You are finally ready to put lavender into your garden – whether you are planning on putting them in the soil or in a pot on the deck. What you might want to think about before you come to the shop to get your lavender plants….
How much sun will your lavender get? Lavender likes at least 6 hours of sun a day. Sometimes people think that because there are a lot of cloudy days that their plants won’t get the sun they need. Those cloudy days aren’t the problem for lavender plants – it’s the trees and buildings that block the sun that can be the problem.
How well drained is your soil? Lavender likes “dry feet”, which means your lavender spot should never have puddles, even in the winter. If lavender stands in water it drowns. That’s true if you over water lavender, too.
How big do you want your lavender to be when it’s full grown? It takes lavender around three years to grow to its full size. Lavenders tend to be as wide as they are high, looking sort of like hedghogs, except prettier. Some lavenders grow only about 10 inches while others can grow up to 3 feet and many are varying sizes in-between. Also, think about whether you want them to be individual plants or whether you want them to look more like a hedge. That will determine how close together you plant one to the next.
What color and how long do you want the flowers and stems to be? Lavender flowers range from dark purple to white and lots of shakes of purple and pink between those two. They can have stems that are quite short, or ones that are more than 14″ long. The shorter stems will produce a more compact look, while the longer stemmed plants will give a wavy, moving in the wind sort of look.
When do you want them to bloom? Lavenders vary in the time of the summer that they bloom. Some bloom rather early, some quite late. If you have a lot of varieties, it’s like a blooming parade through the end of summer. You can plant all of one variety and have a big show at one point in the summer.
What do you want to do with the lavender? You can cook with some varieties, use some for dried flowers, use some for bulk lavender and make sachets. Unless you have a lot of plants, you probably won’t be able to make your own essential oil, but you can make lavender extract for cooking! There are some varieties of lavender you shouldn’t eat that are great for your garden, but not for your plate.
Now are you really confused? Don’t worry, we’ll help you when you come in.