Lavender is a popular, fragrant herb that many gardeners enjoy planting in their gardens and landscapes. This versatile plant is known for its aromatic properties, as well as its attractiveness to pollinators like bees and butterflies. However, in order to successfully grow and maintain healthy lavender plants, it is essential to understand the space requirements needed for them to thrive.
Proper spacing is crucial for the growth and overall health of lavender, as overcrowding can lead to issues like poor air circulation and increased susceptibility to diseases. To ensure that your lavender plants grow and develop to their full potential, it is important to give them the room they require. Various types of lavender have different spacing requirements, with English lavender needing a 30″ spacing, while French lavender should be planted with a 36″ spacing Team Flower. Providing the right amount of room between plants will allow for sufficient airflow and minimize the risk of humidity-related issues, which can negatively affect lavender’s growth.
Lavender Plant Varieties
There are numerous varieties of lavender plants, which can have an impact on the space needed for growth. Some popular lavender varieties include English lavender, French lavender, Spanish lavender, and Lavandin hybrids. Each variety has specific growth patterns and care requirements, making them suitable for different climates and garden spaces.
- English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): This is one of the most common lavender varieties and is known for its sweet scent and rich purple flowers. English lavender typically needs 2-3 feet of space to establish properly, as mentioned by Gardener Report.
- French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas): This variety features vibrant purple flowers that have a distinct and pleasant fragrance. French lavender generally requires slightly less space compared to English lavender, but it still needs ample room to grow and bloom.
- Spanish Lavender (Lavandula dentata): Known for its unique flower shape, Spanish lavender is characterized by its toothed leaves and tall flower spikes. It requires a similar amount of space as English lavender for proper growth.
- Lavandin Hybrids (Lavandula x intermedia): These are crossbreeds between English and French lavender varieties, boasting higher oil content and more robust flowers. Lavandin hybrids may require more space due to their larger size and vigorous growth habits.
It’s essential to take the specific lavender variety into account when determining the necessary spacing as they can differ significantly. Providing adequate space between plants can prevent competition for resources, promote healthy growth, and ensure proper establishment.
Determining Plant Spacing
When planting lavender, it is essential to consider the right amount of space between each plant. English lavender, a smaller shrub, should be planted with 30″ spacing, while French lavender requires 36″ spacing. For dwarf lavender varieties like Hidcote Blue or Munstead, plan for a spacing of 18 inches to 2 feet. Semi-dwarf varieties, such as Pink Perfume or Hidcote, require 2 to 3 feet of spacing.
Just as important as how far apart to plant each lavender plant is determining how far apart rows should be spaced. According to Team Flower, lavender rows for field production should be spaced 5 feet apart, center to center.
Considering Root Development
Lavender roots typically spread around 10 inches or more, depending on the variety. For instance, the Hidcote Giant requires 2-3 feet of space to establish properly. Adequate space between plants helps prevent competition for nutrients and water, ensuring optimal root development for stability and plant growth.
Airflow and Disease Prevention
Proper plant and row spacing is crucial for maintaining healthy airflow between lavender plants. This helps prevent diseases and promotes overall plant health. For True Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), a minimum of 2-3 feet between plants is needed, as these plants are generally more compact. Lavandins (Lavandula x intermedia), on the other hand, have longer stems and require more room to grow.
Choosing the Right Location
Lavender requires a well-draining location with ample sunlight to thrive. Ensure you choose a spot where the plants can receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Providing good air circulation is also essential for healthy growth, so space the plants appropriately. For English lavender, maintain a 30″ spacing, while for French lavender, use a 36″ spacing (Team Flower).
Preparing the Soil
Before planting lavender, it’s crucial to prepare the soil to accommodate its needs. Lavenders prefer well-draining, slightly alkaline soil with a pH between 6.7 and 7.3. You can mix in lime or add garden sand to achieve the desired pH and drainage(The Spruce). Additionally, it’s best to plant lavender in the spring, after the risk of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up.
Pot Size and Container Gardening
If you plan to grow lavender in containers, ensure you provide enough space for the roots to expand. Lavenders’ roots have an average spread of around 10 inches or more, with some varieties requiring 2-3 feet of space for proper establishment(Gardener Report). Keep in mind the following recommendations for pot size and container gardening:
- Choose a pot with ample drainage holes and a well-draining soil mix.
- For smaller lavender varieties, a 12-16 inch diameter pot will suffice.
- Larger varieties may need 18-24 inch diameter pots to provide enough space for growth.
Lavender is a beautiful and fragrant plant that can be a great addition to any garden. However, to ensure its healthy growth and optimal blooms, proper maintenance is necessary.
Lavender requires well-drained soil and should not be over-watered. To avoid root rot, make sure the plant is grown in an area with good drainage. Adding sharp sand or small limestone fines can further improve the soil’s drainage. Water deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions.
Pruning and Trimming
Regular pruning and trimming ensure that your lavender plant retains a healthy and attractive shape. After it blooms, perform a light pruning by cutting 2-3 inches above the woody growth, leaving 1-2 inches of new green growth. This will encourage more blooms in the next growth cycle. In the fall, a more extensive “hard” prune can be performed by removing up to one-third of the new growth. According to All About Gardening, it is essential to cut just above the new growth and side branches, creating an oval arc over the top of the plant.
