Lavenders thrive in warm, temperate climates, but also grow in cool and cold areas, depending on the variety. As natives of the Mediterranean, they ideally like their summers hot and dry, and winters cool. English lavender does not tolerate humid summers very well, but other lavenders will happily grow in areas of mild humidity. Frost tolerance varies with the species, so check plant labels before buying.
The best place to plant lavender
Plant in full sun and protect from strong winds. If there are spots in the garden that bask in the hot afternoon heat, plant lavenders – they will love it! However, lavenders will also grow in semi-shade, provided the soil conditions are met.
Ideal soil conditions for lavender
Lavender plants grow best in fertile, well-drained soil. If the soil does not drain well, consider raised garden beds or pots. Before planting, enrich soil with compost or manure. Where soils are strongly acidic, a dose of lime is beneficial.
Once established, lavender is a drought hardy plant. An occasional deep soak during dry spells, however, will help them through the warmer months. Just don’t overwater – they don’t like wet feet.
Growing lavender in a pot
Lavender will thrive in a container as long as three conditions are met. Firstly, the pot must have enough drainage holes. Secondly, the potting soil needs to be well-draining. Lastly, the pot needs to be in a position to receive as much sunlight as possible. Water the plant thoroughly once or twice a week - depending on weather conditions.
Feed regularly through the flowering season with a liquid fertiliser. After flowering, feed with a general purpose, slow-release fertiliser.
Remove spent flowers and trim lightly after flowering. Once plants are established, trim them back by up to one-third. This will help rejuvenate the plants and encourage growth. If you ever decide you need more lavender in your life, try propagating lavender from cuttings after a routine pruning.
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