How to Grow Lavender – The Fundamentals of Planting, Watering and Caring for English and French Lavender

Lavender is a trendy, beautiful and fragrant pollinator that is great for attracting wildlife such as bees and butterflies to your garden and creating a vibrant multi-sensory space

Lavender is an easy-to-grow shrub that is highly valued for its fragrant flowers and decorative foliage. There are several types of lavender but the two most commonly grown are: English lavender and its hybrids (Lavandula angustifolia and L. × intermedia) and French lavender. French lavender is a little less hardy than the English types and tends to be more short-lived. It is best to grow them in a container and protect them from frost during the winter, unlike English lavender which is very hardy.

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For planting in the garden soil, plant lavender in April or May as you will find fresh plants in garden centres and the soil will naturally warm up with the arrival of the warmer weather. It should be planted in a sunny spot in the garden and in fast draining soil, preferably not clay or very wet as it will not thrive in such soils. However, if your soil is wet, you can plant lavender in a 20-30 cm mound, where the roots will not be in wet soil.

If you buy several plants, space them about 90 cm (3 feet) apart. After planting, water regularly, especially in dry weather, during the first season.

When planting in a container (or in containers of 30-40 cm diameter), the cultivation is not much different from that in the ground. Even in a container, the soil must be drained, so choose a multi-purpose or potting compost and add plenty of coarse grit or perlite (up to 25% of the volume). At first the plant will need a lot of water, then space out the watering (once or twice a week) in warm weather.