Lavender (Lavandula), a perennial herb with greenish-gray foliage and colorful blooms, produces a pleasant, spicy fragrance. Though usually propagated from stem cuttings, lavender can be started from seed. Lavender seeds are slow to germinate but can be grown successfully with the proper treatment before planting and the right environment during germination. Starting lavender from seed is a bit tedious, but rewarding to watch, as the seedlings develop and eventually begin to bloom.
Pour seed-starting mix into a plastic bag and add just enough water to moisten the mix lightly. Place the lavender seeds inside the bag and seal it. Store the bag in the refrigerator for three to five weeks.
Fill a plant flat 3/4 of the way with seed-starting mix. Plant the lavender seeds 1/8 inch deep. It is vital not to cover the seeds more deeply than recommended because sufficient light is required for germination.
Water from below to avoid disturbing the seeds. Add water to moisten the soil but not leave it soggy. Move the flat to a bright location with consistent temperatures of 54 to 64 degrees F. Continue to add just enough water to keep the soil moist.
Transplant the seedlings into the garden after all danger of frost has passed. If seedlings begin to outgrow the plant flat before it's warm enough to move them outdoors, transplant them to small, individual growing containers until you can plant them in the garden.
Things You Will Need
- Seed starting mix
- Plastic bag
- Plant flat
- You can sow lavender seeds directly into the garden in early spring or fall, though they are not as likely to germinate as those started indoors.
- Do not fertilize lavender as it makes the blooms less fragrant.
- Do not cover the plant flat as it will lock in too much moisture.
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