The Mediterranean ornamental plant grows beautifully in open sunny areas as a border for flower beds, and as a flat decoration in pots. Experienced growers know a few secrets that allow you to grow an aromatic plant without much effort. Knowing and applying these simple recommendations, lavender will be able to enjoy its flowers and rich aroma for many years.
Tips for growing lavender on a windowsill
- Choosing the right sort of lavender
Among the 50 varieties of lavender, some of them are suitable for growing on a windowsill more than others:
The narrow-leaved lavender grows up to 30 cm in height. A distinctive feature of this species is the narrow leaves of gray-green color on long stems.
The broadleaf lavender is the ancestor of all the ornamental varieties of the aromatic plant. Flowers may have a variety of colors. The aroma of this type of lavender is non-standard, and not every grower may like it.
Lavender serrated. Extremely photophilous variety, intended only for growing in a pot. The leaves have a silver plaque, and large bright blue inflorescences.
- Pot selection
Choose clay light pots. Plastic and dark pots overheat very quickly in the sun, drying up the soil, which adversely affects the roots of lavender. Young shoots need a pot with a diameter of 30 cm, with a capacity of 2 liters.
- Soil selection
The clay soil does not suitable for lavender. Constant overmoistening of earthen is fraught with the formation of gray rot on the roots, and, subsequently, the death of the plant. Ideal for lavender is peat mixture with sand, and the addition of crushed eggshell in small quantities. Drainage is laid out at the bottom of the pot (gravel or pebbles) in such a way that excess water flows out through the drain holes in the drain pan.
- Room conditions
Temperature control plays an important role. Air temperature should not fall below 59 °F. Putting a pot near heating appliances is also not the best way out – the ground will dry out quickly. A sufficient amount of sunlight directly proportional to the duration of flowering. In simple words, the more often lavender is in the sun, the longer it will delight with its fragrant flowers. Southern windowsills are a great place to live lavender. If it is impossible to provide proper lighting in a natural way, a fluorescent lamp will provide an additional amount of light.
Watering is carried out with infused water at room temperature. Too hard water can be softened with a small amount of peat. Regular watering is done once a week, depending on the time of year – in the summer more frequent watering, preventing the soil from drying out, and in the winter more rare watering, without over-wetting the soil. The green parts of lavender need to be moistened at least twice a month.
Lavender can live for years without pruning. But over time, its frost resistance will begin to decline. The plant requires sanitary and rejuvenating pruning. Every year, at the end of the summer, it is necessary to remove dry stems without affecting the woody part. And every three years, a rejuvenating pruning is carried out – the plant is divided into two parts, or cut to a height of 7-10 cm from ground level.
- Transplanting and reproduction
Young sprouts of lavender are transplanted into a new pot at the end of spring, as soon as the rest period ends, or in early autumn, after the flowering period. Lavender can be propagated green, young shoots on the parent flower. Experienced growers cut off the shoots throughout the season. After rooting, semi-lignified cuttings are planted in the soil.
- Growing lavender seeds
Before planting, the lavender seeds must be stratified. Without this procedure, the plant will not germinate further. Mix the seeds with moist river sand, leave in the refrigerator at a temperature of 37,4 – 41 °F. From time to time, ventilate the contents of the seed container. Leave the lavender in the cold for 2 months and then plant it in the pot. Be prepared for the fact that the lavender germinated from seeds will bloom in the second year after planting, since the first year the plant put all its strength into building a powerful root system.
Following all the recommendations, care for lavender is not difficult. But, be sure to remember these nuances:
- The lavender root is forming long and centrally located, so if there is not enough space in the pot, the root will stop growing. Choose a deep pot.
- In a suffocating, low-ventilated room, the growth of lavender slows down. Ventilate the room regularly, and in the summer put a pot on the balcony or by the open window.
- Full drying of the soil adversely affects the plant. Stimulants will not help lavender if it fades from lack of moisture.
- In general, pest insects and many diseases are not terrible for lavender. But constant waterlogging contributes to the formation of gray mold on the roots. In this situation, an urgent transplanting to a new pot with partial replacement of the soil will help. Infected areas are cut off, and the plant is watered with phytosporin-m one-time. Large-scale defeat gray rot leads to the death of the plant.
A full description of the healing properties of lavender and its essential oil you can found in our article “Fragrant lavender fields… Why is lavender worthy of your love”.