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Lavender


Lavandula spp.

Lavender

Lavender fills the early-summer garden with sensory delights: beautiful purple-tone blooms atop foliage that oozes fragrance on a sunny afternoon. Every part of the plant is infused with aromatic oil, making this a choice herb to place along pathways or near outdoor seating areas so you can savor the fragrance. Lavender varieties abound: The darker the flower, the more intense the aroma -- and the flavor in cooking.

Drought-, heat-, and wind-tolerant, lavender doesn't like poor drainage, waterlogged soil, or high humidity. Raised beds can enhance drainage; surrounding plants with a gravel mulch can help increase heat around roots. After flowering, shear plants to induce bushiness and subsequent bloom. Avoid cutting plants back to the ground. Dried blooms retain fragrance for a long time; crush dried flowers to release aromatic oils anew.

Light:
Sun
Zones:
5-10
Plant Type:
Perennial,Herb,Shrub
Plant Height:
1-3 feet tall
Plant Width:
1-3 feet wide
Flower Color:
Deep violet, lavender, white
Bloom Time:
Flowers early to midsummer
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders,Slopes,Groundcover
Special Features:
Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Fragrant,Cut Flowers,Dried Flowers,Attracts Birds,Attracts Hummingbirds,Attracts Butterflies,Drought Tolerant,Deer Resistant
Top Varieties

Lavandula stoechas 'Ballerina' is a lovely Spanish lavender that has cone-shape clusters of purple flowers topped by featherlike white bracts. It grows 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Zones 8-9; usually grown as an annual in colder Zones
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Betty's Blue' has a more rounded shape than other lavenders. It offers large clusters of dark purple-blue flowers in late spring and early summer. It grows 30 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Blue Cushion' offers a compact, mounded habit, a long bloom season, and spikes of deep-purple flowers. It reaches 16 inches tall and wide. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Buena Vista' is a special reblooming variety that bears lavender-purple flowers in late spring and again in fall. It grows 28 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Croxton's Wild' is a close relative to the lavenders that grow in the wild in the Mediterranean region. It grows 24 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula stoechas 'Curly Top' is a Spanish lavender that has purple flowers crowned by bright purple bracts. It grows 24 inches tall and wide. Zones 8-9; usually grown as an annual in colder Zones
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Lavandula x intermedia 'Edelweiss' bears white flowers and a compact habit. It grows 24 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Zones 6-8
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Ellegance Purple' is an early-blooming selection with waves of rich blue-purple flowers in midsummer and autumn. It grows only 12 inches tall and wide. Zones 5-9
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Lavandula angustifolia is the traditional, culinary type. It bears violet-purple blooms and reaches 2-3 feet in height. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula multifida is a graceful tender shrub that has finely divided gray-green leaves and spikes of purple flowers in summer. It grows 3 feet tall and wide. Zones 9-11
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Folgate' is a variety that has a tight, dense habit. It bears lavender-purple flowers in early summer and grows 20 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula dentata is a shrubby, camphor-scented plant with tall spikes of purple flowers over its fuzzy toothed leaves. It's one of the best types to grow indoors as a houseplant and can flower year-round. It grows 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Zones 8-9
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Graves' is an exceptionally fragrant variety with lavender-blue flowers in late spring and early summer. It grows 36 inches tall and 30 inches wide. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula x intermedia 'Gros Bleu' has dark purple flowers on long stems. It's a good bloomer and grows 30 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Zones 6-8
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Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso' bears violet blossoms on long, bright green stems that soar outward from silver foliage, creating a striking shrub in the garden. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote' is a dwarf English lavender, presenting dark blue blooms on a tidy 18-inch-tall plant. Zones 5-10
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Lavandula x intermedia 'Hidcote Giant' is known for its heavy blooms on long stems in midsummer. It grows 30 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Zones 6-8
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Lavandula x intermedia 'Impress Purple' has strongly scented foliage and flowers. It blooms in mid- to late summer and grows 30 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Zones 6-8
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Jean Davis' sports pale pink blossoms with a fruity flavor that adds wonderful taste and aroma to cake, tea, or vinegar. Zones 5-10
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Lady' is an award-winning selection that can be grown as an annual. It has a compact habit and purple-blue flowers in early summer. It grows 18 inches tall and wide. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula stoechas 'Madrid Purple' is an exceptional Spanish lavender with rich purple flowers and lighter purple bracts. It grows 24 inches tall and wide. Zones 8-9
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Melissa' is a delicate-looking variety with silvery-pink flowers that fade to white. It grows 20 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead' offers lovely lavender-blue flowers that bring a luscious flavor to butter, cookies, or tea. Shorter plants (18 inches tall) and flower stalks make Munstead a perfect choice for a lavender hedge or knot garden. Zones 5-10
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Lavandula x intermedia 'Provence' is a classic variety that shows off lavender-blue flowers in summer. It's one of the most fragrant varieties. It grows 30 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Zones 6-8
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Purple Bouquet' is known for its long stems and rich purple blooms in early summer. It grows 20 inches tall and 30 inches wide. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula angustifolia 'Royal Purple' is a choice selection for its profusion of early-summer blooms. It grows 32 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Zones 5-8
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Lavandula dentata 'Serenity' is an exceptionally showy variety that has highly fragrant, toothed gray-green foliage and tall spikes of purple flowers. It grows 16 inches tall and wide. Zones 8-10; usually grown as an annual in colder Zones
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Lavandula stoechas unfurls deep-purple blooms topped with lavender-hue bracts, creating a two-tone flower. Plants grow 2-3 feet tall. Zones 8-9; usually grown as an annual in colder Zones
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Lavandula stoechas 'Van Gogh' shows off lavender-blue flowers topped by festive white bracts. It grows 24 inches tall and wide. Zones 8-9; usually grown as an annual in colder Zones
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See All Kinds

Harvest Tips
Gather blossoms when they have just opened. Use individual blooms fresh, discarding the little brown or green caps that hold them to the stems. Or cut entire flower stems to dry for later use. Typically flowers are pressed into service in the kitchen, although some recipes from the South of France feature the fragrant leaves.

Pick and dry flowers for seasoning desserts, such as cookies, cakes, and ice cream, or use as an edible garnish on a salad or fresh berries. Lavender blends deliciously with mint and lemon to brew a refreshing tea. Or try blending your own Herbes de Provence seasoning mixture by combining dried lavender blooms with thyme, basil, fennel, and savory. Use this blend to season grilled meats, fish, or stews. Tuck lavender blooms into vinegar to create a deliciously fragrant and uniquely tinted flavoring.
Propagation
Seed
Stem Cuttings