Growing Lavender

Category Perennials
This fragrant, hardy perennial shrub is a wonderful addition to any garden. This page is about growing lavender.


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Flower Information

Botanical Name:


Common names:

Lavender, English Lavender


One of the most attractive and fragrant of all herbs, Lavender is the quintessential cottage garden plant. Its aromatic foliage consists of 12 to 24 inch tall gray-green spikes of blue or mauve flowers (also highly aromatic) that bloom from mid summer to early fall. Although there are many lavender species suited for the garden, the most popular by far is English Lavender (Lavendula vera), which is also commercially grown widely for its many cosmetic and medicinal properties.


Life Cycle:

hardy perennial shrub


full sun


Lavender can be grown from seeds, but is usually started with transplants taken from rooted cuttings in the spring or summer. The stems are thick and woody and should be trimmed after flowering to keep the plant neat and tidy. Lavender plants will deteriorate over time, so plan on planting replacements every few years.


cuttings and seeds

Parts Used:

flowers and leaves

Harvesting & Storage:

Harvest lavender during dry weather when stalks have less water in them. Lay them out in flat or hang them in bunches to dry. Keep in mind that oils dissipate as temperature rise throughout the day harvest in mid morning or early evening when air is cool and dry.

Medicinal Uses:

headaches, nervousness, and aromatherapy

Culinary Uses

garnish; scented oils; syrups; jellies; teas

Other Uses:

potpourri; laundry rinse; furniture polish; insect repellant; oil scented candles; wreaths, skin and hair care; perfumes; perennial gardens


Herb Information

Botanical Name:

Lavandula angustifolia

Life Cycle:

perennial herb and shrub

Planting Time:

spring or fall in most areas; spring in zone 5


10" to 3'


full sun


poor to rich, well-drained soil


hardy to zones 5-9

Bloom Time:

early to mid summer


fragrant clusters of small lavender, purple or violet tubular-shaped flowers on spikes


fragrant mounds of long, spiky silvery-green leaves on narrow stems



Suggested Use:

fragrant gardens, borders, beds, edging, herb gardens, and crafts

Growing Hints:

Purchase plants. Cuttings from new growth can be propagated in the summer, or seeds can be started indoors. Planting site should have air circulation to help combat leaf spot in humid areas. Keep organic mulches (wood chips, leaves, grass) 12 inches from the base of plants (stones, gravel and sand are okay to use near the base).


Watering is unnecessary with well-established plants-except during extreme drought conditions-lavender does not like wet feet, so well-drained soil is a must. Trim plants lightly each year after flowering or cut them back more severely every few years to keep them bushy. Once established, plants dislike being disturbed so don't divide them.

Interesting Facts:

Lavender flowers can be used for culinary or medicinal purposes.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 25, 2008


I need help with my lavender plant. I bought it in early May, an already established plant, Munstead variety. I re-potted it together with rosemary in a nice size pot, because I heard that they are good companion plants. Rosemary is doing beautifully, while lavender has not grown a single millimeter, it looks exactly the same as the day I bought it!? No flowers, no new growth, nothing! It does not show any signs of disease or dying, but not growing either. Please help!

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Zoe from New York City



Your lavender plant is probably just settling in and focusing its energy on establishing roots. As long as it isn't showing any signs of disease or dying it's probably just fine. Here are some tips for growing it in containers:

  • Lavender prefers a location that receives 7 to 8 hours of sun each day.

  • The plants prefer crowded roots, so when you are growing them in containers, shoot for a pot size that is just an inch or two larger than their root ball.

  • Good soil drainage is a must so use a light, well-aerated soil.

  • Lavenders are fairly drought tolerant plants, but like all plants grown in containers, attention to watering is required. Water your lavender only when the soil appears dry.

  • Lavenders grown in containers deplete nutrition from the soil quickly, so mix a slow release organic fertilizer in with some fresh potting soil each spring.

  • L. angustifolia cultivars such as Munstead' are slightly larger plants and should either be moved to a larger container or planted out in the garden after a couple of years.

  • A light pruning in the spring (before budding) and again in the summer will encourage air circulation and keep your lavender looking good.
Good luck!


By siris (Guest Post)
July 3, 20080 found this helpful

Hang in there it is probably growing a root system.

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By Lynda (Guest Post)
July 3, 20080 found this helpful

AOL cut me off before finishing:

Solution: Separate the two. Lavender requires moisture but the Rosemary doesn't like so much moisture. DON'T fertilize them. Cut any dead branches off, make certain they have good drainage and give them lots of space. Neither likes cooler weather, I believe. Good luck. God bless you. : )

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July 4, 20080 found this helpful

Hmmm... I was wondering if the soil was the right pH for the Lavender? Also, could you may have damaged the lavenders roots while transplanting.

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By WeldrBrat (Guest Post)
July 7, 20080 found this helpful

Zoe, I have two in separate pots and they're doing the same. They're perennials. They always take the first year after planting to establish (even when repotted). I wouldn't worry. You'll get a great surprise next year!

