Growing Lavender

Grow LavenderLavender is one of the most easily distinguished, popular, and restful of fragrances. It is attractive to both men and women, and is the main fragrance in a wide range of beauty and home products.

Lavender Planting Tips

Lavender likes a well drained, sunny spot, and can tolerate dry conditions. It prefers sandy soil to which lime has been added, and will grow from 18" to three feet. New plantings should be separated by a distance of two feet (12 inches if you are planning a hedge).

Lavender prefers good air circulation, but keep it in a sheltered spot if you live in a windy area. In zones where humidity is a problem, increase the distance between plants and keep them well pruned.

Frost tolerance varies by variety. For background and instructions about specific varieties, see my blog lavender varieties

With delicate small flowers on gray green stems, lavender is as interesting in the garden as it is in many of our favorite beauty aids, and a few lavender plants can make an attractive focal point while providing a storehouse of flowers for craft applications.

Lavender is Naturally Pest Resistant

In folklore, lavender is considered lucky, and for the gardener this is particularly true because common garden pests like snails, slugs, and aphids studiously avoid it.

One of its historical uses was as a plague herb because it repelled plague infested fleas. It is an effective flea deterrent today, which makes it a good choice for areas where you keep your pets, either indoors or out. Dried herb sachets in a dog's bedding, or a potted lavender near your cat's litter box are good flea management solutions. Near or around litter, lavender is also a good cat box odor inhibitor.

Some lavenders can thrive indoors or on a seasonal rotation where frost is a problem. Take a look at my blog, "Keeping Lavender Indoors" for more information.

For more information on lavender, visit my lavender page:


  1. Oh that's answers my sun question. It's odd though that it needs a sunny area, yet can be kept indoors.

  2. Chris,

    Indoor lavender does best if it can get at least 6 hours of good light. It will also show to better advantage if it can be rotated outdoors for a week or two in early spring.


  3. dooflotchie1:13:00 AM

    On Lavender And Cats, or Dude's Demon Plant!

    I love lavender. LOVE it. When I see pictures of whole fields packed full with it I want to climb into the picture and just lay down in it.

    I did go through times when I didn't wear the scent for a while. During one of those times I adopted a big goofy male cat I named Dude. He is a very curious and mischievous brat mostly, but is a nice and smart cat. I had a lot of trouble finding ways to hamper his sometimes destructive adventuring, though.

    My mom sent me a bunch of stuff from Yves Roche as a gift: soap, lotion and perfume. It was a very lovely, pure and clean lavender scent. Of course I started using it right away. Being the curious creature that he is, Dude came right over to this new stuff in his home and began sniffing it. I was really surprised at his reaction to it.

    He took one or two deep sniffs of it, then:
    - Jerked back as if it burned him
    - Pinched his eyes shut
    - Gagged (Yes, GAGGED!)
    - Ran away

    He HATES the smell of lavender. So, naturally I now spray that fragrance on anything I want him to stay out of and it works very well.

    Oddly enough, when I had a chance to cut some fresh lavender from a neighbor's plants, Dude wanted to eat it! But after I dried the bunch and stripped the flowers off to use, he runs away from the very same flowers he tried to eat two weeks ago.

    If you're going to use lavender for litter box odor control or any other household freshening, it might not be a bad idea to make sure your cat(s) won't be repelled by it first!

  4. Sara, my mom has a lavender plant she wants to transplant but I can't find much about transplanting them and my favorite website "All Things Lavender" is down for maintenance. Can you help? Thank you so much!

  5. Hi Laura,

    Transplanting lavender is pretty easy. Pick a good location and prep the spot by loosening the soil. Adding sand, potting mix and other amendments that worked in the plant's previous spot is a good idea too. Fall is the perfect time to replant. Just do the deed about a month before the first hard frost.

    Dig a hole and prep the new spot before removing the plant from its present home. The hole should be around eight inches deep, and the location should receive good sun and be sheltered from punishing winds. Prep the plant by trimming back about a third of the foliage.

    Replant in the new location and water thoroughly. Mulch well to protect the plant while it sets down new roots.

    Warning: Next spring and summer you may see sparse or no blooming from your lavender because it's transitioning to the new location. If it does have a growth spurt and some blooming, trim it back to give the plant extra energy to set down a strong root system. If you live in a mild climate, it may bloom again in fall.

    Hope this helps.


  6. Appreciate all the information in this blog - thank you so much!


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