When to plant lavender seeds

Written by tara dodrill
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When to plant lavender seeds
Enjoy the sweet fragrance of lavender in your garden. (bobbidog/iStock/Getty Images)

Lavender plants are available in several shades, and offer a sweet smelling addition to any garden or flower bed. The UK's temperate climate is perfect for growing lavender plants nearly all year around. In cooler northern areas of the country, with harsher winters, you can typically have lavender plants from the late spring to autumn seasons.

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Spring planting

Lavender plants should sow seeds in the early or middle of spring.The Spanish, yellow, sweet, Allardii, woolly, French, and Goodwin Creek grey varieties of lavender can be planted this time of year. The yellow and Spanish versions of the plant should begin to grow well and be in need of clipping in approximately five weeks.

Hardy lavender

The hardy lavender plants native to the UK must have adequate drainage. This type of lavender should be planted in the middle to late spring season. By the late spring or early summer, the lavender should bloom and will need pruning by summer for continued healthy growth.

Hybrid lavender

English lavender hybrid plants can typically weather all zones, and should be planted in the late spring. Blooms will begin to appear by the middle of the summer. Common varieties of English hybrids include the Grosso, Fred Boutin, Provence, Grappenhal, Dutch Mill, Seal, Giant, Hidcote and White Grosso.

Seeds and cutlings

While lavender seeds are available, most plants sprout from cuttings taken from large and healthy plants. By using cut lavender plants, the growing process is much quicker than starting from a seed. Not all varieties of lavender plants are readily available in seed format. The Spanish, yellow and Hidcote lavender varieties can be found in seeds at most garden centres.

Planting tips

A much slower germination period is involved when growing lavender from seeds, with weather becoming much more of a factor when planting outdoors. Lavender seeds can be started indoors in cooler climates, and transplanted outside when the danger of frost is over. Spring seeds are more likely to produce plants than autumn seed plantings. Sprouting from seeds commonly takes at least two weeks and should be grown in a 21 degrees C (70F) setting. The growth of fungus is a common problem when growing lavender plants from seedlings. Typically, lavender seeds require at least one to three months of growing time before they can be transplanted outside. The addition of fertiliser to fight fungus and promote growth is recommended.

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