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How to Care for English Lavender


English lavender does not need to be mulched. If you choose to use mulch, apply a thin layer, but keep the mulch three inches away from the plant so moisture is not captured around the base of the plant.

English lavender brings about visions of a lovely English cottage garden with butterflies and bees flying about. This lavender is an evergreen perennial valued highly for its fragrance. While it is an edible herb, both deer and cats dislike it. It’s no wonder you want to add English lavender to your garden. You care for English lavender much like other perennials--with some extra care if you live in cold winter climates.

Plant container-grown English lavender in spring or fall. Choose a location in full sun with good drainage. Compost can be added to the hole before planting, but overall lavender does not require fertilizer.

Water daily for the first two weeks unless there is a soaking rain. Thereafter, water every 10 days.

Prune one to two inches off the top in early spring, but no more than one-third the plant’s total height. If you choose to dry English lavender, cut the buds in late morning after a few days of no rain and before they bloom. As any uncut blossoms fade in early summer, you can deadhead them to encourage new growth. Using garden clippers or scissors can speed up this process. Any dead areas can also be pruned.

Cut off or pinch off any area infected with leaf spot, which displays as spots on the foliage caused by a fungus infection. To help prevent leaf spot, redirect watering so it does not hit the foliage and ensure that neighboring plants are not encroaching over the lavender’s area. Plants too near English lavender can block sunlight, air circulation and drop water or dew.

Cut English lavender by one-third to one-half in late summer (August or September), leaving some foliage. In November, apply a thick layer of mulch or leaves over and around the plant to help protect it from cold winter winds.

Divide lavender in the spring after it has been in the ground for at least three years. To divide, dig up the plant and cut or tear apart the clump and replant.

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