for your soil for free at most hardware stores and universities.
Lavender needs full sun and well-draining soil to grow well. If it is planted in full shade, it will not bloom and can suffer from health problems. If you want to avoid these issues, you can improve your soil by adding compost. This organic matter breaks down to form holes and air bubbles in your soil, allowing excess water to drain away.
Lavender plants will bloom the first year, and will mature in about three years. When they are mature, they will produce plenty of flowers. Harvesting lavender is easy – simply cut off the spikes above the leaves. This will promote new growth and keep the plant from becoming leggy. The best time to harvest lavender is in late morning or early evening.
Growing lavender in containers is a great way to start the season right and enjoy the aromatic aromas of lavender throughout your home. Lavender plants thrive in gravelly, sandy soils with good drainage. However, lavender plants can die if the soil is too acidic. A soil pH test kit will help you determine the correct level of acidity for your lavender plant. If you can’t find a kit locally, you can send a soil sample to a university for a low-cost test. You can also add lime to your soil to reduce its acidity.
Watering lavender in containers requires regular monitoring. It is best to water it once a week or every two weeks. Make sure to water it at soil level, and don’t let it sit in standing water. Overwatering will result in root rot.