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How to care for French lavender

Updated February 21, 2017

French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) is a perennial shrub that thrives in Mediterranean climates. Under optimal conditions, French lavender will bloom between late spring and late summer, and usually produce vivid pink and purple flowers. Due to its low care maintenance and high tolerance to pests, French lavender is a popular shrub for home gardens in temperate climates. By implementing a few gardening techniques, such as correct watering, light optimisation and pruning, you can easily care for your French lavender.

Move your French lavender into a spot of your garden that gets the most amount of sunlight. Typically western and southern parts of your garden will receive the most amount of sun, if unobstructed by trees and other structures. If your shrub is not thriving, it may be because it needs more sunlight. If you have an indoor French lavender plant, then make sure that you place the pot in the western or southern window of your house for optimal sunlight.

Water your French lavender once a week during the summer months, but make sure that the soil is lose and drains well. Before you water your shrub, feel the soil around it. If it is totally dry to the touch, then you know that it needs water. If it is damp, then you can wait an additional day to water. If after you water, there is water on the surface of the soil, you have over-watered. Keep in mind that the soil should be wet, but not muddy to the touch.

Prune your lavender shrub after the period of flowering is over. The best way to do this is to cut off 1/3 of the green foliage stem with gardening or pruning shears. Do not cut away all of the green foliage, however. If there isn't at least some green still on the shrub before the first freeze, the shrub most likely will not survive the winter.

Do not fertilise your French lavender with standard fertiliser. If you determine that you want to fertilise it, or the soil around your shrub, make sure that you use an organic fertiliser. The chemicals in regular fertiliser could damage or kill your lavender.

Things You'll Need

  • Watering can
  • Garden shears
  • Organic fertiliser (optional)
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About the Author

Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.