Lavender is so beautiful it can make any garden looks more attractive. Are you interested in planting these beautiful and fragrant flowers in your garden? If the answer is a yes, then you came to the right place. Here, we will tell you how to grow lavender from seed, how to care, and of course, how to harvest them.
First, we will get to know more about the plant. Then, we will describe three commonly grown lavender varieties, so you at least know what you are planting. Then, we will continue to how to grow lavender indoors, in a pot, from cuttings. The last sections are for harvesting, growing tips, and frequently asked questions.
- 1 Getting to Know
- 2 Three Most Common Lavender Varieties
- 3 Grow Lavender Indoors
- 4 Grow Lavender in a Pot
- 5 Grow Lavender from Cuttings
- 6 Harvesting Lavender
- 7 Growing Tips
- 8 Grow Lavender for Profit: Frequently Asked Questions
Getting to Know
Lavandula, better known as lavender, is a genus that belongs to the mint family. Within this genus, there are 47 known flowering plant species. Lavender is a versatile plant, used not only as ornamental plants but also used for culinary herb, traditional medicines, cosmetics, and essential oils. Lavender flowers have a very gorgeous look and exude a sweet fragrance.
Lavender is a hardy plant and requires little maintenance. However, it takes time to grow. The seeds are typically slow to germinate and the plants may not even flower in their first year. If you are willing to put in the effort and are patient, you will be rewarded handsomely with amazing yields.
The most common way to grow lavender is from seed. Alternatively, you can also start growing lavender from cuttings taken from adult plants. That’s for you to decide. Both are viable options, although growing from seed takes longer than from cuttings. Just know that whichever path you take is fine as how to care for the plant is more or less the same.
Three Most Common Lavender Varieties
Before we tell you how to grow lavender from seed, we will tell you three common lavender varieties to grow. Once you know the varieties, you will be able to choose which variety suits your wants best. These three varieties are English lavender, French lavender, and Lavandin. Let’s get to know each variety.
1. English lavender
Lavendula angustifolia or English lavender is a hardy lavender species that grows well in hardiness zone 5 to 9 where the day is long with mild summer heats. English lavender is known for its sweet fragrance, making it the ideal option for culinary purposes and essential oils. English lavender is also used for bouquets, both fresh and dried.
2. French lavender
Lavandula stoechas or French lavender is a less hardy species than English lavender. It grows well in hardiness zone 7 to 10. This variety produces cylinder-shaped flower heads which are topped by leafy extensions. It is commonly used for fresh cut flowers as it blooms early than other varieties. French lavender is very productive as it flowers throughout the season.
Lavendula x intermedia, better known as lavandin, is a cross between English lavender and another lavender species, Lavandula latifolia. Lavandin grows big and it produces floral spikes that typically longer than true lavenders’. Lavandin is commonly grown as essential oil ingredients as this variety can produce oil more than five times the amount the English lavender can.
Grow Lavender Indoors
Let’s start our how to grow lavender from seed with the easiest way first. Namely, growing lavender indoors.
Here is how to grow lavender from seed indoors:
- When you are growing lavender indoors, you want to start early. Check your calendar for the last frost and count approximately 12 weeks back. Plant your seeds indoors during this time.
- In each pot, plant 2 to 3 seeds. Plant the seeds about 1/8 inch deep into the soil. Then, lightly cover the seeds with soil.
- Spray the soil about 5 to 8 times, until they turn darker.
- After the seeds have been planted, provide them with 8 hours of sunlight at a minimum. To make things easier, move the planting pots near a window.
- Place the pots in a location where the temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the seeds have been planted, you should spray the soil one or two times per day for two weeks.
- Once the seeds have germinated, continue to spray two times per day for the next two months or until the sprouts are 3 inches tall.
- When the sprouts are about 3 inches tall, move them into larger containers. 80% of the containers should be filled with a potting mix. Make a hole for each sprout as deep as their height.
- For the next two weeks, harden off your lavenders and introduce them to the outdoors.
Grow Lavender in a Pot
Here’s how to grow lavender in a pot:
- Prepare a pot for your lavender. Make sure that it has enough room for the plant to grow. A 12 to 16 inches pot is ideal. Check the bottom of the pot. Make sure that there is a drainage hole at least 1/2 inch wide. For better drainage, add small stones.
- Choose a good sandy potting mix, preferably ones that drain water easily. Fill the 3/4 with the mix and add a tablespoon of lime.
- Plant the lavender in the pot.
- Fill the planting pot with soil, just a few inches of the top.
- Firm the soil and make sure that there is no air pocket in the pot. The crown of the lavender should be one inch above the soil surface.
- Water the pot thoroughly.
- Add a layer of mulch (about 2 inches) to retain moisture level.
- Place the pot where the lavender can get 6 hours of sunlight a day at a minimum.
- To care, water the plant when the soil is dry. Keep in mind that containers, including pot, dry fast. So check the soil regularly. Prune when necessary.
- To encourage better flower color and prolific flowering, you can feed your lavender with a liquid fertilizer every week.
