Will lavender grow in the shade?

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Lavender's floral yet piquant smell perfumes soaps, lotions, bath oils and -- for the adventurous -- baked goods, savoury dishes and cocktails. Most garden plants grow best when given plenty of sun, and lavender is no exception. Lavender can be difficult to grow, needing a light touch with watering, and inadequate sunlight harms this plant.


Lavender plants grow poorly in the shade. The more sun these plants get per day, in general, the better they fare. Eight hours of sun per day is recommended for lavender plants.

Preferred environment

Lavender plants grow well either in containers or in the ground. Aside from full sun, these plants enjoy a slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil with a pH ranging from 6 to 8. Well-draining soil prevents lavender plants from contracting root rot; wet, boggy soils kill these plants. While lavender plants do best in hot weather, they can handle snow, rain and cold if planted in well-draining soil.

Lavender tips

If your garden does not get a lot of sun, grow lavender in containers so that you can move them around with the sun. If you choose container lavender, repot it annually into a container that is slightly bigger than the root ball. Shade can prevent lavender from growing and developing its scented blossoms.

Shade herbs

Just because you can't put lavender plants in the shade does not mean you can't have a shade herb garden. The following herbs tolerate some degree of shade: mint, basil, chervil, chives, parsley, sage and tarragon. Mints particularly welcome shade. Save your lavender for sunny areas, and put these herbs in a partly shaded area instead.

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