Easy to grow, lavender lets us savor the sun through its fragrance. Swaying at the tip of long scapes, its blue, violet or white panicles spread delicious smells throughout the garden and produce abundant nectar that attracts bees.
The earliest lavender blooms as early as May, and if staged-blooming varieties are subtly arranged near each other, their beautiful panicles will fill the garden of delicious fragrances until the end of summer. A bunch of lavender stays in bloom for over a month, and is still as ornamental even after the blooming.
Lavender, an easygoing plant
Lavender is happy in any light and well-drained soil, not necessarily rich, and rather chalky. Poor dry soil, with rocks is also fine.
But it really likes sun. Try to favor a warm location.
- Plant your lavender preferably in spring, after the last frost spells.
- Space plants 15 to 24 inches (40 to 50 cm) apart.
- If you purchased your plants in containers, unravel the roots and remove those that have grown too long in their pot and might suffocate.
- Planting in the fall is only for areas with mild climate.
- Make the soil a bit more suited with a little organic soil conditioner, a couple handfuls per hole.
- In heavy soil, add a layer of coarse sand at the bottom of the hole. Bury the tip of the clump.
Potted lavender on a balcony
A bunch of lavender in italian-style terra cotta looks amazing.
Many dwarf varieties exist today and are stunning in garden boxes.
Chose a 12 inch (30 cm) container that has a volume roughly double that of the clump.
Never use a pot that has a water retention system, and check that drainage holes at the bottom of the pot are fine.
Trimming is required, but very easy to perform. In March-April, before new flower scapes appear, cut the previous year’s flower-bearing growth back to about an 1 inch (3 cm) from where they branched off.
Use short-bladed trimming shears. Try to keep a round shape. Cut the top off younger plants, less than three years old, to ensure they branch out well so that they won’t grow thick, hard stems.
Water only when the soil is really dry.
Here is our video advice to prune lavender correctly