Proper spacing is crucial for lavender to grow and thrive. Depending on the variety, the recommendations for spacing may vary. English lavender, which is a smaller shrub, should be planted with a 30-inch spacing between plants, while French lavender requires 36-inch spacing. For field production, Team Flower suggests growing lavender in rows that are 5 feet apart, center to center.
When it comes to harvesting lavender, timing is crucial to ensure the best scent and oil content. Ideally, you should harvest the flowers just as they begin to open. This provides the most intense aroma and promotes a second bloom later in the season.
To harvest lavender, use a sharp pair of scissors or garden shears to cut the stems just above the leaves. Be careful not to damage the plant, and try to leave some green foliage behind. This will encourage new growth and prolong the life of the plant.
After cutting the lavender stems, you can use them in various ways:
- Drying: Hang the bundles of lavender stems upside down in a dark, well-ventilated space. This will help the flowers retain their color and scent during the drying process. After a few weeks, the lavender will be dry and ready to use.
- Cooking: Fresh lavender flowers can be used in culinary dishes, like baked goods and infused drinks. Be sure to choose culinary lavender varieties, like Lavandula angustifolia, for the best flavor.
- Aromatherapy: You can utilize dried lavender flowers in homemade sachets, potpourri, or even in essential oil diffusers to enjoy the calming scent around your home.
Maintaining proper harvesting techniques will allow your lavender plants to thrive and continue producing fragrant blooms for several years.
What to Avoid Planting Near Lavender
When planning your garden, it’s essential to consider the compatibility of different plants to ensure every species can grow healthily. Lavender is a popular, low-maintenance plant, but there are certain plants that you should avoid planting near it.
Firstly, avoid moisture-loving plants like ferns and irises. Lavender prefers well-drained soil and can suffer from root rot if planted near plants that require frequent watering. Instead, opt for companion plants that also thrive in well-drained soil and share similar water requirements, such as sedum.
It’s also important to avoid planting lavender near plants with dense foliage or aggressive root systems. For instance, certain trees and shrubs can compete with lavender for nutrients, sunlight, and space. Rapidly growing plants can quickly shade out lavender and deplete its resources. As a rule of thumb, maintain a distance of 2-3 feet between lavender plants and other species.
Finally, avoid invasive species that can potentially choke or overwhelm your lavender plants. Examples of such plants include mint, vinca, and ivy. Instead, choose complementary plants that can coexist peacefully and provide additional benefits to your garden, such as repelling pests or attracting pollinators.
In conclusion, be cautious when selecting plants to grow near lavender. By considering the water requirements, growth habits, and potential invasiveness of neighboring plants, you can create a harmonious, balanced garden environment where your lavender can thrive.
Lavender Companion Plants
Lavender can benefit from being planted with various companion plants. These companions can help deter pests and promote healthier growth. Some popular companion plants for lavender include rosemary, mint, echinacea, and various herbs such as basil and oregano.
Rosemary, for example, can be planted 2-4 feet from a neighboring lavender bush. It has a strong fragrance, beautiful bee-attracting flowers, and helps protect garden vegetables from pests. Similarly, mint can be grown close to lavender, providing additional protection against aphids. However, ensure that lavender plants have enough sunlight, at least 12 inches away from the base of a tree or shrub.
Other herbs, like basil and oregano, can be planted near lavender to increase the overall vitality of the plants. They help repel aphids and various species of flies, which can negatively impact the growth of lavender.
Echinacea, also known as Cone Flowers, can be a great companion plant for lavender as they thrive in similar conditions. They both grow best in USDA Zones 3 to 9, requiring ample sun and very little water. Additionally, lavender bushes can benefit fruit trees, as they naturally repel pests like moths, slugs, and deer,
In summary, planting lavender with thoughtful companion plants can help optimize growth while controlling pests. Just remember to maintain proper spacing and sunlight requirements for each plant to ensure a healthy, fragrant garden.
In summary, lavenders typically require 2 to 3 feet of space for healthy growth, taking into consideration factors such as the variety of lavender and the growing environment. Potted plants may need less space due to the limited room available for root expansion. Proper spacing helps to prevent overcrowding, which can lead to competition for resources like nutrients and water.
Moreover, it’s crucial to remember that lavender plants usually have a lifespan of up to 10 years. During their growth, you might want to consider propagating and replanting them to maintain a healthy and thriving garden.
When starting lavender from seeds, it’s worth noting that they can be challenging to germinate. It’s best to begin the process around three months before your planned transplant date, planting seeds in peat pots at a depth of 4-6 inches. Utilizing moistened soil and providing sufficient space for root growth will contribute to the successful establishment of your lavender plants.
In conclusion, providing appropriate spacing for your lavender plants is essential for fostering a thriving garden environment. By following the suggested guidelines and adapting them to your specific plants and garden conditions, you’ll be on your way to cultivating a beautiful and aromatic lavender display.
Helpful Video on Lavender Spacing
To get an in-depth look at lavender spacing and growing lavender properly check out this video below…
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.