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Lavandula is a genus of aromatic evergreen shrubs and subshrubs that naturally occur in dry, exposed, sunny habitats in many parts of the world. Their leaves are usually narrow, toothed or lobed - some silvery-green. Small white, purple or pink tubular flowers (some very intricate) form on dense spikes appear in summer. Many species are well-known to gardeners and hundreds of cultivars have been developed. Some species, e.g. L. angustifolia (English lavender) have long been cultivated as garden herbs for their aroma and essential oils. Lavandula plants are well suited to soil in poor or moderately fertile soil, and are used in sunny borders and rock gardens, or for low growing hedges/edging. Half-hardy varieties need to be planted in a warm, sheltered position. When planted in heavier clay soils, lavenders tend to develop woody bases and are often shorter-lived than those planted in chalky, alkaline soils with good drainage. Lavender is very attractive to pollinators.
Softwood or semi-ripe cuttings from young specimens in early summer. Hardwood cuttings may be taken from new growth following flowering, in late autumn.
Seed may be collected after flowering, wait for the seedheads to dry out. Germination takes up to 3 months, they require warm temperatures (18-21 degrees Celsius) so may be better germinated indoors. Note many cultivars will not come true from seed.
Attracts useful insects
Once estblished, lavender is fairly drought-tolerent.
Sand, Loam, Gravel, Chalk
Soil PH preference
Neutral, Alkaline, Acid
To dry, hang bunches of herbs upside down in a dry ventilated area.
Pink, Purple, White
Lavandula are natural repellents of many pest species but some species may be susceptible to Rosemary beetle, sage and Ligurian leafhoppers. Lavender is prone to ill-health when watered too much, such as root rot and leaf spot. Both can be prevented by letting the lavender bush dry out slightly in between watering. Attack by fungal pathogens is more likely if there is an abundance of water, usually from planting in a poorly draining soil mixture.