Lavender Plant Care & Pruning

Overview

Lavender (Lavandula spp.) is a hardy, attractive shrub that has the added benefit of having a soothing fragrance, according to information published by the University of Maryland Medical Center. This herb, which is a member of the mint family, grows in a neat mound that can reach heights of 3 feet tall and wide. Lavender can be grown in containers or in-ground and will thrive if basic cultural practices are followed.

Climate

Lavender is a temperate plant and grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 though 9, according to the University of Vermont. The plant does not grow well in tropical areas.

Light

Lavender plants are the perfect choice for that hot, dry location in your garden, according to information published by the University of Florida. They thrive in warm temperatures and should be exposed to a minimum of eight hours of sunlight per day.

Soil

While these hardy plants can adapt to a wide range of soils, they do not do well in acidic soil. Lavender plants require a pH level above 6.0, according to information published by the University of Florida. If your plant does not seem to be growing or blooming well, test the soil with a pH soil-testing kit (available at nurseries). Add lime to the soil if needed.

Water and Fertilizer

Well-draining soil is a must with lavender plants. Do not over-water, or they will suffer from fungal diseases. Never plant lavender in a location where standing water collects. Add a layer of mulch around the plant in the spring to retain moisture without having to water often. Although they are drought-tolerant, lavender plants grow best when they are watered when the first few inches of soil dry out.

Pruining

Many cultivars of lavender grow in such a neat, natural mound that they do not need any pruning for shaping purposes. Others grow rather loosely, which is not necessarily unattractive. Still, prune to remove dead wood each spring, if not to shape the plant. Since they can grow quite large, you might also need to prune to maintain a small size.

Keywords: Lavandula plant care, pruning lavender plants, growing lavender herb

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.