How to Grow, Care & Propagate Lavender || Best Guide with all required Tips

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a well-known houseplant that is famous for its beauty and colorful flowers. Lavender foliage has a different color range with shades of green to silver. There are huge amounts of varieties of this plant are cultivated all over the world.

Different cultivars of Lavenders have different sizes, different fragrances, and different colors of flowers. This plant is easy-growing, so beginners can plant Lavender plants in their garden to beautify their garden. It can be planted in the house are educational institutions, or in-office areas.

Botanical Name Lavandula angustifolia
Order Lamiales
Family Lamiaceae
Subfamily Nepetoideae
Genus Lavandula
Plant Type Herb
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Type Sandy
Soil pH Alkaline/Basic, Neutral to Slightly Alkaline
Bloom Time Spring or Summer
Flower Color  Blue, Pink, Purple, White
Hardiness Zones 5 to 10
Special Features Attracts Butterflies

 

How to grow & care Lavender

Soil Preparation

Lavender requires a well-drained environment. Lavender is a plant native to southern Europe, where rocky soils are common. The Mediterranean region has alkaline soils that drain well and receive plenty of sunlight. Even Having these features in your garden, even if they aren’t the same as mine, is still beneficial. You’ll be able to determine your soil texture and structure with the appropriate information.

You must work with the soil you have and appropriately modify it. We frequently hear phrases like sandy loam, clay, and silt used to describe soil. But what exactly do they imply? The mineral content of the soil determines its texture. the size of these particles in relation to one another, or the content of your soil.

More air spaces, also known as pores, are created by larger particles, resulting in greater drainage. Pores in the soil allow water and air to pass through. The best drainage is found in rocky soils with more sand. Clay soils have smaller particles, which harden the soil and allow it to hold more water. Silt lies in the middle of the two.

A healthy balance of sand, clay, and silt produces loam, a nutrient-rich, well-draining substance that is ideal for plants. A sandy loam with bigger particles for air and water movement is the best soil texture for growing lavender. Lavender, a Mediterranean herb, can grow on sandy soil.

Sandy soils have a poor nutrient content, which may impede growth in some plants but not lavender. Lavender does not require a lot of nitrogen after it is established in the ground. Too much nitrogen, on the other hand, inhibits flower formation while promoting bushy green foliage. If you have sandy soil, you may want to add some compost when you first plant, but after that, a low-nitrogen fertilizer or no fertilizer is preferable.

Even though lavender doesn’t require frequent fertilizing to grow, planting plants in nutrient-rich soil will provide them with a strong foundation. A soil test might assist you to figure out what type of soil you have. You can analyze the nutrient level of your soil using do-it-yourself kits available at garden centers, but you may not need to go that technical.

Different Ways to Grow Lavender

Seeds and cuttings are two ways to propagate lavender. The former is referred to as sexual reproduction, whereas the latter is referred to as asexual reproduction. Because lavender seeds do not grow true to variety, your young plants will be variations of the original plant, whereas cuttings will be identical to the parent plant. Both approaches can be used to propagate plants.

 

Grow Lavender using Seeds

The process of producing a seed begins when plant sperm or pollen is deposited into the ovary of another plant in the same species but not necessarily of the same variety by wind, insects, or people. When an insect visits a flower, pollen from the stamen adheres to the insect and is deposited in the ovary of the following bloom, where it unites with an ovule or egg. Then the ovule develops into a seed after the fertilization process.

The seed may have genetically diverse parents and hence will not mature into an identifiable cultivar unless this process is strictly regulated and insects are not allowed to cross-pollinate. When lavender blossoms open and dry, they release tiny seeds that can be planted.

lavender propagation

Lavender seeds have a one-year shelf life, so it’s better to plant them as soon as possible. To extend the time between plantings, store seeds in the refrigerator. It can take up to three months for sprouted seeds to develop enough roots to be transplanted into the garden or a container. Because little care has been taken over the years to prevent hybridized seeds, they will most likely not look like the plant in the photo on your seed packet once they bloom.

‘Hidcote’ or ‘Munstead’ lavender seed is actually seed-grown Lavandula angustifolia and cannot be deemed true to name. If you prefer the cottage aesthetic and don’t mind a variety of lavender plants, this could be a nice option for you. It’s better to buy lavender that has been produced from cuttings if you want your plant to match the description. Digging up young seedlings, on the other hand, can provide stunning surprises that could turn into great lavenders. As a result, many new types have entered the market.

Grow Lavender using Cuttings

Asexual reproduction, also known as plant cloning, is the process of taking a cutting or graft from an existing mother plant and rooting it to produce a new plant. This procedure ensures that the new plant is identical to the one from which the cutting was taken. Growing lavender from cuttings is a simple process that you can do on your own. Softwood or hardwood cuttings can be used to grow lavender starts. Softwood refers to new growth that is still pliable, whereas hardwood refers to mature stems that will snap if bent.

