Seeds‎ > ‎

Lavender

THE NON-ENGLISH LAVENDERS

From left to right: Yellow Lavender, Spanish Lavender 
and French Lavende

Spanish, Kew Red Spanish, Yellow, Sweet, French, Allardii, Goodwin Creek Gray, Pinnata, and Woolly Lavender.With the exception of Woolly, these Lavenders start blooming early to mid spring. Spanish and Yellow Lavenders finish up after four or five weeks, with the others blooming for a bit longer.  All of these do best with a good pruning about four or five weeks into the bloom cycle, which discourages these large Lavender bushes from becoming untidy and, for some,  encouraging a second sweep of blooms. The variation in fragrance, size, color, texture, and flower heads among the Lavenders in this group make it a truly exciting group of plants. 

Spanish Lavender, with its dark purple, pineapple-shaped flower heads and dark green leaves,it grows low and wide and may layer its stems, allowing one plant to cover a lot of ground. Spanish Lavender is sometimes referred to as French Lavender. Since it grows wild in France, this is understandable since it is collected there to some extent and processed for oil used in perfume.

Kew Red Spanish Lavender is a smaller version of Spanish Lavender with medium pink flowers and dark pink flower bracts. It looks great planted with other pinks that bloom around Easter like Orchid Rockrose.
Yellow Lavender also has a pineapple-shaped flower head but the colorful top bracts are a lemon chiffon color. The yellow-green leaves are pungently scented and their color makes them a good foil for gray Lavenders. Since this Lavender grows tall and wide, it can be planted at the back of a row of Lavandula angustifolias or L. x intermedias.
Sweet Lavender is Lavender in the extreme. The greenest leaves, the greatest size, the fastest growth, and the longest flower wands are all great reasons for having this Lavender in the garden. Plant a large triangle of Sweet Lavender in the middle of a garden and surround it with Chocolate Scented Daisies for a visual and fragrant impact.

French Lavender has the more traditional gray leaves but with serrated edges. A large, fast growing shrub that is sometimes referred to as everblooming Lavender, French Lavender does best when kept at no more than three feet, including blooms. The large, blocky flower heads can be dried if picked before any of the little flowers turn brown.

Allardi Lavender is a form of French Lavender that is thought to be crossed with Lavandula latifolia, Spike Lavender, with a bit less rangy growth habit than French. It is not a heavy bloomer (not a lot of dead flowers to look at) which combined with its wonderful fragrance make it a good choice for a 2 to 3 foot hedge.

Goodwin Creek Gray Lavender is a hybrid of French Lavender with a shorter growth habit and a darker purple flower head that is held on a longer wand. It makes a nice border or edging plant.

Woolly Lavender likes it dry. The gray foliage and dark purple flowers are spectacular and come on in the heat of summer when all the other Lavenders are waning. Plant this near the path to the house to refresh you during the hottest time of year.

Pinnata Lavender is a zone 10 lavender that grows fast and can be grown as an annual. It has really long flower wands, fern like leaves and oddly twisted spiral shaped flowers. 

THE ENGLISH LAVENDERS

http://www.thaomocgarden.com/
From left to right: Vera, Munstead, Hidcote, Jean Davis

Our English Lavenders (Lavandula angustifolias), include English, Munstead, Hidcote, Hidcote Pink, Jean Davis, Sarah, Miss Katherine, Sachet, Royal Purple and Vera and flower in mid to late spring. These second-round bloomers are finished by late spring or early summer. These look great when they flower, and, after pruning, remain a compact ball or hedge with exotically fragrant leaves the rest of the year. Cooler summer climates may have extended bloom periods, but where summers are hot, these stop blooming as the heat increases. These Lavenders are hardy to Zone 5 but, like all Lavenders, will not tolerate poor drainage or high humidity.

Our English Lavender is large leaved and tall. It has been in our nursery for more than 15 years. It grows robustly and has great color and fragrance. Even though it is unusual for an English Lavender to be this large, this plant has pollen, and blooms at the same time as the other Lavandula angustifolias. 

Munstead Lavender is named for Munstead Woods, the home of famous garden designer Gertrude Jekyll. Tolerating summer heat the best of all of the above English Lavenders, Munstead Lavender looks great planted with Yellow or White Roses.

Hidcote Lavender is famous for its dark purple flower. Smaller than Munstead, it likes a cooler climate than our semi-arid summer can provide and we consistently have problems with it dying during hot months. Like most of these 'English' Lavenders, Hidcote is not as drought or heat tolerant as the Lavandins.

Hidcote Pink Lavender has a pastel pink flower spike that looks best planted in mass and viewed at a bit of a distance rather than up close. 

