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Growing Lavender

The unseasonably warm days of February have us thinking about planting more lavender!  We have staked off a new section and are preparing to plow it up soon so we can plant when the danger of frost is over. Very exciting!  Some of you have asked about planting your own lavender shrub so we are sharing some basic growing tips in this blog.  We hope it helps you to have a thriving lavender plant for years to come!
There are many varieties of lovely lavender.  It's important to choose a plant that has already proven to do well in your particular area.  We are in zone 7 and have had the most success with Munstead, Province, Grosso and Phenomenal. 
As you choose your planting spot remember lavender loves full sun!  Give it at least 8 hours a day and you will be rewarded for it.  Don’t even think of planting them in the shade!  Some lavender can eventually grow to a width of 4-5 feet!  Make sure you allow plenty of space for your variety.
Lavender is a Mediterranean plant so most of us will have to adjust our soil accordingly.    The perfect PH balance is in the neutral range 6.5-7.5.  It’s important to test your soil and add lime as needed. Lavender does not like to be fertilized on a regular basis, but mixing in bone meal or watering with a liquid fertilizer initially will aid in a good start to your plant.
Make sure your soil is well drained.  Mix sand and organic matter with clay-like soil to make it looser.  Place a thick layer of rocks in the bottom of the hole before planting.  Plant lavender in hills or on a slope to further aid in draining.
After choosing the perfect spot and preparing the soil, dig your hole larger than the size of your pot of lavender. Loosen the soil and make sure your additives are mixed in well.  Water well after planting. 
Lavender is drought tolerant, but, it’s important to regularly water new plantings. After their roots are established, watering once every two weeks seems to do just fine.  Overwatering can be deadly!

Regular pruning is necessary to keep your plant from getting woody and encourage growth. We pruned in the fall of the year and trimmed our plants in a ball shape.  Plants can also be pruned in early Spring before blooming. Always leave about two inches of green leaves on the stems.
Lavender plants fully mature in their 3rd season.  They can live over 15 years!  This is truly a shrub that gives and gives.  Happy planting!

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  • Cindy Walker on

    Thank you so much for the valuable tips.

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