Growing Lavender

Grown outdoors, lavender will prosper for years with little care.

A gardener's advice

1. Good drainage, lean soil, sun, and heat will ensure success with lavender. Be stingy with fertiliser or you'll get leaves at the expense of flowers. Set out new plants in early spring, and clip off spent flowers to prolong the bloom time. Where lavender is not hardy, grow it in pots and bring them indoors for winter. 

2. Cut the plants back by half their size when you bring them inside in late autumn, and keep them cool and dry through winter. Then shift them back outdoors first thing in the spring.

3. Wait until spring to trim back old stems, which shelter the plant's roots and low buds through winter.

4. The best way to propagate lavender is to root 15cm long stem cuttings taken from plants in the late summer. Remove leaves from the lower half of the stems, and dip the cut ends into rooting powder and insert them into damp sand up to half their length. Cuttings root in about 6 weeks.