How to Start Lavender Seeds


Gardeners prize lavender (Lavandula spp.) shrubs for their hardy nature, fragrant foliage and showy purple blossoms that rise on tall spikes from the shrub. Instead of buying started shrubs in a nursery, save yourself money by propagating the plant yourself. Lavender shrubs typically get propagated from cuttings or by dividing an existing lavender shrub--this ensures new plants that are true to the variety of the mother plant--but starting lavender from seeds may comprise a more low-labor method of propagation.

Step 1

Fill a quart-sized plastic pot with a soilless potting mix. You can buy this type of potting mix in most garden stores and nurseries.

Step 2

Scatter three to four seeds on the surface of the potting mix, spaced an equal distance from each other. Tap each seed lightly to sink it into the soil, but don't bury it completely, as lavender seeds require some light to germinate and won't sprout if they're buried.

Step 3

Mist the potting mix with water to evenly moisten the top of the mix.

Step 4

Wrap the top of the pot in plastic kitchen wrap. This seals the moisture into the pot and ensures the lavender seeds are kept hydrated.

Step 5

Place the pot in your refrigerator for three weeks. This brief period of cold temperatures stratifies the seeds and brings them out of hibernation, according to Washington State University. Remove the pot from your fridge after three weeks.

Step 6

Remove the plastic wrap and place the pot in a sunny windowsill. Water the seeds once a day, or as needed to keep the pot moist. Washington State University says the seeds will typically sprout within eight weeks.

Tips and Warnings

  • North Carolina State University warns that seed propagation typically results in plants that are unlike the mother plant, and that seedlings may take up to six months to grow big enough to transplant outdoors.

Things You'll Need

  • Quart-sized pot
  • Soilless potting mix
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic kitchen wrap


  • "Lavender: How to Grow and Use the Fragrant Herb"; Ellen Platt; 1999
  • Washington State University: Growing and Marketing Lavender
  • North Carolina State University: Lavender: History, Taxonomy and Production
Keywords: starting lavender seeds, growing lavender seeds, lavender seed germination

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.