How To Care For Lavender Plant
Lavender is a beautiful plant that captivates with an elegant, delicate aroma. It has gained wide popularity among gardeners for a very long time. Fluffy lavender bushes, full of bright spikelet inflorescences — a great plant for borders, alpine slides and rockeries .
Of course, to get a luxurious flower bed , you have to try. Lavender requires regular maintenance. The set of activities should include:
- soil loosening;
- elimination of weeds;
- winter preparation.
Lavender is a thermophilic plant. Therefore, it is possible to grow this perennial in open ground far from any climatic zone. In cold climates, bushes should be planted in flowerpots and, at the first hint of a cold snap, promptly transfer them to a warm place. As a pot culture, you can grow any variety of lavender.
Place to land
The key to successful lavender cultivation is the right choice of planting site. Most of all, the plant will like open areas well lit by sunlight. The bushes will take root in the shade, but it will not be possible to achieve abundant and long flowering.
The key to successful lavender cultivation is the right choice of planting site
The roots of the plant are sensitive to high levels of soil moisture. Therefore, it is worth refraining from planting lavender in wetlands and areas where groundwater is too high . If there is no other option, you can try to build a hill and plant bushes on it. Excess moisture near the roots is easily eliminated with a drainage layer.
As a pot culture, you can grow any variety of lavender
Lavender is demanding in terms of acidity and soil structure . Therefore, if in doubt, it is better to play it safe — before planting, add alittle wood ash or lime to the soil . These are effective soil deoxidizers. And to ensure its porous structure, it is enough to regularly apply compost to the bed . It will not only loosen the soil, but also supplement it with nutrients.
Features of planting lavender
Planting lavender is a responsible process. Adult bushes do not tolerate transplanting. If you have to do it, then carefully and only with a voluminous clod of earth. It is better to immediately determine where the bushes grown from seeds, cuttings or layering will be located.
Planting lavender is a responsible process.
The distance between adjacent specimens should be approximately equal to their maximum height. Then the bushes will be lush. And to get a slender border, we reduce this parameter by half. This way you can achieve maximum solidity of the block of plantations.
Lavender borders are gorgeous
Lavender cuttings take root pretty quickly. The planting algorithm is simple: deepen a couple of centimeters into a loose soil mixture, cover with a film and regularly moisten the soil. Rooted cuttings are carefully dug up and transplanted to the chosen place.
Layers are rooted branches of a plant. To obtain planting material, one of the lower shoots should be bent to the side in the spring. Fix the place of contact with the ground level and sprinkle with soil. When a lump of roots forms, carefully cut off the layer with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the cut with crushed coal to protect it from decay processes. Everything — the layering is ready for landing.
Sowing lavender seeds
Lavender is difficult to propagate from seeds. But if it is not possible to purchase an adult plant or twigs, you can try sowing seeds.
Lavender can be propagated by seeds
A very important step is stratification . Lavender seeds need to be kept at low temperatures for some time. Here you can go in two ways: plant them at the end of autumn immediately in the ground or carry out artificial stratification. The first method is only suitable for warm climates. In severe frosts , the seeds may die. Therefore, it is better to opt for the second option.
For artificial stratification, the seeds must be mixed with a small amount of sand, poured into a container, wrapped in polyethylene and refrigerated. Keep them there for at least a month and a half. Better is longer. In this case, seedlings will appear faster. Then you can sow the seeds in boxes (at the end of winter) or in greenhouses outside (at the end of spring).
When sown with seeds, it will take a whole year to bloom. In the first seasons, seedlings will only develop, building up the root system. And only in a year, and maybe even in two, they will please the gardener with pretty spikelets-inflorescences.
Lavender grown from seeds will bloom only for 2-3 years.
Soil treatment near the bushes
Lavender does not like dense soils. Its roots really need good air circulation. In addition, of course, you need to get rid of weed pests near lavender. Therefore, loosening the earth and weeding should become a regular procedure.
You can do it easier — organize a good mulch layer on the lavender bed . As mulch , you can use rotted foliage or decorative multi-colored substrates. But in any case, near the base of the trunk, the soil should remain uncovered. This will keep the plant from rotting.
Lavender must be watered very carefully. Abundant irrigation can lead to root rot and yellowing of the above-ground part of the plant. Drought also has a bad effect on the plant — lavender will not die, but flowering will not be as luxurious as we would like. The ideal watering regime is as the soil dries.
Pruning lavender bushes
This stage of lavender care cannot be called mandatory. But only pruning can achieve the formation of beautiful lush bushes. Therefore, do not give up a useful procedure.
The first pruning should be carried out immediately after the spikelets-inflorescences wither. You need to shorten the shoots by literally a couple of centimeters. At the end of the warm season, more cardinal pruning is carried out. But here, too, do not show excessive enthusiasm. If you shorten all the branches to the level of the lignified part, the bush may die.
As fertilizers for lavender , mineral complexes are excellent, which are sold in all garden and flower shops. They should be applied during the flowering period. Concentration — 2 tbsp. spoons in a bucket of water. The resulting solution needs to spill the soil around the perimeter of the bushes.
Nitrogen fertilizers are responsible for the development of green mass (2 tablespoons per bucket). Therefore, they are indispensable at the beginning of the growing season (growth). But in the second half of the summer it is forbidden to use them. Under the influence of nitrogen, the growing season is significantly extended. As a result, the plant does not have time to prepare for wintering.
The use of fertilizers can be completely abandoned if there is a thick layer of compost mulch under the bushes. Decomposing under the influence of external factors, it will supply the plant with nutrients throughout the season.
Preparing for winter
For lavender bushes that will winter in the open field, you can organize a reliable shelter . True, in warm climate zones, you can do without it — according to experts, lavender will survive the winter well, even if the temperature drops to -25 ° C. If frosts are expected stronger than this mark, insulation is necessary. In addition, it will not be superfluous to play it safe in cases where the winter may turn out to be little snowy.
At the end of the season, lavender bushes are pruned. Branches are laid on top of the bed (best of all from coniferous trees ). But the usual insulation in the form of a layer of foliage is not suitable. Lavender can rot under it.
Some varieties of lavender can winter outdoors.
In general, caring for lavender is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance. Using compost mulch will save you from weeding, loosening and fertilizing. Therefore, the gardener will only have to cut the bushes in a timely manner so that they grow strong and bloom profusely.
Types of lavender
Many associate lavender bushes with a permanent purple color. In fact, shades of different varieties conquer diversity. There are specimens with blue, white, pink and even greenish colors. And that’s just the main palette. And there are even more shades of inflorescences-spikelets. But coloring is not the only difference between different varieties of lavender.
According to the generally accepted classification, two broad groups are distinguished: English and French lavender.
English lavender is the owner of narrow leaves and elongated spikelets-inflorescences. It is worth noting that it is this type that has received the most widespread use. Such varieties winter quietly in the middle lane, without needing to be dug up in late autumn.
French lavender is a more capricious plant. Outwardly, it is similar to the previous species, but its leaves are wider and the inflorescences are shorter. Traditionally used as a pot culture. After all, even slight frosts down to -15 ° C can instantly destroy the plant.