How To Grow Lavender From Seed
Do you want to know how to grow lavender from seed?
If yes, then this article is the best guide you need for growing the lavender plant.
In this article, you will learn how to grow lavender from seed as well as the different types of lavender varieties that you can grow.
Also, you will learn about the conditions necessary for growing lavenders and the 6 simple steps on how to successfully grow lavender from seed.
You will also learn about the health benefits of lavenders alongside the diseases and pests that affect them.
The aim of all of these is so that you have a complete guide on how to grow your own lavender plant at home, in pots, or even in your garden.
Now if you are ready for the full information about growing lavender plants, then continue reading till the end.
A Little Overview of the Lavender Plant
Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, is a flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to the Mediterranean (Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, etc.).
Its common names include lavender, true lavender, English lavender, garden lavender, common lavender, and narrow-leaved lavender.
First domesticated by the Arabians, lavender spread across Europe from Greece.
It is a strongly aromatic shrub growing as high as 1 to 2 meters tall.
The leaves are evergreen, 2–6 cm long, and 4–6 mm broad.
The flowers are pinkish-purple (lavender-colored), produced on spikes 2–8 cm long at the top of slender, leafless stems 10–30 cm long.
Lavender seeds are pretty small, but it’s not hard to see them.
The seeds are black, about half the size of a sesame seed and they have a smooth texture and ovoid or oblong shape.
Varieties Of Lavender Plants That You Can Grow
There are 3 main types of lavenders with different blooming seasons which include Lavandula stoechas, Lavandula angustifolia, and Lavandula intermedia.
1. Lavandula Stoechas
Lavender stoechas is also called Spanish Lavender or Butterfly Lavender.
It is recognizable by the conspicuous sterile bracts resembling extravagant ears, on top of the short dense inflorescence.
Grown for its silvery aromatic leaves and its very distinctive flowers however steal the show with their ears sprouting each flower head.
Flowering typically occurs as early as May with another flush of blooms in June.
After that, another flush of color appears in late summer or fall.
2. Lavandula angustifolia
It is also called True Lavender or Common Lavender.
People have been cultivating it for a long because of its high-quality lavender oil.
Leaves of this variety are narrow, grayish-green with relatively short compact flower spikes.
Flowering typically occurs in June or July and tends to last 3 to 4 weeks.
3. Lavandula intermedia
Also called Lavandin, Lavandula intermedia is a hybrid cross between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia.
This variety is taller with mounds of gray foliage and long loose spikes.
Flowering typically occurs in July and August and tends to last until late summer.
Uses Of Lavender
Here are some of the common uses of the lavender plant.
1. Lavender As A Herbal Medicine
You can use the flowers and leaves as herbal medicine, either in the form of lavender oil or as herbal tea.
They help to alleviate symptoms such as anxiety, and difficulty falling asleep.
The flowers are also useful as a culinary herb.
2. Lavender Oil As A Relaxant
Lavender essential oil, when diluted with a carrier oil, is commonly used as a relaxant with massage therapy.
Products for home use, such as lotions, eye pillows (including lavender flowers or the essential oil itself) and bath oils, etc., are also used it.
Both the petals and the oil are the most popular ingredients in handmade soap.
Dried lavender flowers and lavender essential oil are also used as a prevention against clothing moths, which do not like their scent.
3. Lavender Oil In Cosmetic And Pharmaceutical Industries
Lavender oil is widely used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
It’s useful in the production of perfumes, ointments, creams, and more.
The oil is also used in aromatherapy.
When added to a vaporizer or atomizer lavender oil is used to treat coughs and respiratory infections.
Health Benefits Of Lavender
Here are some of the health benefits of growing lavender in your home.
1. Lavender Could Help Treat Skin Blemishes
A variety of essential oils including lavender are also excellent for dermatology use.
You can apply lavender oil to your skin to treat skin blemishes and ease inflammation.
For those with sensitive skin, dilute the essential oil in water or a carrier oil like Jojoba oil.
The antioxidant activity of lavender may also contribute to wound healing.
2. Lavender May Offer A Natural Remedy For Pain
One study found lavender to be a very effective remedy for pain.
It can function as a pain reliever because the oil contains anti-inflammatory components that you can find in essential oils.
Lavender also contains polysaccharides and these compounds are among the most potent in curing inflammatory diseases, which include arthritis and rheumatism.
Some other research also suggests that lavender aromatherapy can be used to reduce the intensity of pain during labor.
Lavender aromatherapy is simply 2 percent lavender essential oil that is diluted in water.
3. Lavender Can Help Combat Fungus Growth
There are a number of studies highlighting the potential antifungal activity of lavender.
Studies suggest lavender essential oil may be effective in inhibiting the growth of certain types of fungus, such as C. albicans.
The oil could also act as a remedy for treating athletes’ feet and ringworm.
4. Lavender Could Relieve Asthma Symptoms
Because of the anti-inflammatory effects of lavender, it may also improve bronchial asthma.
A study found that lavender essential oil had a positive impact on respiratory health, relieving allergic inflammation and mucus hyperplasia.
5. Reduce Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Chronic high blood pressure puts added stress on the heart, increasing the risk of health complications like stroke and heart attack.
A study published in 2017 in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research found the effects of inhaling lavender essential oil after open-heart surgery.
The report was that it helped to reduce their blood pressure and heart rate, suggesting the oil had a positive effect on their vital signs.
Conditions Necessary For The Growth Of Lavender
Plant lavender seeds indoors 10-12 weeks before your average last frost date.
Ideal indoor temperatures from spring through mid-fall are 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.
During the late fall through winter, temperatures should be between 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.
Lavender plants require bright sunlight for adequate growth and should be positioned accordingly.
