How Do You Grow Lavender From Seed?
This can be a difficult question to answer for gardeners because of complex factors like temperature, lighting, watering, soil needs, and even the length of the growing season.
This article will help solve this problem with 5 EASY Steps for growing lavender from seed indoors.
And I recommend scrolling to the bottom of this page to find answers to the 6 most frequently asked questions most gardeners have when growing lavender from seed.
Step #1: Start Lavender Seeds Indoors
You should start your lavender seeds indoors 8 weeks before the last frost to help minimize the risk of weather, pests, and disease.
- Begin by taking a 3 inch Peat Pot and fill it up to approximately 80% full with Seed Starting Mix. Seed starting mix will provide your lavender seeds with the nutrients it needs for the best growth.
- Place your gardening pot into a tray. This will make it easy to move your pots from indoors to your garden and will prevent a mess that can happen from spilled dirty or water that may overflow.
- Next, spray your soil 5 to 8 times with a spray bottle. You will want the soil to be moist, not damp. Moisture promotes seed germination, but damp soil can cause unwanted fungus.
- Then take 2 to 3 lavender seeds, plant them 1/8 inch deep (size of a pencil tip) and gently brush the soil over them.
- Then spray again 5 to 8 times until the soil turns a darker shade of brown.
Related: Here is the BEST Time to Start Lavender Seeds Indoors
Step #2: Provide the Right Amount of Heat, Light, & Water
Once you initially sow your lavender seeds, you then have to provide the right amount of heat, light, and water for 8 straight weeks for your seeds to germinate and plant to grow.
- You should provide your lavender seeds 8 hours of light a day by placing it by a sunny window or under a Grow Light (4 inches away from the light) if your windows do not receive enough sunlight. Continue providing 8 hours of sunlight until you transplant your lavender seedlings into a herb garden.
- Then spray your soil twice a day for approximately 10 days until your seeds germinate or pop through the soil. Continue spraying twice until your lavender plant is 3 inches tall (this may take another 2 weeks).
- You will also want to keep the room temperature between 65 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit so that your seeds can turn into plants. If you don’t have an area that will stay that warm, a Heat Mat is a great alternative.
Step #3: Transplant your Lavender Seedlings into a Larger Pot (Indoors)!
Once your lavender seedlings reach about 3 inches tall you will need to transplant them into a larger pot.
- Before transplanting, you need to take scissors and snip the smallest plants right at the soil line. This will allow the healthier lavender plant to grow to its full potential.
- Next, take a 5 gallon pot, fill it 80% full with potting mix and then dig a hole 3 inches deep (the size of your lavender plant).
- Then place it in your 5 gallon pot and fill it with soil. The soil should go no higher than the base of the lavender plant (where the plant meets the roots).
- Spray the soil 5 to 10 times until the soil turns dark.
- Leave your lavender plant in this pot and continue to spray it once a day (for 5 to 10 times) until the last chance of frost. Also, continue to keep it in sunlight for 8 hours a day and at temperatures of 65- 70 degrees fahrenheit.
Step #4: Introduce your Lavender Outdoors
Introducing your lavender outdoors is what most beginner gardeners miss, but it is critical to your success.
- For about two weeks, you will want to slowly introduce your lavender outside.
- On the first day, you will want to place your lavender outside (in pots) for approximatley 2 hours. Each day thereafter, place the lavender outside for an additional hour until you build up to 6 straight hours. Don’t forget to bring your lavender inside if there is a frost or if there is poor weather like strong winds that can destroy your plant.
Step #5: Transplant Lavender Plants into a Herb Garden
Once the last frost of the year has happened you can transplant your Tomates outside. Never do it before because you risk your plant quickly dying.
- About 1 month before you plan on transplanting your lavender into a garden, dig holes in an area that will receive at least 8 hours of light. Dig the hole about 8 inches deep and fill it 30% full with compost. Space the holes 12 – 18 inches apart to promote full growth.
- After the last frost transplant your lavender into the garden by simply turning over your gardening pot, pinching the bottom of the pot, and slowly pulling your plant out. Place your lavender plant into the hole and fill it with garden soil (to where the soil meets the base of the plant). It is also beneficial to add a 6 inch layer of mulch around your plant.
- Immediately after you transplant your lavender outside add Plant Food and water the soil for about 30 seconds.
- Finally, water your lavender once a day for about 30 seconds in the morning or evening to minimize the chance of evaporation. Continue doing this every day until you harvest your lavender mid-summer.
Frequently Asked Questions (6 Questions)
#1. What type of Lavender Variety Seeds should I use?
There are four types of seeds that can be used to grow lavender; heirloom, organic, hybrid, and GMO.
I recommend using heirloom or hybrid lavender seeds. Gardeners do not have access to GMO seeds and organic seeds are a marketing term and not truly a type of seed.
