In the wild, lavenders seem to turn up in the most unusual places. Generally, they prefer a rougher existence than we might first think. In fact, too much watering, care and attention will often kill them off.
Preparing your lavenders
If you’ve bought our Garden Ready Plugs, they will need to be opened as soon as you get them home to give them some air. If you ordered them online, they will have been in the post for a few days. Stand the plugs in a tray or saucer or water to give them a good drink. Potted lavenders need little preparation but a good watering before planting will help.
Finding the right place
The perfect place for your lavenders is where they will get full sun for the majority of the day. Without sun, they tend to get a little straggly. They prefer a neutral to alkaline soil, but the most important thing is that the soil or potting compost is free-draining. Lavenders won’t tolerate their roots being surrounded by a heavy clay or water-logged soil. If your soil is heavy, dig in plenty of grit to improve the drainage, or plant your lavender on a mound to raise up the root system.
Dig the hole, fill it with water, but then allow the water to fully drain away. Place the plant in the drained hole and backfill with the soil. You can add in some general-purpose fertiliser at this point to help your lavender along. If you’re planting in pots, we advise using a mixture of one part horticultural grit to two parts general, multipurpose compost. Also, ensure that the pot has drainage holes. If you can add a small amount of fertiliser to the pot every spring, this will help your lavender bloom through the season.
Once your lavender has been planted, it’s important 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 don’t dry out completely. In the winter, potted and tender lavenders should need only a little water every now and again.
This depends on the type of lavender. The hardy angustifolia and intermedia varieties should be pruned just after flowering. They can be quite hard to cut but ensure that you leave small shoots below where you’re cutting. Don’t 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. Don’t 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 you feel is necessary and prune whenever the plant is actively growing to keep it in 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.