Lavender. Yes, you can grow it.

by Ray Allen

Everbody loves lavender, and Lavender "Munstead", the best for the US,  is a best-seller every year with our perennials.  There's all kinds of detail on growing it on the site; click here for the details.

But all you need to know is that lavender is really a desert plant--do not put it into "good garden soil", or it will simply die.  Thousands of lavender plants are loved to death every year in the US, since so many gardeners plant them in rich loam, and fertilize and water them to death.  Lavender is one of a good sized group of perennials that absolutely insists on quick-draining gritty soil--what most of us call bad soil--rocky, arid, desert-like conditions.  I always recommend making a part of your garden your "desert"--bring in some sand, maybe some gravel, and make sure that area is in full, baking sun and has perfect drainage.

Then in that spot, plant your lavender, liatris, yarrows, and other plants that hate the soggy, muddy soil we try to create for poppies, peonies, and all the others.  The photos here are of a famous lavender garden in Oregon.  The magnificent red flowers through the gate in the midst of the lavender are red crocosmia "Lucifer", a spring bulb we sell and one that makes a dramatic show with lavender as you can see below.  Unfortunately, you can't smell this garden on your computer, but trust me, it smells as heavenly as you imagine.

Perennial GardenPerennial Garden
  1. Phenomenal Lavender, Lavandula x intermedia

    Phenomenal Lavender has it all: exceptionally tolerant of both high heat and harsh winter, this easy-to-grow lavender even shows resistance to the effects of humidity. Highly fragran...

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    Phenomenal® Lavender Lavender Phenomenal® PP#24193 Lavandula x intermedia Phenomenal PP#24193
    As low as $13.98 Sale $9.09
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Phenomenal Lavender has it all: exceptionally tolerant of both high heat and harsh winter, this easy-to-grow lavender even shows resistance to the effects of humidity. Highly fragrant with concentrated essential oils, Phenomenal's spikes of purple-blue flowers attract butterflies and bees to the garden. Edible, deer-resistant and fast-growing, this silver-leafed lavender has left all other new introductions in the dust! (Lavandula x intermedia) PP#24193
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  2. Lavender Munstead, Lavandula angustifolia Close Up

    'Munstead' Lavender is an English Lavender that has fragrant, cool lavender-blue spikes and gray-green, mounded foliage. You can tuck this lavender into your herb garden, but we lov...

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    Munstead English Lavender English Lavender Munstead Lavandula angustifolia Munstead
    As low as $9.98 Sale $6.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Munstead' Lavender is an English Lavender that has fragrant, cool lavender-blue spikes and gray-green, mounded foliage. You can tuck this lavender into your herb garden, but we love it planted with other colorful perennials in borders, planted in a massive swath where it can sway in the breeze, or set in a pot on the patio where you can enjoy its pleasant scent. Excellent in fresh or dried bouquets. (Lavandula angustifolia)
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  3. Long Blooming Lavender Collection

    The Long Blooming Lavender Collection includes 5 tried & true lavender plants that bring a graceful bouquet of aroma to sunny areas. Includes fragrant 'Munstead,' flower-packed 'Sup...

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    Long Blooming Lavender Collection
    As low as $56.98 Sale $37.04
    Per Collection of 5
    The Long Blooming Lavender Collection includes 5 tried & true lavender plants that bring a graceful bouquet of aroma to sunny areas. Includes fragrant 'Munstead,' flower-packed 'Superblue,' humidity-tolerant 'Phenomenal', intensely fragrant "Grosso', and pollinator attracting 'Hidcote.' All prefer fast-draining soils, so choose pots with bottom holes and allow plants to dry out between waterings. (Lavandula)
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  4. Purple Lavender Superblue, Lavandula angustifolia

    SuperBlue' is a compact and fragrant Lavender plant that tops out at 12", making it a perfect choice for edging walkways and setting into patio containers. This English Lavender...

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    SuperBlue English Lavender English Lavender SuperBlue PP#24929 Lavandula angustifolia SuperBlue PP#24929
    As low as $11.98 Sale $7.19
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    SuperBlue' is a compact and fragrant Lavender plant that tops out at 12", making it a perfect choice for edging walkways and setting into patio containers. This English Lavender is fairly tough, withstanding drought and overwintering reliably in all but the coldest zones. Rich and saturated, 'SuperBlue' produces blooms that are tighter together, delivering more color and fewer airy gaps. (Lavandula angustifolia)
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