Jean Davis Lavender also has a pastel pink flower. Looking at Hidcote Pink and Jean Davis together, it is hard to tell them apart. The difference, oddly enough, is in the taste. A fruity-flavored flower sets Jean Davis apart from other Lavenders. Munstead is a close second. Unfortunately, Jean Davis is harder to grow than Munstead, which is why Munstead was chosen instead as an addition to our Edible Flower Herb Garden Six Pack.

Miss Katherine Lavender is a lovely pink English Lavender that is easier to grow and less likely to die from the heat. Still a small plant, it has a wonderful fragrance and looks nice mixed with the purple English Lavenders.

Sachet Lavender has become one of our favorite English Lavenders. A little bigger and definitely more robust than some of its cousins. It has a medium purple flower and flowers longer for us here in our heat. Called Sachet for its heady, sweetly scented flowers.

Sarah Lavender is one of many lesser-known L. angustifolias. A very small plant with short flower spikes and small, yet showy dark purple flowers; it is very suited to window boxes and container growing. 

Royal Purple Lavender is a darker purple flowered lavender that is very fragrant and makes a nice smaller hedge. This variety was bred in the 1940's for drying.

Vera Lavender or Lavender Vera is thought to be the true English Lavender. Also called True Lavender or Fine Lavender, the best quality oil comes from plants grown at altitudes between 2500 and 4500 feet on the sides of mountains in central Europe. It is thought to be the best Lavender for medicinal and aromatherapy purposes.

THE LAVANDINS
English Lavender Hybrids

From left to right: Grappenhall, Provence, Grosso, 
Dutch Mill, Abrialii and Seal

The English Lavender Hybrids, sometimes referred to as Lavandins; come in third in the bloom cycle, starting just as the the English Lavenders are finishing, and continuing to mid summer. 

These are the workhorses of Lavender. They do it all: bloom lots, grow just the right size, and smell like a million bucks. Provence and Grosso are the best known of these, but there are many others, including Abriali, Fred Boutin, Dutch Mill, Grappenhall, Seal, Hidcote Giant, Edelweiss and White Grosso. These are the ones to line the drive or border the garden with.  

The botanical name for the Lavandins is Lavandula x intermedia. The x means it is a cross with two plants. In this case, it is L. angustifolia and L. latifolia. The intermedia means that these crossed plants have qualities of both parents, or it is intermediate between them.

Lavandins have long gray leaves, twice or more the size of L. angustifolias. They also grow much larger and faster and are more adept at dealing with heat.

Abriali Lavender is one of the older Lavandins. Also beautifully colored, it is a little shorter than Grosso and was used for oil production before Grosso was developed.

Dutch Mill Lavender has vibrant grape colored flowers that stand out well against darker flowered lavenders like Grosso. Because it is a lighter shade, it shows up better in very sunny situations.

Fred Boutin Lavender, discovered in 1980, is a long-stemmed beauty with a medium purple flower. It has very silvery leaves and excellent fragrance.

Grosso Lavender is cultivated for oil used mainly in the cosmetic industry. It makes great Lavender bouquets and wands. Grosso Lavender has beautiful purple calyxes instead of the normal green calyx of most lavenders.

White Grosso Lavender is a must have for the garden and for the vase. Its swan white blooms complement the purples of other lavenders and they stay white when dried. 

Edelweiss Lavender also has a very fragrant,  swan white flower but grows a bit shorter and a bit tighter than White Grosso Lavender.

Grappenhall Lavender is a tall, long-leaved Lavender with a slender bloom and a medium purple flower. Because the leaves are longer this plant has the energy to grow quickly and in larger proportions.

Hidcote Giant Lavender has dark purple flowers that are close together. It is a striking plant in the landscape.

Provence Lavender has a long, slender flower wand that is useful for dried bud collecting. The buds come cleanly and easily away from the stalk. 

Seal Lavender is a highly fragrant bright purple old time favorite that is perfect for crafts or hedges.

Any way you look at them, lavenders are luscious long stemmed, aromatic necessities.

Perennial

Full sun

Blooms early summer until fall

2' – 3' tall

Days to Emerge:
21 – 35

Seed Depth:
Surface to 1/8"

Seed Spacing:
A group of
8 seeds
every 15" – 18"

Thinning:
When 1" tall,
thin to 1
every 15" – 18"


When to sow outside: 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost or as soon as soil can be worked, or late fall in any climate. Germination is aided by cold treatment period that occurs during the winter.

When to start inside: 8 to 10 weeks before average last frost. Transplant seedlings after average last frost.

Special germination instructions: Seeds sprout better after stratification — a moist/cold treatment. Instructions inside packet.

Comments