Whenever gardeners are asked about their favorite herb, they come up answering ‘lavender.’ Why shouldn’t lavender be their favorite? It has soothing color and a beautiful fragrance that can provide your garden and home. You can grow lavender in pots as well as on the grounds. It is not a picky plant so that it can survive in a wide range of soil. It just requires a lot of suns and good drainage.
In this post, I will be sharing tips on how care lavender plants outdoor:
How to care lavender plants outdoors
Lavender demands very little maintenance, so it is easy to look after this plant. But just like any other plant, it will grow excellent if provided with the right conditions.
When to plant lavender
The most appropriate time for lavender to grow at its best is after the soil starts to warm up in the spring. Make sure this time is before the heat of summer kicks in. People living in a mild climate can plant them in the fall. Lavender will not survive the winter if it is planted in a cold climate area. Lavender that is planted in pots is very less dependent on timing. Just avoid planting them in extreme summer because they may not recover after that.
Choosing and preparing a planting site
Lavender will thrive in soil that ranges from poor to moderately fertile. You can improve the drainage of compacted or clay soil by adding some organic matter. Root rot is usually encouraged by wet and moist areas, so keep away from such areas.
Generally, lavender is not so easy to be grown from seed. You can either buy small starter plants from a garden nursery or try cutting from a mature plant. You can also take softwood cutting of some inches in spring. Make sure the stems are mature when you take a cutting. You can bring them and water them if they don’t have to be planted immediately. Ensure that the location you chose for the lavender is receiving full sun. Now set the potted plants in different spots and decide where they look perfect. Plant the lavender after you unpot them.
It is recommended to plant lavender 2 to 3 feet apart. Plants can reach between 1 and 3 feet high. To avoid the worst, add mulch. For that, rock or pea gravel can work fine. Moisture and root rot can be prevented if you keep the mulch away from the crown of the lavender plant.
The most common cause of lavender dying is overwatering. When it comes to lavender plants, so less is more. Especially when you have potted lavender plants, it is necessary to grow them in a container with proper drainage. The plant should not sit in a water tray so allow the water to drain out completely from the pots. Lavender is a drought-tolerant plant, and it prefers the soil to stay on the dry side. It doesn’t mean that the plant should dry out completely.
One of the two most important things that lavender needs is the sun. The other one is full drainage—plant lavender in full sun location. If the light is not enough, it will not bloom. In hot climates, it tolerates part shade.
For proper lavender care, it is very important to use the right type of soil. Make sure whichever soil you choose has proper drainage. Lavender will not tolerate wet feet at any cost, so ensure the soil doesn’t hold water for very long. Lavender will grow much better in sandy soil than in clay soil because it thrives in poor quality soil as long as it is getting fast drainage.
While you are preparing the soil for planting lavender, you can amend clay soil with sand and compost to properly drainage.
Lavender plants don’t need fertilizers at all. If your garden soil is not good, you can side-dress your plants with compost every year. It is a known fact that lavender thrives for years without consuming any fertilizer or even compost. Just take care of the plant as a part of your regular lavender plant care routine.
Controlling the pests
Lavender has many advantages. One of them is that bugs and insects will not be attacking your plants. This plant has strong-smelling oils, which can help to deter pests from your garden. To your surprise, lavender is also deer and rabbit resistant. You can use lavender as border plants because they can protect other plants as they are pest resistant.
Pruning lavender plants
The plant care checklist is incomplete without pruning. Plants will be looking best and will be giving excellent harvesting after regular pruning. The important thing to avoid while trimming your lavender plants is over-pruning. If woody stems are cut below new growth, they will not grow afterward. The new growth usually starts in early spring, so prune your plants right after that. You can prune them again in summer once the flowers start to fade. Pruning in summer is not needed, but you will get a second harvest if you do.
Winter care for lavender
If you have chosen hardy lavender plants suitable for your growing zone, you don’t have to worry about their winter routine and care. You can try protecting the plant if you live in a colder climate and are worried about your lavender surviving the winter. They surely need extra protection from the dry winter wind. Burlap can be used as a windbreak. You can also mulch them lightly. Make sure the mulching is not too heavy.
As soon as there is early spring, get rid of winter protection. That will ensure that the plant is not getting too much moisture during the spring thaw. Still, if you are overprotective about your plant, you can overwinter it indoors because it can be really difficult to push lavender growing zones too much.
Are you supposed to cut back lavender?
Lavenders that are unpruned tend to become woody, and they have decreased blooms. It is important to know that lavender should not be pruned in winter. However, you can prune it in after they bloom in spring or early fall before frost.
Is the lavender plant easy to maintain?
Lavender herb is very common and is known for its fragrant aroma. This plant is very easy to be maintained and taken care of. That is because of many reasons. It enjoys hot and dry conditions, which make it suitable for use in various landscape settings. It is also a great candidate for areas that are prone to drought. It will not dry out.
How do you stop lavender from going woody?
The size of the lavender shrub can be reduced over three or four years. That is not a successful trick to prevent the plant from going woody, but it is worth trying. The plant may die of pruning at all. Spreading the pruning over several years can make it work.
How long do lavender plants last?
These plants are not very long-living. If you take good care of them, they can grow for three or four years. They can also be replaced at lower prices. You can also propagate them from semi-ripe shoot tip cuttings three or four inches long in midsummer.
Lavender is a herb that has many culinary uses. It is ideal for informal creator hedges because of its silvery-green foliage and upright flower spikes. Starting with proper conditions is very important for growing lavender successfully. Make sure you water the plants deeply but infrequently. Lavender needs to be pruned every year after bloom. In cold growing areas, it needs extra protection, so cover it with a winter mulch of evergreen bough, which will block freezing winds and temperatures.