Lavender belongs to the mint family and has long been grown for the fragrant essential oils found throughout the plant and especially in the flowers. .

Growing Lavender: Planting & Care Guide

Lavender, an herb with many culinary uses, also makes a stunning addition to borders and perennial gardens, providing sweeping drifts of color from early summer into fall.With its silvery-green foliage, upright flower spikes and compact shrub-like form, lavender is ideal for creating informal hedges.It typically starts blooming a few weeks later than most English lavenders and features long spikes of highly fragrant flowers.Although not considered edible (due to high camphor content), the flowers and foliage are often added to sachets and potpourris.Although all lavender (Lavandula) is native to the Mediterranean, there are many varieties offering a vast selection of bloom times, colors, flower forms, and sizes.Some hybrids come in other lovely pastel hues such as violet blue, rose, pale pink, white, and even yellow.Because of its Mediterranean origin, lavender loves blazing hot sun and dry soil.English lavenders and their hybrids are the best varieties for cooler climates, since they are cold hardy north to Zone 5.For southern gardens in extremely hot, humid climates, Spanish and French lavenders are more tolerant of the moist conditions, but should be spaced apart to allow good air circulation.They will flourish as long as they receive at least 8 hours of direct sunlight a day and are planted in a high-quality potting mix with good drainage.Because of its low profile, you can use it as a tidy hedge plant around herb or perennial gardens or alongside walkways.Growing to 3 feet tall and wide, this heavy bloomer needs ample space to accommodate its vigorous growth habit.L. angustifolia This early-flowering English lavender is tolerant of tough growing conditions, including heat, humidity, and drought.It grows to a compact height of 12 to 18 inches and produces masses of lavender blue flowers from late spring well into summer.Lavandula x intermedia 'Provence' is one of the tallest of the lavandin cultivars and gets its name from the area in southeastern France where it is commercially grown for the perfume industry.L.

angustifolia True to its name, ‘Thumbelina Leigh’ is a dwarf English lavender ideal for containers, low borders, and rock gardens.It produces a profusion of strongly fragrant, violet-blue flower spikes that will bloom continuously from early to mid summer.L. angustifolia Silvery white blooms with a light-blue blush distinguish this attractive English lavender cultivar.It has silvery foliage like other English lavenders but produces delicately scented light-pink flowers that gradually fade to white.It produces bi-colored purple and deep blue flowers on stems that fan out around the plant, so the form is not as tidy as some other cultivars.L.

angustifolia 'Royal Velvet' English Lavender is a real showstopper, producing velvety, richly colored navy and purple flower spikes on tall 2 to 2.5 foot stems.It blooms from late spring to early summer and is one of the best lavenders for use in dried arrangements because the flowers retain their gorgeous color.Use lavender along walkways and garden paths where you can enjoy their scent and where they can benefit from the heat reflected off the pavement.Create aromatic hedges or borders along fences and garden walls as shown in this video for Sweet Romance® lavender.The scent deters mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and other problem insects while attracting butterflies and bees.A member of the mint family, lavender has been used for centuries as a versatile, unexpected flavoring in both sweet and savory foods.English lavenders are the best varieties for culinary purposes, and both the buds and leaves can be used fresh or dried.Immerse a few dried lavender buds in a jar of sugar to give it a sweet aroma.Chop the fresh buds and add to a cake batter or sweet pastry dough before baking.Add flower buds to preserves or fruit compotes to give them subtle spicy notes.Make Herbes de Provence by blending dried lavender with thyme, savory, and rosemary.In midsummer, use hedge clippers or hand pruners to shape the plant into a symmetrical mound, like a shallow bowl turned upside down.In zone 7, where you live, and northward, you can perform that annual haircut in early spring or in midsummer, right after heavy flowering. .

How To Grow Lavender

In the northern limit of its range, mulching Lavender plants in late fall will protect them from the winter's cold.Prevent fungal diseases from getting started by spacing plants further apart and in a location with good air circulation.Also, sprays of insecticidal soap will kill these pests without harming other beneficial insects, wildlife, and pets.Decide if you want lots of baby lavenders in that area of the garden; otherwise deadhead regularly. .

