Plant in garden or outdoor container in the spring, when all danger of frost has passed. Lavenders prefer a spot in full sun where there is loamy, well-drained soil. It doesn’t like to be wet, so raised beds or containers with adequate drainage holes work best. Space plants 15-18” apart. Thoroughly water in and apply a 2” layer of mulch on top of the soil to help conserve water and reduce weeds.
Once established, lavender is drought tolerant. Grows well in containers or mixed plantings. Plant height 18-48”. Attracts bees and butterflies. Resists deer and rabbits. Leaves repel mosquitoes.
Lavender, Fernleaf lavandula multifida
Fernleaf Lavender is one of the more tender varieties of lavender, but it can be over wintered in the zone 5 climate. It is a particularly tall and elegant variety, growing up to four feet with unusual blue flowers at the tip of high stalks. Fernleaf Lavender blooms continuously! Shear old flowers to promote new ones.
Lavender can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It is sometimes used for flavoring cookies and candy, and for marinating meats in a blend with other herbs such as thyme and marjoram.
Requires well-drained soil. If growing in a pot, using soil with sand, perlite, or vermiculite will aid in drainage.
Well-dried flowers will retain their scent for a long time if dried and stored properly. Harvest leaves and/or flowers just before the flowers are open fully. Cut the stems in the morning after the dew has evaporated and the humidity is low. Hang in bunches in a dry, airy location – or use drying racks or screens when the temperature is high (90 degrees or above is ideal). When completely dry, strip flower heads off stems to use in sachets or potpourri. Store in airtight container. To use in flower arrangements leave stems intact. When stems are still pliable they may be woven together to make wreaths or lavender wands.