Lavender is without doubt one of the most popular of all hardy shrubs, and why not? Tolerant of drought, heat, poor soils and most pests and diseases, not only does will lavender flower its heart out, it is a fantastic source of nectar for pollinating insects!

However, you can't just plant lavender anywhere and they can easily be killed by too much kindness.

So, just how do you successfully plant lavender?

Lavender is a genus of 39 species of flowering plants that are native to Africa, the Mediterranean, South-West Asia, Arabia, Western Iran and South-East India. And this is important because knowing where lavender comes from will allow you to - at least in part - mimic the conditions that they have evolved to survive.

Lavenders flourish best in dry, well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils in full sun. All lavender species need little or no fertilizer and good air circulation. This is particularly important in areas of high humidity as root rot due to fungus infection can be a problem. Avoid organic mulches as this can trap moisture around the plants' bases, again encouraging root rot. Instead, use pea gravel, decomposed granite, or sand instead.

How to take cuttings of lavender?

Taking cuttings from lavender is surprisingly very easy so long as you take them at the right time of year. Luckily you will get two bites of the cherry regarding this as you can take lavender cuttings either in the spring - just before the plant comes into flower, or in the autumn around august time.

Lavender has been propagated by cuttings for thousands of years so I will keep the technique 'old school' because I know this way works. Using 3 inch terracotta pots, fill with a good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed  and Cutting' or you can make your own by mix approximately 3 parts peat moss with 1 part horticultural grit or vermiculite. The most important thing here is that the compost is well drained. Dampen the mixture then poke a small hole about 1 to 1½ inches deep into the soil  into which you will plant your 'freshly -cut' cuttings.

How to take lavender cuttings

Taking a cutting from a healthy mature lavender plant will not harm it, and besides - it will need to be cut back hard at the end of summer anyway to encourage strong healthy growth in the spring.

Using a sharp, sterilised knife or secateurs, cut a small branch off the lower half of the plant that is about 3-5 inches long. Make sure that the branch is soft and not woody. Strip the bottom half of the cutting of leaves, place in the hole in soil that you prepared earlier then close the hole with soil. There is no need to use rooting hormones on lavender cutting, but no harm will be done if you are addicted to using it.

Water your new plant thoroughly after planting. For the first couple of weeks keep the soil damp, but then water less frequently. At this point water when the soil begins to get dry, but before the plant displays any distress. Too much water will kill your new lavender plant. When attempting to propagate lavender, this is the most common mistake.

After about 6 weeks you can move your new lavender plant to a larger pot or into the ground. If planting lavender in the ground, dig the hole about 1 ft wide and about 8 inches (20 cm) deep. Prepare the soil by mixing sand, peat moss or compost, and your native soil. It's most important that the soil drain very well. Fill the hole far enough with your soil mixture that the plant will be at the proper level when the hole is filled the rest of the way. Before filling add a teaspoon full of bone meal or another slow release fertilizer. After removing the plant from the small pot, pour a small amount of root stimulator on the roots, then cover with soil.

When do you prune back lavender?

When should you cut back your lavender plants? Not sure? Well, get it wrong and you risk leaving your plants a weak and sorry-looking bag of sticks.

Get it right and next year your plants will be vigorous and full of soft, succulent, and healthy growth. Make sure you get it right by pruning your lavender plants back in August.

Why August? Because August is the hottest month of the year - at least is is where I live. And the reason why this is important is because the plant will be naturally dormant during this time, but ready of a second seasons flush of growth during the on-coming autumn.

Of course if you don't live in a European climate and August is not the hottest month of your year then I am sure you will know which one it is for your location and therefore prune back in that month.

How to prune back lavender

You prune English lavender Lavandula angustifolia by cutting it back by two thirds of its overall height, you can even cut into the bare wood, if needed. New shoots will quickly appear at the base of the bush and these will have enough time to grow and harden up before winter comes.

This pruning regime will keep an English lavender plant compact for many years and a well-pruned plant can last for twenty years or more without becoming woody.

You can give English lavender another tidy in April to delay flowering time. This is particularly useful close to roses, because the main flush of lavender follows the June flush of roses.

