This herb 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. Along with other herbs in your window garden.
- 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:
- For culinary purposes, essential oils, or bouquets, English lavender is the best variety to grow.
- 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
Lavender Companion Plant
Once you learn how to grow lavender in a pot, you may want to learn about growing some other plants that can grow along with your lavender. It is good since lavender is a great companion plant for the other plants.
There are so many best herbs to grow with your lavender plants. You can also grow lavender along with vegetable plants. Below is the list of best plants to grow with your lavenders.
If you are planning to have a herbs garden, consider planning lavender with oregano and basil. Both herbs will increase the growth and vitality of your lavender plants. Oregano and basil are going to repel many flies species and aphids.
You can also start growing cilantro in pots and the other herbs you desire to complete your herbs garden at home.
Alliums are just like lavenders, they have strong scents that will distract the pests and insects and look after the other herbs and plants from those disturbances. Grow lavenders and alliums together between the other plants you want to save from the harmful insects.
After learning about how to grow lavender in a pot, you can learn how to grow some other drought tolerant plants such as Echinacea. This plant will attract the pollinators that will help your lavender to grow better.
This one’s for you who want to grow lavender plants outdoors, in the garden. Use lavender plants to edge your cauliflower and cabbage. Lavender will repel various harmful insects such as moths that love to leave the eggs underside brassicas’ leaves.
5. Fruit trees
Here is another alternative for you who want to grow lavender plants outside. Since lavender bushes are able to attract bees populations, your fruit trees will appreciate the presence of lavender plants. Lavenders will also help the fruit trees by repelling pests such as codling moth.
How many plants will you grow together? If you plant them in the garden soil you sure can grow as many as you want. But if you grow your herbs garden indoors, make sure the amount of plant is not too much so they won’t lack sunlight that leads to slow growth.
Harvesting & Storing Lavender
Before harvesting lavender flowers you must wait until at least 40 to 50 percent of lavender plants develop the flowered buds.
This usually happens in the middle of spring. If there are bees surrounding your lavender plants, they’re ready to harvest.
- Harvest your lavender flowers only in the morning after the dew evaporated. Harvesting lavenders in the early morning will give you lavender oils in highest concentration which means your lavenders will have great tastes and smells.
- Choose lavender flowers that have a fresh and colorful look. Don’t pick lavender flowers that have a droopy or small look. Those flowers don’t have good taste and smell.
- Gather your lavender around 50 to 100 stalks a bunch. Don’t worry, the hardy stalks allow you to gather them in your hands without tearing them apart.
- Cut your lavender flowers about 5 centimeters or 2 inches above the plants’ woody growth. Use the pruning shears and cut the stalks. Leave the plants with enough stalks so they can grow new flowers for the next harvest time.
After that, it is time to figure out how to store lavender or dry lavenders before storing so you can use them anytime you need. Follow these steps to dry lavenders.
- First way to store your lavenders is by placing lavender bundles inside a vase filled with water. This method is for you who are looking for a short term solution. Water will keep lavender flowers fresh only for a couple days.
- If you are ready to use lavender flowers, you must rinse them by running them under the cool water to remove any pest from the stalks and flowers. Then submerge lavender stalks and flowers in order to remove the pests and dirt.
- Dry your lavender flowers for long term use. Use the food dehydrator to hang them. Or hang them upside down in dark and cool spots at home. You can also dry them by placing them outside on the metal screens under the sun.
- Once your lavenders are completely dried, you must store them inside an airtight container. Plastic containers, glass jars, or plastic bags can be used as long as they have a lid that will keep lavender in fresh condition. Seal up the container to protect your lavenders from the air. Learn how to drying herbs in oven.
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.