Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Sun and Soil Requirements for Growing Lavender

Lavender growing in the sun

Lavender growing in the sun

Lavender needs full sun in order to flourish. Don’t even think about planting it in the shade—it will not do well. Lavender does not grow well in even partial shade. Lavender needs six to eight hours or more of sun every day to produce those lovely flowers. Picture the lavender fields in Provence, France—do you see any trees? Nope. Full sun. Nothing less.

Lavender is picky about soil, and it isn’t. It’s picky about having sandy, loamy, well-draining soil. You’ve probably heard this about other plants, and it’s certainly true about lavender: Lavender does not like getting wet feet. The soil you plant your lavender in absolutely must drain well, or you will likely lose your lavender to root rot.

Where lavender is not so picky is the pH of the soil it grows in. Lavender can grow in soils with a pH range of 6.4 to 8.2. Poor soil? No problem, as long as it drains well. One indicator that your lavender is getting soggy is yellowing leaves. Soil moisture is the first thing you should check if your lavender plants start looking a little off.

One of your annual gardening tasks should be to get your soil tested. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and aggravation, and your plants will thank you by growing instead of languishing. Your local extension center will have information on how to get your soil tested. For a little bit of preparation work, you can get a lot of information about the composition of your soil.

Lavender is a cold-hardy evergreen or semi-evergreen perennial. With the right soil and water, you can look forward to years of beautiful blossoms.

Do you have a good spot for growing lavender? Have you had your soil tested or do you do it yourself? Please tell us your tips and tricks for growing lovely lavender!


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