How to Grow Lavender

Growing Lavender

Maybe you love the smell of lavender, or perhaps you love the aesthetic look of the plant and wish to add it to your garden. Whatever your reason for liking the plant, the good news is that growing lavender in Australia can be pretty easy to do! 

Not only is it a simple plant to grow – even for the most beginner gardener – but it can also help to attract bees and butterflies to your garden. Lavender can be used as a colourful, fragrant hedge, a potted pop of colour for a front porch, or a sweet little indoor plant.

Want to learn more about growing lavender? Read on!

Different types of lavender

When it comes to picking lavender, it’s good to familiarise yourself with some of the different types to ensure you pick a variety that suits what you are after. There are lots of different types of lavender to choose from. Some of the common types of lavender include: 

English Lavender

This variety of lavender is likely the type many people think of when they think of the plant. Despite being called English Lavender, this variant is actually native to the Mediterranean. These hardy plants tend to grow about 60-90cm tall, and can come in a range of colours, from the classic lavender and blue-purple colours, through to soft whites and pale pinks, English Lavender has a selection of varieties that you can choose from. 

French Lavender

French Lavender has blooms that generally last longer than the English variety, however, they tend not to be as fragrant as their English counterpart. This variety of lavender can also grow up to about 90cm tall, and its flowers have pretty bracts at their tip. These plants love to be grown in pots, however, if you do so, it’s important to ensure your pot is well-drained to avid the soil accumulating too much moisture. French Lavender enjoys sunny positions. As it isn’t quite as hardy as English Lavender, it’s best not to plant French Lavender in areas that experience particularly cool winters and frosts.

Other varieties of lavender include Italian Lavender, Lavandin, and Hidcote Blue.

How to grow lavender

Growing lavender is a relatively simple process, as the plants tend to enjoy the warm Aussie sun! If you have a space in your garden, you may wish to grow lavender directly in the soil. Alternatively, if you are renting or living in an apartment, a pot might better suit your lavender growing dreams. Some easy-to-follow steps for growing lavender are as follows:

Step 1: Acquire your lavender seeds or seedlings

Once you have decided on the variety of lavender you wish to grow, it’s time to acquire your seeds or seedlings! The plant can be grown from either seeds or seedlings, however, growing lavender from seed can prove a little tricky at times. For beginner gardeners, it is probably simpler to purchase lavender seedlings from your local nursery or plant seller.

Step 2: Choose where your lavender is going to go

While this step isn’t as important for those looking to grow their lavender in a pot, those growing their lavender directly in the ground should be careful to choose the right spot for their plant. Lavender plants like to be placed in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. You can grow them in a flowerbed that gets plenty of sunshine, or grow them as a colourful, fragrant hedge!

Step 3: Use the right soil

Lavender dislikes being bogged down or waterlogged, and as such, it’s important to choose soil that has good drainage. This means you should avoid planting lavender in clay soil, or other types of soil that hold a fair amount of water, where possible. Unlike a lot of plants, lavender does not need fertile soil in order to prosper. In fact, this plant grows well in chalk and sandy soils. If you have a sunny spot in your garden with “poor” soil that you’re struggling to grow plants in, lavender could be the answer!

Step 4: Plant your lavender

Planting lavender is a piece of cake. Simply remove the seedling from its container, gently massage the roots, then place it in the soil in the space you have selected. Cover the roots with soil, and gently pat the dirt down around it, then give it a water. If you have chosen to germinate lavender seeds, wait until they are seedlings before planting them in their desired spot.

Step 5: Harvest your lavender flowers (optional)

You might like to keep your lavender flowers growing where they are, or you may prefer to take a few cuttings and bring their fragrance inside. Lavender flowers can be placed fresh in a vase as a table piece, or dried and placed in fabric bags as a drawer refresher or moth repellent! A quick online search will return hundreds of uses for this fragrant herb, so you’re sure to have ideas and projects for many years to come!

Tips for growing lavender

Be careful not to overwater

Lavender enjoys a dry environment and thrives on a little bit of neglect. Don’t be too quick to water your plant, as you could cause it to become bogged down. When your lavender plant is new, give it a water around once or twice a week. Mature plants can be watered a little less often than this, then watered a little more often again during flowering.

Patience, patience, patience

It could be a couple of years before your lavender plant produces magnificent blooms. Don’t be concerned if in the first year or two it struggles to produce flowers. With patience and a little care, you should see wonderful results from your plant by about the third or fourth year.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about growing lavender in Australia. This fragrant herb can make a wonderful addition to a garden or balcony, and its tough nature and many dried uses make it a popular choice for gardeners!  

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