How to Grow Lavender Like an Expert

Updated on June 22, 2020
Jana Louise Smit profile image

Jana likes to grow stuff, exercise, snack, and explore creative projects as a means to relax and grow.

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Who Wants to Grow Lavender?

Gardeners and herbalists grow lavender. A healthy lavender plant consists of multiple stalks curving towards the sky, covered in blue-grey leaves. The plant’s oils exude a strong, distinctive aroma. For these reasons, the bush is added to gardens for its looks and fragrance, while some people grow them as a crop for herbal remedies.

What Is Lavender Used For?

Lavender is used for home remedies, essential oil therapy, cooking and baking, and also in beauty products. Needless to say, this makes lavender an exceptionally versatile plant. In a nutshell, this herb is used for its aroma, sedative, and healing properties.

Can I Grow Lavender From Cuttings?

Yes, you can grow lavender from cuttings. Do research beforehand to pick your species. Some of the most popular are Jagged, Grey French, Silver French, White, Spanish and English lavender. To be fair, most will produce the results that you want, so even when your local nursery only has one particular type of lavender, there’s no need no panic!

  • Look for a healthy lavender plant. There should be several stalks with a full set of good-looking leaves.

  • Avoid plants that show shriveled leaves or show an excess loss of leaves.

  • Lavender plants that are too young for cuttings will have no brown leaves on the lower portion of their stems.

  • Since you’re going to use this as a parent plant, pick the biggest and most robust one you can find.

  • A healthy lavender plant will also have a distinct, aromatic smell.

  • If you rather want to grow your lavender from seeds, then skip the plant section of your nursery and go to the seed department (we’ll cover seed growing a little bit later).

How to Grow Lavender From Cuttings

Are you ready for some good news? Lavender is one of the easiest plants to grow from cuttings! All you have to do is to follow these steps.

  1. Identify the best branch to snip - it should have brownish leaves near the bottom and green-blue leaves along the rest of the stalk.

  2. Avoid stems with flowers or those that had recently flowered.

  3. Keep in mind that the cuttings must be around 7.6 cm (3 inches) long.

  4. Cut the stem at the bottom of the plant.

  5. Remove all the leaves except for a few near the top.

  6. You can dip the bottom end in rooting hormone but this is optional.

  7. For the best results, plant the cuttings in a pot filled with a light, airy compost.

  8. Mist the cuttings to moisten the soil.

  9. Place the tray or pot in an area with warmth (away from direct sunlight).

  10. Follow up with additional misting every few days when the soil is dry.

  11. Expect new leaves to grow in about 3 to 6 weeks. Congratulations! The cuttings have rooted.

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Can I Grow Lavender From Seed?

Yes, you can grow lavender from seed. However, this route is slower and less successful than growing lavender from cuttings. That being said, some gardeners prefer seeds because they cost less than a lavender plant. It’s also preferable to buy a packet than harvest your own. Why? Because some plants produce seeds that don’t grow true. In other words, the seedlings won’t have the same qualities as the parent plant.

How to Grow Lavender From Seed

  1. Choose a time 6 to 10 weeks before the seasons turn warmer.

  2. Fill your pot with soil that drains well.

  3. Place the seeds on top of the soil. Sprinkle some soil on the seeds.

  4. If you’re planting the lavender seeds in a tray, use one seed per division.

  5. Mist to moisten the soil.

  6. Place in a warm, sunny area.

  7. Keep the soil damp but never soggy.

  8. Lavender seeds sprout after 2 to 4 weeks.

  9. Make sure the seedlings get plenty of direct sunlight.

How Do I Take Care of Lavender?

You can take care of lavender with a few simple tips. Here’s a heartening fact. Lavender is a hardy plant that will survive with less attention rather than more. But improper care can destroy all the effort that went into the weeks you lovingly nurtured your seeds and seedlings. Here’s how you can make sure that they stay healthy and grow.

How to Transplant Seedlings Safely

When your baby lavender grow their first leaves - and these mature - it’s time to transplant them from the tray into bigger pots. Their roots are now stronger and require more space. For each plant, fill a pot with airy soil. Make a hole big enough to accommodate the root ball and once transferred, lightly plack soil around the lavender’s stem to steady it into position.

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How to Care for Potted Lavender

Taking care of potted lavender is straightforward. If you want to move it outside after cultivating the plant indoors, make sure that you acclimatize it gently. Start with an hour or two a day outside and gradually lengthen the time. But whether indoors or outdoors, taking care of a potted lavender entails a sunny spot, not too much water, and almost no fertilizer. The biggest mistake people make with lavender is to overwater the herb and not giving it enough direct sunlight.

It takes a few years for lavender to sprout into a lush bush. You can help it look its best by lightly cutting back last year’s growth after the flowers are gone.

How to Care for Garden Lavender

Should you wish to plant your seedlings directly in the garden, then the same guidelines apply. Choose an area with a lot of direct sunlight, water only when the soil is dry, and give fertilizer once a year. Just in case you’re wondering, the best fertilizer for lavender is organic and liquid, like fish emulsion. Also, when you first plant them, position the seedlings about a ruler’s length apart.

A Quick Summary

Lavender is a long-living plant considered useful for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. The benefits can be extracted from the leaves, flowers, and essential oil. This beautiful shrub is also easy to propagate and care for, providing that it receives around eight hours of direct sunlight a day and is watered only when dry.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jana Louise Smit

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    • Jana Louise Smit profile imageAUTHOR

      Jana Louise Smit 

      2 weeks ago from South Africa

      Hi Lorna. Lavender oil is fantastic for sleep. And yes, I love the fact that they feed our honey bees! The little guys need all the help they can get. :)

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      2 weeks ago

      I have quite a few lavender plants in the garden. They are so beautiful and at the moment are full of bees. I also use lavender oil to help me sleep. Your article was full of great advice and the photo is beautiful. Thank you for sharing Jana.

    • Jana Louise Smit profile imageAUTHOR

      Jana Louise Smit 

      2 weeks ago from South Africa

      Hi Linda. You're so right about the calming effects. I've used it for years for its sedative effect. I love how it calms me down but there's no drugged feeling at all. Just a pleasant smell and a sense of calmness. This is truly one of my favourite essential oils and herbs.

    • lindacee profile image

      Linda Chechar 

      2 weeks ago from Arizona

      Thank you for your article! I absolutely love lavender. It's a pleasing aromatic scent. Promotes good health, calming and well-being.

    • Jana Louise Smit profile imageAUTHOR

      Jana Louise Smit 

      2 weeks ago from South Africa

      Thanks, Ivana. I simply adore the aroma of lavender. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. :)

    • Ivana Divac profile image

      Ivana Divac 

      2 weeks ago from Serbia

      Very useful, and well-written. This is a great article!

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