Growing Lavender

Lavender is a bushy, strong-scented perennial plant from the Mediterranean. In most regions, its gray to green foliage stays evergreen throughout the year. Prized for its fragrance, medicinal properties, and beautiful color, lavender is a valued plant across the world. It also attracts pollinators to the garden.

See earl grey lavender ice cream recipe.


  • It is best planted in the spring as the soil is warming up. If planted in the fall, use bigger plants to ensure survival over the winter.
  • Plant lavender 2 to 3 feet apart. Plants typically reach between 1 and 3 feet in height.
  • It thrives in any poor or moderately fertile soil. If you have heavy or clay soil, add some organic matter to improve drainage. 
  • Keep away from wet, moist areas.



  • Add mulch (rock or pea gravel work particularly well) to keep weeds to a minimum. Keep the mulch away from the crown of the lavender plant.
  • Water once or twice a week after planting until plants are established. Water mature plants every two to three weeks until buds form, then once or twice weekly until harvest.
  • In cold growing areas, cover the plants with a winter mulch of evergreen boughs or straw. 
  • In cold growing areas, if growing indoors over winter, place pot in a south-facing window with as much light as possible.
  • Prune established plants in the spring when green leaves start to emerge from the base of the plant. Remove approximately one third of the top.


  • Fungal diseases, in humid climates
  • Root rot due to excess water


  • Harvest the stems when approximately half of the flower buds have opened.
  • Harvest in the morning hours when the oils are the most concentrated.
  • Cut stems as long as possible. Gather into bundles and secure them with rubber bands.
  • Dry the bundles of lavender in a cool, dark place where there is good air circulation.
  • Use your lavender to make lavender sachets—a lovely gift!


Recommended Varieties