A lavender plant offers a lot of versatility as indoor plants, border plants along the driveway, and flowers in party centerpieces. Lavender is typically a low-maintenance plant, but if the conditions the plant needs to thrive are not met, growing it can feel like an exercise in futility. If you’ve just got your hands on a pot of this bushy herb and would love to learn the best ways to take care of it, carry on reading about the simple, yet effective ways to grow and care for a potted lavender plant.
For the purpose of this article, let us say Lavender Trees are Lavender Plants but larger in size
In this Article
Lavender Plants – General Info
Common Varieties of Lavender
Lavender is one of the most popular herbs, and there are various types of this plant out there. Here are some common varieties of lavender:
- French Lavender (Lavandula dentata) – This type of lavender is native to the Mediterranean region and it’s commonly used in perfumes and cosmetics.
- English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – English lavender grows wild on rocky hillsides throughout the Mediterranean region.
- Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) – Spanish lavender grows around the Mediterranean basin down into Morocco.
Planting Lavender Plants
Lavender is a perennial plant that typically grows to about 1-3 feet tall (30-90cm) and about 2 feet wide if planted outdoors in a sunny location. If you want to grow lavender as an indoor plant, then select plants that are about 15 cm (6 inches) tall and then transplant them into pots that are at least 20cm (8 inches) deep.
The best time to plant your lavender is in late spring or early summer when the weather has warmed up enough for the roots to establish themselves in the ground. If you live in an area where winters get below freezing temperatures, then you should wait until after all danger of frost has passed before planting your lavender plants outside so they have time to establish themselves before winter arrives.
The flowering period of lavenders varies depending upon the growing conditions. Some plants can bloom continuously if they’re grown in an area where it’s warm throughout the year. However, most lavenders will bloom for about three months during summertime, especially if they are grown in containers outside where they receive plenty (but not extreme) of sun exposure.
Potted Lavender Plant Care
Lavender plants require slightly alkaline soil with good drainage and plenty of organic matter. A mixture of sand or peat moss and compost works well for potted lavender plants, though you may need to add lime if your soil is too acidic (below 5.5 pH). The soil should have no more than 30 percent clay; otherwise there will be poor drainage, and your plant will not thrive as well as it could. If I don’t have clay, I use 15-20 percent garden soil and 80-85 percent potting soil. The mixture provides drainage and it’s suitable enough to retain water for a few days before the next watering session.
Garden and potting soil
NOTE: Because compost generally retains water and lavender doesn’t tolerate overwatering, it’s best not to add compost to your soil if you live in a relatively cool to cold area.
Potted Lavender Watering Requirements
Lavender doesn’t like wet feet. Overwatering leads to root rot, and that’s the last thing you need to happen to your plant. To be on the safe side, water your plant only when the soil is dry to the touch.
Potted Lavender Light Requirements
Lavender plants require full sun or partial shade. It grows well in areas with at least six hours of sunlight per day. It does best in areas that receive direct sunlight for part of the day, such as near windows. The plant will also do well in partial shade, where it receives some direct sunlight during the early morning or late afternoon hours.
I don’t typically fertilize lavender because I use moderately fertilized potting soil. But if you do need to fertilize it, feed it with a low nitrogen fertilizer in early spring. You can use bone meal because it contains low amounts of nitrogen, which means it won’t burn your plant. You can also use any organic slow-release liquid fertilizer that has a high amount of phosphorus and potassium. These are important nutrients for plants to stay healthy and produce flowers.
Repotting into A Large Pot
Repotting lavender into a larger pot will help your plant grow faster and healthier because there will be more room for the roots to develop. It would be best if you repotted your lavender every 2 years to keep it healthy and vigorous. If you want to plant directly outside, then do this in the fall or early spring.
Follow these simple steps to repot your plant:
- Remove any dead or diseased branches from the top of your lavender plant before repotting it into a larger container. Also, remove any excess soil from around the roots of your plant before placing it into its new home so that there are no air pockets left between them and the soil in its new pot.
