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Growing lavender in pots is a great way to grow and cultivate lavender allowing you the option of growing indoors. Indeed, Lavender is one of the most popular flowers for both indoor and outdoor use. There are hundreds of different species of lavender that grow easily in pots.
However, it’s hard to know what type of plant will thrive best when housed in pot, particularly if you are intending to leave the pots outside. Factors such as climate pot type and size can be important in giving your lavender the best chance of thriving.
That’s why we’ll be covering everything from choosing species to caring for new plants when they are grown from seed or growing them from cuttings. We will look at covering all the most important aspects of annual care, like harvesting and pruning, when growing lavender in pots.
What are the best species of lavender for growing in pots?
Lavender is native to the Mediterranean and is a member of the mint family. There are many different varieties to choose from, depending on your climate and regional conditions.
When it comes to growing lavender in pots, there are many different species to choose from. So, which one is the best for your needs? Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular options to help you make your decision.
English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
If you’re looking for a lavender that’s easy to grow and care for, English lavender is a great choice. It’s a versatile plant that can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a fragrant addition to your garden, or as a dried herb for culinary use. English lavender is also one of the most popular choices for making lavender oil.
To grow well it requires well-drained soil and can handle shady conditions, so it’s best suited to growing in containers. It has a long flowering period and produces purple flowers that can last for several weeks at a time.
It’s a hardy plant that in addition to being able to grow better in the shade than other varieties can also tolerate temperatures down to below freezing. When choosing to plant in a pot it has an expansive root structure so ensure you use one of at least 12′ wide so that it has room to spread its roots.
French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas)
French lavender is another popular option for growing in pots. It’s a beautiful plant with purple flowers that have a strong, sweet fragrance. French lavender is also a good choice for making lavender oil.
Spanish Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
Spanish lavender is a good choice if you’re looking for a lavender that’s a bit more tolerant of heat and humidity. It’s a beautiful plant with blue-violet flowers that have a sweet, floral fragrance. Spanish lavender is also a good choice for making lavender oil.
Phenomenal Lavender (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Phenomenal’)
Phenomenal lavender is a hybrid lavender that’s a cross between English and French lavender. It’s a beautiful plant with violet-blue flowers that have a sweet, floral fragrance. Phenomenal lavender is also a good choice for making lavender oil.
As you can see, there are a number of different species of lavender that are well-suited for growing in pots. So, which one is the best for your needs? It really depends on what you’re looking for in a lavender plant. If you’re looking for a plant that’s easy to grow and care for, English lavender is a great choice. If you’re looking for a plant that’s tolerant of heat and humidity, Spanish lavender is a good choice. And if you’re looking for a plant that’s a good choice for making lavender oil, Phenomenal lavender is a great option.
How to grow lavender from seed in a pot
Lavender is a great plant for pots, and you don’t need to rush the process. It’s not like you can just plant it in the ground and expect it to grow like crazy. Lavenders thrive in warm weather, but they also need some protection from cold nights.
The best way to start growing lavender from seed is with a tray of soil that’s been soaked overnight, then sprinkled with a handful of seeds. After planting them in this tray, cover the top with plastic wrap or a plastic bag to keep out pests.
It will take about four weeks for them to sprout. When they do, it is time to pot them. You will need a pot that is between 5 and 8 inches high and 5 inches wide in order to provide them with enough growing room. Gently remove the seedlings from the tray and transplant them into individual pots or planters with fresh soil.
How to Grow Lavender from Cuttings in A Pot
Planting new plants: When you want to start new plants from cuttings or rootstock (also called balled-and-burlapped stock), be sure that you select healthy shoots with at least two leaves on each stem.
Make sure that all cuttings are at least 2 inches in length so that they will develop roots before transplanting into their permanent planting location.
A pot that is 5-8 inches in height and at least 5 inches wide will provide your plants with enough space. Remove all but the top leaves from each cutting and place them in a container with fresh, sterile potting soil. Be sure that the soil is moist but not wet.
You should also ensure that the pot has drainage holes in the bottom so that excess water can drain away. Place the cuttings in a warm, well-lit place. The cuttings should be kept at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer for optimal growth. If you do not have a greenhouse, placing them near a sunny window will work as well.
How to care for lavender in pots.
Generally, lavender doesn’t need much care. It is native to Mediterranean regions that were used to dryer conditions with poor soil nutrition
Watering Needs of Your Potted Lavender
Lavender is a drought-tolerant plant that requires little watering. The best way to water your lavender is by soaking the soil at least once a week or when it feels dry and hard. If your plants are getting too much sun, they will need more frequent watering than those in shadier spots .
The best time to water is in the morning, when plants are most likely to absorb water. Lavender needs good drainage. If the soil is too porous, it will not hold enough moisture for your lavender plant.
Because lavenders thrive in sandy soils with low nutrient content, they do not require additional feeding or fertilizing.
Over-fertilizing your lavender plant will increase the length of their stems, and reduce the size of its flowers, often diminishing their aroma and making them less attractive.