Everything You Need to Know About Lavender (Plus 5 Kinds to

The final hardcover edition—with 32 alphabetized volumes and 32,640 pages of cold, hard facts—was about the amount of space it would take to cover all aspects of the endlessly fascinating and fragrant flowers that belong to the lavender family.At Gardenista headquarters, we don’t have the 100 full-time editors and 4,000 contributors (including Pulitzer Prize winners and the odd US President) that Britannica boasted in its heyday.As I type, five of my favorite lavenders are thriving in my garden in northern California (USDA zone 10a, where average winter temperatures don’t dip much below 38 degrees Fahrenheit).In early spring (March), tender, young lavenders have soft stems, velvety leaves, and delicate, tight flower buds.Later in the growing season, at the height of the summer, these same plants will look battle-weary, with browning leaves at the base of long, bare stems—and big, fat flowers.It mixes well with roses (they like the same growing conditions, and lavender’s bushiness will hide spindly, thorny stems) and with wildflowers such as poppies and Echinacea.A couple of years ago, I lost three plants that were in the driest part of my garden; my current crop is happier near some large citrus trees, at the edge of a shady spot where the sun is filtered (for nearly half the day) through the canopy of an orange tree.Above: L. dentata, which is often labeled as gray French lavender at plant nurseries, has gray-green foliage with prominent dogtooth margins.Rely on larger, shrubbier types such as L. dentata candicans to fill holes in the summer garden.The popular cultivar Lavandula x intermedia ‘Alba’ resembles its purple cousin ‘Provence’, a prolific bloomer that trains well as a low hedge.With distinctive bunny-ear flowers, Spanish lavender’s fragrant foliage frequently finds its way into it essential oils and potpourris.Above: The other day at my house we experimented with making dried herbs with Spanish lavender flowers; Meredith secured bundles with twine.Now for the bad news: I’ve never had any luck growing English lavender (such as ‘Munstead’ and ‘Hidcote’) and my suspicion is my climate is too hot and sunny for them.


Purple Perennial Flowers: 24 Brilliant Choices for Gardens

Whether their shade of purple is dark and regal or light and luscious, these beauties add depth, richness, and a pop of color to your garden.Fans of purple in the garden are always pleased to learn that there are violet-hued blooming perennials in a broad range of sizes and shapes.In creating this list of purple perennial flowers, I found it easiest to divide them into groups based on their stature.In addition to each plant’s botanical name, details on their site preferences, growth habits, hardiness, and bloom times are also included.Averaging 2 to 3 feet tall, with round globes of blooms, phlox perform best in areas with full sun.Deadhead them regularly to generate more blooms, and pinch the stems back by a third in late spring to increase branching.Hardy down to -30 degrees F, purple phlox are adored by butterflies, bumblebees, hummingbird moths, and other pollinators.Fully hardy down to -40 degrees F and reaching 2 to 3 feet in height, iris are early spring bloomers with a carefree nature.A magnet for migrating monarchs, this late-blooming perennial with purple flowers stands a whopping 6 feet tall!It’s smothered with clusters of small, pale purple flowers that are relished by many different pollinators at a time when little else is blooming in the landscape.False indigo is another plant on the list of purple flowering perennials the deer don’t eat, which is certainly a nice bonus.The straight species of false indigo produces spikes of purple-blue flowers, but there are other varieties that bloom in shades of yellow, burgundy, and white.Growing to 3 feet in height in sunny spots and with a winter hardiness down to -40 degrees F, false indigo doesn’t have a particularly long bloom time, but the foliage itself is quite lovely.Lupines are classics in the sunny perennial garden, though I struggle to grow them in mine due to heavy clay and acidic soil.Reported to be deer resistant, the blooms of bellflower are grouped into balls atop the flower stems.A North American native purple perennial, blazing stars are relished by butterflies and bees.Preferring full sun conditions, blazing star plants grow from a bulb-like structure called a corm.They’re easy to plant, deer-resistant perennials with purple blooms that also make great cut flowers, and they are hardy to -40 degrees F.Another purple flowering perennial that blooms all summer, salvia thrives in hot, sunny, and dry garden beds.The skinny spikes of flowers have square stems, indicating that this plant is a member of the mint family.‘Blue Fortune’ produces chubby spikes of light purple blooms atop licorice-scented foliage.Another North American native plant with purple flowers, mistflower reminds many gardeners of common annual ageratum.Also unlike ageratum, mistflower is a perennial that’s fully hardy down to -20 degrees F. Plant it in full sun to partial shade, and your late-season garden will be filled with pale purple, fuzzy blooms on 1-foot-tall stems.Reaching about 12 inches in height, spike speedwell has pointy spires of densely packed purple flowers that open from the bottom up.Gorgeous looks, prolific dark purple flowers, and ease of care separate this plant from the rest.Winter hardy to -20 degrees F, Pikes Peak Purple’s tubular blooms are shaped like little trumpets.Often finished blooming right along with the tulips, this native of the woodlands of eastern North America, is nothing short of lovely.The pale purple blooms bear five petals each, and they are borne in clusters atop 6-inch-tall, wiry stems.In bloom for just a few short weeks each spring, wood phlox is hardy to -40 degrees F.

It’s resistant to deer and dry soil, too.Though it is hardy only in warmer climates that don’t fall below 0 degrees F, it’s well worth growing, even if you have to replace it each spring.It makes a dramatic display, and with a height of just 12 inches, it tumbles nicely over the edges of containers and retaining walls.Those seeking purple perennial flowers that bloom early, thrive in the shade, and are deer resistant, should put lungwort on their list.The orb-shaped bloom clusters last for weeks, and they play host to oodles of pollinators, including butterflies and bees.Full sun is best for this perennial, and it’s hardy to -20 degrees F. ‘Millenium’ cannot be beat for its compact growth habit, ease of care, and long bloom time.


