How to care for a lavender tree

Written by annita lawson
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How to care for a lavender tree
Lavender trees give off a similar scent to the lavender herb. (Matt Gibson/iStock/Getty Images)

The lavender tree (Heteropyxis natalensis) is a deciduous tree native to South Africa. It has glossy, deep green leaves that give off a scent similar to that of the herb lavender when damaged. Small, greenish-yellow flowers are produced from December until March, and while not very impressive in appearance, they have a quite pleasant fragrance. In autumn, the foliage turns a deep red shade, adding additional interest to the garden. The lavender tree grows from 9 to 12 metres tall and does best when planted in full sun.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Garden fork
  • Shovel
  • Organic mulch
  • Pruning shears

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  1. 1

    Pull up all weeds and grass from the planting site. Cultivate the soil, using a garden fork, to a depth of 45 to 60 cm.

  2. 2

    Dig a hole the same depth and twice the width of the lavender tree's root-ball. Plant the tree at the same level it was growing previously. Water deeply enough to moisten the soil all the way to the root-ball.

  3. 3

    Add 8 to 12 cm of organic mulch, keeping it 12 to 15 cm from the tree's trunk.

  4. 4

    Water when the top layer of soil is dry throughout the first growing season. Once established, the lavender tree will only need to be watered during very dry conditions.

  5. 5

    Prune to the preferred shape and size in early autumn, as the lavender tree grows quickly and may become too large for available space if not kept in check.

  6. 6

    Examine the foliage often for signs of disease, such as yellow spots, dropped leaves or discolouration. Treat promptly with fungicide if you suspect a problem.

Tips and warnings

  • The lavender tree is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 9 through 11.
  • Leave a space of 20 to 30 feet between each tree when planting outdoors.

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