- 1 Lavender- Lavandula Angustifolia
- 2 Nutritional Benefits
- 3 Companion Plants
- 4 Lavender Varieties
- 5 How to Grow Lavender from Seeds?
- 6 How to Grow Lavender from Cuttings?
- 7 How to take Care for Lavender Plant Indoors?
- 8 Commercial Applications
- 9 Health Benefits
Lavender- Lavandula Angustifolia
Lavender is a flowering plant in the mint family. It grows well in France, North America, Africa, India and Mediterranean regions. Lavender has fresh, sweet aroma and grown as ornamental plant at home. It grows to a height of 45-60 centimeters in a well drained soil when the temperature is 60 F. Flowers are in whorls, spikes rising above foliage and purple or violet in color.
Lavender scented lotions, soaps, powder, perfumes and oils are widely used in commercial market. It has a soothing aroma that helps to relax, fall asleep and can be used as a natural mosquito repellent.
Lavender leaves & flowers, fresh or dried have a mildly scent but slightly bitter in taste and can be flavored in salads, jellies, sauces, sorbets, desserts and beverages.
Lavender plants are rich in caffeic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and calcium. It is cholesterol and sugar free. 100 grams of lavender contains 215 mg of calcium which is more helpful for body parts.
Lavender essential oil also contains antioxidants like catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) are used to repel mosquitoes, cosmetics and relieves stress.
Companion planting is the best way to make your garden plants healthy and look beautiful. though the plant has some requirements it can repel insects that cause great damage to their companions. Lavenders love to grow with sedum, echinacea, blanket flower, aster and drought tolerant roses.
There are more than 47 species cultivated worldwide for its commercial use. these varieties are based on its growing regions, flower blooming time and season. Here is the list of 4 popular lavender varieties with its origin and specification…..
|S. No||Lavender variety||Origin||Specification|
|1||English lavender||England||2-3 feet tall with grey-green leaves|
|2||Lavandula stoechas||Spanish||7 feet tall with greyish leaves|
|3||Lavandula dentata||French||2-3 feet tall with Strong pine & camphor tones|
|4||Hidcote lavender||England||2-5 feet tall with deep purple blossoms|
Lavender is the most popular herb and is a favorite for gardeners. Lavender seeds are cheap and readily available in markets. Get a bunch of seeds and sprinkle them in a pot containing nutrient rich soil at indoors. Water a little. Keep the pot in a south-window (facing sunlight) and within 2-3 weeks seed germinates.
How to Grow Lavender from Seeds?
When root sprouts, you can fertilize the soil by maintaining equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. After fertilizing, allow lavender to grow and expose to outdoor conditions slowly. After 6-12 weeks from seed germination, flower starts blooming and spreads beautiful fragrances.
Choose large pots or containers about 12 -16 inches for growing lavenders. You can insert seeds or plant cuttings into the pot. Place rich fertile potting mix soil into the pot for better growth of the lavender plant.
Lavender grows well in alkaline conditions. pH of the soil should be between 6.7 & 7.3. You can plant lavender in full sun and well drained soil. Water the plant if the soil is dry. They can also be grown in shade and becomes lanky and do not flower. You can even add organic matter to the soil to improve soil fertility and enhancing plant growth. Seed germinates within 14-21 days after sowing them in a pot.
Water the plant regularly. As lavender grows well in warm climatic conditions, water plants frequently. Avoid over watering and under watering. Over watering results in yellowing of leaves and may cause rot in plants and under watering results in nutrient deficiencies. So water the plant in sufficient amounts.
Lavender plant can be grown year around in hot and dry climate. Place the plant in sunlight as it absorbs light for photosynthesis process. This process is responsible for the plant to undergo oxidation (by maintaining oxygen levels) and flowers to bloom when placed under sunlight. Maintain the temperature between 60-65 F during day time and at night times between 45-55 F when placed in a room.
Lavender flowers are cross-pollinated. They attract bumblebees, honeybees and birds to transfer pollen grains from stamen (male gamete) to the stigma (female gamete). Insects may appear on lavenders for its prey (nectar or honey) and pollination is done naturally to produce more flowers. Do not spray harmful chemicals at the time of pollination as it can damage the flowering.
Proper care must be taken while pruning lavender plants. prune lavender by cutting (2/3) of the woody stem that is responsible for slow growth. use garden tools like shears or cutters to prune lavenders at the time of summer or before winter season. It actually promotes fast growth with high yield.
