Plant of the Week - Lavender

Lavender

Lavenders come in many colors including: varying shades of blue, white, pink, yellow and green.  There are dwarf varieties and varieties that grow to reach 1.5m in height.  Compact growth habit makes it an excellent plant for low informal hedges.  Lavender produces a rich, sweet scent when it blooms in late June to early July.  Lavender predominantly cross pollinates between cultivars and species.  When many types of lavender are grown in one area you may discover a new exceptional plant with shared characteristics.

3 considerations to keep lavender growing at it’s best: 

  • Full Sun.  Lavender grown in the shade will produce sparse blooms. 
  • Light , well drained soil.  Lavender is a drought tolerant plant easily used in Xeriscape landscape.
  • Good air circulation.  Don’t crowd your lavender they like room to breathe.

Companion plants to grow with lavender in your garden include: old fashioned roses, Russian Sage (Perovskia), lavender cotton (santolina), Peonies, hyssop, thyme, rosemary, daises and flax.

Each spring and immediately after your lavender has finished its bloom with the colour fading to grey, take hedge shears and prune the plant into a nice rounded mound.  This will to keep the lavender from getting leggy while encouraging healthy new growth and in the first 3 years of young plant life, you will often see a second bloom in the fall!

You can use the fresh or spent blooms in many applications.  The oil is prized by the perfume and aromatherapy industry.  Use dried buds for sachets, potpourri, dried flower arrangements or delicious lavender lemonade or tea.

Here are 4 hardy varieties Bylands grows for Canadian climates.

Otto Quast French Lavender
A superior selection of French lavender with compact, shrubby growth, narrow blue-grey leaves and short, wide red-violet flower spikes with vivid petal-like bracts from spring to late summer. Very fragrant. Drought tolerant and attracts butterflies.

Hidcote English Lavender
Popular scented perennial herb with narrow silver gray and long stems with clusters of dark purple flowers in summer. Great for borders, edging and in Container. Drought tolerant once established. Attracts butterflies. Use dried flowers in potpourri.

Munstead English Lavender
Compact scented perennial herb with narrow silver gray foliage. Clusters of blue purple flowers in summer. Excellent for borders, edging or in Container. Drought tolerant. Attracts butterflies. Use dried flowers in potpourri.

Jean Davis English Lavender
Attractive scented perennial herb with narrow silver gray and long stems with clusters of pale pink flowers. Great for borders, edging and in Container. Drought tolerant once established. Attracts butterflies. Use dried flowers in potpourri.

Ever tried Lavender in your cooking?  Check out some of these recipies posted by Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm.