Last year around this time I started planning a wildflower garden. I planted the several varieties of wildflower seeds and had pretty good success my first year growing a wildflower garden. This year I’m going to add to my wildflower garden by increasing the seed density, and hopefully get some more success with a few plants I had trouble with. Veseys seeds provided me with wildflower seeds again for my garden in compensation for this post.
In the fall last year I wrote about my experiences with my first year growing a wildflower meadow, and what I would do differently this year. Last year I had trouble growing Hidcote Blue Lavender from seed. This year I wanted to do a bit of research and make sure I had a plan that would ensure my success growing lavender from seed.
I came up with a list of questions that I had. By getting the answers to these questions, I feel more confident that I will have success this year growing lavender from seed. I’d like to think I’m a pretty good gardener, but when it comes down to it, it always helps to do a bit of research and get advice from people who really know their stuff.
First of all, why lavender?
I want to grow lavender because it has such a pretty purple color, it smells amazing, and I want to be able to dry the flowers to bring indoors. One benefit of lavender is it’s relaxing properties… I can always use a little more relaxing. Lavender is a perennial that grows back year after year, and is a great addition to a wildflower meadow.
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Will lavender survive in my area?
Each plant has it’s own hardiness zone of where it will thrive. Lavender has a hardiness zone of 5-9. Here is a map of the Hardiness zones for North America. With this, you can determine whether or not lavender is suitable for your area.
When should I start lavender from seed?
Lavender seeds should be planted indoors about 6-8 weeks before planting outside. Where I live, the last frost is usually mid-May. I like to plant flowers outside around the end of May. So that means I will plant my lavender seeds inside around the end of March or early April to give them enough time to germinate and develop strong roots.
How do I ensure successful germination?
Lavender is slow to germinate. Sow the seeds indoors in a seed tray with bottom heat (19 degree celcius) using a heat mat. If you don’t have a heat mat, one trick I learned from my grandmother is to germinate seeds in the oven. Put your whole seed tray in the oven and leave only the light on. The seeds should germinate within a few days. Make sure the soil is always moist until the seedlings come up and are established.
How should I care for the seedlings?
Lavender likes full sun and lots of warmth. Place the seed trays near a window, but make sure they don’t encouter significant temperature swings. Water the seedlings when the soil is dry to the touch. Use a small amount of water soluble fertilizer every time you water. Rotate the seed trays every few days to make sure the plants grow evenly. And finally, removing a set of leaves from each seedling will encourage more flowers.
Are there tips for planting the seedlings outside?
In the spring, you can transplant the seedlings once the root system is well established and the risk of frost is over. Before planting outside, acclimate the plants to outdoor weather over a few weeks. The first day, put them outside in a shady sheltered area for a few hours. Gradually increase the time spent outside over a week or two until it is time to plant in the soil. Water frequently, and continue to fertilize all summer.
You can successfuly grow lavender from seed!
With these tips I feel more confident that I will have success growing lavender from seed. If you have more questions about how to grow lavender, or any other gardening question, reach out to the experts at Vesey’s. They have a lot of information on their website, but also have horticulturists who are willing to answer questions.
If you want to see how my lavender turns out, please sign up for email!