Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Lavandula

Common Name
Lavender
CA Native
Non-native
Plant Type
Perennial
Size
2' - 3' x 2' - 4'
Flower Color
Lavender, Purple, Pink, White
Bloom Time
  • Spring
Leaves
Silvery-Gray Small Leaves
Evergreen
Evergreen
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Attracts Beneficial Insects
  • Bees
  • Butterfly & Other Insect Nectar
Growth Rate
Fast
Hardiness
Hardy
Adverse Growth Factors
None
Special Features
  • Erosion Control
  • Fragrance
  • Low Maintenance
Water Use
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Low
Soil pH
7.6-8.5 (alkaline)
Exposure
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Not Particular
Drainage
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

With its incredible fragrance and beautiful blooms, lavender can be used  in herb, butterfly and cottage gardens or as a low hedge or in mass plantings. The blooms make a great addition to cut flower bouquets. The leaves and  flowers can also be used in dried arrangement or potpourri. Companion plants include; Asclepsia, Daylillies, Rockrose, Yarrow and Rosemary. There are 28 species of lavender including; English, French, Spanish,Yellow, Sweet and Woolly. With the exception of Woolly lavender, these lavenders start to bloom in early  to mid-spring. Spanish and Yellow finish up in 4 - 5 weeks, with the others blooming a bit longer. English and  Spanish lavenders are the most common lavenders in Marin. English lavenders have long spikes of flowers, range from 2' - 3' tall,  are very fragrant and used in both culinary and aromatherapy. Spanish lavender is shorter (18" - 2') and has a pinecone shaped flower. It has no culinary applications

Lavenders thrive in warm, well-drained soil in full sun. If you want highly fragrant plants, put them in a lean, alkaline, chalky soil that will enhance the lavenders fragrance. When you put the plants in, add a handful of compost to the planting hole and water regularly during the first growing season. After that the plants will be very drought tolerant. Remember, wet roots will kill lavender.To keep them well-shaped and to encourage new growth, prune in the early spring before flowers set. The taller varieties can be cut back by about a third and the lower growing varieties can either be pruned back by a couple of inches or cut down to new growth.

Lavender attracts bees and butterflies to the garden. Ants dislike the lavender odor.  It can be used as a natural organic ant control.

No serious pests or diseases.

Master Gardener Comments
Varietals

L. angustifolia ' Melissa'  - long spikes of pink flowers (English)

L. angustifolia ' Munstead' - long spikes of blue lilac flowers (English)

L. stoechus ' Otto Quast'  - red-purple flowers (Spanish)

L. intermedia ' Grosso - 16" - 18" spikes of blue-lavender colored flowers

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