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September 25, 20080 found this helpful

It could be that the plant has just adjusted to the pot. This happens in some perennials, mainly trees. I went to an Amish place that sells plants. And LOL they still had tomatoes in the little tiny square things they are started in. Although they looked pretty raggid, some even had Bonsai size tomatoes on them. But very tough skinned. They sold them out for 50 cents a flat. Each little flat had four tomato plants in them. So I bought a flat.

I have read that lavender don't like the roots messed with. I don't know that I could verify that for sure. I transplanted my granddaughters we started from seed into a large pot and it is fine. But it won't flower untill the next year. Good Luck with your lavender.

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I took a trip to Oregon and went through an area that had lavender farms. I am in love with the fragrance! I have tried to grow it in South Texas but I guess it's too warm! Is it possible to plant seeds now and expect a harvest? Rosemary grows a lot here and it seems to be the same type of plant. Any suggestions?



March 19, 20090 found this helpful

I don't have any personal experience with that, but lavender is native to the hotter regions of the world. It tends to like drier soils and sun. If it seems to be baking too much you might try planting it where it has some shade in the hottest hours of the day. There are lots of different varieties so you could ask at a local nursery which ones might do well in your area. Lavender can actualy do pretty well in containers, so you might even try growing it in a sunny spot in the house! You should be able to get plants from seed now but I don't know if it'll bloom the first year (mine hasn't, is it just me?). The foliage smells nice, though.

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March 19, 20090 found this helpful

Yes Isabel, lavender is very close to rosemary. I grow then alongside each other here in Australia. We are experiencing a very bad drought and they need less water than a lot of other plants. I bought it as a very small plant at the plant nursery and it has grown to about 5 ft tall. It needs very little looking after, just a light prune after flowering.

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March 19, 20090 found this helpful

I live in the Texas Hill Country and have had trouble growing lavendar. Never had any luck at all from seeds, but a year ago I planted a lavendar plant I got at Walmart and it is thriving (right next to the rosemary). There is an herb farm over in Fredericksburg (not far from us) that grows lavendar. They have a Web site at http://www.fredericksburgherbfarm... and can no doubt give good advice. Good luck!

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I finally have a lavender plant (tried many times from seed) that started out very small, but now is about 2 feet in diameter. It has last season's old growth on it. I was wondering if and how I should prune it and if there's any type of "food" it likes or diseases to look out for? It took so long to finally get a lavender plant I don't want to risk losing it. Thanks for your help!

Hardiness Zone: 6b

By kim from Westminster, MD


March 29, 20110 found this helpful

Check out this website.
It should give you some ideas. I cut mine back every year from about 5' across to about 3' across.

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March 29, 20110 found this helpful
Here's another site.

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August 19, 2010

What is the best way to grow lavender?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By Tommo from Greenwich, CT


August 19, 20100 found this helpful

You definitely need a sunny spot. I have some in a semi-sunny spot and it's just not doing great. Here's more:

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August 22, 20100 found this helpful

Lavender likes its face in the sun but its feet in the dry soil. It will thrive in sunny dry spots.

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I grow lavender in Taos, New Mexico. We're at 7,000 ft. altitude with arid climate and cold winters plus windy spring and summer months. All I know so far is Hidcote and Munstead are the most resistant to our temperatures. I can't grow the real French lavender here. I still have problems with some plants wintering over. I cover them with frost cloth and water them sparingly in winter/early spring. Some look so dry come spring, though.

Any ideas on how to get better results?

By Anne-Marie Emanuelli


April 18, 20120 found this helpful

Move the plants to containers on a sun porch to up the humidity they live in?

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How do I get a cut started off of a lavender bush?

Hardiness Zone: 6b

By Debra from Hampton, TN


April 23, 20110 found this helpful

You should be able to sprout it in water and stick it in the dirt. It should start growing then.

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December 29, 2014

When is the best time to start planting lavender in south Texas?

By Mary from San Antonio, TX

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I need help fast with my lavender plants. One has all brown leaves, no green. I have another and don't want the same thing to happen. What is the problem?

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May 28, 2014

Is lavender deer resistant? What about heather? Any suggestions for plants, vines, or flowers that can be grown at high altitude (over 9,000 feet) and are deer resistant? I know it is a lot to ask of a plant.
Thank you.

By Tracy G.

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August 30, 2010

A lavender seed just sprouted in a glass filled with water. I want to plant it outdoors. Am I supposed to plant it outdoors or indoors of my apartment? Tell me please how am I supposed to planted it. I really enjoy seeing this plant flourishing in magazine photos. Thank you!

Hardiness Zone: 10b

By Iris Padilla from Deerfield Beach

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this page.

Photo Description
I started growing the Lavandula flower several years ago. I love the cone shape of the flower and how beautiful it is when it blooms. The flower blooms year round and they are so easy to grow. The long stems of the plant can reach over 8 feet tall.

When I trim my garden I take the stems of the plant and replant them in a pot. The stems will root within a week. Furthermore, this plant grows similar to a Bird of Paradise. The root system will branch out and start new growth.

Photo Location
Paea Tahiti, French Polynesia

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