theGardenPages: How to Grow
Care and Growth of Fragrant
Lavender plants are small shrubs native to the warm, dry Mediterranean
perfect for drought tolerant gardens and provide wonderful fragrant and
pretty lavender purple
flowers almost all year.
This photo is of French lavender (Lavandula dentata). It
blooms all year and is drought tolerant.
These dependable plants
can takes full sun to
partial shade. They can take moderate water in the garden, but
can also survive on less water once established (usually after a year).
Mature lavender plants can grow from 3 to 4 tall and 4 to 6 feet wide
narrow green or gray
green leaves. They are great in rock gardens, herb gardens or as
low, informal hedges. They add structure to gardens with their
The entire plant is strongly fragrant and the
leaves can be sticky with essential oils.
The purple flowers bloom on long thin, squarish stalks and the buds can
be 1 to 1
The flowers are great in fresh bouquets or dried for
After the second year
or so, your lavender
plants can develop a dry
collection of dry leafs on the inside of the shrub. The plant can
also become leggy, meaning it has long spindly branches.
This means it is time to cut back your plants. Fall is usually
the best time to do this, especially in mild winter areas. Cut
the branches way back; to about 10 inches long. The next spring
your lavender will grow back thick and fresh.
If you cannot stand the 'twig' look this creates, you can trim back
during the year. I will cut back a few branches to 10 inches here
and there. By the end of the season some of the cut branches will
be leafing out, giving you a little bit of green. It is much more
labor intensive this way, but it may be worth the trouble if you have
just a few herb plants.
More Lavender Facts:
dried blooms make excellent potpourri and can be used to freshen linen
closets and drawers.
Lavender is a great insect repellent. The branches are highly
fragrant and I like to tuck them into my woodpile to keep out
Lavender has been used in love potions for centuries.
It is also worn to magically attract love and elevate mood.
Next drought tolerant herb page: Herbs: Blue
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