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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.