In South Africa, if your lavender has been in your garden for more than two years, well, you’re a botanical boss! If not, we have some suggestions.
Lavenders love warm and dry conditions, plus they are relatively hardy against the cold and can withstand light frost. Plant them in a sunny spot where they can soak up the sunbeams all day long. Don’t plant them too close to each other, to give them some room to breathe.
Common Lavender problems
- Lavenders need a good drink to quench their thirst, but be careful not to drown their delicate roots as they don’t like having wet feet. Water regularly until their roots are strong, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between watering sessions.
- Overwatering and too much humidity can cause fungal diseases. Use a contact fungicide as a foliar spray to treat your lavender and keep them happy and thriving – just make sure to read the instructions and dilution rate.
- Lavenders need slightly alkaline, sandy to loamy soil that is well-draining. If your garden soil feels sticky, like a heavy clay soil, work in generous quantities of river sand and compost to improve drainage. Or plant in raised beds or pots filled with good quality compost and potting soil.
- Lavenders do need a haircut after they have finished blooming, to keep them looking gorgeous. We don’t want our lavender to grow tall and leggy with bare stems and foliage only at the top. Look at where your lavender is starting to push new leaves, and avoid cutting into a stem that has no foliage.
Steps for pruning lavender
1. Divide the plant into 3 equal parts.
2. Cut off the top two thirds from half the plant only.
3. Wait until the pruned section starts to grow and then cut the other half of the plant.
4. Remember to feed and water your lavender after their trim.
Follow the Thanks Plants campaign on www.thanksplantssa.co.za and enter the competition in the August, September and October issues of The Gardener and Die Tuinier.