It's no accident that just hearing the word "lavender" has a soothing and relaxing affect. It seems as if nature pulled out all the stops with this flower and created a plant that is not only beautiful and fragrant, but has health benefits as well. Once you get to know it, you'll want to use lavender inside the house and out. With a little TLC, you can enhance your landscape and interior decor with lavender and even harvest your lavender to enjoy its health benefits as well.
Growing Lavender Outdoors
Lavender is a hardy plant that grows wild in a variety of climates. However, there are two things that you need to bear in mind when planting:
- Lavender thrives in full sun.
- Lavender does not like damp conditions.
As a rule of thumb, lavender grows best in a drier climate. If you live in a dry climate, you can go all out and grow a hedge. Lavender can even withstand drought conditions once it's established, so can be an ideal outdoor plant in hot, dry inland areas. In dry conditions, the first growing season is the crucial one: compost and regular watering will give your plants a chance to establish their root systems. If you live in a moist or humid climate, you'll need to allow space between the plants to allow air flow and plant them only in soil with very good drainage.
One of the great things about lavender is that regular pruning is good for the plant. That means you can always have an indoor bouquet of fragrant, fresh lavender throughout the flowering season and be rewarded with even more flowers in the future. If this idea appeals to you, then choose a taller variety of lavender for your garden. These like to be trimmed down to about two thirds of their height; perfect for your indoor floral arrangement.
Growing Lavender Indoors
Growing lavender indoors is a little trickier than growing it outdoors, but you don't need to be a professional horticulturist to do it. Take these steps and you shouldn't have too much of a problem:
- French lavender thrives better in indoor conditions than other varieties of lavender.
- Put a little gravel in the base of your pot to help with drainage.
- Give French lavender a larger pot to grow in. This variety doesn't like to feel cramped.
- Allow the soil to become dry between waterings.
- A little sand and lime in your potting mix will give it a better start.
- Place the pot in a breezy, sunny location.
- Take the pot outdoors in late summer. This will help stimulate new growth.
As with lavender grown outdoors, your indoor plants will need regular pruning. When it comes time to prune, use the fresh flowers in salads. They look lovely in the salad bowl and taste delicious when used sparingly. You can also dry the flowers and use them in an herbal tea blend or in baked dishes as you would rosemary or any other fragrant herb.If you don't have time to prune your lavander yourself, then maybe it's time to find a local gardener