(Lavandula angustifolia vera) Perennial. Lavender is a truly delightful, fragrant herb with elongated leaves and lavender-blue flowers that bloom all summer. Lavender Vera is thought to be the true English Lavender and is the preferred variety for medicinal and aromatherapy purposes.
Bushy, branched, 24" plants with grey-green leaves are drought tolerant and well suited to rock gardens or used as small hedges.
The wonderfully fragrant dried leaves and flowers can be used in baked goods, floral arrangements, or to add fragrance to soaps, sachets and linens, and to make perfumes and colognes. The birds, bees, and butterflies also adore this nectar rich favorite!
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Sow outdoors 4-6 weeks before average last frost or as soon as soil can be worked. Sow indoors 8-10 weeks before average last frost. Lavender seed germination is aided by cold-stratification. To do this, place seeds into a bag of moistened seed starting mix and leave it in the refrigerator for 3 weeks, then sow as above.
Lavender needs good drainage and good air circulation. Do not over-water, and allow the soil to dry before watering again. Does well in rock gardens.
Lavender prefers a soil pH of 6.0-8. Adding lime to acidic soils can benefit lavender.
Lavender requires little nitrogen, which can result in less fragrant flowers.
Harvest lavender stems at any time. To keep the plant looking full, avoid clipping more than every third stem. To dry flowers, gather a bunch of stems and hang them upside-down in a dark, well-ventilated place to preserve color and keep the stems from molding.
Use the fresh flowers in sauces and desserts. Dried blossoms can be used in teas, soaps, salts, potpourri, sachets, and crafts.