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Edibles Grow Sheets


  • Scientific Name
    Lavandula species
  • General Information

    Lavender is a perennial shrub with fragrant foliage and flowers. It grows 1 to 3 feet tall. Depending on the cultivar, flower colors include purple, blue, pink, or white. Deer avoid lavender.

  • When to Plant

    Plant in spring after the last frost.

  • Planting

    Provide at least 6 hours of sun each day. Space plants 3 feet apart.

    While lavender can be propagated by seed, it is a slow process and is best done indoors. Germination needs temperatures around 70 to 80 degrees. Cutting and layering are easier.

  • Soil Requirements

    Grow in richly composted, well-drained soil.

  • Water Requirements

    Lavender is drought resistant. When water is needed, drip irrigation is recommended as overhead watering can promote disease.

  • Fertilizing

    If needed, fertilizer can be worked into the soil before planting in early spring. For established plants, side dress with 10-10-10 fertilizer again in spring before flowers appear. Mature lavender requires no fertilizer. 

  • Pollination

    Bees are the chief pollinator of lavender. Studies have also recorded visits from butterflies and moths.

  • Harvesting

    Harvest of lavender for essential oil occurs when flower heads are opening. For dried use, harvest when half the florets are open. Cut back stem to just below the first set of leaves. To dry, hang in bunches in a low light area with good air circulation.

  • Storage

    Once the flower is dry, you can separate the florets from the flower head and store in a glass jar for potpourri, culinary use, or crafts.

  • Good Varieties for Marin

    L. dentata (French lavender), L. stoechas (Spanish lavender), L. angustifolia (English lavender). Dutch lavender or lavandin includes a large group of hybrids with familiar cultivars such as ‘Grosso,’ ‘Goodwin Creek Gray,’ and ‘Provence.’

  • Helpful Tips

    Prune lavenders as you harvest flower stems. The best time to prune is just after plants finish flowering. Lavender can be rooted in early spring from softwood cuttings. Semi-hardwood cuttings can be made in late summer to early fall. Learn more about cuttings.

  • Common Problems

    Lavender is susceptible to crown and root rots both of which are usually the result of too much water or poor soil drainage. Some lavenders are not long-lived and require replacement.

  • Pests- Diseases & More

    Insect pests rarely bother lavender. Spittle bugs can occasionally be attracted to the blooms.