Softwood cuttings should be taken during active growth in the spring, but hardwood cuttings can be collected in the spring or fall. The type of cutting you choose to grow is determined by the plant.

Continuous blooming lavender plants, such as Lavandula angustifolia ‘Buena Vista,’ are more difficult to root because they want to bloom throughout the rooting process, so hardwood cuttings are recommended for propagation. Lavandula stoechas varieties are also included in this category. Although softwood cuttings are more plentiful, hardwood cuttings have a higher rate of germination.

Hardwood roots typically take a little longer to form, but the success rate is slightly higher. Lavandula angustifolia cultivars take longer to root and grow into larger plants. Under ideal conditions, Lavandula intermedia varieties root quickly, usually within two to three weeks. Cuttings taken in the fall should be collected before the first frost to avoid damaging the plant while it rests. Many growers prefer to take cuttings in the fall because the starts can go through a process known as vernalization, also known as hardening off.

A plant is exposed to cold for a period of time during this process to strengthen it and increase flower production. When a cutting that contains root is allowed to go dormant for six weeks or more, the plant goes through its natural cycle, allowing it to emerge tougher and more stable.

If you don’t have a greenhouse, bringing your new plants outside for short periods of time during the day and then bringing them back in at night will gradually acclimate them to the elements. You will eventually be able to leave them outside for longer periods of time. Just make sure the temperature swings aren’t too extreme, as this can cause stress in your plants.

How to pot a Lavender cutting

  • To take a hardwood cutting, locate a branch near the plant’s base and feel for a bump that indicates a leaf node. Cut a 3-4-inch piece at a 45-degree angle just below the node with sharp, clean pruning shears or scissors. Cut a 3 to a 4-inch continuous piece from the tip of a growing stem for a softwood cutting.
  • Remove the leaves from the cutting’s bottom 2 inches.
  • Scrape the skin off the bottom portion of the cutting on one side with a sharp, clean knife.
  • Fill the container halfway with rooting soil and thoroughly water it. Dip the cutting in the rooting hormone before placing it in the soil.
  • During the rooting process, which can take up to four weeks, keep the soil moist and the cutting warm. A temperature range of 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for allowing the plants to root. Heat mats are an excellent choice. You can also cover the cutting with a plastic bag or container to keep heat in and humidity in, but this method requires careful monitoring to ensure the plant does not overheat. Placing unrooted cuttings in a protected area of your home under florescent heat lamps will also produce positive results.
  • After a few weeks, gently tug on the cutting to check for roots.
  • Move your rooted cutting to a larger container. Allow it to dry a little after you’ve watered it in. Water it from time to time, but don’t let it get too wet. Lavender dislikes having wet feet for an extended period of time. To promote growth, feed with an all-purpose fertilizer. Make certain that your new venture is protected from harsh elements such as high heat or frost.
  • When your lavender began to grow, then it will yield a top shoot that must be snipped off at the same level as the rest of the foliage to force it to branch. To train your plant to grow the way you want it to, you may need to trim the foliage a few times. If you want a topknot effect, leave the top alone and let it grow straight up. Get rid of the foliage at the bottom of your start. Your plant will eventually develop foliage at the top.

Watering/Irrigation

If the soil drains well, lavender can withstand wet weather while dormant. However, when the weather changes and lavender is exposed to warmer temperatures, it does not tolerate wet foliage for extended periods of time. Overhead watering can cause fungal diseases and split the plant, causing it to become woody. When watering your lavender, it is best to use a drip system or a wand at the base. Even though lavender is drought tolerant, it does require some water to establish itself once planted.

For the first few months after planting, give your lavender a good soak and then allow it to dry slightly before watering again. This will help the plant root and become acclimated to your environment. Once established, your lavender may not require additional watering during the summer months. Plants in areas that receive a lot of rain in the winter and spring usually get enough water to last them through the summer.

Additional Care for your Lavender plant

Determining what is causing lavender to appear unhealthy can be a difficult process. Most problems can be solved by examining a few factors. The most common cause of plant loss is poor drainage. If water is allowed to pool at the base of a lavender plant, it will eventually succumb to root rot and die, killing a portion, if not the entire plant.

A well-aerated soil is essential for the health of a lavender plant. Lavender that has turned yellow can indicate a variety of things. When the leaves of a container plant turn yellow, it usually indicates that the plant is either deficient in nitrogen or receiving too much of it.

Lavender in the ground is unique. Yellow leaves can indicate that the plant is getting too much water and that drainage needs to be improved. Mulching with gravel or sand can help to reduce water concentrations around the plant’s base. Yellow leaves can also occur if the flowers are harvested too late in the season. When lavender flowers are left on the plant for an extended period of time, the foliage can become stressed. Fungus spores are microscopic pathogens that can live in almost any environment.