The plants will grow best in light to sandy, well-draining soils.
Lavender is native to the hot, dry climate of the Mediterranean and grows in rocky alkaline soils. A sandy loam, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.5 to 8 is ideal.
If the pH is too low, add lime when planting to boost the alkali.
How To Grow A Lavender Plant From Seed
Follow these six simple steps to grow a lavender plant from seed all by yourself.
Step 1: Seed Preparation For Lavender
For indoor sowing, place the seeds in a small container with a moist (not soggy) medium in a sealed bag or container.
You can then place it in the refrigerator for 3–6 weeks.
You should begin to see growth by the 5th to 6th week.
After this procedure, your seeds are ready for planting
Step 2: Soil Preparation For Lavender
The soil mix should be well-draining to avoid overwatering the seeds.
Step 3: Planting Of Lavender Seeds
You can sow your lavender seeds directly in the ground, but they germinate much more reliably when started indoors in a pot.
Use a light, seed-specific potting mix, and gently cover each seed with a thin layer of soil.
Lavender germinates more quickly when it’s exposed to sunlight, so don’t cover them entirely.
Most lavender seeds will germinate in just a couple of weeks, but some can take up to a month if they are lacking in sun or heat.
Step 4: Hardening Of Lavender Seedlings
When the seedlings are a few inches high and have a few sets of leaves, it’s time to harden them.
Hardening is the process of getting seedlings used to outdoor elements.
This increases their likelihood of surviving after being transplanted.
This means taking the seedlings outdoors for short periods.
You can begin in a more sheltered location and then move them into more open areas as time progresses.
After a couple of weeks, your seedlings will likely be ready to transplant.
Step 5: How To Transplant And Care For Fresh Transplants
Transplant your lavender to a location in full sun with well-draining soil.
Lavender is fairly hardy and will tolerate drought and heat, but it doesn’t bloom well in full shade.
Lavender doesn’t need much water overall.
While your transplants are establishing themselves, water them once or twice each week.
After a couple of weeks, your lavender’s roots should be established, and you can reduce watering to once every two to three weeks.
When it begins to produce flowers, increase your watering back to once or twice a week, as plants typically use more water and nutrients when blooming.
Step 6: Pruning Of Your Lavender
Pruning is also important for lavender because it keeps the plant healthy and blooming.
After it blooms, use a pair of sharp, clean garden scissors, shears, or a knife to clip it.
Clip the top third to two-thirds of each stem, just below the lowest leaves.
This often is necessary during the first year of life, especially since some lavender varieties won’t bloom during the first year.
Prune the lavender a second time during fall to keep new growth from becoming woody, as older, woody growth won’t bloom as much.
How To Harvest Lavender
To harvest lavender leaves, snip off the top tips of the plant while the leaves are green, avoiding the tougher woody section found further down the stem.
If you just want a handful here and there for a project, then you can snip them any time during the growing season.
If collecting a larger amount of lavender leaves, soon after the flowers bloom is a good time to do so.
Next, spread the leaves out on a clean dish towel or paper towel and allow them to air dry for several days.
This process of harvesting and drying lavender leaves is super easy to do.
How To Properly Store Lavender
After you the leaves are dry, store them in a brown paper bag, or a glass jar tucked into a dark cabinet.
Diseases Of Lavender And Their Prevention Techniques
Here are some of the diseases that affect lavender plants and how you can easily prevent them.
1. Alfa Mosaic Virus
This is one of the diseases that are quite easy to spot.
The leaves will begin to turn yellow in patches and then curl up into contorted shapes.
This virus can be spread by both insects and your hands.
Therefore it is important to whip out infected plants quickly.
You can use something disposable like a sheet of newspaper to hold the plant.
As with any diseased plant material, the best thing to do is burn it.
If you really have nowhere to make a fire, bag them up tightly and put them in the bin.
Xylella is a bacterial disease that affects hundreds of plants, including trees and shrubs and herbaceous plants such as lavender.
This disease is extremely destructive and the potential for far-reaching damage to lavender growers and lavender gardens is tremendous.
However, you can do your part to prevent the spread by controlling sap-sucking pests, and limiting the growth of weeds and tall grasses.
You can also maintain strong, healthy, disease-resistant lavender plants.
3. Lavender Shab Disease
This is a fungus that kills the stems of the lavender.
The clearest sign of it is when all the shoots wilt suddenly, even though there has been no drought.
Close inspection of the affected plants with a microscope will reveal very small black shapes called pycnidia emerging from the bark.
If you saw them under a powerful microscope, you would see that they are full of spores.
Ensure that you try and burn the affected plants.
3 Tips On How To Grow Lavender Tree From Seed
- You can use grow lights instead of natural sunlight.
- Provide the right amount of water and sunlight
- After transplanting, check your seedlings or young plants regularly to be sure that they are well-established
Lavender is easy to plant and you can even grow them indoors.
This article must have taught you how to grow lavender from seed.
You should now know all about how to grow lavender from seed and the types, uses and health benefits of lavenders.
Also, you should know the conditions necessary for growing lavenders and the 6 steps on how to successfully grow lavender from seed.
If you have any questions, let us know and we will try our best to answer them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How long does it take for lavender seeds to sprout?
They germinate in 14-21 days in warm soil.
- Why are my lavender seeds not growing?
This can happen if the soil is too damp and cool.
It invites fungus to grow, and fungus will destroy your seeds.
- When should I start my lavender seeds?
If you want to directly sow them, you should do that in very early spring, as soon as the ground is workable.
You could also try planting them in your garden in late fall, so they will sprout in the spring.
- Wikipedia – Lavandula angustifolia
- Gardenia – Lavender Varieties
- Happy Sprout – Transplanting Your Lavender