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Plants That Complement Lavender

The relaxing scent of lavender makes it a popular addition to the home garden. The flower spikes attract bees and butterflies. Lavender plants grow in sunny areas and need well-drained soil. Tall varieties like Jean Davis make good hedges and background plantings. Low-growing varieties like English lavender can be placed along a walkway in front of taller plants.

Plants that complement lavender need the same growing environment and have foliage and flowers that mix well with the gray-green stalks of most lavenders. Evergreen shrubs and flowers that add color and softer texture are good choices.


Upright rosemary is a good choice for planting with lavender. It has dark green foliage, small purple flowers and a wonderful fragrance. The dark green leaves provide contrast for the grayish lavender foliage. It will look good when the lavender dies back after blooming.


Ornamental grasses add movement and softness to a garden with lavender plants. Purple and green fountain grasses provide attractive contrast with the gray-green woody spikes of lavender.

Spring Flowering Bulbs

Bulbs placed in front of tall lavender shrubs add spring color while the lavender starts to come back after winter dormancy. Daffodils and crocus are also good additions between low-growing lavenders.

Annual and Perennial Flowers

Any sun-loving flowers look good planted in front of tall lavender plants or between low-growing lavenders. Select white flowers like alyssum. Goldenrod with its tall yellow flowers complements the lavender flower spikes.

Lavender Plants

A common type of lavender, English lavender (L. angustifolia) is a bushy, shrublike plant that usually grows about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Each flower spike is made up of many tiny flowers that contain a fragrant oil. Dozens of cultivars are available, including "Nana Alba," with white flowers, "Dutch," which has blue-to-purple flowers, and "Loddon Pink," with pinkish or pale-rose flowers. French lavender (L. Stoechas) is also called Spanish lavender, or sometimes butterfly lavender because its purple flower spikes have tall, pink-to-purple petals that extend from the top of each spike and resemble butterflies. It blooms from late spring into summer, producing desirably fragrant flowers. The plants tend to remain in flower longer than other lavenders and have branched flower stalks that produce violet-blue blossoms. This type of lavender is suitable for USDA zones 6 through 8.

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