QUESTION: How hard is it to grow lavender? It’s so pretty and I’d like to grow it in my back yard, where I have an area with full sun. – Jessica F
ANSWER: It isn’t difficult to grow lavender. This plant has a few basic growing conditions that should be met and minimal care which must be provided to ensure it thrives.
When growing lavender, it’s vital to plant in an area with full sunlight and well-draining soil. If you live in an extremely warm climate, provide morning sunlight and afternoon shade.
Lavender can be grown in garden plots or in containers. This plant is perennial in planting zones five and higher.
However, it can be grown as an annual in other locations. You may grow lavender as a transplant that you purchase, or you may start it from seed.
If starting lavender from seed, it’s best to do so indoors during spring. This provides more control over the growing conditions.
Seeds should be planted in a growing tray filled with well-draining potting soil. Ensure the seeds aren’t covered as they require light to germinate.
Gently mist the soil with water and ensure it remains consistently damp without becoming oversaturated.
Place the growing tray in a sunny, warm location. The seeds should germinate within a month. After this, continue to provide adequate care until all threat of frost is over and the plants are hardened off.
At this point, you may transplant them into their permanent growing location.
If growing lavender as a perennial, it’s best to plant in the fall to provide more time for the roots to develop before the next growing season.
Consider your climate to decide which type of lavender to plant. If you live in a cooler climate, plant English lavender.
If you live in a warmer climate, plant Spanish or French lavender as they tolerate heat and humidity better.
The main thing lavender needs from you when growing is balanced watering and to be deadheaded as needed.
Most people struggle with lavender because they overwater the plant. Don’t water lavender until the soil is dry two inches beneath the surface.
This will ensure the plant doesn’t become soggy and develop root rot.
Also, once your lavender is two years or older, it’s wise to cut the plant back by 30% of its size. This will encourage new growth.
You shouldn’t divide lavender to propagate the plant. The best way to propagate lavender is via cutting. This means you remove a six inch cutting from the plant and dip it in rooting hormone.
From there, plant the cutting in a container filled with well-draining soil. Keep the soil damp and wrap the container in a plastic bag to provide a greenhouse effect.
In a few months the plant should develop roots and with adequate care be ready for transplant in a permanent growing location by fall.
Growing lavender doesn’t have to be difficult. Ensure you provide what the plant needs without overdoing it.
Then create new plants using the best methods of propagation, and you should give your lavender every reason to thrive under your care.