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How To Grow Lavender – The Blooming Perennial Pollinators Love!

Growing lavender is one of the best ways to attract pollinators to your landscape, all while adding incredible color and interest to flowerbeds, patios, gardens and more. And the benefits don’t stop there!

Lavender’s intense and fragrant blooms are not only beautiful, they are wonderful as a cut flower. They can also be dried and kept to use as an all-natural air freshener all throughout the home.

In fact, there are a whole slew of additional uses for lavender and it’s byproducts. From its bloom and flowers, to the oil extracted from the plant, lavender is said to help with everything from insomnia & stress, to dealing with pain and more.

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But no matter what, one thing is for sure, lavender is one gorgeous and fragrant perennial for the landscape!

Here is a look at how to plant and maintain lavender in your backyard for years of enjoyment.

How To Plant, Grow & Maintain Lavender

Location

Although lavender can adapt to most soil types, it actually prefers soil that is closer to neutral in PH. With that in mind, it is better to have soil that is not overly charged with nutrients.

growing lavender
Lavender can fit into the landscape and flowerbeds in so many different ways. In addition to its stunning looks, it’s beautiful blooms are not bothered by many pests, and even help to repel some.

What is more important is to make sure the soil you are planting in drains well. Lavender performs poorly in overly moist areas. Because of this, avoid planting in low-lying areas where water can pool, or in extremely hard clay-based soils.

One thing lavender loves is sunlight. Select planting locations receiving at least 6 to 8 hours of full sunlight each day. The more the better!

Planting – How To Grow Lavender

Lavender can be difficult to grow and establish from seed. With that in mind, transplants are a much better choice for establishing strong, healthy plants.

Although planting can occur during any time of the growing season, spring is the best choice. Spring planting allows transplants time to mature and establish deep roots before overwintering.

planting lavender
When planting lavender, transplants are the easiest of all to establish. Do not amend the soil with additional nutrients, instead concentrating on providing good drainage for the plant.

When planting, dig holes to twice the size of the transplant container. Consider adding a bit of sand or perlite to your planting hole if your soil leans toward the heavier side.

There is no need to amend your planting hole with compost or additional soil additives. Lavender will actually perform better in less fertile soil than in soil with additional nutrients.

Depending on the variety chosen, spacing will vary between 18 to 36 inches apart. Check the label on your transplants to be sure to provide proper spacing between multiple plantings.

Most varieties, such as the popular English Lavender variety, will do best with around 24 inches of space between each plant.

Mulching / Watering / Fertilizing – How To Grow Lavender

Mulch can certainly help keep competing weeds away from lavender plants. However, it is important to keep it away from the main base of the plants.

Lavender will rot from it’s crown quite easily if too much moisture is present. When mulching around the plant, leave a circumference of a few inches of bare soil around each main stem. Select mulches that drain easily such as large bark chips or even gravel.

lavender in bloom
Lavender prefers well-draining soil that is not overly charged with nutrients. Too rich of soil can actually hinder blooming cycles and plant growth.

Water new transplants lightly for the first few weeks until the roots have established into the soil. Beyond that, limit watering, as lavender will suffer more from too much water than not enough.

Because lavender prefers soil that is less nutrient based, avoid using any fertilizers. Too many nutrients will actually decrease growth and blooms.

Harvesting – How To Grow Lavender

You can harvest your lavender fresh in mid-summer. The fragrant flowers are wonderful for arrangements, or for tying into small bundles to hang as an air freshener.

Many lavender plants will come into bloom a second time if the spent blooms are removed from the plant. If not harvesting, cut back the blooms as they fade to help force a second flowering.

Lavender makes for an excellent cut flower with its gorgeous blooms and fresh scent. By harvesting or cutting back the first set of blooms, many plants will flower a second time during each growing season.

Pruning – How To Grow Lavender

Allow first year plants to grow freely to establish good upper growth and a strong root system. As lavender matures, it develops a woodier base. But by pruning the plant back each spring, you can force new growth for more blooming.

For best results, trim back the top quarter to one-third of the previous year’s growth to encourage better blooming. Here is to adding the wonders of lavender to your landscape!

For more great herbs to grow in your landscape, check out our article 6 Essential Herbs For The Kitchen.

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