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Description

English lavenders are among the most popular garden plants of all time that are valued for their flower color and foliage fragrance and oils. This species grows into round shrub, 2-3 ft. high and as wide. It has narrow bluish gray-green leaves to 1 in. long that have smooth margins and are held upright. Flowers are light to medium purple, grow on 3-4 in. long spikes and are held on unbranched stalks 24-36 in. above the foliage in late spring to mid summer.

English lavender are available in many variations; close to 100 cultivars have been developed from this species and availability varies from nursery to nursery. L. a 'Hidcote' is a long-time favorite with its compact size and deep purple-blue flowers. It is an essential part of Mediterranean style gardens and is used in containers, along borders and walks, and in mixed perennial plantings.

Water Needs

The English lavender and its many cultivars grow best on well drained soils with normal winter rains and low amounts of supplemental water during summer. Young plants will grow faster and flower longer with moderate amounts of water during winter and spring; established plants grow well with periodic deep irrigation in the summer. Lavenders are vulnerable to disease and rotting problems when their stems are covered in organic mulch and summer irrigation produces moist conditions.

The chart shown below provides a recommended 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 marked by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; it is desirable to have leaf litter and the top layer of soil beneath the stems to dry out between irrigation applications.

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: Evergreen
Habit: Symmetrical, Mounding, Compact
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.
Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Blue
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Rocky soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Drought, Cold hardy, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Mass planting, Grouped, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Commercial spaces, Civic spaces, Borders, Banks, Attracts bees, Fragrant foliage, Fragrant flowers, Attracts butterflies, Small spaces

Maintenance

For best results, trim back lavender two times per year. Cut back by about 1/3 of the leafy part of the stems once spring blooms start to fade. This will encourage more growth and potentially a rebloom in late summer / fall. Trim back in the same way again once the rebloom fades. Lavenders that are not maintained become woody and may not last more than a few years in the garden. Lavender will not grow back from cuts made in woody growth below the lowest set of leaves, so the regular pruning, at least once a year, is essential to maintain a clean and compact form. Lavender needs well draining soil to stay healthy. If your soil is heavy clay or drains poorly, you may be better off growing lavender as a potted plant (S).

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