Lavender Plant Care
Fragrant lavender is not a traditional houseplant, but many growers have successfully grown it indoors.
The genus of culture has more than 40 species, but two types of plants adapt best to home conditions — narrow-leaved and French, but the French species is considered less demanding.
The main problem in caring for indoor lavender is the lack of light and fresh air, so most plants show poor growth and no flowering.
If in open ground the culture can survive in partial shade and poor watering, then at home lavender requires more careful care, as close as possible to natural growing conditions.
The subtleties of growing lavender in a pot
The culture comes from the Mediterranean, which means it requires an abundance of sun and warmth.
The best exposure in the house is the east and southwest windows, but from autumn to mid-spring it is advisable to move the pot to the south side, since in winter the plant needs additional lighting, which can be used as standard fluorescent lamps.
Your green pet should receive at least 6 hours of light. With a lack of lighting, flowering is scarce or absent, and the aroma of flowers and leaves is very weak.
From mid-April, it is recommended to put the pot on a balcony or terrace. However, accustom the flower to the open air gradually, bringing the plant into the house for the night at first.
The culture is very fond of good air circulation, so throughout the year try to ventilate the room, but when opening a window in winter, remove the lavender from the room for a while.
In summer, the plant is not demanding on temperature, and in the winter period of rest, provide a fragrant beauty with a lower temperature regime of 15-17 ̊С.
How to water
Caring for lavender at home is proper watering. In warm weather during the growing season and flowering (from May to September), they are watered with soft water 2-3 times a week as the topsoil dries out, less often in winter — about once every 7-10 days, but only if the room is cool.
The plant tolerates a lack of water better than its excess, which leads to the development of root rot and yellowing of the shoots.
If the pot is located near heaters, it is recommended to place a container filled with water and small pebbles nearby.
Transplant and top dressing
When transplanting lavender, which is carried out in early spring, be sure to lay a high drainage layer of expanded clay or fine gravel on the bottom of the pot. The pot itself is better to choose terracotta and 2-3 cm more than the root ball of the bush.
The Mediterranean culture is sensitive to the level of soil acidity and its composition. Therefore, it is necessary to add a little lime (1-2 tsp) or wood ash, peat and sand to the universal flower soil.
The plant responds well to potassium supplements, for example, eggshells, which are crushed and added to the soil when planting lavender, serve as a good natural fertilizer. Nitrogen top dressing stimulates the growth of green mass, but negatively affects flowering.
Liquid complex fertilizer is fed once every two weeks from mid-spring to late summer.
Caring for lavender at home also includes annual pruning of shoots. The procedure helps to rejuvenate the plant and form a beautiful lush bush.
The first small pruning of the tops is carried out at the end of flowering, and before the dormant period at the end of autumn, the shoots are shortened by one third, and the bush is also thinned out a little, leaving a few green stems.
The procedure stimulates the growth of new young shoots. The life span of lavender at home is the same as in the open field — 6 years.
Growing lavender from seeds at home
If in open ground some types of crops give good self-seeding, then growing lavender from seeds in the house is a more laborious process. November is the best time to plant lavender seeds.
Before sowing, the seeds must be stratified at low temperatures in order to artificially stimulate their germination.
To do this, seeds deepened by 2-3 mm into the sand-peat mixture are placed in a refrigerator and kept at a temperature of 2-5 ° C for a month. Then the container is taken out and placed in a well-lit place and covered with a film.
The cover is periodically removed for 5 minutes and moderate soil moisture is maintained. The optimum temperature for germination is in the range of 16-20 ̊С.
The first shoots appear after 3 weeks. Slightly grown seedlings are transplanted into separate pots.