Grow Lavender from Cuttings
Now you have learned how to grow lavender from seed. Those are not the only ways to grow lavender, of course. Some lavender growers grow lavender from cuttings. Here’s how to do so:
- First and foremost, make sure that you get straight, healthy, and vigorous stems for rooting. If you are buying the cuttings, choose stems that have good color, and have no buds.
- Prepare a sharp knife. Using the knife, take a softwood or hardwood, about 3 to 4 inches long.
- Take a good look at the hardwood. You should see a bump, which indicates a leaf node. Cut the stems just underneath the bump.
- Remove each and every leaf from the bottom 2 inches of the stem.
- Using a sharp knife, remove the skin off the bottom part of the stem. Do this on one side only.
- Put the cutting aside and prepare the container.
- Fill the container with a mix of perlite or vermiculite and peat moss (ratio 50:50). Add a little bark so the container has good drainage.
- Dip the cutting’s tip into a rooting hormone. This helps the cutting to grow root quicker and prevent the cutting from rotting.
- Press the lower end of the cutting into the soil for about 2 inches deep.
- Make the soil firm so when you plant the cutting, it can stand up straight.
- Cover the cutting with plastic in a way that it stimulates the environment of a greenhouse.
- To care for the cutting, water well and deeply about an inch below the soil surface. Place the new plant in a location where it can get full sun.
To harvest lavender, cut the entire branch (yes, including the flower and leaves). Don’t worry, you can remove the leaves at any time. Use a sharp cutting tool to harvest lavender. After cutting the branches, allow them to dry for about two weeks. If you want to make a bouquet, bundle these dried branches together.
- If you want the same lavender as the parent, growing from cutting is the way to go.
- Water lavender regularly and consistently. When the soil is dry, do a deep watering.
- Lavender prefers well-drained soil. So make sure to provide good drainage regardless of where you plant it.
- Lavender needs space to grow. Don’t let them overcrowd and give enough space so the airflow is good.
Grow Lavender for Profit: Frequently Asked Questions
If you are learning how to grow lavender from seed, you might as well learn how to make a profit from it. That surely makes growing lavender more rewarding. Below, we listed five most frequently asked questions about growing lavender for profit. See if they have the answers to the questions in your mind.
1. Can I grow it?
You may know how to grow lavender from seed now. But that doesn’t mean you can start the right way. Not everyone has the opportunity to grow lavender. You need to have the right climate for lavender to grow optimally. It is, after all, a Mediterranean plant. In order for lavender to thrive, it needs a similar climate to that of the Mediterranean.
The ideal area to grow lavender is where the summers are sunny and the winters are mild. Lavender requires full sun to grow optimally. It also needs a cold winter so it can produce the best flower heads. If you live in an area where the winters are cold, consider growing English lavender as it is the hardiest.
Note: If you are unsure whether you can grow lavender in your area, contact a local garden center or local agricultural extension.
2. What is the best variety to grow?
Knowing how to grow lavender from seed is one thing. Knowing the best variety to grow is another. This question cannot be answered directly, however. The best variety to grow depends on what you want to do with the lavender. Here are a few examples to put things in perspective:
- If you want lavender for culinary purposes, essential oils, or bouquets, English lavender is the best variety to grow.
- If you want lavender that produces flowers throughout the seasons you can use for fresh cut flowers, French lavender fits you best.
- If you want lavender mostly to make essential oils, then Lavandin is the best variety for you.
3. How much money can I make selling lavender?
Small scale lavender growers with a few dozen lavenders planted can make a few hundred dollars of profit from the flower. Larger scale lavender growers with larger areas to work with can make hundreds of thousands of dollars. Especially if these lavender growers also produce and sell processed lavender products.
If you ask us, knowing how to grow lavender seed goes a long way. It provides you the opportunity to make a profit, even if you are starting small. Indeed, even selling fresh bouquets can be a profitable business. For example, lavender bunches can be sold at $6 each.
If you have a growing area with a size of 20 x 20 feet, you can produce about 300 bunches annually. Assuming the price of a lavender bunch is $6, with that size of a growing area you can get $1,800 by selling lavender bunches. Of course, with a more growing area, you can make more profits.
Having unsold lavender bunches? No problem. Dry them and sold them to florists and crafters. Or, just remove the flower buds from the bunches and use them to make value-added products or sold them. Processed products, like soaps or lotions, can bring a lot more profit as they can be sold 5 times or more than basic ingredients.
4. Where can I sell it?
If you are planning to make a profit from growing lavender, knowing how to grow lavender from seed is a must. So is knowing where to sell your lavender harvests. As a start, you can sell your harvest at the Saturday market. When you are selling directly at the market, you will receive the full price for your harvests.
5. What products can I make with lavender?
A lot. Here are some examples:
- Fresh cut flowers
- Lavender soap
- Lavender bags
- Aromatherapy oil
And so on.
Growing lavender is not that difficult. And now that you know how to grow lavender from seed, it should be a cinch. Lavender doesn’t demand much although you do have to be a bit patient. Once established, only little maintenance is needed. Also, since everyone loves lavender, you can make a profit from growing and selling them.