Lavender Varieties and Blooming Seasons

Planting one of each in your garden will reward you with heavenly fragrance and attractive flower spikes from spring until late summer.Flowering typically occurs as early as (in areas with mild summers and winters) with followed by another .Cultivars are taller than L. angustifolia, with mounds of gray foliage and long loose spikes.Flowering typically occurs in July or August (generally 1 month later than the angustifolias) and tends to last until late summer.


How to Grow and Care for Lavender

Family Lamiaceae Plant Type Herbaceous perennial Mature Size 2–3 ft. tall, 2–4 ft. wide Sun Exposure Full sun Soil Type Dry, well-draining Soil pH Alkaline Bloom Time Summer Flower Color Purple Hardiness Zones 5a–9a, USDA Native Areas Europe Toxicity Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats.Lavender plants will tolerate many growing conditions, but they thrive best in warm, well-draining soil and full sun.Lavender plants are fairly trouble-free, but leaf spots and root rot can occur if the soil is too wet.Lean soil will encourage a higher concentration of oils (and good smells), so go easy on the organic matter and fertilizer.Lavender plants prefer well-drained soil that is on the drier side, so if you're using a traditional potting mix, be sure to add in some sand for drainage.After that, they can handle extended periods of drought—in fact, too much water can lead to fungal disease and root rot.Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia): A varietal with several cultivars including: 'Provence,' which is particularly popular for drying; 'Grosso,' a highly disease-resistant and fragrant standard.Fringed lavender (Lavandula dentata): A bushy, spreading shrub varietal that produces dense purple-blue flower spikes that are only mildly fragrant.A bushy, spreading shrub varietal that produces dense purple-blue flower spikes that are only mildly fragrant.(Lavandula stoechas)French lavender : A beautiful Mediterranean varietal that is compact and bushy with fragrant, dark purple flowers.They can be used raw in salads, added to soups and stews, used as a seasoning, baked into cookies, and brewed into tea.When you've noticed that roots are established, remove the plastic covering and place the pot back in a sunny location.Where outdoor planting is not practical, you can always grow your lavender in pots and move it around to follow the sun, or even bring it indoors for the winter.Although lavender has a large, spreading root system, it does prefer to grow in a tight space.Ensure that your container has plenty of holes at its base for drainage—root rot is one of the few problems experienced by lavender plants.Additionally, you can plant lavender in a clay or terracotta pot to help wick moisture away from the soil and keep it from getting too wet.Highly fertile soil promotes a lot of green growth at the expense of bud production.The reason: Lavender sets buds on new growth, so stimulating that process is a helpful signal to the plant that it should get growing. .

Purple Flowers

Purple is traditionally the color of royalty and magistrates, but also is synonymous with Mardi Gras.Salvia - Purple perennial plants that thrive in dry conditions.Allium - Purple flowers and onion scent means you can use this as a culinary herb. .

Your Ultimate Guide to Planting and Growing Aromatic Lavender

All thrive in full sun and well-drained soil; add organic matter to improve heavy soils, but otherwise, these lovely, fragrant perennial herbs are a cinch to plant, a breeze to grow, and as laid back to preserve as an afternoon in Provence.Lavender is easy to grow in the West’s warm, dry climates, requiring little in the way of pest control, fertilizer, or, once established, water.Its scent is soothing, which is why its essential oil is a prized ingredient in many aromatherapy products, such as lotions and candles.Pruning Tips & Plant Care Irrigate deeply but infrequently, when the soil is almost dry.Snip stems when the bottom third of their blossoms are open; not all blooms are ready to cut at the same time.Lavender is grown for numerous purposes: essential oil, crafting, culinary use; pick the best varieties for your desired use.A sweetly fragrant lavender used for perfume and sachets; also good for flavoring ice cream, jams, meat rubs, and pastries.Riemersma grows ‘Buena Vista’ lavender―with fragrant, dark blue-purple flowers ― because it’s the perfect complement to savory dishes and sweet desserts (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Mun-stead’ and ‘Hidcote’ can also flavor food).She uses it to enhance blackberry jam and shortbread cookies and as a rub (along with rosemary) for cedar-planked salmon with lavender-honey glaze.Unbranched stems rise above fragrant gray-green or silvery foliage; flowers are white, pink, lavender-blue, or various shades of purple.• ‘Grosso’ is a widely planted commercial variety in France and Italy; possibly the most fragrant lavandin of all.• ‘Provence’ may often be described as the perfume lavender, but this selection doesn’t produce the kind of oil used in perfumery (we find it’s better for cookies).If a plant becomes woody and open in the center, remove a few of the oldest branches; take out more when new growth starts.Snip stems when the bottom third of their blossoms are open; not all blooms are ready to cut at the same time. .


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