How to Grow Lavender:
Growing Lavender Plants Organically

Learning how to grow lavender offers many great gardening rewards as this beautiful plant can be used for its fragrance, visual appeal and flavor. What's more, there are many different types of lavender, and each has its own unique scent.

Lavender is fairly easy to grow once you get it started with full sun and well-drained soil.

How to Grow Lavender: Plant Snapshot (Lavendula angustifolia)

How to Grow Lavender
  • Family: Lamaiaceae
  • Annual or Perennial? Perennial
  • Recommended varieties: Munstead
  • Cold tolerance: Usually hardy in most regions
  • Required Sun: Full sun (at least 6 hours each day)
  • When planning vegetable crop rotation, group with crops from this family: n/a (perennial)
  • Companion plants (see Companion Planting Charts for more info):
    • Companions: n/a
    • Avoid: None
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How to Grow Lavender: Planting the Seed

Where to Find Planting Supplies...

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Lavender can be grown from seed, but it’s a laborious task.

First of all, lavender seed does not have a long shelf life, so many seeds will not germinate. And even if your seeds do sprout, it takes many months before you can make a lavender sachet.

The best way to propagate lavender is by taking a cutting from the mother plant. Not only does this speed up the process, but it helps ensure that you know exactly the variety you're growing.

Cuttings should be dipped in organic rooting hormone and then put into potting soil. Once you see new growth appear, the cutting has rooted and can be planted in the garden. If you plant from seed, it can take one to three months before you have a seedling large enough to transplant to the garden.

Snapshot: Planting Lavender

  • Planting depth: about 5 inches (13 cm)
  • Spacing in rows: about 12 inches (31 cm)
  • Germination soil temperature: 65 to 75 degrees F (18 to 24 C)
  • Days to germination: 2 weeks
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How to Grow Lavender: From Germination to Pre-Harvest

Where to Find Growing & Plant Care Supplies...

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Lavender will grow well in average, well-drained and well-weeded garden soil. It needs enough room between plants for air to circulate, especially if you live in a humid area.

Lavender plants prefer a dry, warm climate, and the scent of the plant will be more concentrated if it grows in chalky alkaline soil. While lavender is very drought-tolerant once established, you may have to water it the first season if conditions are dry.

Lavender will reach its full size in three years.

Snapshot: Growing Lavender

  • Preferred soil pH (see soil pH tester for more information): 6.5 to 7.5
  • Growing soil temperature: 65 to 75 degrees F (18 to 24 C)
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How to Grow Lavender: Harvesting Time

Lavender can be harvested any time the blooms are appealing. It should be pruned immediately after bloom, but never take off more than 1/3 of the plant.

Snapshot: Harvesting Lavender

  • Time to harvest: varies
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Storing Lavender and Freezing Lavender

Lavender blooms can be used fresh in flower arrangements or dried for sachets, wreaths and tea. Cut bouquets of lavender and simply place them in a dry vase if you wish to dry them. They will dry quite nicely unless the air is too humid.

You can also tie bouquets of lavender loosely and hang them upside down in a cool dry place or lay them out on a screen. Once dried, the stems can be stripped of the petals for sachets and tea.

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How to Grow Lavender: Pests & Diseases

The following pests and diseases have been known to affect the success of growing Lavender. For more information about preventing and controlling them, see Organic Garden Pest Control.

Pests

  • Almost never affected

Diseases

  • Almost never affected
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Lavender photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license.

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