Use organic fertilizers to grow lavender in pots. Over fertilizing may result in excess foliage and do not flower for a long time or may even kill the plants. Organic fertilizers such as compost, ripen fruits and vegetables helps to boost the lavender plant growth. Feed lavender with fertilizers in small amounts as it does not hurt or damage the plant growth.
Pest and Diseases
The sweet scented aroma of lavender attracts pest for pollination. Some pests like cuckoo spits, aphids, spider mites and white flies cause great damage to the leaves of lavender by eating or webs on plant leaves.
It is affected by plant viruses, bacterial and fungal diseases like alfa mosaic virus, wet feet and shab disease. These are due to insufficient amount of nutrients supplied to the plants. Use pest controllers that are readily available in markets to kill them. You can also apply Neem oil to the plants to deter pests.
Gardeners choose to harvest lavender when flowers bloom. Harvesting time depends on lavender variety and usage. Flower heads are used for the extraction of oils in commercial markets. Grab a bunch of stalks and cut them with knife above 2 inches from the bottom of the plant.
How to Grow Lavender from Cuttings?
Most of the gardeners prefer this cutting method as the lavender plants can thrive faster. Growing lavender from seeds is a time taking and need lot of patience to process from seed germination to the plant growth. It takes approximately 2-3 months to bloom flowers when you start from seeds.
Though seeds are available cheap, you need to take care from the beginning by watering, supplying nutrients and fertilizers. So it’s better to take cuttings from another lavender plant and grow it. When you prefer cutting method it doesn’t require lot of care and grows quickly.
For rooting lavender cut healthy and straight stems. Pick up the stems with good color and no buds in it. Use sharp knife for cuttings about 3-4 inches long. Remove lower leaves of the stem and trim off the bottom portion of the stem with knife.
Now place cuttings in a pot or container with well drained soil. Place the pot in a sunny area and water the cuttings on regular basis. If necessary add organic fertilizers to cuttings once in a week. Within 2 months you can see the flowers blooming and spreads beautiful fragrances.
How to take Care for Lavender Plant Indoors?
You need to take care of lavender starting from seeds to a newly established plant. Once lavender plant establishes they need little care for better growth.
- Water plants frequently when the soil is dry.
- Use organic fertilizers for better plant growth.
- Plant lavender in full and well-drained fertile soil.
- Keep pets and children away from the plant when you start feeding with fertilizers.
- Make proper Use of gardening tools like sharp knife or scissors for harvesting lavender.
- Follow instructions and warning labels on lavender essential oils before applying on your skin.
- For Better Sleep: Lavender plant is one of the best of all plants that is responsible for a better sleep. It has a soothing aroma which helps to relax and fall asleep. Lavender scented lotions, soaps and oils are widely used in commercial market.
- As Mosquito Repellent: When you leave windows open you find bugs at your home. Mosquitoes can be pesky and cause skin irritation. Lavender has fresh, sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that helps to repel mosquitoes.
- Commercial Sprays: Lavender can be grown at your home and used in the production of scented lotions, soaps, oils, perfumes, powder and many other products are widely used in commercial market.
- Cooking: Lavender is a versatile herb for cooking. Flowers, leaves are used fresh and buds & stems can be used dried in Tea, Mock tails, Ice Creams and in Chicken Recipes.
- Beauty: Lavender in beauty products for keeping beauty and mental state cool and calm.
Medicinal properties of lavender helps to treat hair loss, stress, diabetes, skin burns and heart problems.
- Hair loss: Lavender can prevent hair loss from all parts of the body (especially on scalp). It can promote hair growth by 44% within 7 months of treatment.
- Diabetes: Recent studies shows that lavender essential oils controls the diabetes. Though it cannot cure completely, but helps to reduce sugar levels to some extent.
- Skin Burns & Cuts: The anti-inflammatory property of lavender helps to cure burns and cuts when applied on your skin. You can use lavender essential oil for this purpose.
- Heart problems: Antioxidants containing relaxing quality in lavender helps to reduce blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, thereby lowering the risk of heart attacks.
- Digestive issues: Polyphenols in lavender has great impact on body from preventing the accumulation of gas and harmful bacteria in stomach. Drinking lavender tea is an effective way to cure digestive problems.
- Stress and Anxiety: Lavender Fragrance (from leaves &flowers) has the ability to relieve stress and anxiety.
- Healing wounds: Lavender has powerful antiseptic properties and is applied on wounds & cuts to improve cell growth. For this simply apply diluted lavender oil on the wound.
If you have grown lavender indoors from seeds or cuttings, please share your experience with us.