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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