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lavender seeds

The two varieties Eden Brothers recommends are both English lavender. Both are highly fragrant, and both are among the most popular planted in North America. The biggest difference is their size. One grows to 30 inches, and the other one is shorter, at only 16. The taller one is called Lavender vera, but it usually is called by its botanical name, Lavender augustifolia. The shorter one is Lavender munstead, a hybrid of the same species. You plant them the same time, so simply take your choice.

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Lavender – How to Grow from Seed

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Hi, I’m Eric Allen at EdenBrothers.com, and today we will be talking about how to grow lavender from seed.

Everybody loves lavender. When you see the plants in garden centers, they’re quite expensive, so why not save some money and start your lavender plants from seed. They’re perennial and winter-hardy in zones five through nine. There are several kinds of lavender, usually called English lavender or French lavender, based on where those beautiful fields of the aromatic flower are grown commercially in France and England.

The two varieties Eden Brothers recommends are both English lavender. Both are highly fragrant, and both are among the most popular planted in North America. The biggest difference is their size. One grows to 30 inches, and the other one is shorter, at only 16. The taller one is called Lavender vera, but it usually is called by its botanical name, Lavender augustifolia. The shorter one is Lavender munstead, a hybrid of the same species. You plant them the same time, so simply take your choice.

Growing lavender from seed requires some special things, though, but it is easy. The big thing to know about lavender is that it is the reverse of what we’ve talked about with most plants. They need dry, sandy, gritty soil, not the rich garden soil that we use for most of a perennial garden. They need to be planted and grown in almost desert conditions, direct hot sun and gritty, sandy soil. But if you don’t have a really rapidly draining spot in your garden, you can create one and plant your seeds there.

One expert advises to make sure that the area you choose never has standing water and drains quickly after a rain, and it must have full sun. Then an easy way to be sure that your dry spot stays dry for seeding is to add about half an inch of builder’s sand to the top, as we’ve done here, with potting soil below, and plant your seeds there. Wait until the spring weather warms up, and then, if you don’t have a dry, sunny spot, you can also put a layer of gravel about five inches under the soil to be sure that it drains quickly.

Once you’re ready, simply scatter the seeds across the sandy surface and then press them in. Don’t cover them. And be patient. It usually takes about two to four weeks for the seeds to germinate, and once they do, water them only when they wilt, and then, sparingly. Remember, desert conditions. You’ll be amazed how much they’ll grow without much water. They thrive on hot, direct sun.

After good growth of the silvery gray foliage, you’ll see the flower stalks begin to rise. Bloom for established plants usually happens in June and July. If you trim off the dying flower spikes, you may be able to enjoy a second flush of bloom in the fall.

To harvest the flowers for sachets or scented bundles, cut them when they are still mostly buds, and hang them upside down until they’re open and dry. A well-done lavender bunch can scent a room for months, or even years.

Lavender seeds
Photo by: enchanted_fairy/Shutterstock.com

Lavender Seeds

Learn what you need to know to grow lavender seeds.

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Lavender seeds form inside the flowers and can be separated from the flower heads by shaking them gently after drying.

Photo by: enchanted_fairy/Shutterstock.com

Lavender seeds form inside the flowers and can be separated from the flower heads by shaking them gently after drying.

Considering growing lavender from seed? Learn a few tips and tricks for growing lavender seeds. Starting lavender seeds can appeal as an easy, affordable shortcut to getting your hands on several lavender plants, but the process isn’t as easy as sowing corn or sunflower seeds.

Most lavenders are started from cuttings taken from mother plants. That ensures that you obtain a plant that’s exactly like the mother plant in terms of plant size and flower color. Because cuttings are the primary means of producing lavender, supplies of pure lavender seed aren’t readily available for certain types of lavender.

You can purchase English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) seed, but lavenders cross readily, which means the resulting plants may not completely resemble the parents. The resulting variation can be delightful in a cottage garden setting, but if you’re trying to create a lavender hedge or raise lavender to sell for crafting, seed-grown crosses can prove less than ideal. Many of the lavandin English lavender hybrids (Lavandula x intermedia) are sterile hybrids and don’t yield useful seed.

‘Lavender Lady’ English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Lavender Lady’) is a seed-grown lavender that flowers the first year from seed. It’s a reliable, seed-grown lavender and reaches a modest height of 10 to 18 inches.

To start lavender from seed, sow seeds in a sterile seed starting mix. Barely cover seeds, because they need light to germinate. Lavender seeds can take as long as a month to germinate, although sometimes they’ll sprout in as little as 14 days. Help the germination process by placing seed trays in a warm spot—70 degrees F is an ideal temperature. Some gardeners refrigerate seeds in a sealed plastic bag for 21 days to prepare them for sprouting and help improve germination.

Transfer seedlings to 2-inch-wide pots when seedlings have sprouted several sets of leaves. Lavender is a slow grower and may take one to three months to reach transplanting size. The greatest threat to lavender seeds and seedlings is fungus. Keep soil mix moist, but provide good air circulation to help reduce disease outbreaks. Acclimate seedlings to outdoor growing conditions when lavender plants are 3 inches high.

In the garden, lavender will self-sow, especially when plants are surrounded with a gravel mulch. The gravel bedding provides an ideal seed sprouting environment. Allow plants to reach at least 3 inches tall before digging to transplant.

You can also harvest your own lavender seeds from plants. Wait until plants have bloomed, then snip flowering stems and gather them into bundles. Hang the bundles upside down inside paper bags. As seeds ripen and fall out of flowers, they’ll land in the bag. Once flowers are dry, rub or strike them against the paper bag to release all seeds.