2014-08-07 / From The Garden

Growing and Drying Lavender

A perennial, lavender grows from one to three feet tall, depending on the variety. It needs at least six hours of direct sun each day, more is better. Lavender plants grow in hardiness zones 5 through 10 and are planted about 15 inches apart.

Water sparingly; dampness is the enemy of lavender and if the roots of the plant become excessively damp, it will kill the plant quicker than any drought or freezing temperatures. In fact, over-watering new lavender plants in spring is the main cause of growth failure.

The lavender blooms come in midsummer and range from lavender-hued gray to a vibrant royal purple.

Aggressive annual pruning will maintain a beautifully shaped plant and maximize flower production. Leave approximately 1" of green foliage on plant when pruning.

Harvesting: When your lavender has blossomed, the flowers can be picked for many uses. If you desire a fresh bouquet, pick the blossoms when half of the flowers on the blossom head have opened. If you are picking to dry the bundle for crafting or sachet, pick when three-quarters of the blossoms are open.

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