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Outdoor Plants

How to Grow Lavender

April 10, 2018 3 min read

Lavender is revered for its soothing fragrance, beautiful colour, and low-maintenance qualities. Thinking about adding this sun-loving perennial to your garden? You have come to the right place.

Clouds of aromatic blooms on silvery grey foliage make a statement in any garden design; from contemporary to traditional landscapes, lavender will take your garden to the next level thanks to its architectural shape.

If you have a small patio or balcony, you can enjoy lavender in containers. It’s a good idea to put some small stones at the bottom of the pot to ensure proper drainage.

Lavender Munstead

Where to Plant

Plant in rows to create a charming hedge or along pathways to create an aromatic entrance to your patio or front entrance.

Always follow the plant tag to see how much the variety will spread; there needs to be enough space between plants to allow for proper air circulation.

Lavender needs a minimum of six hours of sunlight for optimal growth.

Once established, lavender is drought tolerant and works very well in xeriscaping.

This perennial prefers soil that has good drainage and dry, sandy soil as opposed to nutrient-dense soil. Clay soil can be tough on lavender; therefore, try planting in a raised bed or container where necessary.

Lavender is low-maintenance, so no need to fertilize or add mulch as this will cause the plant to retain too much moisture in the roots, which can lead to root rot.

While lavender attracts pollinators, it acts as an effective deterrent against deer and rabbit.

Pruning Lavender

After the threat of frost in spring, prune back by one third; pruning will help stimulate vigorous new growth in the centre of the plant. Every cut produces a minimum of two shoots, which helps to thicken the plant, giving it a more attractive form.

Spanish lavender offers a different fragrance and flavour, but will not over-winter and are sold as annuals.

The Best Varieties

Even though lavender is native to the Mediterranean, we have varieties that are hardy enough to survive Canadian winters.  Here are some of our favourites.

‘Big Time Blue’ Lavender
Part of our Fragrant Garden Collection, this variety is rich in nectar; bees and butterflies will love it while you enjoy the fragrant flowers from summer to fall. The blooms are strikingly bigger on this variety compared to others.

‘Superblue’ Lavender 

This compact variety has grey-green foliage with violet-purple flowers. It is part of our Sheridan Garden Classics Bee-nifical Garden Collection and makes a great addition to mass plantings, herb gardens, and rock gardens.

‘Hidcote’ Lavender
A Sheridan Garden Classic, this upright growing perennial has silvery-green foliage with bluish-purple flowers that blossom all summer. It is one of the most aromatic varieties you can plant.

‘Munstead’ Lavender
Munstead has green foliage and blue flowers more vibrant than other varieties of lavender. It has a more extended flowering period so you can enjoy the fragrance and colour through summer and into autumn.

‘Platinum Blonde’ Lavender
Beneath the lavender blooms spikes, this one of a kind lavender has yellow and green variegated foliage.

‘Rosea’ Lavender
There is a pink flowering variety called ‘rosea’ that has green foliage and fragrant light pink blooms, which appear early to late summer.

Enjoy Lavender Every Season

Lavender is more than just a treat in the garden; it can be added to recipes (everything from cookies, to drinks), and even used to create essential oils.

One of the most popular places to hang dried lavender is in the bedroom, as it helps with relaxation, sleep aid, and reducing anxiety.

Take a handful of cuttings when there are a few open blooms (the oil is held inside the buds). Then tie up the stems with an elastic or twine and hang upside down in an area with good air circulation for six to eight weeks.

We also suggest baking these shortbread cookies that have a hint of lavender.