How to grow & care for lavender
Lavender is a beautiful, fragrant small shrub perfect for cottage gardens, perennial borders and pollinator patches. There are several lavender varieties out there, that all smell amazing, but look and grow slightly different.
Top 5 Steps to Growing Lavender
- Choose a full sun spot in a free draining soil
- Select a lavender that suits your climate
- Plant lavender to attract beneficial pollinators into your garden
- Short on space? Look for small growing varieties of lavender - they are perfect for pots
- Most lavenders should be pruned back by two thirds after they’ve flowered to help maintain a bushy growth
Did you know that English lavender does not tolerate humid conditions and prefers warm dry summers and cool winters, while some other varieties are more tolerant of mild humidity?
English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Needs a cool winter to flower well and its flowers are held high above the foliage on long slender stems.
French lavender (Lavandula dentata)
Famous for its long flowering period and soft grey/green leaves that have fringed margins.
Spanish (Lavandula stoechas) & Italian Lavender (Lavandula pedunculata)
These very similar varieties, tolerate some frost and are much loved for their dainty “wing-tipped” flowers - also sometimes known as Butterfly Lavender
Planting Lavender in the ground
Lavender prefers a full sun spot in well-drained soil. The planting hole should be twice as wide as the original pot and have the same depth. Fluff up the soil at the bottom of the hole and mix a little Scotts Osmocote Compost Premium Soil Improver through the original soil at the bottom of the planting hole.
Gently remove the lavender from the nursery pot and tease the roots lightly if they are compact. Plant into the prepared hole and backfill around the plant. Water in well.
Planting Lavender in pots
Lavender can be grown in pots or planters with good drainage - choose a pot that will suit the mature height and width of your chosen lavender. If you’re limited with space look for some of the more compact growing varieties of lavender that can be planted closer together.
Fill your pot or planter with Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix. Gently remove the lavender from the nursery pot and tease the roots lightly if they are compact. Plant the lavender into the potting mix and backfill around the plant. Water in well.
Caring for Lavender
Lavender will need fertilising once every 6 months in late winter or early spring with Scotts Osmocote All Purpose Controlled Release Fertiliser.
Most lavenders should be pruned back by two thirds after they’ve flowered to help maintain a bushy growth.
Common Lavender Pests & Diseases
Lavender is relatively pest and disease free. However, if fungal diseases occur, it could be because of high humidity - remove lower branches to open up the plants and improve airflow.
Whitefly, aphids and scale can sometimes cause a problem - remove some of the lower leaves to improve light and air circulation around the plants and spray any infestations with Defender Pyrethrum Insect Spray if needed.