Lavender is an extremely versatile herb. It is grown both in northern Africa and in the Mediterranean mountains. While there are hundreds of varieties of lavender out there, they all come with many uses and benefits including the fact that they’re fragrant, aesthetically pleasing and fairly easy to grow and care for.
Likely the most common lavender type is an English lavender called Lavandula Angustifolia, also known as true or common lavender. Tender French and Spanish lavenders are also popular varieties.
Of course, lavender is perhaps most well known for its gorgeous purple color and fresh, floral scent. However, the popular herb carries many culinary uses and medicinal benefits.
Lavender can be used sparingly in exquisite culinary dishes including a variety of baked goods such as scones, cakes and cookies. Lavender can also be used in cocktails, teas or lemonades as it provides an interesting, sophisticated flavor.
Traditionally, lavender has been used medicinally in aromatherapy as its scent is said to promote health and overall well-being. Lavender has been known to treat issues including anxiety, insomnia, headaches, nausea, acne and more.
Keep reading to discover some care tips and more uses for lavender!
Lavender can be grown from either seeds or from cuttings. If using seeds, make sure to plant them on top of sandy soil. Lavender does especially well with chalky or alkaline soils, which have a pH level of 7 or above and contain a good amount of calcium, sodium and magnesium. This Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro mix would be perfect for growing lavender.
Cuttings can be taken from plants right where the leaves join the stem. Cuttings should also be placed in warm, sandy soil.
Whichever way you choose to start growing lavender, you’re going to want to make sure to choose the right container. Once established, lavender is easy to maintain, but it needs a good container and proper growing conditions in order to thrive.
Choosing A Container
While lavender can be grown outdoors in a garden or placed in a landscape, it does really well as a potted plant. Lavender can grow to be anywhere between 12 to 18 inches in height.
An unflowered lavender plant in a small container. Lavender requires full sun and should reach maturity within 90-200 days.
It’s important to choose the right container when planting your lavender. You’re going to want a container that provides good drainage. Lavender needs to be watered regularly, but do not saturate it and make sure to let it dry out between waterings.
If you plan to keep your lavender indoors, make sure to keep a saucer under your container.
You’ll want to make sure your lavender gets eight hours of full sunlight each day which can be tricky, depending on your location and what the weather is like. Lavender loves to be warm and it thrives in the right conditions.
Because lavender loves heat, it will not survive a cold winter outdoors. The good thing about keeping your lavender in a pot is that you can easily move it to more favorable conditions. If you keep your lavender outdoors during warm months, you can move it indoors when temperatures drop.
Since lavender requires at least eight hours of sunlight, keeping it in a container indoors will also allow you to move it around until you find a spot that receives enough sunlight.
Even if you have a hard time making sure your lavender receives 8 hours of sunlight indoors each day, you can still achieve it though a grow light. This LED grow light is perfect for indoor plant use. LEDs produce low levels of heat and use less energy than other light sources. This model comes with timer setting options and has an adjustable design.
There is much that can be done with dried lavender. Wait until you have a good number of flowers which have grown on your lavender buds. Grab a bunch and used a curved, serrated knife to cut where the stems meet the foliage.
Next, tie your bunch toward the bottom with a rubber band. Hang upside down in a warm, dark room with some air circulation to prevent mold from growing. Leave it there for a few weeks until it’s dried.
Dried lavender should keep its heavenly scent for several months. You can store it in ziplock bags or airtight containers.
Lavender can be harvested, dried and stored in an airtight container. There are many uses for dried lavender including decorative, medicinal and culinary.
Lavender can be dried and used as home decor. It would make a lovely additive to a vase or laid across a dainty doily.
Some dried lavender is placed in a vase with other greens for a nice aesthetic.
Dried lavender can be put in small sachets, such as these Lozom Sachet Bags and put under a pillow as the scent is said to help people relax and sleep better. In fact, lavender essential oils are very popular because of their calming scent which helps many people relax and fall asleep easier. You can even make your own lavender oil using this guide.