How to plant lavender

How to plant lavender
How to plant lavender

How to plant Lavender

According to David Salaman, founder and chief horticulturist at High Country Gardens, lavenders are some of America’s best herbal shrubs for the Waterwise garden.

They provide us with beautiful spring and summer flowers, are excellent for attracting pollinators, and provide us with the wonderful, relaxing aroma of their flowers and foliage.

The main types of lavenders are the Spanish lavender, the English lavender, and the French hybrid lavender. They all have a place in the garden.

Spanish lavenders are best for mild winter climates. They’re hardy to roughly zone 7, mostly zone 8 and warmer.

French hybrid lavenders are hardy down to zone 6.

The most cold-hardy are the English lavenders and, the most widely-planted across the country.

How to plant lavender?

Remove the lavender plants from their shipping pots. Start with loosening the root ball from the sides of the pots by just gently squeezing the sides. You can push up from the bottom. Don’t grab them by the hair and pull them out of the pot because that can cause some damage. Instead, gently put your fingers across the top of the soil, turn the pot upside down, and gently lift the pot off. Sometimes you have to push down on the bottom a little bit.

Loosen it a little more and gently lift the pot off of the root ball. Now, to prepare the roots for planting, it’s very important to scratch them out, physically cutting through the roots. Where you cut a root, where there’s one cut, you’ll get two or three new roots so it’s a very beneficial thing to do so don’t be afraid. You can use the corner of a tag or a pocket knife and you want to make a series of vertical, quarter inch deep cuts on the sides of the pots, particularly the corners. Run it right down the corner. Cut those roots. Come to the bottom, you can see a nice mat of roots on the bottom so you want to do a crosshatch because if you don’t do this, the roots are going to hold the shape of the pot and the plant really won’t grow out into the surrounding soil and will tend to be stunted. Now just gently, with your fingertips, rough out the sides of the root ball so it has a fuzzy look.

It’s ready to plant in a previously prepared hole with the equivalent soil amendments. Place the plant down in the hole. In the Western United States or arid climates, plant slightly deeper than the surrounding soil. In moister climates east of the Mississippi, you want to plant level with the surrounding soil. Gently fill in with the amended backfill. With the tips of your fingers or your trowel, just gently firm the soil into place with the additional soil. Make a well, or a saucer, around the plant to hold the irrigation water. Proper watering and irrigation after transplanting is just essential to overall transplanting success. So here we have a nice saucer that will hold a decent amount of water.

The tag is not only good for scratching out the roots but it will identify the plants that you’re putting into the garden so include those in the hole. Just stick it into the side.

Remember this:

The French hybrid lavenders are summer bloomers. The more cold hardy English lavenders, are generally late-spring and early-summer blooming. So by planting both English lavenders and the French hybrids, you can have 8 to 10 weeks of blooming lavender plants out in your garden. Utilize them both.

If you’re in a milder climate, the Spanish lavenders bloom very early and, generally, you won’t use them in most places where you plant the English and French hybrid varieties. In terms of plant care on your lavenders, water regularly. A good, deep soaking. Fill the little saucer, or well, twice every time you water and do this one to three times a week depending on the daytime highs.

Lavender is very sensitive to not enough water so you want to be sure that you soak them thoroughly when you do water and do this right through the first growing season. You can plant lavenders in spring and fall but in zone 5 climates, I generally recommend sticking to a spring schedule for your lavender plantings and when pruning, do not fall prune. You want to let the lavender stand over the winter and then come back in mid-spring. You wait until they start to wake up a little and you see a little bit of green along the stem and then you do your mid-spring pruning. You can deadhead the plants during the summer growing season and that’s desirable but, again, do not prune hard in the fall because that will weaken the lavender plants and might prevent them from coming through the winter in good shape.

The biggest mistake in planting lavenders is basically not watering them enough. So water thoroughly and watch the color of the plants. If they get a little pale and yellow, you may be watering a little too much but, in general, when the weather is hot, they’re a thirsty plant that first growing season.

 

Source: This text is a transcript of a beautiful video on how to plant lavender. It provides you at the same time with a great provider of English and French lavender plants.

 

Some useful links to start with

New to gardening start here  https://www.highcountrygardens.com/gardening

How to attract bees in your garden https://www.highcountrygardens.com/gardening/bees-in-the-garden-our-most-important-pollinators/

 

Planting guides

View or Download the Planting Guide for Perennials & Bulbs (pdf) 

Planting Guides: Soil Preparation

I hope you enjoyed this transcript.

Let me know your favorite lavender plants, how to plant them and also where you find them. Thank you!

 

Written by 

A natural lavender geek

Related posts

8 Thoughts to “How to plant lavender”

  1. Sandy

    Thank you for this very useful article about planting lavender. Lavender is one of the most beautiful plants and I love the lavender scent. I have never read before about different kinds of lavender, and that some of them can grow in the colder climates. I must try planting the English lavenders. I hope they grow beautifully. Thanks again!

    1. Fragrance

      They do Sandy! You will not regret it. And what is more, in summer, they keep off flies and mosquitos!

      thank you for your visit and kind comments

      Fragrance

  2. water life

    Thanks for the enlightening article on planting lavender. In my village in Greece there are many who cultivate lavender not only for personal pleasure but also for commercial purposes as lavender is a plant with many properties. Personally, I would like to cultivate some Spanish lavender on my farm, as you said they favor mild climates.

    1. Fragrance

      Yes, make sure the lavender is adapted to your soil. 

      Since you live in he mediteranian, go for the mediteranian ones. They stand heat and poor soils…

  3. Willy

    Great review here. The lavender flower is one of my favorite flowers because I love how beautiful they are. I also love the colourful trait they posses. This review has really done a great help by carefully teaching me how to plant these beautiful lavenders without stress in a  simple structured language. The English lavender is my favorite because of its cold-hardy nature. It gives me comfort and a nostalgic feeling because it is what my parents loved also. Thanks for this great review.

    1. Fragrance

      Thank you Willy… we all grew up with english lavender… the fragrance of our childhood indeed. Thank you,for reviving sweet memories… ✨

  4. Ken Burgess

    Hello Lavender Lover,

    I am new to the garden/horticulturist scene, and as I read through your article I was wondering what zones are, do they refer to temperature zones?  What is the coldest, what is the hottest?  Do you know who came up with these zone schemes? If not, not to worry! I have an internet at my disposal!  How long have you been interestest in lavender planting?  Thanks for the info!

    1. Fragrance

      That is a very smart question. As such lavender originates from the mediteranian. Over the centuries it has spread all over the world due to its qualities and properties. The english lavender stands cold. The lediteranian does not. By cold we understand freezing. As such, lavender stands dry and hot weather, but you will not find it in the desert! As for planting… always seek the sunny side of your garden…

      Take care

Leave a Comment

Thank you!