Lavender is one of the most versatile perennials you can grow. It does well in full sun or partial shade, stays green in the winter, blooms spring through fall, is drought tolerant, attracts beneficial insects and thrives in the heat. It also has numerous household uses, from aromatherapy to cocktail infusions. Be careful which varieties you harvest to eat- only Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula x intermedia are edible.
Care & Maintenance
- 4-6 hours of direct sun per day
- Well-draining soil
- Low water
- The essential oils that make lavender so fragrant are mostly concentrated in the leaves. If you want your lavender to have a very strong scent, fertilize sparingly using only organic fertilizers
- Lavenders will repeat bloom when they are deadheaded, simply shear off the old dried stalks before new ones start to appear
- Prune to shape in winter to keep them from getting woody in the center
At Green Acres Nursery & Supply, we regularly carry a wide variety of lavandula*. French, Spanish and English are the most common types, with many varieties within those subsections.
French Lavender (Lavandula dentata) Characterized by gray-green foliage and serrated leaf margins, french lavender grows about 3' tall by 5' wide and bears tall stalks bearing plump pale purple blossoms. It's fragrance is not as strong as that of the English or Spanish varieties, so it is best used in the landscape.
'Goodwin Creek'- Most common hybrid of french lavender, dense growth habit and silvery toothed foliage bearing tall stalks topped with elongated violet-blue flower whorls.
Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) One of the more common varieties, it's appearance is distinct from other lavenders, forming a low mound 1-3' tall by 2-3' wide. It's flowers are held close to the foliage, more compressed than most lavender and topped with flag-like petals. Reseeds profusely, deadhead to prevent it from popping up in unexpected places.
'Otto Quast'- Dwarf variety of the already compact Spanish lavender. Can be kept as small at 1' tall by 2' wide.
'Silver Anouk'- A variety with striking silvery foliage which contrasts nicely with deep purple flowers.
English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) English lavender is the most strongly scented variety available. It tends to form a neat, symmetrical mound of silver-green foliage with tall, elegant stalks bearing slender purple flowers. This variety performs well in the landscape, but it is also great for cooking and aromatherapy.
'Hidcote'- A compact variety usually only reaching 2' tall by 2' wide. A mound of green foliage is topped with short stalks bearing deep violet-blue flowers.
'Munstead'- usually only reaching 1-2' tall by 2' wide, bearing medium stalks of bright purple flowers.
'Thumbelina Leigh'- The tiniest of the English lavenders, reaching only 6" tall by 1' wide. Short stalks bearing compact deep violet flowers.
Hybrid Lavenders (Lavandula x intermedia) Varieties of lavender bred for hardiness and tolerance of humidity. Usually characterized by their branching stems and interrupted flower spikes.
'Dutch'- Forms a mound of gray foliage reaching 3' tall by 2 1/2' wide. Stems branch to narrow, deep violet-blue flower spikes.
'Fred Boutin'- dense silvery gray foliage forms a mound 3-4' tall and wide topped with short spikes bearing violet flowers.
'Grosso'- Compact growth habit to about 3' tall by wide bearing stalks topped with deep violet-blue flower spikes. Grown commercially for its intense fragrance. Great for drying.
'Provence'- To 2' tall by 3' wide, forms a symmetrical mound of silvery-green foliage topped with stalks of light purple flower spikes. Makes a great informal hedge.
Now, What to Plant with Your Lavender
Salvia and lavender go together like peanut butter and jelly. Try adding penstemon, coreopsis, and poppies with lavender to bring a variety of color and pollinators to your garden. For a tidier look, you can plant compact lavender with some African daisies, euphorbias, and shrubs like barberry, Indian hawthorn, and 'Golf Ball' pittosporum.
Plant your lavender and join the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.
Want to learn more about plants that thrive in dry heat?
* Check stores for current availability