They can spread throughout your yard, causing plant stress or death. Phytophthora root rot and botrytis, also known as gray mold, are two of the most common fungal diseases. They appear when moisture is allowed to sit on the foliage for an extended period of time, or when the plant is unable to breathe because it is overcrowded by other plants, causing airflow to be obstructed. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce or eliminate air- and soil-borne diseases in your yard.

  • Use clean tools: Fungus spores are microscopic pathogens that can survive in virtually any environment. They have the potential to spread throughout your yard, causing plant stress or death. Two of the most common fungal diseases are Phytophthora root rot and botrytis, also known as gray mold. They appear when moisture is allowed to sit on the foliage for an extended period of time, or when the plant is unable to breathe due to overcrowding by other plants, obstructing airflow. Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate air- and soil-borne diseases in your yard.
  • Trim your Lavender plants: Lavender prefers to be trimmed. In fact, giving your lavender a good haircut in the spring not only promotes healthy new growth but also lowers the risk of fungal diseases.
  • Remove your plant debris: Fungus thrives on dead or dying plant material and will remain there until it has an opportunity to infect your plants. Lavender requires good airflow not only between plants but also at the plant’s base. Excessive leaves and soil at the plant’s base may eventually contribute to root rot. Mulching with matter such as sand, gravel, or well-draining compost can provide additional benefits to your plant. If you compost your leaves, make sure all plant matter is thoroughly composted.

 

Pruning

The most common reason a lavender plant looks unkempt is that it has been improperly pruned from the start. Following these simple steps will result in a mounded, well-shaped, healthy lavender plant that will last for many years. Remember that lavender enjoys being pruned, so don’t be afraid to take it back a little to keep your plant from becoming too woody. The very first pruning. We’ve all been to the nursery or garden center in search of the perfect lavender plant.

The blooms are stunning, and we can’t wait to plant them to complement our existing garden. After a while, the flowers begin to die back, and we may forget to trim them before fall arrives. So, what happens? Working to create those lovely flowers has depleted the energy that could have been used to create the foliage.

If the flowers are not removed after a certain period of time, the plant will show signs of stress and will compensate by branching out in different directions. When the plant produces more flowers next spring, the significant energy loss caused by improper pruning will cause the plant’s base to become woody. Even though we crave instant gratification in our gardens, it is best to exercise restraint by making sacrifices for the greater good.

This means that you should prune the flowers off your lavender plant before planting it. This may be difficult, but the long-term benefits will far outweigh the effort; otherwise, you’ll be pulling out that shabby lavender plant in a few years. To begin with, the plant you plant should be well-shaped. If not, you might want to trim around the plant a little at first to encourage new growth.

Harvesting Lavender

A first-year lavender plant will only produce a few stems, which should be pruned before they flower completely to strengthen the plant. By year two, your lavender should have doubled in size and produced two or three small bunches, depending on the variety. Your plant will grow significantly larger from year two to year three, typically by two-thirds, resulting in an abundance of flowers in the third year.

A curved, serrated blade with a handle is the ideal tool for harvesting lavender. Lavender is tough, so go ahead and grab a bunch and cut a handful. Harvesting tools can be found online or at garden shows.

Lavender blooms at different times of the year. The rate at which your lavender flowers are determined by the weather. Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, early bloomers usually bloom in May, while others don’t bloom until August. When you harvest depends entirely on what you intend to do with your lavender after it has been cut. If you don’t intend to make something with the flowers, such as a fresh bouquet or a wreath, leave them on the plant to enjoy.

Just remember to cut the stems back after the bloom cycle is over. Waiting too long to harvest the flowers can cause your plant to become stressed. Lavender varieties that bloom more than once a season should be trimmed back to allow for more flowerings.

Drying Lavender Plants for later use

After harvesting lavender, you can place a fresh bunch in a vase or dry it for later use. Lavender in water will quickly become moldy, so change the water frequently. Once lavender has been immersed in water, it should not be removed and dried. Lavender stems that have been wet will not dry well. To dry lavender, cut a bunch with about a hundred stems and bundle them with a rubber band near the bottom of the bunch.

Thread one end of a paper clip through the rubber band. Hang your bunch upside down from a chain or rope in a warm, dark, dry room with good circulation. Within a few weeks, your bunch should be dry.  This method preserves the color of the flower buds and prevents mold from growing on the lavender.

Dried lavender bunches can be stored for many years, but their fragrance may fade after a season. Squeeze your dried lavender bunch to release the lavender scent. Lavender with higher oil content, such as Lavandula×intermedia ‘Grosso,’ will remain fragrant for a longer period of time.

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