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Description

Desert lavender is a tough woody shrub that is native to desert habitats throughout the Southwest and Baja California. It grows best along seasonal washes where it benefits from seasonal rainfall and runoff; it sheds leaves and becomes sparse during hot and dry summer conditions. When the desert lavender is grown in gardens and landscapes, it can reach 10-12 ft. tall and as wide, providing attractive gray-green aromatic foliage color throughout the year. Clusters of purple-blue flowers occur in spring for a pleasing display of color.

Desert lavender is well suited as a background plant in Southwestern style gardens in combination with palo verde trees, desert encelia, chuparosa and Texas rangers. It adds to the wildlife value of such plantings as well as harmonizes with other plants with pale green foliage color. It can be pruned to grow as a small tree or accent shrub with an attractive branching habit.

Water Needs

Like other desert adapted plants, the Desert lavender is adapted to Inland Empire gardens when grown in sunny exposures and with normal winter rainfall. Only periodic irrigation during summer is recommended. The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Drought deciduous
Habit: Upright, Open, Low-branching
Growth Rate: Fast
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Silvery white, Gray green
Flower Color: Lavender
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Screening, Foliage accent plant, California native, Background plant, Fragrant foliage, Attracts butterflies

Maintenance

To control size or to shape, cut back as much of the new-ish growth as desired while not in flower (May-ish) (1).

References

Associations

Plant Palettes

Plant Lists