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Lavender (Lavandula spp.) is a much-loved perennial shrub that deserves a place in every garden. Its heavenly scented flowers and highly aromatic silvery-green leaves suit all garden styles and grows easily in garden beds or pots. Once established, it’s fairly low maintenance and drought tolerant, although will perform better with care. There are a few different types, including: the ‘true’ English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), French lavender (Lavandula dentata) and Spanish or Italian lavender (Lavandula stoechas). Each look different, but all have the same gorgeous perfume and are fantastic for attracting bees and other pollinators into your garden – great to have near the vegetable patch or fruit trees to help promote pollination. Here’s how to grow lavender.


Location

Lavender grows best in warm temperate climates, where the summers are hot and dry, and winters cool. English lavender will not thrive in areas with humid summers, but French and Italian lavender are more tolerant of mild humid conditions. Plant in full sun and protect from strong winds.

Soil

Plant lavender in well-drained soil, enriched with plenty of organic matter like Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. Ideally, the soil pH should be neutral to slightly alkaline, so if it’s too acidic, increase the pH with Yates Hydrangea Pinking Liquid Lime & Dolomite. If planting in pots, ensure you use a quality well-draining potting mix, like Yates Premium Potting Mix.

Fertiliser

Feed weekly from late spring with a complete fertiliser specially formulated for flowering plants, like Yates Thrive Natural Roses & Flowers Concentrate. If you prefer to feed with pellets or don’t have the time to feed weekly, use Yates Thrive Natural Roses & Flowers Organic Based Pelletised Plant Food.

Water

Once established, lavender is fairly drought tolerant. In periods of extended hot and dry conditions, lavender will benefit from a good deep watering, but take care to not overwater – it does not like wet feet.

Pests and diseases

Lavender is generally pest free. However, shrubs can succumb to root rot, especially if soils are poorly drained and/or overwatered. To prevent this from occurring, improve the soil prior to planting by digging in plenty of organic matter and gypsum, but if this is not possible, consider planting in raised beds or pots. If root rot occurs, treat with Yates Anti Rot Phosacid Systemic Fungicide.

Maintenance

When flowering, regularly prune to remove dead or browning flowers. This will encourage a second flush of blooms, especially if you have fed well during the season. Once flowering has finished – usually in late summer or early autumn – cut back one-third of the shrub, pruning down to the woody stems if required.

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How to grow lavender in a garden

How to grow from seed:

  1. Fill starter pots or trays with Yates Seed Raising Mix. Sow seeds, cover, firm down and water well. Keep the soil moist so the seeds don’t dry out. 
  2. While seeds are germinating and growing, choose a sunny spot in the garden and prepare the planting area well by digging in Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay-based, add gypsum and fork in well.
  3. Once seedlings emerge, continue to water well to keep the soil moist.  Allow seedlings to grow to about 7 cm before transplanting.
  4. When transplanting them into your prepared garden bed, ensure seedlings are well spaced – at least 30 to 40 cm apart. Mulch with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, sugar cane or pea straw and water in well.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Once established or when new growth forms, feed regularly with Yates Thrive Natural Roses & Flowers Concentrate to ensure healthy plant growth.

How to grow established plants:

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay-based, add gypsum and fork in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down.  Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed. Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, sugar cane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Once established or when new growth forms, feed regularly with Yates Thrive Natural Roses & Flowers Concentrate to ensure healthy plant growth.
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How to grow lavender in a pot

How to grow from seed

  1. Fill starter pots or trays with Yates Seed Raising Mix. Sow seeds, cover, firm down and water well. Keep the soil moist so the seeds don’t dry out. 
  2. Once seedlings emerge, continue to water well to keep the soil moist.  Allow seedlings to grow to about 7 cm before transplanting.
  3. Choose a pot that has adequate drainage holes and position in a warm sunny spot, with protection from the hot afternoon sun.
  4. Fill with a quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix and plant up seedlings. Water in well and mulch around the base of plants with an organic mulch.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Once established or when new growth forms, feed regularly with  to ensure healthy plant growth.

How to grow established plants

  1. Choose a pot at least 400 mm wide. Position in full sun and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix.
  2. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well and mulch around the base of plants with an organic mulch.
  4. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  5. Once established or when new growth forms, feed regularly with Yates Thrive Natural Roses & Flowers Concentrate to ensure healthy plant growth.

How to grow lavender from cuttings

One of the easiest ways to grow more lavender is from cuttings. Take softwood cuttings in spring or semi-hardwood cuttings in late autumn or hardwood cuttings in winter.

  1. Cut stems between 10-15 cm long, ensuring you make the cut just below a node (the bump on the stem where leaves emerge). Remove lower leaves, leaving a few leaves at the top of the cutting.
  2. Fill a pot or deep tray with Yates Seed Raising Mix. Use a finger, dowel or similar to poke planting holes in the mix.
  3. Dip the base of the cuttings into rooting hormone, like Yates Clonex Rooting Hormone Gel – Purple (for softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings) or Yates Clonex Rooting Hormone Gel – Red (for hardwood cuttings) and insert into the preformed holes. Gently firm the mix around the stems.
  4. Water lightly and position in a warm brightly lit spot, out of direct sunlight. You can cover the pot or tray with a plastic bag – use sticks to prop it up to prevent it from being in contact with the stem and leaves.
  5. Water to keep the soil moist. Once they have rooted, plant up in individual pots filled with Yates Premium Potting Mix.

Growing tips

  • Lightly cut back after flushes of flowering to retain shape and promote young, healthy growth.
  • Plant can suffer from stress and yellowing if overwatered. Limit watering to once or twice a week, depending on your soil type and weather conditions.

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