Of all the scores of different lavenders, this one - Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavender Vera, meaning "True Lavender" - is arguably the most popular. A delicate and versatile variety, lavender is especially cherished for its elegant appearance and lovely scent. This lavender is fast-growing, long-blooming, and very hardy. It can even be used to flavor select desserts like sorbet and ice cream!
Where to Plant Lavender Seeds
Lavender should be located in areas of full sun with adequate drainage and spaced far enough apart to ensure good air circulation. This will help reduce the chance of developing root rot.
How to Plant Lavender Seeds
While not required, Lavender seeds can benefit from a special 4 to 8 week treatment called cold moist stratification prior to planting them.
Allow them to reach room temperature while preparing a sowing container for them. Fill a 2” deep nursery tray with a mixture of equal parts washed medium-grit sand and seed-starting compost. Mist this sand mixture until it is saturated, then let the excess water drain off. Create shallow, 1/8” deep furrows across the surface of the sand mixture. Drop the lavender seeds into the furrows, aiming for one seed every inch. Sprinkle a very thin layer of sand over the lavender seeds so they are barely covered but still exposed to the light. Lavender seeds need light to germinate, so be sure not to bury them. Mist the sand heavily to settle it around the seeds. Place your tray or pots where they will receive 8-10 hours of sun exposure daily. Use a cold frame outdoors or a sunny window indoors. Soil should remain 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and as low as 55F at night. Use a sheet of plastic to hold in the warmth and moisture, ensuring that the plastic never touches the soil or seedlings. Leave one side open to allow some moisture to escape. Whenever the sand mixture feels dry on the surface, mist with a water bottle so as not to disturb the seeds. One week after germination transplant your lavender seedlings into individual 4” pots filled with the sandy potting mix. If you started in a large tray, thin your seedlings to one every 2-3 inches. Grow your newly transplanted seedlings in partial sun for one to two months.
How to Harvest Lavender
The best time to cut and harvest the flowers of lavender is the second flowering season. Start off on a dry, sunny day preferably between June to September. Pruning should be ideally done just before the growing season, which is early spring.