How do you Grow Lavender from Seed?
This can be a difficult question to answer for beginner herb gardeners because of numerous factors including climate, soil, and experience level.
This article will help solve this problem and give beginner gardeners Easy-to-Follow Steps on growing lavender from seed.
And I recommend scrolling to the bottom of this page to find answers to the 7 most frequently asked questions most gardeners have when growing lavender.
Tip #1 Plant 3 Types of Lavender
Are you interested in Lavender for its herbal remedies? How about its smell and look? Maybe for its ornamental features?
There are so many different ways Lavender can be used. The key is making sure you choose the correct Lavender plant for the appropriate use.
I am recommending three general types of Lavender that are simple to grow and care for regardless of your experience.
- Scientific Name: Lavandula Angustifolia
- Length & Width: 3 feet x 3 feet
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
- Flowers: June
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
- Scientific Name: Lavandula Stoechas
- Length & Width: 12 inches by 12 inches
- Hardiness Zone: 8 to 11
- Flowers: May/June
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.
- Scientific Name: Lavandula X intermedia
- Length & Width: 2.5 feet x 2.5 feet
- Hardiness Zone: 5 to 9
- Flowers: May
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.
Tip #2 Start Your Seeds Indoors
When learning how to grow lavender from seed you should always start indoors. This will help minimize the risk of weather, pests, and disease.
Step 1 – Begin Planting 12 weeks Before the Last Frost
You will want to start your seeds inside approximately 12 weeks before you plan on moving your Lavender into your garden or moving your planter outside.
- You will first want to start by buying your seed. I recommend buying from Amazon because it is quick and inexpensive.
- You will then want to take 3-inch GrowKo Peat Pots and fill them up to approximately 80% full with Miracle-Gro Potting Mix.
- Next, spray your soil 5 to 8 times with a spray bottle. You will want the soil to be moist, not damp. Damp soil can cause unwanted fungus.
*Find Your Last Frost Date HERE*
Step 2 – Plant 2 to 3 Seeds Per Pot
- Sprinkle 2 to 3 seeds per pot about 1/8 inch deep and then gently brush the soil over the seeds. *Note, do not bury the seeds.
- Then spray the soil again 5 to 8 times until it turns a dark color.
Step 3 – Provide Your Seeds with At Least 8 Hours of Sunlight
- After planting your seeds, provide at least 8 hours of sunlight by placing the pots by a window or a Grow Light if your windows do not receive enough sunlight.
*If you put your seeds closer than 4 inches they will burn and die. If you put them further away than 4 inches there is a chance they won’t get enough sun to germinate.*
You will also want to keep the room temperature at approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit
- This is the temperature needed so that your seeds can turn into plants.
If you don’t have an area that will stay consistently around 70
- A Plant Heating Mat is the perfect way to keep your pots and seeds at a consistent temperature that we may not otherwise be able to.
Step 4 – Spray, Spray, Spray
After your initial planting, you will need to spray the soil once to twice a day for approximately 2 weeks
It will take approximately 2 weeks for your seeds to germinate or “pop” through the soil.
Once your seeds have germinated and sprouted through the soil, you will want to continue to spray them twice a day for 2 more months until they are about 3 inches tall.
Step 5- Transplant your Lavender Plant into a Larger Pot
Once your lavender is 3 inches tall you can transplant it into your 5 Gallon Nursery Pot.
Again, you will want to fill these pots about 80% full with your potting mix.
Next, you will want to make a hole approximately 3 inches deep (about the size of your lavender plant at this point).
Then turn your existing small pot upside down, pinch the bottom of it, and then gently pull the soil and your plant out.
You will then place it in your 5-gallon pot and fill it with soil.
Immediately after you do this, spray the soil about 5 to 10 times.
Step 6 – Introduce your Lavender to Outside Weather
This next step is what most beginner gardeners miss, but is critical to your success.
For about two weeks, you will want to slowly introduce your Lavender to outside.
On the first day, you will want to place your Lavender (still in its pot) outside in direct sunlight for approximately 2 hours.
