Lavender: Propagating, Growing, Harvesting, & Uses
I started growing Lavender a few years ago when a family friend gave me a bottle of Lavender Body Lotion she helped make on a family farm near her. I use it almost daily – it’s awesome.
The scent was so light and airy I fell in love and decided to order some seeds and grow my own! I have now graduated to growing many different varieties. I love the fragrance and beauty of Lavender in my garden.
In case you’re wondering… you can purchase your own Lavender Body Lotion or ANYTHING you can think of in Lavender from the same family farm: Tantivy Farm in Virginia.
Back to the subject at hand. Lavender is a beautiful addition to any garden. This versatile herb is prized not only for its soothing and relaxing fragrance and its lovely purple blooms but also for its many purported benefits in the garden, at home, and for the body.
The wonderful thing about lavender is that it’s so easy to plant and care for that you’ll want to have it in your garden every year. Want to find out more about growing this herb in your garden? Then this is for you!
How to Plant Lavender
Lavender or Lavandula is a genus of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Lavender is a native plant originally found in the Mediterranean region. It’s a drought-tolerant plant that doesn’t like its roots to be too wet.
When choosing and preparing a planting site for your lavender, go for an area that receives full sun. If you live in an area with hot summers, make sure that your plants can receive afternoon shade to ensure that they thrive.
These plants enjoy well-drained soil that is moderately fertile so don’t add organic matter to your garden bed before planting. They also grow best in neutral to slightly alkaline soil with a pH level of about 7.0. Make sure that each plant has a 1 to 3-feet distance in between.
Growing lavender from seeds or as a young plant is easy.
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If you’re growing lavender from seed, start them early and place the seed tray on a heat mat or in a warm location. Instead of potting mix, opt for quick-draining vermiculite since lavender plants don’t do well in damp soil.
Place them in maximum sunlight to ensure maximum health. They will start to germinate in 2 to 4 weeks. Also growing lavender in pots and growing lavender indoors are both easy and doable.
Once several sets of leaves start appearing, you can transplant them into their final location. It’s worth noting that lavender plants grow slowly the first year but most of what you’ve transplanted will bloom. The following year, you’ll have enough plants for a hedge or a border for your garden if you plant them in the ground outdoors.
Since lavender seeds can take a while to germinate, you may opt to use seedlings from the plant nursery. Young plants are best planted in the spring when the soil is starting to warm up. Meanwhile, larger and more established plants may be planted in the fall which can survive in the winter.
Growing and Caring Tips
Growing and caring for lavender plants is pretty simple especially if you live in warm and dry areas. Lavender plants don’t need a lot of water. Once planted, they can be watered once or twice a week until they are established.
Mature plants can be watered every two to three weeks until buds start to appear. When they start flowering, you can water them once or twice per week until you’re ready to harvest them.
If you live in colder areas, don’t forget to cover the plants with evergreen boughs or straw to help regulate the temperature and to block freezing winds. Growing lavender in pots instead of on the ground means you can keep them indoors in the winter. Place potted lavender in a south-facing window that receives as much light as possible in the winter.
You can prevent weeds from taking over your lavender patch by using rock or pea gravel as a mulch. However, keep it away from the crown of the plant to prevent excess moisture and potential root rot.
Trimming and pruning is important if you want a steady harvest of lavender blooms. Deadhead spent blossoms to stimulate a second flowering. You can prune 2 year old or older plants in the spring to stimulate new growth.
Lavender flowers bloom in the summer and you can start harvesting lavender stems when you see that half of the flower buds have opened up. Be sure to harvest in the morning since this is when the oils of the plant are most concentrated.
Cut long stems that you can gather into bundles. Dry them in a cool dark place with good air circulation.
How to Save Lavender Seeds
To collect lavender seeds:
- Gently shake the flower heads over a container.
- You could also clip the flower heads off the plant and drop them into a paper bag.
- Then fold over the top of the bag and shake it to release the lavender seeds from the flower heads.
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Lavender has many uses. Live plants can be placed along walkways, garden paths, garden walls, and fences to create a beautiful hedge or path.
They not only add aesthetic appeal to your garden but their scent will also perfume the air as you walk along these plants. They’ll also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies because of their aroma.
These plants can also be used as a natural pest repellent on patios and porches. While their scent is enjoyable for humans, the same cannot be said for bugs such as mosquitoes, flies, fleas.
Lavender flowers can be used fresh or dried as a flavoring. Lavender buds can be added to a jar or sugar to create a lightly-scented sweetener. They can also be infused to make tea, cocktails, and other beverages.
Plus, they can be added to salads, baked goods, and even roast lamb, chicken, or rabbit. If you have thyme, savory, and rosemary, you can mix in lavender to make Herbes de Provence.
For the home, you can place lavender stems in vases or dry the flowers and turn them into fragrance pouches and potpourri.
You can also make lavender-infused oil by mixing a carrier oil like coconut oil with at least 1 oz. of dried lavender flowers. Steep for 7 to 10 days and then strain using a fine mesh. Place in jar and store in a cool, dry place.
However you decide to grow and use your Lavender you won’t be sorry you chose to grow it. What are your favorite uses for Lavender?
You can also find gardening products I use in my videos here <---
You can go to my storefront using this secure link <----
If you need seeds, this is the company I use <--- and if you use code: farmer1 at checkout, you'll get 10% off your order!
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