Simple Steps on Growing Lavender
Lavender originated in the Mediterranean this perennial plant has such a strong scent and produces nice purple flowers. Lavender is grown worldwide and belongs to the mint family. This herb can be harvested to flavor foods, for medical purposes, it has a lovely aroma and can be used as a fragrance or decoration.
But what does it takes to successfully grow lavender? Following this guide will ensure that your efforts are paid off when seeking to grow this plant.
1. Lavender requires six to eight hours of sunlight to perform at its best.
2. The soil type for this plant is well-drain soil. The PH range for lavender is 6.5
3. Plants should be spaced twelve to fifteen inches apart to allow for growth and proper air circulation.
4. Water moderately. Do not overwater because lavender hates wet feet.
5. Lavender can be feed with small amounts of a slow-release fertilizer.
How to buy
When purchasing your plants ensure that you’re purchasing a quality stock because to start with a poor stock is not good. You don’t want to purchase plants that are sickly.
This will make it harder for plants to establish and in some cases, loss of plant is greater. If you don’t know what to look for then talk with your nurseryman to ensure that a quality stock is chosen.
1. When preparing the planting area make sure that debris such as rocks, cans, bottles, etc.. are cleared.
2. Remove any existing weeds at this time because weeds do not only take away from the beauty of your garden but will also compete for water and nutrients. Weeds also encourage insect pests and diseases.
3. With a pitchfork or shovel soften up or loosen the soil because this will help your plants to establish quickly.
4. When planting, space plants twelve to fifteen inches apart.
5. Don’t plant too deeply because planting too deep will cause plants to suffocate. The rootball should be in the ground but from the stem and up should be above ground.
6. Firm soil around the plant by gently pressing to stabilize.
7. Give plants a good soaking. Allow plants to dry out somewhat before watering again. Soil should be somewhat moist.
8. Once plants show signs of establishment fertilize with a slow-release fertilizer and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.
Growing lavender plants in pots
For those who prefer to grow lavender in pots, this guide will help you to garden successfully. What’s so good about gardening in containers is you can move plants to different locations as the need arises, provided plants are placed in a location that gets plenty of sunlight.
1. Choose pots that are large enough for plants to install comfortable. Pots should have drain holes for excess water to escape because a build-up of water can cause root rot.
2. Place about an inch or two of pebbles in the pot to assist with drainage.
3. Choose a potting mix that is well-drain.
4. Fill the pot almost to the top with soil leaving a few inches.
5. Install plants giving sufficient spacing.
6. Then gently firm soil around plants.
7. Give plants a good soaking.
8. Keep plants somewhat moist, do not overwater.
9. Fertilize your lavender plants with a slow-release fertilizer.
Insects pest of lavender plants
There are some insects that are known as beneficial insects that police our garden plants, in other words, our garden plants are protected by them. Then there are the bad bugs that seek to destroy our plants, these are the ones to rid our garden off.
Garden insect pests of lavender to be on the lookout for
Spittlebugs-Spittlebugs are most active in the spring. Spittlebugs secretes a foamy substance that is not good for lavenders. Control these bugs by using insecticidal soap sprays or washing plants with a strong spray of water will take care of them.
Aphids-Aphids are pear-shaped insects that feed on the younger growth of plants. These insects spread a virus known as the alfalfa virus that causes the leaves and the shots of garden plants to have yellow patches.
The bloom and growth of plants will also be affected. Plants that are infected by this disease should be removed and properly discarded. The use of insecticides and horticultural oil has proven to give good results when caught in the early stages.
Whiteflies-Whiteflies are tiny white insects that live on the underside of plant leaves. A good way to detect whiteflies is to gently tap or shake your plant, if whiteflies are present they will dislodge from your plant but as quickly as they dislodge from your plants they will reattach again.
Catch insect infestation of whiteflies in the early stages with insecticides, if the infestation is great the use of insecticides may offer little help. Spraying infestation with a strong stream of water also offers some help. The use of beneficial insects can help to reduce the whitefly population.
Diseases of lavender plants
Lavender also has its share of disease which is brought on by fungus attacking the plant’s root system. These pathogens that live in the soil wait for the right conditions such as wet humid days. Under these conditions, plants are infected and if quick action is not taken your plant will die.
Black root rot is a fungal disease that causes the plant to wilt followed by the yellowing of the leaves. If this disease is allowed to persist as mention earlier, your plant will die. The infected roots which have these fungi appear as black lesions.
Ways in preventing this disease
Because this disease is brought on by wet conditions ensure at all times that plants are not overwatered, allow plants to dry out between watering. Lavender is a sun-loving plant so installing your plant in the right location is a plus.
Mulches serve many purposes besides holding water. Using mulches around these plants may contribute to fungal development because of its water holding capacity.
Using an organic fungicide will also help to bring this disease under control. If the disease has set to the point where plants are not responding to treatment remove plants altogether and properly dispose of them.
When catching plant disease in the early stages prune plant parts that are wilted, These parts include flowers, stems, and leaves.
Harvesting Your lavender Plant
Lavender should be harvested after the buds have formed but before the flowers open. Don’t harvest lavender early in the morning because of the dew nor when it has rained and the plants are still wet.
Harvest lavender early in the evening and on a dry day. If harvesting doing wet weather the flowers will turn brown and fall off after harvesting. Using scissors to harvest with is good, be careful not to cut your hand.
Medical use of lavender
Lavenders can also be used for medical purposes. Here are some ways that lavender can benefit us.
1. Lavender has been known to improve heart health.
2. Help to improve the condition of our skin.
3. Can Improve good digestion.
4. Lavender has been known to treat acne.
5. Is known as a pain reliever.
6. Lavender is a good source of antioxidant that helps to rid the body of free radicals.
7. Helps to treat indigestion.
A great way to receive some of these benefits that we discussed above is by making a tea from the lavender herb. To make this tea you will need,
1. One tablespoon of dried lavender buds.
2. A cup and a half to two cups of water.
3. Honey or brown sugar to sweeten.
Bring water to a boil then add your dried lavender buds. Let steep for eight to ten minutes then strain, add honey or brown sugar and sweeten to taste.
Note: Lavenders can also be used to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies and to repel insects such as moths, flies, mosquitoes, and fleas. Making this plant a part of your overall garden design will give you the best of both worlds.
The final word
Lavender is easy to work with and should be added to your garden for beauty, its pleasant aroma, and flavor. This is one plant that shows it can serve many purposes so go ahead and take advantage of this herb that has proven to work wonders.
Many home gardeners around the world are enjoying the benefits that lavender offers so let’s join them as we plant lavenders in our pots or fill our gardens with them. Lavender plants, providing beauty, flavor, and a wonderful aroma.