Lavender has been one of the most popular herbs for many centuries. Lavender flowers are beautiful, fragrant, and comes in a variety of colors including white, pink, violet, blue and all shades of purple.
Most gardeners usually propagate Lavender from cuttings since growing lavender from seed is a fairly slow process. Lavender seeds are slow to germinate and it may take as long as six months to generate a plant large enough for outdoor planting.
However, if you are not rush to get your flower garden started, growing Lavender from seed can be a rewarding and fun way to add this fragrant herb to your garden. Additionally, this method is often less costly than buying cuttings and can eventually produce plants that are just as beautiful. In this article, you will learn some tips for growing Lavender garden from seed.
Growing Lavender from seed
Choose your seeds
When it comes to choosing lavender seeds for your garden, there are two important things you need to consider: your climate and what you will be using your plant.
There are two main types of Lavender:
English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
These hardy plants perform well for northern, which grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10.
These lavender plants are typically fragrant and are the first choice for culinary gardeners. So if you plan on using it for culinary purposes, such as in tea or cooking, you will want to choose this type of lavender, also known as true lavender.
French Lavender (Lavandula dentata)
These plants are known as annuals but are perennials in USDA zones 8 and above.
French lavenders are ornamental plants known for their toothed leaves, needle-like and their fragrance is lighter than the perfumy English varieties. If you’re growing for visual and fragrant interest for your garden, you will want to get French Lavender.
These lavenders prefer full sun and gritty soil. They can be planted in fast-draining containers, rock gardens and they will add a good dose of beauty when lining walkway and entry paths.
Preparing the soil
If this is your first time growing lavender, I recommend starting with pre-made seed starting mix. You can also make your own seed starting mix from equal parts vermiculite, perlite, and peat moss with a quarter-teaspoon of powdered lime added in for every gallon of peat you use. Your seed starting mix should be a light potting mix that drains well.
Pre-moisten your mix to make sure your seeds don’t fall too deep into the soil and to give them the best chance of germinating. Add water to your seed potting mix, stirring and lifting your soil with a trowel until it is thoroughly mixed with the water. The soil should be moist to the touch but not too much wet.
Note: Only use organic potting soil if you plan on growing lavender for culinary purposes.
Preparing your containers
You can start your seeds in just about anything as long as it has a drainage hole in the bottom for proper drainage. You may want to use a seed starting tray or a wide, shallow container without divisions.
Fill your containers with seed starting mix
Fill your containers with the moist soil. Press the soil into your seed starting container firmly with your thumb, then fill the container once again.
Sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil and use your thumb to push them into the soil slightly. Then cover the seeds with no more than a quarter inch of seed starting mix since they are so tiny. And that’s enough to protect the seeds and also let the seeds access to sunlight in order to germinate.
You also want to plant more than you will need to allow for a few fatalities. Also, ensure that you will have a few choices if undesirable flower colors may be produced.
Place your seed containers in a sunny window or under a grow light. A heat tray is also a great location for your seeds as they require 70 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate.
When growing seeds watch them carefully, always keep the soil slightly moist until established. Your seeds should be sprouted within 4 weeks.
When your lavenders have several sets of “true leaves”, you can make the first transplant. If you’ve used a seed starting tray, you can transplant your seedlings to small flower pots.
Once they reach the adequate size ( a height of 3 inches), you will need to acclimate them to outdoor growing conditions by putting them outdoors for a few hours each day in the partial shade and gradually increase the time. This process will take about two weeks, just long enough for your plants to have time to adapt to outdoor conditions.
Once your lavender plants settle in the ground they will grow slowly the first year, but by year two, expect to have large and blooming lavender.
Growing a garden of plentiful, fragrant lavender is not difficult, but it does require time, a little patience and care. Take a special care to give your lavender seedlings a good start, they will reward you with beautiful and fragrant flowers for many seasons to come.