Temperature and Humidity
Lavender plants grow best in a warm, dry climate with high humidity. As such Lavender is a plant that thrives in indoor conditions so long as there is adequate sunlight, good drainage and a gentle temperature. It can be grown outdoors in regions with cold winters, but it also does well indoors. The ideal temperature for lavender is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (16-27 degrees Celsius).
This plant prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. In areas where there are no direct rays of sunlight, you can position the plant in a window or under an artificial light source such as a fluorescent tube or incandescent bulb.
Growing Lavender in Pots Outside
If you are growing your lavender in pots outside then the choice of lavender before is more important, particularly if you are going to overwinter the lavender outside. It is important to choose a variety that is suitable to your natural climate conditons.
As we have mentioned varieties such as English lavender are by far the hardiest species. French and Spanish lavender are far less hardy, struggling if the temperature approaches freezing.
The best alternative to English Lavender in colder climates is the Phenomenal French hybrid. It is better suited to surviving winter outside than other French or Spanish lavender species.
If you have French or Spanish lavender in pots outside and you experience unexpected cold snaps then you should look to insulate the plants if the temperature falls close to freezing or you suffer unexpected frosts.
The care for your lavender otherwise is the same as your practice for indoor lavender plants. Plenty of sunlight and avoid over watering.
What are the best types of pots for growing lavender in?
There are a number of factors you should consider when choosing the right type of bot for your lavender plants. The two most important are size and shape.
Best Pot Material for Growing Lavender in Pots
There are of course numerous types of pots made of anything from plastic to terracotta, glass to metal, and synthetic materials to natural materials. Whilst lavender will survive in pretty much any some materials suit it better than others.
The best types of pots for growing lavender in are the ones that are made from clay. Clay pots are porous and allow water to drain out more easily, so they allow your lavender plants to be watered more frequently than other pot types. Their porous nature allows air to move through them more easily and helps prevent root rot
Clay pots also retain heat better than other types of pots, which is beneficial for growing warm-climate plants such as lavender. If you don’t have access to clay pots, plastic or terracotta pots will also work well for growing lavender.
Best Size of Pot to Grow Lavender
The size of the pot that you use to grow your lavender plant is also important. Whilst the varieties will play an important part lavender has an extensive root ball.
The best size of pot to grow lavender in terms of root ball size is at least 4-inch diameter. This size allows for a good amount of root development and for the top to be lifted so that it can be pruned and shaped.
The smaller the pot is, the more likely it will be that the plant will need to be bottom trimmed because there isn’t enough root mass to support itself. The larger the pot, the more room there is for roots to grow and spread out away from the center point of the plant.
As the plant matures you may well need to repot it into a larger container. For mature plants particularly English lavender then pots of between 8 to 12 inches are more suitable.
The size of pot in which you grow lavender can affect the soil nutrients and moisture that is available. Although not overly requiring too much of either it should have enough volume to hold sufficient moisture to avoid too much watering.
It should also have enough depth so that your plant doesn’t sit too high off of the surface when watered or fertilized. A 4-inch diameter pot with 2 inches depth should work well for most plants like lavender.
How to Prune Your Potted Lavender Plants?
Pruning lavender is an important part of its care. You can prune your lavender plants to encourage new growth, or you can do it to keep the plant healthy and looking nice.
There are two aspects to your pruning, one, if you are intending on harvesting the flowers, and secondly in terms of annual plant care.
Cutting back lavender plants can help them grow fuller, bushier and more compact. You’ll also be able to harvest more flowers. Here’s a guide to pruning lavender plants:
Harvesting flowers: When you want to pick individual flowers from your lavender plants, use a sharp knife or scissors to cut off the desired number of flowers from each plant. Cut back the tallest flower stalks to about 2 inches in height.
This can be done at any time during the growing season. If you catch the early blooms at the start of spring there should still be adequate time for the plant to bloom a second time in late summer or early fall which is also an optimum time to prune for maintenance.
Maintaining your lavender: Pruning for plant care involves removing dead or diseased branches, shaping the plant into a more compact shape and removing any branches that are leafing out too close to other branches.
Cut back any dead or dying branches from the crown of your plant. This will encourage new growth in those areas and keep your plant healthy.
In most cases, it takes two years for a lavender plant’s growth rate to slow down dramatically due to over-pruning or too much sunlight exposure during its early stages of development. This means that if your lavender has been growing for two years at about five inches per year and then suddenly slows down after two years, then that may be an indication that it has reached its maximum height (and growth rate).
Summary: Growing Lavender in Pots
Growing lavender in pots is an easy way to enjoy this aromatic plant in your home without having to worry about the plant becoming invasive. Pots are a good choice for the windowsill gardener.
As with all plants, there is a great variety of lavender in the world. It’s important to know which variety is best for you, although the advantage of an indoor is this is less important as you have more control over growing conditions.
You can grow lavender plants from seed or from the rootstock. Lavender is hardy but does not like being transplanted or moved often, so find a place in your yard that is nice and sunny and allows you to leave the plant alone for at least 2 years.
A passion for lavender! From a young age, Lulu has had a passion for lavender. It began at the age of two when her mother walked her through fields of lavender in Norfolk England. This ignited her interest; she has grown harvested and learned about this beautiful herb. She is now an expert in all things lavender and writes extensively on the subject.