With less hardy lavender varieties you never cut back hard into the bare wood. Shape them with shears in late August, aiming for a rounded mound of foliage.

Lavender stoechas varieties have a flag-like petals at the top of each thick flower spike and they are often labelled Spanish or French lavenders. They flower in much earlier, often in May, but are much less hardy than most garden lavenders. Give them a very gentle trim after the first flush of flowers has faded, often in late June, but never cut them back hard as this can kill them off.

For related articles click onto;
Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop'
Agapanthus africanus
Agapanthus 'Headbourne Hybrids' seeds
Agave Seeds
All About Peonies
Allium giganteum
Allium giganteum
Aloe vera seeds
Amazing Tree Facts
Aquilegia 'Chocolate Soldier'
Aquilegia 'Chocolate soldier' seeds
Aquilegia 'Firecracker'seeds
Aristolochia chilensis
Banana Plants
Beaumontia grandiflora
Bird of Paradise Flower
Bomarea caldasii
Buy Agapanthus Seed
Buy Agapanthus 'Headbourne Hybrid' seed
Buy Allium giganteum Seed
Buy Echium Seed
Buy Lavender Seed
Buy Giant Ornamental Onion Seed
Buy Venus Fly Trap Seeds
Camellia japonica 'Black Lace'
Camellia japonica 'Desire'
Camellia 'Royalty'
Campsis radicans
Clematis 'Nelly Moser'
Cobaea scandens
Dicksonia antarctica
Dinosaur Plants: The Tree Fern
Dracunculus vulgaris - The Dragon Lily
Echium pininana
Euphorbia pulcherrima - The Poinsettia
Ficus elastica
Fuchsia Cuttings
Fuchsia thalia
Gasteria maculata
Geranium pratense 'Johnson's Blue'
Graebner's Abelia - Abelia graebneriana
Growing Lavender
Hardy Banana Plants
How does a Venus Flytrap Work?
How to Break Dormancy in Seeds
How to Care for the Jade Plant
How to Care for Poinsettias
How to Compost
How to Grow Agapanthus
How to Grow Agapanthus from Seed
How to Grow the Baobab from Seed
How to Grow Beaumontia grandiflora
How to Grow Brugmansia
How to Grow Camellias
How to Grow Campsis radicans
How to Grow Cobaea scandens from Seed
How to Grow Colocasia
How to Grow Crocosmia
How to Grow the Crown Imperial Lily
How to grow Cyclamen from Seed
How to Grow Foxgloves
How to Grow Foxgloves from Seed - By Terence Baker
How to Grow Banana Trees from Seed
How to Grow Bougainvillea?
How to Grow the Calla Lily
How to Grow Daffodils
How to Grow Echium from Seed
How to Grow Gladioli
How to Grow Gladioli from Seed
How to Grow the Guernsey Lily
How to grow Heliconia rostrata
How to Grow Hibiscus
How to Grow Cuttings from Hydrangea
How to Grow Impatiens from Seed?
How to Grow Iris reticulata
How to Grow the Jade Plant
How to Grow the Jade Vine
How to Grow lavendar?
How to Grow Lavender
How to Grow Lavender from Seed
How to Grow Lobelia cardinalis 'Queen Victoria' from Seed
How to Grow Marigolds from Seed
How to Grow Mina lobata - the Spanish Flag
How to Grow Nerine Sarniensis
How to Grow Orchids
How to Grow Pansies from Seed
How to Grow Petunias from Seed
How to Grow Plants
How to Grow Protea
How to Grow Remusatia
How to Grow Rosemary
How to Grow Rosemary from Seed?
How to Grow Roses from Cuttings
How to Grow Rudbekia
How to Grow the Sago Palm from Seed
How to Grow Salvia discolor
How to Grow Schitzostylis
How to Grow the Sea Daffodil
How to Grow Sweet Peas from Seed
How to Grow Thunbergia mysorensis - The Indian Clock vine
How to Grow Tree Ferns
How to Grow the Venus Fly Trap from Seed
How to Grow Wisteria
How to Grow Witch-hazel - Hamamelis
How to Plant Bamboo
How to Propagate Bamboo?
