FlowersPlants

Lavender what should we know and how to care for it?

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lawenda w ogrodzie
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Lavender is very popular in Polish gardens because of its beautiful appearance and pleasant smell. Dried lavender has many beneficial properties. How to grow lavender in your garden?

A few words about lavender

Lavender is one of the most popular plants in the world. Its beneficial properties are used in herbal medicine, perfume production, food and cosmetics. The origin of this plant is the Mediterranean area, already in antiquity, the Romans and Greeks admired it. It is thermophilic, although it can adapt to the climate prevailing in Poland. Thus, it is perfect as an ornamental plant in the garden or a decorative pot.

lawenda
Photo by passion1000 from: Pixabay.com

Lavender species

There are more than 30 species and 300 varieties of this plant. However, only a few types are used in gardening. The most popular species of lavender grown in Poland are:

English

The most commonly cultivated in Poland due to its frost resistance. It grows up to 50 cm high and blooms in July and August.

>> See also: Herb garden step bystep

French cherry

It is cultivated most often in pots because it does not tolerate frost well. In the Polish climate it reaches 50 cm of height, in the Mediterranean it grows up to 100 cm. The inflorescence of this variety looks like flowering spikes, which are available in colors:

  • white,
  • lilac,
  • purple,
  • bluish,
  • slightly pink.

It blooms in late May and June and in sunny autumn.

Intermediate lavender

Popular in Poland, a cross between English and French lavender. The characteristic feature of this variety are flower heads resembling spikes. Blooms from June to October. It grows up to 100 cm high. It overwinters in the ground but it should be covered for winter.

Narrowleaf lavender

Also called lavender or fragrant lavender, is an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean. It blooms during the holiday season and is a melliferous plant. It grows to a height of 60 to 90 cm.

Cultivation of lavender

Lavender grows best in a sunny and windless position. It needs regular watering, but the soil should not be waterlogged and should have proper drainage, for example from expanded clay. The soil should be alkaline. Lavender does not tolerate acid reaction.

Cultivation and care of lavender in the garden

How to cultivate lavender in a few steps

  1. Lavender can be planted in the ground from early April to early October. The area where the lavender will be planted should be weeded beforehand. The holes for placing the lavender should be deep:
    • up to 45 cm if narrow-leafed lavender is planted;
    • up to 30 cm for other varieties.
  2. A 5-10 cm layer of drainage should be placed in each hole, ideally:
    • expanded clay,
    • gravel,
    • pebbles,
  3. Before planting lavender into the ground it should:
    • shorten to 1/3 height and get rid of dry leaves;
    • soak in a container with water so that the roots soak.
  4. The seedlings should be planted at 40 cm intervals, covering with fresh soil.

Care for garden lavender

Care of perennial lavender consists mainly of repotting the plants to a new location. The safe time for this procedure is early spring or early autumn. The whole root ball should be transplanted into a properly prepared hole. Pruning lavender should be done in early spring or late autumn – after the flowers have flowered.

Cultivation and care of potted lavender

Growing potted lavender step by step

  1. Immediately after purchasing a seedling, transplant it into a deep pot so that it develops a proper root system. Pots should have holes and proper drainage so that excess water is drained away.
  2. The soil in the pot should be neutral or alkaline and rich in calcium and minerals. Universal soil mixed with sand is best for this purpose.
  3. The pots should be placed in a sunny place. If the lavender has been hardened off before, it can be put outside in early spring.

Care for lavender in a pot

Lavender grown in a pot needs regular watering. Be careful not to over water it (it can rot from excess water). It copes well with temporary drought (on hot days it should be watered in the evening). In autumn it should be fertilized with compound fertilizers or compost.

Lavender will look beautiful if it is regularly pruned after flowering. Therefore, in spring remove frozen and damaged shoots.

Lavender applications

Lavender has many medicinal properties:

  • calms the nervous system, relieves stress;
  • stimulates mental activity during fatigue;
  • has a very good effect on the digestive system:
    • stimulates appetite,
    • relieves colic and flatulence,
    • helps with constipation,
  • relieves pain among others:
    • migraines,
    • menstrual,
  • helps treat upper respiratory tract infections.

Other uses of lavender:

  • repels clothes moths;
  • protects wooden furniture;
  • it is useful as a spice in cooking, especially for chicken dishes or as an ingredient in sweet baked goods.
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