A. Heirloom Lavender
- Heirloom lavender seeds contain lavender’s original traits, meaning it will produce some of the most beautiful and best tasting lavender out there.
- The downside of this type of seed is that it is the costliest (due to its rarity). In addition, expect the least amount of yield from this type of seed due to the susception of disease and other elements.
B. Hybrid Lavenders
- Hybrid lavender seeds were made by combining the genes of the same group of plants. This is not a bad thing. The goal with hybrids is to produce a plant that contains the best features of both parent plants.
- This type of seed is what most gardeners use when learnings how to grow lavender from seed and is critical if you want the most resistant plant against mother nature’s elements, insects, and diseases or want the most yield.
#2. What are the BEST Lavender to Grow from Seed?
While there are hundreds of varieties of lavender you can grow, I am recommending 3 types to choose from.
A) English Lavender
When the typical gardener thinks of Lavender they are thinking of English Lavender!
This is a great type of lavender when you are just beginning to learn how to grow lavender from seed because it’s hardy, grows plentiful, and easy to maintain.
It blooms in late spring or early summer and flowers with shades of purple. The plant itself has leaves that are a grayish-green color.
This is a great option
B) French Lavender
If you are interested in learning how to grow lavender from seed for mild winters then you’ll want to plant French Lavender.
French Lavender is more colorful but less fragrant than English or Lavandin Lavenders. It gives off a pine and camphor smell, which makes it perfect for potpourri or sachet.
This type of lavender needs to be planted by sheltered borders or in pots and will flower in early summer to early fall for year-round colors.
This lavender is also a great option to plant in dry climates or in pots, and it is deer and rabbit resistant.
If you are looking for a Lavender plant that is more tolerant of both heat and cold then look no further than Lavandin.
Lavandin is a hybrid lavender plant that is more vigorous, but less hardy than the English and French varieties.
It blooms mid to late summer and it has long spikes that are highly fragrant and features shades of dark violet and white. This makes it perfect to dry and add fragrance to a room.
This is the perfect plant for mass planting, hedges, herb garden, borders, and even rock gardens.
#3. What Type of Fertilizer Should I Use for My Lavender?
The Best type of fertilizer for lavender is compost.
And if you don’t have the time or ability to create compost then I recommend buying Peat Moss or Plant Food for your lavender.
- What I like about this product is that you only have to apply it once every 3 months and it contains natural ingredients and micronutrients that support root strength and plant development.
- In addition, the benefit of compost, peat moss, or plant food is that it will provide you lavender will the nitrogen that is critical to plant growth and an abudance of lavender.
#4. What Type of Soil Should I Use for My Lavender Plants?
If you will be keeping your lavender plants in containers all year then you will want a well-draining potting mix that provides the correct amount of nutrients like Miracle-Gro Potting Mix.
If you will be planting your lavender into a garden then you will want to add a nutritious garden soil mix into the ground, such as Miracle-Gro Expand N Gro.
And as an added bonus I highly recommend adding a 6-inch layer of mulch around your lavender plant (whether in the ground or in a pot) to help minimize evaporation, fungus, and diseases.
#5. How Do I Care for my Lavender Plants Once they begin growing?
Below are caring tips for your lavender throughout the summer:
- Keep Your Soil Healthy – Quickly inspect your soil for fungus, harmful worms, and weeds before you plant and throughout the summer. Remove and replace it with new soil as needed.
- Mulch – Mulch around your plants with compost at the beginning of the year. Using mulch will minimize evaporation and protect your lavender plants from fungus, disease, and weather.
Related: Best Mulch for Lavender
- Water the soil, not the plants. By watering leaves you increase the risk of spreading fungus and other diseases. And increase the risk of evaporation.
- Remove diseased and dead plants. This is the easiest way to prevent the spread of deadly diseases. If you notice yellow spots on leaves it means you have blight fungus and will want to remove the leaves.
- Plants your lavender at a new spot yearly. This is key to preventing seasonal diseases and insects from attacking the same plants year in and year out.
- Prevent Insects. The best way to prevent them is through an insecticide. If you don’t want spider mites, stink bugs, or Japanese beetles ruining all your hard work I recommend purchasing Sevin Bug Killer.
- Related: How to Get Rid of Aphids on Lavender
#6. When do I Harvest Lavender?
Below, are several tips to remember when harvesting lavender:
- Harvest Lavender 8 to 12 weeks after planting.
- Leave your lavender on the vine as long as possible. This will allow them to ripen the most effective way and retain their flavor.
- You will want to pick your lavender when the whole fruit is solid red and firm. Firmly hold the fruit as the stem with one hand and the stem with another. Twist the lavender and gently pull away from the plant.
- If insects are eating your lavender before they fully ripen it is okay to pick them when they are orange colored and place on your windowsill.
- For some lavender, the time to harvest is right around frost. My recommendation is to harvest your lavender before the first frost, even if they are not fully ready. Frost will immediately kill your plants and lavender.