Are you looking for a way to add some spirituality and relaxation to your home? If so, consider growing a lavender plant. Known for its soothing and calming properties, lavender has been used for centuries in religious ceremonies and as a natural remedy for anxiety and insomnia. So it’s no wonder that this purple-hued plant is one of the most popular herbs to grow.
If you’re thinking about learning how to care for a lavender plant, you’re in for a real treat. Not only is lavender easy to take care of, but it’s also a beautiful plant that can add some color and life to your home. Plus, essential oils extracted from lavender can be used for a variety of purposes, including aromatherapy, cleaning, and even as a natural insect repellent.
In this article, we’ll give you the rundown on how to plant lavender, how to take care of a lavender plant, how often to water lavender, and we’ll even cover how to care for a lavender tree!
Phew, we said lavender a lot just then. It’s time to learn about this versatile and lovely plant.
● Lavender family: Lavender is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the mint family. There are over 45 different species of lavender, but the most common types are English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas). Lavender varieties can be found all over the world, from Africa and Asia to Europe and North America.
● Lavender appearance: Lavender plants are characterized by their old wood stems and beautiful purple blooms. The lavender plant grows best in early summer, with plenty of hours of sunlight and well-drained soil.
● Nativity: Lavender plants are native to the Mediterranean region and prefer full sun, good drainage, and moderate humidity. They can reach up to two feet in height.
● Best known for: Lavender plants are best known for their fragrant flowers, which bloom in early to mid-summer. The flowers can be used to make lavender oil, which is often used in aromatherapy.
● Difficulty of care: Lavender plants are relatively easy to take care of. They don’t require a lot of water and can actually suffer if they’re overwatered. They also don’t need much fertilizer; in fact, too much fertilizer can actually damage the plant.
April or May are the best months for planting lavender, since the soil naturally warms up and many new plants become accessible in garden stores. However, lavender should never be grown in winter or late summer, as young plants are more prone to decay due to the cold, damp conditions.
When you’re ready to plant, choose a spot in your garden that gets at least six hours of sunlight each day. Lavender prefers well-drained soil, so avoid any areas of your yard that tend to stay soggy after it rains. If you’re not sure whether the drainage in your garden is good enough, try this test: Dig a hole that’s about a foot deep and fill it with water. If the water drains within 24 hours, you’re good to go!
Once you’ve selected the perfect spot, it’s time to get planting. When you purchase your lavender plants from a garden center or online retailer, make sure to inspect the roots before planting. This is an integral part of lavender plant care on any type of lavender. If the roots look dry or damaged, it’s best to find a different plant for the growing season.
If you’re planning to plant your lavender flowers in the popular terracotta pots, make sure the pot has drainage holes. If it doesn’t, drill some holes in the bottom before planting.
When you’re ready to plant, dig a hole that’s twice the width of the root ball and just as deep. Gently loosen the roots of your lavender plant and place them in the hole. Backfill with soil, being careful not to pack it too tightly, and give your lavender a good watering.
If you really want your lavender blooms to thrive, the best way to ensure they do is to add some organic matter to the soil before planting to help improve drainage. This could be in the form of compost, manure, or peat moss.
Lavender plants are pretty drought-tolerant, so they don’t need to be watered very often. In fact, you should err on the side of underwatering rather than overwatering, as excess water can actually damage the plant.
During the spring and summer months, your lavender plant will likely need to be watered once a week. Be sure to check the soil before watering; if it’s still moist, you can skip a week as the plant has had too much water. In the fall and winter, you can reduce watering to every two weeks or so.
One of the best ways to know if your lavender plant needs water is to simply stick your finger in the soil. If it feels dry about an inch below the surface, give your purple flowers a good watering.
Another helpful tip is to invest in a self-watering pot. These are great for indoor lavender plants, since they help to regulate the amount of water your plant receives.
Now that you’ve planted and are watering your lavender plant, it’s time to start thinking about long-term care. Here are 5 top tips from our experts for caring for lavender plants.
When transplanting or repotting your lavender plant, be sure not to damage the root system. This could lead to stunted growth or even kill the plant. Gently loosen the roots before transplanting them to a new pot or location.
Hands down, the best time to repot or transplant lavender is in early spring, just as new growth begins. This gives the plant time to adjust to its new environment and get established before the hotter summer months.
If you’re repotting lavender that’s already in a pot, choose one that’s only slightly larger in diameter than the current pot. A pot that’s too large could lead to root rot, as the roots will stay too wet. Be sure to use a pot with drainage holes to help prevent this issue.
One of the most important things you can do for your lavender is to give it a trimming every year. This helps encourage new growth and keeps the plant from becoming woody.
Trim your lavender plants in early spring, before new growth begins. First, cut back any dead or woody stems, and then shape the plant to your liking. You can also trim off any flower heads that have already bloomed.
Lavender plants are pretty low-maintenance, but they do need some occasional care. Every few years, you’ll need to fertilize your lavender plants. Use a fertilizer that’s high in phosphorus, as this will help encourage strong root growth.
Finally, make sure to protect your lavender plants from frost in the winter. If you live in an area with cold winters, you may need to cover your plants with a frost cloth or move them indoors.
By following these simple tips, you can successfully grow lavender plants that will bloom for years to come. With a little bit of care and attention, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty and fragrance of lavender in your own home.
If you’ve followed our tips and now have beautiful, healthy plants, it’s time to harvest the lavender. The best time to do this is in the morning, after the dew has evaporated but before the sun gets too hot.
Start by cutting off the flower heads, being careful not to damage the rest of the plant. You can then dry the lavender by hanging it upside down in a dark, dry place. Once the lavender is completely dry, you can store it in an airtight container.
During the cold winter, the most important thing is to make sure your lavender plants are receiving enough light. If you don’t have a lot of natural light in your home, you may need to invest in a grow light.
Harvesting lavender is a great way to enjoy the benefits of this versatile plant. From dried flowers to oil, there are many ways to use lavender. And with our pro tips, you can be sure to have success in growing and harvesting your own lavender plants.
Q: What’s the best lavender for colder climates?
A: One of the hardier lavenders is English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). It’s a good choice for colder climates, as it can withstand temperatures as low as -15°F.
Q: Should I deadhead my lavender plants?
A: Yes, you should trim off any flower heads that have already bloomed. This helps encourage new growth and keeps the plant from becoming woody.
Q: What’s the best soil for lavender?
A: Lavender grows best in sandy, well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, you can improve drainage by adding some sand to the mix.
Q: What’s the best time to plant lavender?
A: The best time to plant lavender is in the spring, after the last frost. This gives the plant time to adjust to its new environment and get established before the hotter summer months.
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