Lavender works well in a variety of garden schemes provided the bed is sunny with excellent drainage. Nearly 40 species and countless cultivars of lavender exist, but all share the memorable scent, purple flowers and grey-green foliage characteristic of the genus. Species such as Lavandula latifolia and Lavandula angustifolia produce viable seed at the end of the growing season, which germinate fairly reliably to grow new plants. However, given the ease with which lavender plants hybridise, the seeds often produce plants that differ greatly from the parent plant both in appearance and intensity of fragrance.
Combine three parts peat moss, one part sharp sand and one part perlite in a bucket or large bowl. Pour small amounts of water into the mix until it feels evenly damp.
Fill the seedling tray with the soil-free potting mix, leaving 2.5 cm (1 inch) of space at the top. Sprinkle a light layer of lavender seeds across the surface of the mix. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of sharp sand to hold them in place without blocking the light.
Cover the seedling tray with cling film or a propagation dome. Lift the cover every two days to mist the lavender seeds with a spray bottle or plant mister. Mist the seeds only when the soil feels dry just beneath the surface.
Place the seedling tray outdoors in a cold, shaded spot for three to five weeks after sowing them. Move the seedling tray to a well-lighted place where temperatures stay above 16 degrees C (60F) at all times following the cold stratification period.
Watch for germination in two to eight weeks. Transplant the lavender seedlings as they appear into pots filled with a mix of equal parts sharp sand and sterile potting soil.
Grow the lavender plants in their individual pots until they reach 15 cm (6 inches) in height and have plenty of healthy foliage. Acclimate the plants to direct sunlight over the course of 10 days before planting them in a sunny, sandy bed.
Sow seeds immediately after acquiring them since lavender seed loses viability very quickly.
Things you need
- Peat moss
- Sharp sand
- 7.5 cm (3 inch) deep seedling tray
- Cling film or propagation dome
- Spray bottle
- 10 cm (4 inch) pots
- Potting soil