Early spring is a great time to start planning your lavender garden. With over 40 species and over 400 varieties of lavender, no matter your garden size, color scheme or style, there is likely a lavender that will fit in beautifully. It’s a wonderful low-maintenance, drought-tolerant garden addition with the added bonus of attracting butterflies and honeybees, and deterring deer.
Here are three tips for selecting an ideal new home for lavender in your garden.
Lavender Growing Tip #1: Lavender needs full sun to thrive. During the flowering season it likes to have at least eight hours of sun daily. It does especially well when planted near heat-reflecting materials, such as against rock walls or on top of light colored gravel.
Lavender Growing Tip #2: Good drainage is perhaps the most important factor for successful lavender growing. Sloped gardens, terraces, raised beds or rockeries all usually have good drainage.
Lavender Growing Tip #3: Lavender likes soil at a neutral pH or slightly alkaline. If your soil is acidic, amending it with calcitic lime works particularly well.
Now that your garden location is ready, spend time at your local nursery to find the lavender blooming time, size, flower color, shape, etc. you desire. As a keen gardener, be sure to source lavender from a reputable nursery that accurately labels its plants with their full, scientific name.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to read scientific plant names:
Genus – The genus always comes first. You may see it spelled out in its entirety (Lavandula) or abbreviated with the first letter capitalized followed by a period (L.). It is often italicized.
Species – The species name follows the genus. You will likely see it italicized and the first letter not capitalized. If you see an “x” that signifies this plant is a hybrid or cross between two different species.
Variety or Varietal – The name of the plant variety is always last. You may see it in quotes and it is usually capitalized as a proper name.
For example, the full scientific name for lavender can look like Lavandula angustifolia “Folgate,” Lavandula x intermedia “Edelweiss,” or Lavandula stoechas “Otto Quast.”
Late spring through early summer is the ideal time to plant lavender in the garden. To keep your lavender starts happy and healthy before planting, be sure to keep them well-watered and well-drained, in full light, and protected from freezing. Now that your garden location and lavender starts are ready, let’s plant!
Lavender needs water, especially during its first flowering season, but lavender does not like to be soggy. During the first flowering season of any new planting, a general rule of thumb is “water every three days” — either from rain or your watering can. Water in the mornings at the base of the plant and avoid wetting the leaves. In the Pacific Northwest lavender rarely needs watering once it is established.
Lavender will bloom starting year one, with most varieties taking about 3 years to reach their full, mature size. Well-kept lavender plants that are pruned annually can live up to 15-20 years.
We love talking about growing lavender. Come in to Pelindaba Lavender Ashland today for a complimentary Lavender Growing Tips printed resource and to review our lavender library for inspiration. Happy planting!