Lavender is widely used in the medical, cosmetic, and perfume industries. And thanks to its bright colors, this evergreen plant is used as a decorative design for flower beds in personal plots and dachas. To achieve a lush flowering plant, you need to know and follow certain rules for planting and growing lavender outdoors. like when is the best time to plant lavender, proper care, selection, etc.
Lavender Variety selection
There are about 30 varieties of lavender in various sizes and colors, ranging from white to deep purple. But not all of them can be planted at home.
The most common types of Lavender :
- Narrow-leaved lavender. Also called English or medicinal. It has medium-sized leaves, light purple inflorescences. Best of all adapted to winter cold, unpretentious in care.
- Broadleaf lavender or French. Refers to decorative varieties, has many colors. Has a strong aroma, which is not always pleasant.
- Hybrid or Dutch lavender. The largest species, it can grow up to 2 meters. But it grows only in warm countries of Europe. Has an industrial value.
- Serrated lavender. Not cold-resistant, with large inflorescences, therefore it is more suitable for growing as a houseplant. It has a strong aroma and comes in various shades of purple.
Basically, lavender is a fairly unpretentious plant, but some varieties require certain climatic conditions. Therefore, when choosing a variety, it is most necessary to take into account its cold resistance.
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Soil preparation and site selection for lavender planting
When choosing a planting site for a flower in a personal plot, it is recommended to take into account the following features:
- the plant loves space, so it is better to choose open sunny areas that are well ventilated;
- the land should not be swampy, since waterlogging can destroy plantations;
- if the acidity of the soil is increased, then dolomite flour or lime must be added to it before planting.
The soil is dug up and fertilized before planting. Humus is suitable as fertilizer, as well as compost or peat. It is also advisable to add ash to each hole. If the ground is heavy, sand is brought in for digging.
Planting lavender in open ground with seedlings
Seedlings can be purchased or grown independently from seeds. Flowering will come only next year since the first year the plant is actively developing.
when is the best time to plant lavender in open ground?
Seedlings are transferred to a prepared planting site when stable warm days come, usually in the last month of spring.
best time to grow lavender seedlings
You need to start the process of growing seedlings in late February or early March.
- Prepare seeds by stratification. For this, moistened sand and seeds are mixed. The container with the mixture is placed in a refrigerator or in another place with a constant temperature of +5 ° C. In such conditions, the seed should be 2 months.
- Prepare the ground. The soil should be light and fertilized, a composition of humus and sand in a 2: 1 ratio is best suited. For disinfection, the mixture is kept in an oven at a temperature of about 120 ° C or treated with a bright pink solution of potassium permanganate.
- Prepare the container. Drainage holes are made in the containers. Drainage is laid at the bottom. The use of peat glasses is possible.
Seeds are sown in pots and sprinkled with a thin layer of sand – up to 3 mm. The soil is moistened with a sprayer. Top containers are covered with foil.
Optimal conditions for seed germination:
- temperature 15-22 ° C;
- good lighting;
- periodic moistening with warm water (do not fill);
- daily airing of crops.
After the sprouts appear, it is necessary to gradually increase the airing time so that the seedlings get used to the ambient temperature, then the film should be completely removed. To prevent the stems from being elongated, it is necessary to provide additional lighting.
When the stems get stronger, the sprouts dive and replant with a distance of 5 cm from each other.
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Planting distance for lavender
Before planting in open ground, lavender roots are cut 2-3 cm. It is recommended to leave about 80 cm between the bushes so that the plant can grow freely. In the case of a hedge, this distance is halved. The holes should be spacious, the same depth as the length of the roots.
When planting, the depth of the root collar is controlled; it should be dug no more than 5 cm. The soil around the stem is compacted. It is recommended to plant so that the bush is in a small depression, where water is then poured.
Caring for lavender in house garden
Caring for lavender is easy, but to get a lush flower bed, you need to follow certain rules.
- watering and loosening;
- top dressing;
- protection from pests and diseases.
For the first year, you will additionally need to cover the flowers with needles for the winter.
Watering, loosening and weeding
Lavender does not like waterlogging, but it needs regular, moderate watering. After watering or rain, the soil must be loosened and weeded from weeds, especially the first year. In dry climates, you can mulch the soil with peat or humus. In damp regions, mulching can lead to excess moisture and the flowers will die.
It is not recommended to fill the soil around the bushes with stones for decoration. The roots will not get enough oxygen.
Hilling and pruning
Adult bushes must be spud 2 times a year: in spring and autumn. This procedure promotes the growth of new shoots.
Pruning is carried out twice a year. After flowering, dry inflorescences are removed, and the tops of the stems are cut in autumn. Autumn pruning retains the shape of the bush and does not allow the upper shoots to stretch out.
Strongly elongated upward lavender stems can lie down with large gusts of wind, which does not look very attractive.
After 9 years, the bushes rejuvenate. All branches are cut to a length of 5 cm. This method is also used to increase the splendor of flowering.
Fertilization and feeding
In order for lavender to please with abundant flowering, it is necessary to fertilize it regularly, two dressings are enough per season:
- In the spring, a solution of urea is introduced (1 tbsp. L. Per 10 l of water) or sodium humate (2 tbsp. L. Per 10 l of water). 5 liters is enough for a bush.
- Before flowering – potash fertilizers.
If the soil is mulched with humus or peat, nitrogen fertilizers should be completely eliminated. Potassium is necessary for flowers, the intensity of flowering depends on it.
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Protection against diseases and pests
Lavender is very resistant to diseases and pests, so there is no need for special treatments.
The only exceptions are the following troubles:
- Gray rot. Appears from an excess of moisture. Treatment does not require, it is enough to remove and burn diseased shoots in order to avoid further infection.
- Slobbering penny. It does not do much harm, but the appearance of the flower is lost. The method of struggle is to wash off the foam with plain water.
- Leafhoppers and rainbow beetles. They are cleaned by hand. If there is mulch, it must be removed. The rainbow beetle is more common in French and scalloped lavender.
Check guide on how often to water indoor plants in winter?
Reproduction of lavender
There are the following ways to propagate lavender:
- By division. Bushes that are well hilled in spring give a lot of growth, which can be detached after a year.
- By cuttings. A 10 cm long stalk is cut from an annual stem, rooted in wet sand under glass or film. After the appearance of strong roots, it is transplanted to a new place.
- Layers. The easiest way is to bend and dig in the top of the young shoot. The next year, the shoot is detached from the main bush and transplanted. A dug-in branch needs to be watered a little more often, but it is still impossible to allow waterlogging.