When is the best time to plant Lavender?
Lavender, otherwise known as Lavandula, have long spikes of purple blue flowers which provide colour and fragrance throughout summer and return every year. Soto’s Lavender provides interest throughout the year from its foliage and is classified as an evergreen. It is an English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) which is a more hardy Lavender than French and Spanish Lavenders. The violet of the Lavender flowers mean it is loved by pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies, adding to the list of why Soto is so fond of this plant.
The key features of Lavender and why it is in the Soto edit
A Lavender plant reminds the Soto team of summer holidays in Europe every time we walk past the aromatic foliage. The plant originated from warmer climates, so for it to thrive, place Lavender in the direct sunlight in moderately fertile soil or low-quality soil. Unsure of your soil type? Discover your soil type in our Masterclass. You can feed Lavender twice a year in early spring with compost and in May with a liquid feed.
Lavender can tolerate most soil types, just make sure the soil is well drained as the roots of Lavender don't like to be soggy. Pet owners should be cautious, Lavender is a shrub that contains linalool which can be toxic to cats and dogs if ingested.
Why planting in early spring is recommended.
The best time of year to plant Lavender is in early spring, ideally April, when the soil starts to become warm. This is unlike many other plants which we suggest planting in the autumn. Lavender prefers dry soil, and the cold and wet conditions of winter months would leave the plant vulnerable. The flowering season for Lavender is through spring and summer, so planting in the early spring gives the plant plenty of time to settle.
Soto loves to grow Lavender along pathways in front gardens, in pots on patios and balconies and at the front of raised beds or borders. Lavender is the star of the show in the Soto House Sunny Windowsill collection, adding rich purple colour to small spaces in the bright light. For tips on how to plant a Lavender in a pot, follow the Masterclass on How to Pot a Plant.
The best conditions for Lavender plants.
Lavender is a hardy plant that will flourish in a garden if planted in the right conditions and a few simple tasks are carried out throughout the year. In this section we highlight some simple steps to help your Lavender thrive.
Avoid planting Lavender in wet & heavy soil, Lavender roots prefer soil to be dry or well drained. The best way to do this is to prepare pots and borders correctly for planting by adding grit to the soil and understanding how to optimise it. We love a Lavender plant in a terracotta pot! Read the What soil type do I have guide for a detailed explanation on how to improve the soil in your garden and make it more hospitable to Lavender.
Other than waterlogged roots, the other pitfall to avoid is not enough sunlight. Lavender has best success when in full sun or south facing gardens. To work out if your garden is suitable for Lavender, follow the guide on Understanding your gardens aspect.
If you are about to start planting your flower bed or preparing to receive your plants, the How to plant a garden border guide has instructions for creating the best conditions for planting.
How to care for lavender
Now you have your lavender planted in a windowsill trough or border, there are a few simple steps to help your Lavender plants thrive.
In the late summer or once finished flowering, cut the flower heads back to the wood stem or at least 1/3 of the new seasons growth. Lavender flowers can be pruned or deadheaded to encourage new blooms throughout the spring and summer.
Often lavender can get woody stems, this is because the plant is getting older, this can often happen from 4-6 years after planting. To prolong this period, be sure not to over water in the summer months and let the plant dry out. Pruning Lavender into tighter mounds in late summer will also help this.
Young or newly planted Lavender needs a little and often approach to watering but once established Lavender is drought tolerant until its flower buds have formed. Plants in pots tend to dry out more easily, watch our guide on watering - when, how and what to avoid for a detailed explanation.