Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) form lovely and aromatic shrubs. Lavenders have many uses in the garden, can be used to make informal borders, mixed with other plants can form magnificent beds or massifs.
It is a plant native to the Mediterranean region, cultivated for its essential oil that is extracted and applied in various purposes such as perfumery or hygiene products. Apart from the decorative purpose in the gardens, its flowers are a good source of food for the bees and the honey produced from its nectar is of excellent quality. On a smaller scale, it is also grown as a condiment for cooking or as a medicinal plant.
In this article
Plant profileCommon name: Lavender
Scientific name: Lavandula angustifolia
Plant type: Shrubs
Height: 50cm - 1.5m
Spread: 50cm - 1.5m
Foliage color: Blue / Glaucous, Gray
Flower color: Purple
Sunlight: Full Sun
Soil: Chalk, Clay, Sand
Moisture: Well drained
Garden type: Architectural, City & Courtyard Gardens, Coastal, Informal Garden, Mediterranean Garden, Patio & Container Garden, Rock & Gravel Garden
Planting type: Containers & Pots, Flower borders and bedding
Other characteristics: Aromatic leaves, Flowers for pollinators
There are several species of lavender, but the Lavandula angustifolia species is the most cultivated, since its oil is of better quality.
Common lavender leaves range from green to gray, being plants that love the sun! They are therefore perfect shrubs for rocky gardens or gardens very exposed to the sun. The lavender flowers vary between blue and purple, but there are many varieties with other colors, ranging from white to pink.
Lavender is very tolerant to temperature variations, however it does not grow well in very humid or very cold climates.
Lavender should be cultivated under direct sunlight.
It should be cultivated in well drained, light and moderately fertile soil with pH between 6.5 and 7.5.
Lavender is very sensitive to excess water. The soil should remain slightly moist during the young phase of the plant. But, when full grown, lavender is resistant to periods of drought and should be watered less frequently.
Lavender can be propagated by seeds or by cuttings.
Distribute the seeds superficially, just lightly pressing on the soil. Alternatively, they may be covered with a thin layer of sieved soil. The seeds can be sown in the final location or in proper trays. In this case, they must be transplanted when the plants are large enough to be handled. The seeds usually germinate in two to six weeks.
The propagation by cuttings can be easily done in the end of the growing season by semi-hardwood cuttings (here is our step by step guide on how to propagate lavender by semi-ripe cuttings). As a summary, the stems should be cut about 10 cm long, removing the bottom 2/3 leaves and insert it into cutting compost mix. The compost should be kept only slightly moist, excess water leads to rotting.
How to plant
The recommended spacing for planting lavenders may range from 30 to 90 cm, depending on the size of the cultivated variety and the growing conditions. Lavenders can also be grown in pots, presenting beautiful compositions for a porch or a patio. In this way, you can enjoy its aroma whenever you pass through the pot and touch the leaves.
In the next page: Harvesting Lavender…