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Hi - newbie here! - both to thread, and somewhat to gardening too! ,-)
I love scented flowers. Hence I have bought some lovely lavenders - from local greengrcoers BTW (Support your local... !).
5 are Lavender Angustifola; 2 are Lavender Munstead. I am so new to gardening that I really don't know much about these including how these 2 differ in growing habits etc.!!
I want these as plants for the following reasons:
1. to be scented
2. pretty blue colour
3. floral when in season
4. general evergreens to 'prettify!' the garden the rest of the year.
I am somewhat confused as to how plant these out - spacially - or how to grow them on, as it were - I think that is the phrase the specialists use! ,-)
I have seen such large bushes of lavenders in other people's gardens that I don't want to overcrowd them when planting out: I have a couple of nice long planters (c. 80cm long x 30cm wide x 30cm deep). How should I plant them? Will I have to plant them in these long plantersthen, later, as they grow, move them to other - larger - planters or even the garden's open flowerbeds.
I had some lavenders that I grew from seed years ago - Lavender Munstead in that case - but they went all wrong. I have a horrible feeling I overcrowded them.
These that I have now are each in an approx. 8inch wide pot, so I don't have the same issues that I faced with the lavender seeds. But I am concerned not to repeat wasting all that growing tiem & killing off the plants too. I want to get it right this time!!
All help appreciated.
You have varieties of what is commonly known as English Lavender. The Munstead is just a bit shorter and more compact.
Lavenders like conditions dry and sunny so you should add lots of grit when planting, especially in containers. They don't like wet feet in the winter so some people sit them on a pile of grit when planting, and don't be too kind to them, they are tough plants really.
The worst thing that happens with Lavenders is that people don't prune them so they grow and grow and get all sprawling and ugly.
Plant them with a space between each plant that is the plants mature size or just a little bit less to keep them neat together, so if the label says its width will be 12 inches when mature, the gap between each plant should be 10-12 inches. And, really, Monty advises to cut them back the first year, to promote good bushy growth.
The idea is to cut back as far as you see new growth, but not into old wood, because they don't grow from old wood. Now is a great time to trim them for flowering late summer and you can trim them late summer to bush them up a bit. but not too late because the frosts will damage tender new growth.
They grow fast so next summer should see an amazing display.
That's all I know Good luck
I can understand why Monty says to cut back in the first year so that the lavender concentrates on growth rather than flowering (I assume you mean before flowering as you should cut them back every year after flowering), but I for one just couldn't bring myself to do it - go a whole year before seeing flowers. It's hard enough having to look at juicy rhubarb stems or asparagus shoots on first year plants and having to resist picking them.
Each year after flowering I cut mine back really low, to about two inches above ground level. I don't worry about old / new wood - they all get a grade 1. Mind you, you have to do that right from the first year. The effect is that I get stems no thicker than a mini-straw, and when I cut them back every stem sends up new growth. Last year I missed one and by the time I cut it back the stems were the thickness of a knitting needle, but they still all produced new growth.I have had mine in for five years, and they still look as compact and vigorous as they were in year 2.
You can stagger the flowering period by pruning some immediately after flowering, and leave others to prune in spring.
My Lavender is in its second year. I cut them back around this time last year to just above the 'woody bit' They looked lovely last year, quite dense and bushy, this year however they haven't looked as good. I'm trying to create a low hedge which I've seen in someones garden, something I envy a little! Am I right to cut back now and should I be brutal with it or should it be just a trim?? Never been sure of cutting back and my garden suffers for it
I cut my Lavender bushes back by a third on the whole plant AFTER flowering. This seems to bush them up ready for next year before Winter sets in
Put the augustus in the middle of your planters, they will be taller than the Munstead. Plant about a foot and a half apart for a nice thick hedge.
Because of our unpredictable weather I prune twice. Once when flowers finished to about an inch below flower stems, then again in spring around end of March beginning of April depending on weather....didn't this year as weather so appalling! Usually I cut then to new growth appearing at bottom of stems so pretty hard back.
I have a lavender hedge getting on for 12 years old now and still looking good
So my 1 year old lavenders have just finished flowering. Am I reading this correctly - that I should cut them back quite hard now?
I don't chicky I just cut flower stalks and a bit below. I cut hard back in spring x
Instant answer addict - fantastic, many thanks
Just done mine now. Always after flowering. They grow quickly at this time...the foliage protecting the plants.
This year I used a hedgetrimmer...Well, got new one and had to use my new toy......and if has made short work of my lavender hedge. It looks nice and level, thick and straight. It will look good now throughout the rest of this year and into next spring.
Really useful information here from expert lavender growers http://www.norfolk-lavender.co.uk/pages/lavenders-for-your-garden/plant-care.php
If you visit the fields you'll see how they cut the lavender back really hard each year when they harvest the flowers which also serves to keep the bushes compact.
Great advice - thanks Verd and Dove. My lavendars actually came from Norfolk lavender (well some of them anyway) - on one of my Kings Lynn jollies
Dove - just looked up the lavender site you mentioned. It talks about Lavender stoechas. As far as 'she with little knowledge' can work out this is what I'd call french lavender, which I want for some pots (different ones to mentiones ealier in the week). It says to prune these now (end of August) and dead head regularly.