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Growing Good Food at Home

Growing Lavender in Containers

Lavender growing in terracotta pot

Lavender growing in terracotta pot

Lavender is easy to grow in containers—as long as it gets a full day of sun. Make sure the container has a drainage hole at the bottom, and that you add some rocks or broken pieces of old planters to help with drainage. A terracotta planter works really well, since some of the water will evaporate through the material of the pot. Of course, terracotta is heavy to begin with; when you add soil and water, you’re talking really heavy. So get a planter stand with wheels so you can move the planter easily. This will also be helpful if you need to adjust your lavender’s position throughout the spring and summer to make sure it’s getting enough light.

Make sure your soil is clean and weed-free. Simple container soil with some added sand or vermiculite to keep things light and airy will keep your lavender happy. Remember: you have to have good drainage; soggy soil can lead to root rot, which can spell disaster for your lavender plants.

Light

Lavender needs a full day of sun to flourish—at least 6 hours; 8 is better. And keep your lavender out of the shade. Lavender plants will wilt and die if they get too much shade. Putting your container on wheels will help your lavender get the sunlight it needs. Just move the container to stay in the sun.

Water

Water, sunlight, and soil are all essential ingredients for healthy lavender plants. Watering is one of the easiest things to do—and therefore one of the easiest things to overdo. Lavender comes from the Mediterranean, where it’s hot and dry. It’s a drought tolerant plant, so it can handle a little neglect. Better to under-water your lavender than kill it with kindness—water just enough, but no more. Too much water can invite disease, and you want to keep your lavender healthy!

Soil

For lavender in containers or planters, use a commercial soil mix that’s formulated for containers. This gives your plants a healthy environment, and you’re less likely to introduce weeds or soilborne diseases by digging up soil from your garden. Add a little sand or vermiculite to the mix to keep the soil light. Remember, lavender is not really picky about the soil it grows in; in some cases, the poorer the soil, the better.

You do not need to use fertilizer on your lavender. It doesn’t care. It will grow in practically any type of well-draining soil.

Have you grown lavender in containers? Please tell us about your successes and challenges growing lavender in containers.

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