Looking After Your Lavenders
In the wild, lavenders seem to turn up in the most inhospitable places. Generally they prefer a rougher existence than we might wish to imagine, and too much “care and attention” will often kill them off.
Unpacking and Preparing your Lavenders
If you have bought our Garden Ready Plugs by mail order then they will need opening as soon as possible after arrival to give them some air - they will have been travelling by post for a few days. Stand the plugs in a tray/saucer of water to give them a good drink. Potted lavenders need little preparation but a good watering before planting will help.
Soil & Site: The correct site is where they will get full sun for most of the day – without this they will tend to get “straggly”. They prefer a neutral to alkaline soil, but the most important thing is that the soil or potting compost is free draining. Lavenders simply will not tolerate their roots being surrounded by a heavy, clay or water-logged growing medium. So if your soil is heavy, dig in plenty of grit to improve the drainage, or plant it on a mound to raise up the root system.
Planting: Dig the hole, fill with water, allow it to drain away, place the plant in the hole and backfill with the soil, perhaps with a handful of bone meal or general purpose fertilizer mixed in to help it along. If planting in pots, we use a mixture of one part horticultural grit to two parts general, multipurpose compost. Also, ensure that the pot has drainage holes. The addition to the pot of some fertiliser (perhaps one of those slow release plugs) each spring will also help the lavender through the season.
Watering: Once planted it is important to ensure that enough water is provided until the plant is established. A good soak once a week should be sufficient. Garden Ready plugs will need monitoring more closely if the weather is hot. Established lavenders in the garden do not need watering (witness ours in our dry, sandy fields) but those in pots need to be watered occasionally to ensure that they do not dry out completely. In the winter, potted and tender lavenders should need only a little water.
Pruning: This really depends on the type of lavender. The hardy angustifolia and intermedia types should be pruned just after flowering. They can be cut quite hard, ensuring that you leave small shoots below where they are cut. These will sprout back to a mound of new foliage (and possibly a second, Autumn flowering) for the winter. Do not prune in the spring as you will cut off bud forming shoots. Stoechas types should be pruned in early summer after the first flowering and dead-headed through the rest of the season. Do not prune these types after September or you will cut off bud forming shoots. The more tender lavenders (dentata, pterostoechas, and allardii) flower almost continuously throughout the year, so dead-head as necessary and prune whenever the plant is actively growing to keep to shape.
While we endeavour to sell plants in good condition, we do not sell our plants with a guarantee. We do not accept any liability for any problems after purchase, though we will listen to any complaint sympathetically and respond according to the circumstances. Any liability is restricted to the purchase value of the plant(s) (excl. Postage). However we very much hope that our plants will thrive under your ownership and give you pleasure for many years to come. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to Contact Us.