It is relatively easy to grow lavender regardless of how experienced you are. This fragrant flower can beautify every home surroundings and bring amazing relaxing scent to it. The plant is spreading really fast almost like a weed. There are many different ways in which we can use Lavender.
One more reason why you should consider including this amazing flower into your garden is the variety of health benefits it can offer.
Here are some helpful tips that will make it even easier for you to grow the plant on your own.
1. Choose the right type
There are many different types of lavender so the first task is to find the right one for your home. Many factors can influence the decision which one to choose. Really important is to consider how much space you actually have. Where there is not a lot of it, good choice could for example be Lavandula angustifolia since it stays 12 to 15 inches tall. You should also take into consideration the climate of the place where you live.
2. Choose best location
The most important thing is to choose the location where Lavender will get as much sun as possible. The plant thrives better when receives full sun light for at least six to eight hours per day. Try also to find a spot where the flower will be sheltered and protected from wind as much as possible. Lavender also grows quite well in a container. That way can be even easier to grow the plant on the best location you can find around your home.
3. Prepare the soil
The first step of actual planting is preparation of the soil. It should be slightly alkaline with a pH around 7.5 and well-drained. Lavender prefers dry conditions above and below ground. Put a shovelful of compost in the planting hole which should be wide enough just for the roots.
4. Take care for a good drainage
It is advisable to add some builder’s sand to the soil before planting because lavender doesn’t tolerate excessive humidity. Good choice in colder and wetter climates is silica sand which drains well and does not cement. You can also add round stones into the hole.
5. Leave enough space between plants
Flower needs good air circulation. Lavender plant has large root system. It is much larger than the actual plant so be sure to set out plants around 15 inches apart. If you’re planting the lavender in a pot or container, choose a very big one.
This can be a little bit complex because you have to water your lavender enough but at the same time not to much. Allow the soil to dry before watering again and be sure not to over-water the plant otherwise you can destroy the roots. However, keep them regularly watered during their first growing season. According to some experts, every week to two weeks would be perfect for the first two years.
Proper harvesting is very important in order to get the most out of your lavender plant. The best time to harvest fresh lavender is when the plant is at its peak for scent and color. That is when the bottom flowers of each stem start opening. Cut the plant at the base of the stems near the foliage
When all of the blooms on the lavender plant or at least the majority of them have already opened it is too late to harvest for herbal purposes. That is the best time to dry the plants. To do it in a correct way bundle around a hundred flowers together and make sure to hang them upside down in a warm, shady and dry area and leave it there for about two weeks.
You can use fresh lavender flowers in a similar way as dried ones especially if using plant for culinary purpose. Dried flowers can be bundled together to a small bouquets and used as a decoration or repellent against some annoying insects. The scent will help you to relax or fall asleep if you put it near your pillow. You can also fill small fabric bags and use it as a protection against clothe moths.
To prevent weeds from growing around lavender plants you can cover the soil around the flowers with a thin layer of mulch. This can also help to protect the roots from winter frosts. You can use gravel, coarse sand, shells etc but avoid using wood mulch, which will hold moisture. This can cause plant roots to rot. It is highly recommended to fertilize the soil once a year preferably in an early spring.