- Use a large pot that is at least twice as big as your original pot. Fill an 8-inch container with good quality potting mix that allows for the plant to aerate.
- Plant your lavender into its new home and water thoroughly so that it’s established.
How To Prune A Potted Lavender Tree
Pruning is necessary for several reasons:
- Control of growth: Pruning helps control the size of the plant by cutting off unwanted branches. You can control how tall your lavender tree will be so that it doesn’t take over your yard or garden space.
- Promotes Healthy growth: Pruning promotes healthy growth for your lavender tree because it encourages new buds to form at wounds made by pruning shears or other types of tools used for pruning purposes. The new buds will grow into new stems that produce flowers later on in the year, which can then be harvested for use in culinary dishes such as baked goods or salads.
Here are some tips for pruning a potted lavender tree:
When To Prune Potted Lavender Plants
You should prune your lavender at different times of the year depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you want to keep the plant contained in one area, then you should prune during spring or early summer. If you want the lavender to flower more profusely, then prune during late summer or fall before the flowers bloom.
How To Prune A Potted Lavender Tree
- Remove dead branches from the plant by cutting them off at ground level with sharp secateurs (or garden shears).
- Trim back any branches that have grown too long and are hanging over into other parts of your garden or house. You’ll need to do this every year so they don’t get too big and take over everything else.
- Cut away any weak branches that are not growing straight up or down.
- Shape your tree into your desired shape. While shaping is not necessary, it does create an aesthetically appealing plant to look at. You can create several different shapes by simply cutting the top and bottom of the branches at different angles and lengths.
Common Problems with Lavender
Even though I’ve never experienced any problems with my potted lavender tree, I’m aware that they are susceptible to fungal root rot when they’re overwatered. To prevent root rot, it’s best to reduce the number of times you water your plant in winter. For example, if you usually water your plant every two weeks in Spring and Summer, reduce it to once every two weeks in winter. Remember, potted (indoor) plants usually retain a lot of water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I leave my potted lavender outside?
You can leave your potted lavender outside as long as the conditions are conducive enough for the plant to thrive. Lavender likes full sun and well-drained soil. It can tolerate some shade but will be healthier with more sunlight. If you’re growing lavender in a pot outside, ensure the pot drains properly so that the water can get out when you water the plant. Good potting soil will help keep the soil loose enough so that drainage works well.
Will potted lavender grow back after winter?
Lavender is a perennial plant, so it will grow back after winter. The key phrase here is “after winter.”
I’ve transplanted some of my (English) lavender inground, with very few branches left in pots and they successfully grow back in Spring. The best way to protect potted lavender is to move it into the garage or basement for the winter.
If you live in an area where there is natural freezing and snow cover, then your lavender will die during the winter months. You can expect new growth when the weather warms up again in spring.
Why is my potted lavender dying?
There are a few reasons why your potted lavender may be dying. One of the most common problems is overwatering. Lavender plants are susceptible to root rot and should only be watered when the soil is dry. Ensure there is good drainage in the pot or soil so that excess water can drain away from the plant’s roots. If there’s poor drainage, excess water will sit around the roots and cause damage to them over time.
Another problem that can cause potted lavender to die is over-fertilizing. Lavenders like a lot of sun but they don’t need fertilizer every time you water them. It’s best to feed your lavender once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season and once a month during the winter months.
You may also have trouble with your lavender if it’s getting too much water or too little water. If you’re unsure whether or not your plant needs water, stick your finger in the soil and see if it’s damp or dry. If it’s damp, then it doesn’t need watering. If it’s dry, then it needs watering!
The key to growing a potted lavender plant is to be aware of the plant’s growth requirements. Some lavenders like cooler temperatures, but the most popular lavenders can withstand warmer climates. Lavender plants need full sun- at least 6-8 hours a day- so be sure to choose a sunny place that’s not too humid. And if you do have to water them, ensure you water them moderately to prevent root rot from happening.
Have you grown lavender in pot plants? We’d love to hear about it! Share your lavender plant in a pot story in the comments section below.