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Lavender is one of the most widely cultivated plants. They have a long flowering period and are tough and easy, making them a best seller. With the ‘Mediterranean’ look being so popular they will no doubt remain a favourite for some time to come.

 

Most lavender used in the home garden belongs to one of two groups: the stoechas species known as Mediterranean lavenders or the angustifolia species, known as English or Spica lavenders. There are a few lavenders that belong to neither group such as pinnata, pedunculata and dentata or French lavender. English lavenders are best for small border edges, stoechas for medium sized hedge and the dentata for a tall hedge or background.

 

Palmers handy tip: Lavenders are ideal in containers, for the flower border or used for a hedge. Lavenders also look stunning as standards for a more formal look.

 

Planting

Lavender is very easy to grow when given the conditions it enjoys. Lavender prefers full sunlight – so plant where it will receive light for the majority of the day. Lavenders do not tolerate waterlogged environments; they need a well-drained site to develop into healthy plants. Restrict watering your lavender plants to the hot summer months. Sand can be added to improve drainage or planting on a mound will help. Alternatively plant in containers and position around the garden or deck. Lavenders can be planted at any time, as long as the roots are kept moist while the plant is establishing.

 

Palmers handy tip: Bees love lavender flowers and when visiting they will also pollinate other plants in your garden. The best thing you can do to help save the kiwi bees is to plant more lavender!

 

Pruning

To ensure that plants are kept bushy and to promote flowering, it is essential to prune lavenders regularly. It also prevents the plant becoming ‘woody’. Lavenders are best trimmed and pruned after flowering has finished, with a main annual cut back in summer so that new growth has time to harden off before winter. Remove the spent lower spikes and trim to shape. Prune back by a third as soon as they finish flowering to encourage new growth.

 

Fertilising

Place a slow release fertiliser in the hole when initially planting the lavender. Feed with an all-purpose fertiliser in early spring and again in late summer.

 

Pests and diseases

Lavender suffers from few pests or diseases although root-rot is a common health problem. This can be prevented by improving the drainage situation.

The Spittle Bug is one of the few insects that take to the lavender plant. It is often found in early summer and although the foamy spots look unsightly, they cause no real damage. The Spittle Bug can be hosed off with a strong stream from a hose or even removed by hand.

The Garden Weevil chews at the stems of the mature heads of the lavender, resulting in the heads becoming withered. The Garden Weevil is extremely difficult to manage organically and therefore a contact pesticide is suggested, however pyrethrum oil may reduce the effects.

Variety Approx. height Approx. spread Colour Flowering period Type
Lavendula angustifolia 1m 1m Purple/blue Spring to summer English
Lavendula ang. munstead 40-60cm 40-60cm Purple/blue Spring to summer English
Lavendula ang. hidcote 30-40cm 30-40cm Dark purple Spring to summer English
Lavendula ang. rosea 70-80cm 70-80cm Pale pink Spring to summer English
Lavendula ang. lavender lady 25-35cm 25-35cm Lavender blue Spring to summer English
Lavendula ang. foveaux storm 40-60cm 40-60cm Rich velvet purple Spring to summer English
Lavendula dentata 1.2m 1.2m Lavender mauve All year French
Lavendula dentata monet 60cm 60cm Lavender blue All year French
Lavendula stoechas 50-80cm 80-100cm Purple Spring to mid summer Mediteranean
Lavendula stoechas avonview 50cm 60cm Deep violet purple Spring to mid summer Mediteranean
Lavendula stoechas butterfly 60cm 60cm Lilac Spring to mid summer Mediteranean
Lavendula stoechas helmsdale 60cm 60cm Dark plum/purple Spring to mid summer Mediteranean
Lavendula stoechas major 60cm 60cm Deep purple Spring to mid summer Mediteranean
Lavendula stoechas marshwood 50cm 50cm Pale purple Spring to mid summer Mediteranean
Lavendula pendunculata 60-80cm 80-100cm Light purple Spring to mid summer Mediteranean
Lavendula pendunculata pippa 80cm 80cm Purple Spring to mid summer Mediteranean
Lavendula pendunculata pukehou 1m 1m Vibrant purple Spring to mid summer New Zealand
Lavendula pinnata sidonie 1.2m 1.2m Vivid violet blue All year
Lavendula with love 70-80cm 70-80cm Clear pink All year New Zealand
Lavendula ruffles series 50-70cm 50-70cm Various colours Spring to summer Australian
Lavendula winter lace series 80-100cm 80-100cm Various colours Winter to summer Mediteranean
Lavendula the princess 70-80cm 70-80cm Vivid deep pink Spring to summer Australian
Lavendula leigh series various various Various colours Spring to summer New Zealand

This ‘How To’ Guide has been produced to provide basic information and our experienced staff are available to answer any questions that you may have. Because this guide is of a general nature, neither Palmers nor its staff are responsible for the application of the information, as the contents may need to be modified for individual projects and site applications.

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