Growing Lavender

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on December 13, 2010

French lavender, Lavandula stoechas, Spanish lavenderLavender is one of those pretty plants that has too many uses to list.  Since you can eat it, I am interested in growing it.  Frankly, the first one I planted died pretty quickly.  Turns out clay gumbo isn’t very high on a lavender plant’s lists of happy places to grow.  Hundred degree heat is hard on them, too, and the combination finished it off.  However, you can grow lavender if you are careful about where you plant it and what variety you pick to plant.

Lavender needs full sun, well drained soil, and lots of space around it so the air flows and keeps it healthy.  It grows best in a pH of 6-8, so you may need to grow your lavender in pots if your soil is acidic.  Lavender is very difficult to start from seed, so it is best purchased from a reputable dealer as a small plant.

When planting, you can put a handful of compost in the hole before setting the plant in.  You should water the plant in and continue watering weekly until the plant is in the ground for a year.  Then you can taper off as the plant can live in most climates without supplemental water unless there is a drought.

Lavender plants should be pruned by about one third in the spring when they first start to green up.  This promotes new growth and lots of blooms.  You can cut the blossoms when about 1/2 of them have opened up.  If you  want to use them for crafting or drying, wait until 3/4 of the blossoms have opened up to cut them.

According to Marie Iannotti, lavender is not terribly long lived and begins to decline after ten years.  Succession planting will ensure you always have lavender, if you use a lot of it.  Plant a lavender bush, then wait a couple of years and plant another.  Repeat for two or three times.  That way, when one declines, you still have others producing.

Patricia in Perth, Australia has a wonderful site dedicated solely to lavender.  She lists products for sale in her Etsy shop, has articles on growing lavender, using lavender, and finding organic, pure lavender products. If you are really interested in lavender but do not want to grow your own, her website is the place to go.

Good luck growing your lavender, and happy gardening.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia December 13, 2010 at 7:57 am

Hi Stephanie

Had to come over and see what you had to say about the lovely lavender 🙂 There are some good recipes out there for you to try; once y0u are successful with your lavender plants.

Thanks for mentioning my site and my products too. Much appreciated. Sent a birthday gift off to the US (daughter lives in Oz) and some products to NZ from my store. Everyone else has been local so far and as some have re-ordered, I’m very encouraged with the customer satisfaction.

Patricia Perth Australia
Patricia recently posted..Lavender Products Galore-Must Be Party TimeMy Profile


Stephanie Suesan Smith December 13, 2010 at 8:02 am

Your products look very enticing. Unfortunately, the postage is prohibitive for someone in the US, such as myself, unless we are ordering a lot of stuff. Global economy or not, postage costs are a pain. Thanks for stopping by.


Sheila Atwood December 13, 2010 at 9:21 am


I love lavender. I am the caretaker of a huge estate that has bout 80 lavender plants in the flower beds. The plants make the beds a joy to work in. The smell of he lavender is so soothing and pleasant.

I have visited Patricia’s lavender site and her etsy store…very nice! Lavender makes a wonderful gift.
Sheila Atwood recently posted..Masters Of The WebMy Profile


Stephanie Suesan Smith December 14, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Sounds like a lovely place to work. I have used the scent of lavender in aromatherapy in my bedroom to aid in sleep. Very restful.


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