Lavender is actually native to the Mediterranean, but got it’s name, ‘English Lavender’ because it grows so we’ll in the English climate and has long been a staple in their gardens.
That being said, there are many varieties offering a case selection of bloom time, colors, sizes and flower forms.
Despite it’s name, lavender comes in other colors besides purple. Some hybrids come in white, rose, pale pink, and even blue. The leaves can actually very a bit as well.
There’s even a variety ‘Platinum Blonde’ that’s variegated!
Lavender is a very tough, hardy perennial that will last for years under the right conditions. Because lavender originated in the Mediterranean, it thrives on fun sun and dry soil. If your lavender isn’t thriving, it’s generally due to over watering or shade. Technically speaking, lavender isn’t thrilled with high humidity, but we’ve got it in our garden in Killingworth and all along the Shoreline -even directly on the water in Branford as well as Old Saybrook. We have no problems with it at all.
All lavender likes well drained soil, so if your soil is heavy with clay and you want to grow lavender, amending your soil is a must. You can mix in sand or gravel in the area you want to grow your lavender and that will help the soil drain better.
Lavender requires minimal watering with the exception of extreme drought which we can have in the dog days of summer.
If your lavender is getting too woody as it matures, you can prune it back to about half. This will produce new growth and robust flowering. If you don’t occasionally prune your lavender, you may find them getting a little scraggly and they may end up with a hole in the middle. Clip faded blooms thought the season to encourage repeat blooming.
Lavender is very fragrant and can be harvested for drying throughout the season. Even the leaves are aromatic. Place in inconspicuous places around your home and your entire home will be filled with the soft scent of lavender.