Plant in garden or outdoor container in the spring, when all danger of frost has passed. To be successful, plant Bandara Purple in full sun where there is well-drained soil. It doesn’t like to be wet, so raised beds or containers with adequate drainage holes work best. Space plants 12-14” apart. Grown as an annual in zone 5, Bandara Purple tolerates heat and humidity better than other types of lavender. To encourage bigger blooms, plant on fertilizing every two weeks for best results.
Attracts bees and butterflies. Resists deer and rabbits.
Lavender, Bandara Purple lavandula stoechas
Bandara Purple lavender is a Spanish type variety that forms attractive compact mounds that are 7-9” tall and 10-12” across, which do not fall open with age. The purple, winged flower spikes begin blooming in late spring and last well into the summer. If spent flowers are trimmed this variety will produce a good secondary flush of fragrant blooms. Does well in container plantings, in combo pots, or as a border in the garden. Once established, Bandara Purple is drought tolerant.
Lavender’s name comes from the Latin verb meaning “to wash”. It has been used by many to relieve headaches, quiet coughs and soothe digestive systems, but has been prized mostly for its oil content, found in the blossoms, by the perfume industry. What many people don’t know about Lavender is that its leaves are a natural herbicide and will help repel insects like mosquitoes.
Lavender can also be used as a culinary herb in flavored vinegar, jellies, as a flavoring in lavender ice cream, or as an ingredient in lavender short bread. Use a light hand when cooking with lavender. Its flavor is most successful when it lags in the background, hinting that there’s an interesting flavor enhancing your food, but not so bold that you immediately recognize it.
Well-dried flowers will retain their scent for a long time if dried and stored properly. If you harvest leaves and/or flowers just before the flowers are open fully the color will be more vivid when dried. Cutting the blooming stems will encourage more growth and the plants may bloom up to three times during a summer given the right conditions.
Cut the stems in the morning after the dew has evaporated and the humidity is low. The oil content in the blossoms is the most potent at this stage. 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 an air-tight container. To use in flower arrangements leave stems intact. When stems are still pliable they may be woven together to make wreaths, lavender wands, or lavender rope.