How to Propagate lavender from Cuttings?
How to Prune an Apple Tree
How to Prune Hydrangea
How to Prune Lavender?
How to Prune Raspberries
How to Prune Roses
How to Take Cuttings from Bamboo
How to Take Cuttings from Bougainvillea
How to Take Cuttings from Box Hedging
How to Take Cuttings from Clematis
How to take Cuttings from Fuchsia
How to Take Cuttings from Grape Vines
How to Take Cuttings from Lavender
How to Take Geranium Cuttings
How to Take Honeysuckle Cuttings
How to take Cuttings from Rosemary
How to take Cuttings from Roses
How to Take Hydrangea Cuttings
How to Take Hardwood Cuttings
How to take Lavender Cuttings
Hydnora africana
Is a Lavender a Flower?
Lobelia cardinalis 'Queen Victoria'
Lotus berthelotii
Magnolia x soulangeana
Mexican Orange Blossom  - Choisya ternata
Monkey Tree
Osmanthus yunnanensis
Poisonous Plants
Rafflesia arnoldii
Salvia discolor
Salvia patens
Schlumbergera Species - The Christmas Cacti
Sophora microphylla 'Sun King'
Star Jasmine
Symplocarpus renifolius
Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Rex'
THE AFRICAN TULIP TREE - Spathodea campanulata
The Arum Lily - Zantedeschia aethiopica
The Black Rose
The Bleeding Tooth Fungus
The Blue Agave
The Busy Lizzie
The Calla Lily
The Canna Lily
THE CANNONBALL TREE -  Couroupita guianensis
The Chilean bellflower - lapageria rosea
The Coco de Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
The Devil's Hand Tree -  Chiranthodendron pentadactylon
The Dragon Blood Tree 
The Dragon Lily
The Dragons Skull Seed Pod
The Elephant Ear Plant
THE EVERGREEN CLEMATIS - Clematis armandii
THE FIREWHEEL TREE - Stenocarpus sinuatus
The Foxglove Tree
The Giant Amazon Water Lily
The Giant Horsetail - Equisetum giganteum
The Hardy Begonia - Begonia grandis
THE HEAVEN LOTUS TREE - Gustavia superba
The Jade Vine
The Japanese Anemone
The Marlborough Rock Daisy - Pachystegia insignis
The Maypop - Passiflora incarnata
THE MIMOSA TREE - Acacia dealbata
The Monkey Puzzle Tree - Araucaria araucana
THE ORANGE PEEL CLEMATIS - Clematis tangutica
The Pelican Flower - Aristolochia grandiflora
The Peony
The Persian Lily - Fritillaria persica
THE PIG FACE FRUIT - Solanum mammosum
The Red Jade vine - Mucuna benetii
The Sago Palm
The Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
The Silver Birch - Betula pendula
The Snapdragon - Antirrhinum majus
The Snowdrop
The Swallowtail Butterfly
The Titan Arum
The Tree Fern
The Trumpet Vine
The Turk's Cap Lily - Lilium martagon
THE VAMPIRE ORCHID - Catasetum macrocarpum
The Witch-Hazel - Hamamelis species
The Wollemi Pine
Trachelospermum jasminoides
Verbena bonariensis
Walnut Trees
What is an Agave?
What is Bamboo?
What is a Baobab tree?
What is Composting?
What is an F1 Hybrid?
What is a Jade Plant?
What is Lavender?
What is lavender Oil?
What is Lobelia?
What is a Rainbow Rose?
What is Seed Dormancy?
What is a Walnut?
What is a Yucca?
What is the World's Hardiest Passionflower?
THE WORLD'S UGLIEST FLOWER - Aristolochia cymbifera 'Domingos Martins'
When and how should you prune back Lavender?
When to Plant Lavender?
When to Prune Wisteria?
White Bird of Paradise
WINTER ACONITE - Eranthus hyemalis
Why are my Camellia Flowers going Brown?
Why is my Tree Fern Dead?
based on an article by and
Photo care of and and


Karin / Southern Meadows said...

Thanks for all the tips. I struggle growing lavender but it is one of my favorites.

vince said...

I struggle too..maybe something to do with the latitude. thanks for your tips.