Lavender is a herb with fragrant, delicate purple flowers. It is a popular garden plant, cultivated for its ornamental value, as well as for its culinary and medicinal properties. Lavender is widely used in aromatherapy, as its essential oils have a calming effect on the mind and body. It is also used in teas, oils, and other natural remedies to soothe headaches, aid digestion, and promote relaxation. Lavender is relatively easy to grow and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It is a perennial plant that can live for many years with proper care.
How to Grow Lavender Organically
- Select a planting site: Lavender requires full sun and well-drained soil. Choose a location with good air circulation to help prevent fungal diseases.
- Prepare the soil: Lavender prefers alkaline soil with a pH of 7.0 to 8.0. If your soil is acidic, add dolomitic limestone or wood ashes to raise the pH. Mix in some sand or gravel to improve soil drainage.
- Plant the lavender: Lavender can be grown from seeds or cuttings. If you are planting seeds, sow them indoors in the spring and transplant them outside after the last frost. If you are planting cuttings, take them in the summer from the new growth and root them in a well-drained potting mix before transplanting them outside in the fall. Space the plants 18 to 24 inches apart.
- Water the plants: Lavender prefers dry soil and does not like to be overwatered. Water the plants deeply once a week, depending on the weather. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
- Fertilize the plants: Lavender does not require much fertilizer, but you can fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, once or twice a year.
- Prune the plants: Lavender should be pruned back in the spring to remove any dead wood and promote new growth. Prune lightly after each bloom to keep the plant bushy and to encourage more blooms.
- Harvest the lavender: Harvest the lavender flowers just as they begin to open in the summer. Cut the stems just above the foliage and hang them upside down in a warm, dry, dark place to dry.
Lavender is a fragrant and beautiful plant that can be used for many purposes, such as culinary, medicinal, and aromatherapy. With these steps, you can grow your own lavender and enjoy its beauty and benefits.