Lavender bushes bring such personality and beauty to any landscape, with their pastel blossoms and lovely perfume like scent, you can’t go wrong when you add them to your garden. Lavender plants are very heat and drought resistant, making them fairly easy for the home gardener to maintain, which is why learning how to grow lavender is beneficial.
This plant is extremely versatile in terms of where you can plant it – it makes great hedges and borders, it can be a nice accent plant added to a rocky area, and it also does well when added to containers and free standing planters. Another great thing about lavender plants is that you can propagate them, giving you a whole new crop of plants to add to your landscape!
Here are a few tips and tricks for growing successful lavender plants, and how to propagate them.
Lavender plants grow best in fairly dry conditions, where the drain soil is very good and the humidity is low. They require good air circulation and thrive when planted in areas that get full and open sunshine. Because these plants can grow to substantial size, when planting lavender, you should space them approximately 12-18” apart in order to provide adequate room for growth, sun exposure, and air circulation.
For water requirements, make sure that the soil is drying out before the next watering, as lavender is fairly sensitive to moisture.
Propagating lavender is the easiest way to add to your stock of plants, and the most reliable as growing lavender from seed is notoriously difficult. With a few simple steps you can be well on your way to adding new plants into your landscape: first, take your cuttings from your existing lavender plants after the blooms have begun to fade, but early enough that your new plantings will have sufficient time to establish a strong root structure before the temperatures get too cold and the plants go dormant – this is usually in mid to late summer.
Deciding where to cut on your existing lavender plant is important. Moving down from the top of the branch go past the flowering spike and then count down 4 leaf groupings. Cut the branch under the 4th leaf grouping. By having 4 distinct sets of leaf groupings you will be able to plant 2 below the surface in your soil medium, leaving 2 above the surface to encourage healthy growth.
Immediately after removing the cutting from the mature plant, store them in moist growing material in order to protect the open cut area. Store them in a shady outside location until ready for planting. Once your stored cuttings begin to establish roots that are about 1” long, transplant them to traditional pots with potting soil.
Young cuttings need more water than mature plants, but it can be a delicate balance. If you begin to see blacked leaves at the base of the plant you need to cut back on the amount of water than your new lavender plants are getting.
Finally, once your new lavender plants have an established root system that binds the potting soil together in the small pot, do the final transplant into their permanent home in your landscape.
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