top of page

Growing Lavender

Follow these steps to cultivating lavender in your garden

The countryside of southern France is known for its fields of lavender grown for the perfume industry. In North America, lavender is a shrubby perennial grown for its flowers and fragrance, but it also serves as a landscape item for its beauty and ability to stand heat and drought. 

In a formal garden, lavender may be clipped to form a low hedge or an aromatic border along a path. In a rock garden, a single plant or just a few plants may be used to great effect as an accent. And, of course, lavender is ideal for any herb garden. 

Step 1: Select the right variety of lavender

Ensure that the variety chosen is hardy or capable of growing in difficult conditions for your area. Angustofolias such as Royal Velvet or Folgate are hardy, as well as Lavandins, such as the very fragrant, Grosso variety. Stoechas, like Spanish lavender are generally hardy in the colder, rainy winters in the Pacific Northwest. If you are in a gardening zone below 8, the Spanish varieties would be ideal container plants, so you could enjoy them inside during the winter months.​

Step 2: Give the plants space, drainage, and lots of sun

Plant your new lavender plants in the ground with approximately 2-3 feet of space between. Using sand for mulch around the plant keeps the plant clean and reflects light back up into the plant, thus creating more heat. More heat creates more fragrant blooms.


​Step 3: Make sure to fertilize the soil before planting

​When planting out in the garden: Mix chicken manure and bone meal (about ½ cup of ea.) well into your soil before planting.  If your soil is hard clay, mixing some sand in will help to loosen the clay. If the plant is root-bound, loosen the roots before planting. If the plant is tall or spindly, cut back to encourage more lateral vegetative growth.


​Step 4: Harvest lavender for different uses

​When the lavender has blossomed, the flowers can be picked for many uses. If you desire a fresh bouquet, pick when half of the flowers have opened.  Put in a vase without water to avoid mold forming on the stems.  If you want to use your lavender buds for crafts or potpourri, pick when its about 75-100% of the stalk has flowered out.


Step 5: Hang upside down to dry

Dry the lavender from your plants by cutting bundles of 100-150 stems per bundle. Wrap a rubber band around the bottom of your bundle and make an s-hook out of a paper clip and hang upside down in a warm, dry, dark place. Drying will take a couple of weeks depending on the weather.

Step 6: ​Prune lavender plants each season

Prune your plant in the Fall to about 2/3 of its size, leaving a couple of inches of green above the woody stems. This may seem severe, but they will respond very well.

bottom of page