Lavender is known for its unmistakable smell and provable healing effects. It is safe to say that its application is universal since it serves not only to improve health but also seasons food and rids household of widespread pests. If you decide to grow lavender, there are no hard challenges in your way. The lavender plant is very easy to grow and it will thrive almost anywhere.
Lavender is a species of the family Lamiaceae and it is described as an evergreen bush with narrow greyish leaves and usually violet flowers. However, you can come across blue, pink or even white lavender (there are 39 species, but in the conditions in the Czech republic, the most grown species is common lavender). It grows 50 to 60 cm tall in average, blossoms from July to August and its usable parts are leaves, blossoming tops and the flowers. Let us now look into how to grow lavender, as the name of this article suggests.
How to Grow Lavender - Basic Principles and Tips
As the article introduction said, lavender is a fairly undemanding plant which will grow anywhere if treated with the very least bit of effort. Let's review the basic rules you'll need to follow in order for the lavender growing to bear the desired fruit, in this case in the form of beautiful flowers.
Lavender likes rather sandy, permeable and neutral or alkaline soil, it is the watering you have to pay attention to. The lavender plant doesn't enjoy overwatering. The growth medium should be light; it is not necessary to supply any special nutrients, and fertilizers can be too limy. You should place the vessel to a dry and sunny spot, as lavenders can deal with drect sunlight - behind a window, to a terrace or balcony, in the garden. The more sunlight the lavender plant gets during the day, the more aromatic will the flowers be. As far as watering is concerned, keep in mind when growing lavender that the plant is very sensitive to overwatering. That is also why you don't have to worry that you will find the lavender plant dried up after returning from your holidays.
Therefore, the old saying that less is sometimes more applies here. If you want the lavender plant to grow as soon as possible, we recommend getting a complete seedling. As soon as the lavender plant fades, it is worthwhile to cut off the old drying stems and inflorescence. On the contrary in the spring (even before the plants starts to vegetate) cut them to 1/3 of their length. This guarantees that the lavender plant will spread out and grow abundant flowers. If the temperature drops more than to -8°C, it is necessary to protect the lavender roots either by planting them into soil or by covering them with straw or small tree branches. The most frequent mistakes when growing lavender are excessive watering (only young plants can manage to take it, but it is not recommended with them either) and unsuitable placement without enough sunlight.
When growing lavender, propagation is also important
If you wish to extend your lavender plants, you can do so either by cutting or by planting. The process of successful propagation of lavender plants by cutting is as follows. Approximately in the middle of spring or in summer, it is necessary to cut off whole branches. Then you use those branches to make cuttings approx. 7-10 cm long. Take the cuttings and put them 1 cm deep into a powder root stimulator and plant them 4-5 cm deep (in bundles of 3 to 5 cuttings) into a special growth medium designed for planting or vegetative propagation. These cuttings should be ideally placed into a hotbed; if you don't have one, you may just cover the cuttings with a translucent foil. Do not forget to keep the medium wet. Similarly, you may also cut leaves taken from yearlings at the beginning of spring. Roots should occur within 3 to 4 weeks.
How to collect and store lavender
Someone decides to grow lavender only because they have a garden or a house they want to scent; if you want to store lavender for various purposes, pay close attention to how you collect and store it. Collect lavender when the weather is dry and lavender plants are in bloom.
However, buds must not be too developed. Lavender can also be stored dried. Ventilated and dark rooms serve this purpose best. If you don't have the time, you can help your cause by fast drying; however, be careful not to expose lavender to temperatures higher than 40°C. 0 °C. The perfect solution is to hang the cut bundles flowers down; you can also spread them on newspaper paper on a table The dried plants are then placed into cloth or paper bags or boxes. Flowers can be stored as ordinary tea, i.e. in cans, wooden boxes, etc.
Lavender and Its Healing Effects
Apart from its scent, lavender plant is also attractive because of its healing effects. Let's remind the most important ones. Growing lavender can prove very healthy in the long run. Lavender is used therapeutically mainly because of its beneficial essential oils. These help heal infected wounds, inflammations and sores when applied externally (lavender oil). Furthermore, lavender also soothes the pain in areas suffering from rheumatism, neuritis or migraine. (Are you interested in the topic of migraine more? You don't know how to fight it? Read this article on headaches.) You can relieve your asthma and cough by inhaling lavender extract. You can also add lavender into your bath water. It will support your circulation. The most widespread use of lavender is drinking lavender tea. The lavender tea has proven to be a soothing agent against headaches and fits of nerves. That makes it a great warrior against stress. Gargling lavender tea will help rid your oral cavity of aphthae and similar problems. Lavender tea is also slightly laxative and has beneficial influence on liver, gall bladder and on the digestive system as a whole.
- Tip: lavender tea to soothe your nerves
If your lavender growing becomes successful, you will surely take a liking to the aforementioned tea which will soothe your nerves and harmonize your mind, for example after a gruelling day or demanding performance. Here is a set of instructions on how to make it. You are going to need approximately 10 fresh or dried flowers (to make a cup of 250-300 ml). Pour boiling water over them, then cover the vessel and let it rest for 10 minutes. After that, strain the tea and add some honey which also has amazing powers uncovered in this article which will also help you recognize quality honey. Sip the tea and enjoy every drop. Perceive the wonderful smell of the tea and let it permeate your entire body.
Growing lavender is fairly simple and it should not challenge more experienced gardeners at all. So stick to the principles stated here and you don't have to worry that your efforts will not be rewarded by the amazing lavender smell. We shall conclude with one warning: lavender teas and extracts are not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women nor for small children.
Do you grow lavender in your home? Has something about growing lavender surprised you? How do you use lavender? Tell us in the comment section below the article.