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Lavender - How to Grow

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We have an extensive range of lavender plants for sale, grown at our Staffordshire herb nursery and available to buy online with a fast UK mail order service. We sell primarily English Lavender and its hybrids Lavandula angustifolia and L. × intermedia Any of which should be hardy as long as they are planted in a sunny spot in free-draining soil. They have a strong lavender scent, abundant purple or purple-blue flowers in summer and silver-grey leaves.

Excellent as a hedging plant and a great pairing with roses, this versatile and easy to grow herb is definitely worthy of a place in your herb garden. Lavenders grow from 30cm (1ft) to 90cm (3ft) tall.

Lavender is an extensive genus of 39 different species of flowering plants. Native to the Mediterranean regions, Lavender is now widely cultivated in temperate climates as ornamental plants for garden and landscape use.

This herb is grown in vast areas commercially for the extraction of essential oils, the most widely cultivated variety for this endeavor being Lavandula angustifolia.

The fantastic grey and green foliage of Lavender is one of the plants attractions as well as the beautiful spikes of flowers, which come in a range of purples, blues, whites and pinks.

We also have Lavender pinnata which is a tender variety better to plant in a pot where it can be moved into a frost free area if required. 

When and Where to plant

Lavender is a versatile plant it works well in borders, herb gardens and grows well in containers too, it will also work as a low hedge to mark out different areas in a garden or as an edging plant.

Lavender is best planted in Spring after any risk of frost has past and the soil is warming. Never plant Lavender in winter as Lavender does not like the cold and wet.

Lavender is a Mediterranean plant and as such needs lots of sun and free-draining soil, preferring dry soil which does not have to be rich in nutrients it will tolerate a poor soil. It will not perform in heavy clay, shady, damp or extremely cold conditions, it will die if soil becomes water-logged over winter.

How to Plant a Lavender Hedge

Firstly you need to prepare your garden soil by digging over and ensuring it is weed free. Soil should ideally be free-draining , but if your soil is heavy you can still plant Lavender by planting on a ridge or mound approx 20-30cm (8in-1ft)to ensure that the roots are not sitting in water.

Plants should be spaced 30cm (1ft) apart or 45cm (18in) for larger cultivars, After planting, water regularly, especially in dry weather, for the first season. Lavender will grow quickly if planted correctly and from April onwards even by the end of the first summer they will have 'joined up'. By the end of the second year, your hedge should be bushy and approximately between 60-80 cms tall.

Pruning and Maintenance

If you do not prune your Laveders they can become woody and ungainly. To keep plants compact and attractive, or to maintain a Lavender Hedge trim them annually in late summer, just after flowering has finished. Remove any spent flower stalks and about 2.5cm (1in) of leaf growth.  If growth is untidy & needs management or frost damaged then foliage can also be clipped in spring. Lavender does not break new growth easily from old woody stems so don't cut back into the woody stems.

Even if pruned annually, older lavender plants can still become woody and leggy so, as they are fast growing and establish quickly, they are best replaced if you want to keep everything looking neat.

You can try to revive an old Lavender by either taking cuttings from the younger growth or by layering the plant. If you can bring the lavender down to ground level and scratch the bark back on the woody stem just until you can see green underneath as close as you can to the new growth then pile compost onto the woody stems up to the level of new growth keep well watered and hopefully in a month or so it will root and you can use this to replace the plant you have or move to a new area.