Sunday, February 27, 2011

Growing Lavender Plant Varieties in the Finest Conditions and How to Use Them

Growing lavender plants is a very simple process. They are a very well adapt plant and can survive in many conditions. Even though the plant did originate from the warmer climate of the Mediterranean. Lavender will require well drained soil with a warm climate and in full sun. It is a very hardy plant as it does survive well in rocky soil. One element to keep at bay is not to water your plant too much. Try and keep the soil moist but do not over water as this will cause root rot.

Plants that are set in the ground during the summer will bloom in early spring so a harvest must be taken to produce more flowers for the summer. There are many different types of lavender and some have different sizes. Some stems on some lavender will grow to higher than twelve inches while others are small and compact at two to three inches. Lavender doesn't just come in purple either, you can get it in blue, pink or white.

When you harvest the flowers in the spring cut long stemmed lavender to one third of its height. The short stemmed lavender can be cut all the way down to new growth. After winter you may see an area in your lavender plant that is brown but do not cut it back until the middle or end of June. It just might start to sprout by then. Cut flowers whenever you need them and also cut the plant back in order to retain shape. Do this at the end of the spring season and again in August. This will give the plant time to build back energy before winter comes and covers it with snow.

You do not have to grow lavender just in the ground as it grows great in a container. People that live in a shady place can move the containers here and there to keep them in sunlight. The large roots of a lavender plant like to be contained in a small area for some reason. The pot you put a lavender plant in should only be a few inches larger than the root system itself. The pot must drain after watering so put a large amount of gravel in the base of the pot before planting. Water lavender plants only when the soil feels very dry to the touch.

Lavender comes in a variety of types and you can get some that will endure a major winter blast. There is lavender with tall stems and some with short and some lavender types are more known for the lovely smell of the flowers. If you have a project to make wreaths get a type that has big flowers. If you want to make something that smells good get a type that is popular because of the extreme scent it gives off. If you like the look of a hedge of lavender purchase plants that are fast growers. Take a good look at where you live and grow lavender plant types that are right for your climate. There are so many types you will be able to find just the right one for you.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lavender Plant Care - Most Important Tips Part 2

Is Lavender Plant Care easy or difficult? That question is on the minds of many people as they consider this wonderful plant that is growing in popularity. This is the second article in a two part series that provides the most important tips for lavender plant care. The first article gave advice on watering, fertilizing, harvesting, and pruning your lavender plant. Here we explain what it takes to protect your plant, how to plant a new lavender in your garden, the ins and outs of transplanting, and how to propagate your lavender plant.

o Protecting - What kind of protection does a lavender plant need? Not much! Lavender loves the sun, so protect it from too much shade. The exception may be potted lavender which will dry out more quickly than lavender planted in the ground. Lavender has too strong of a taste to be bothered by most animals. Insects are also rarely a problem. Protect your lavender plant from over-watering by ensuring that the soil and the area where it is planted has good drainage.

o Planting - Planting a new lavender in the ground is not difficult. Simply combine sand, soil and compost or peat moss in about equal proportions, dig a hole about twice as deep and three times the diameter of the root ball and plant with your soil mixture. Adding some slow release fertilizer and rooting hormone will give your plant a healthy start. Water more than normal for the first couple of weeks and then back off and follow the guidelines mentioned above.

o Transplanting - It is crucial to transplant potted lavender regularly until it is mature to ensure that the roots continually have room to grow. Transplanting a mature plant from one location in the garden to another is more difficult. You must assume that the roots extend at least as far as the longest branches and almost as deep. Dig the plant while disturbing the roots as little as possible and follow the planting directions mentioned above for the new location.

o Propagating - While many lavenders can be propagated with seeds, the easiest way is to take cuttings from a mature plant to start a new one. Cut a soft (not woody) branch about 4 inches (10 cm) from the lower part of the donor plant, peel back the lowest pair of leaves and place in a small pot with a mixture of peat moss and sand or vermiculite. Add some rooting hormone and keep it fairly damp for the first couple of weeks. Transplant to a larger pot in 4-6 weeks.

There are many aspects to lavender plant care, but it is generally very easy. Following these tips will make it possible to Enjoy the beautiful and aromatic blossoms and buds each year, making it well worth the effort.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Lavender Plant Care - Most Important Tips Part 1

Are you wondering about Lavender Plant Care? Lavender is quickly gaining popularity as a beautiful, easy, and useful garden or landscape plant. This is the first of a two part series that will give you the most important tips for caring for your lavender plant. You will learn about watering, fertilizing, harvesting, and pruning your plant. In part two of the series you will get advice about protecting your plant, planting a new plant, transplanting an existing plant and propagating lavender plants.

o Watering - One of the most common mistakes of lavender plant care is over-watering. It's difficult for many people to realize that lavender does not like to have continually wet roots. The soil needs to be well-drained so that it doesn't hold water. Water only when the soil is dry, but before the plant begins to show signs of stress. How often that turns out to be will depend on your soil and weather conditions.

o Fertilizing - If your soil has a fair amount of decomposing material, you may not need to fertilize your lavender at all. However, if your soil is poor, fertilizing will definitely benefit your lavender plant growth and bloom production. Choose a slow release organic fertilizer such as bone meal or fish emulsion and follow the directions on the package. Fertilize in the spring when new growth is apparent, and again in early summer during the heavy blossom production period.

o Harvesting - Some people just want to enjoy their lavender blossoms by leaving them on the plant until the season is completely over. But many others will choose to harvest their lavender blossoms and buds for use in sachets or other crafts. Some may want to harvest their lavender for cooking or even for distilling to obtain the lavender oil. The best time for harvesting depends some on the lavender variety and the intended usage, but in general harvesting can begin after a few blossoms have opened on most stalks. Simply grab a handful of stalks and cut them off with a knife or sharp pair of shears where they protrude from the plant body. It's best to tie the stalks in bundles for convenient handling or to facilitate drying by hanging the bundles upside down.

o Pruning - One of the most commonly overlooked tasks of lavender plant care is pruning. It is important to cut your plant back each year to keep it healthy and keep its shape. Use garden shears or clippers once a year and cut one third to one half of the plant. The lower part of the branches will become woody over time and you should avoid cutting into that part of the plant. What works best is to trim an individual plant in the shape of a ball, but a lavender hedge can be cut straight on the sides and rounded on top. Prune in the spring or late fall.

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