Each day thereafter, place the Lavender outside for an additional hour until you build up to 6 straight hours.
Tip #3: Transplant Your Lavender Outside
Once the last frost of the year has happened you can transplant your Lavender outside.
Below, is a 2 step process for transplanting your Lavender outside into your garden.
Step 1 – Apply Compost if you will be keeping your Lavender in its container all summer!
If you decide to keep your Lavender in the pots then there is no need to transplant. You will only need to apply compost or Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
- Apply approximately 1/4 inch of potting mix to your planter
- As soon as you apply your fertilizer make sure to water the Lavender for approximately 15 to 20 seconds
- Every week until harvest water your lavender once or twice a day (depending on the amount of sun and temperature it receives).
If you want to learn more about growing Lavender in containers, I recommend watching the below video:
Step 2 – Transplant your Lavender into Your Garden
- About 1 month before you plan on transplanting your lavender into a garden dig holes about 8 inches deep and filling it with compost or Besgrow Sphagnum Moss. Space holes 8 inches apart.
- Dig your holes in an area that will receive at least 8 hours of light.
- Then after the last frost transplant your lavender into the garden exactly the same way you transplanted it into the larger pots.
- Immediately after you transplant your lavender outside add
Miracle-Gro Plant Food and water the soil for about 30 seconds.
- Finally, water your Lavender once to twice a week. Lavender has a strong drought resistance, so if you forget sometimes it’s okay.
- Related To: Best Garden Hoses
Tip #4 Effectively Care for your Lavender!
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.
- Safeguard Against Insects. Especially beetles. They can quickly ruin a good crop of lavender within two days. If you don’t want beetles ruining all your hard work I recommend purchasing Sevin Bug Killer.
- Do NOT Overwater Water once or twice a week. Too much water can cause root rot which will render your lavender useless.
- Prune Regularly: Sometimes it is just easier to watch a video. My recommendation is to prune in the spring, but for more detail explanations of when, why, and how, please watch this video:
Tip #5 Effectively Harvest Lavender!
Below are several tips to remember when harvesting lavender:
- You will want to harvest your lavender when half the flower buds open.
- Morning is the best time to harvest because the oils (what you want) are mostly contained in the flower buds
- When harvesting you will want to grab a bundle and cut above the woody growth near the bottom of lavender (right above the dirt).
- I highly recommend leaving about 8 to 10 lavender stalks after harvest to help promote the most effective growth for next season.
Frequently Asked Questions (7 Questions)
1. What are the Best Uses for Lavender?
Below, are a few of the uses of lavender that are both easy and most enjoyable:
- Creating essential oil: Lavender oil can be used to reduce stress, induce sleep, disinfect the home, helps cure eczema and acne, helps heal wounds, is a natural air freshener, and is great for your hair!
- Health: If you are interested in learning more about health remedies that lavender can be used for, I highly recommend reviewing WebMD
- Food: I could bore you with some simple and effective recipes, but why do that when the famous Martha Stewart can provide you with 17 great recipes: 17 Brilliant Ways to Cook with Lavender
- Scent: Lavender is a great addition to candles, potpourri, and other scented gifts. There are a plethora of recipes online if you are interested in learning more!
2. What Is the Best Way to Store Lavender?
Below, are the best ways to store your Lavender:
- Fresh lavender will last approximately 1 week.
- Lavender kept in water or stored in a refrigerator will last only slightly longer, approximately 2 weeks.
- Or if you want lavender to retain its smell for up to one year then I recommend drying it. Below, is a great video on how to dry your lavender.
3. What type of Seed Should I buy?
Purchasing Lavender seeds is a much easier task than say tomato seeds, where you have to worry about GMOs, Organic, Heirloom, etc.
When buying lavender seeds you should stick to traditional or heirloom. These will give you the best success in growing Lavender.
Just as important is where you buy your seeds from. I recommend buying your seeds from Amazon. This will provide you with the best price and quickest delivery.
4. What Type of Gardening Pot Should I Buy?
I recommend buying two sizes of pots.
First, buy 3-inch Peat Pots.
- You’ll typically get 25 to 50 seeds in a pack, so you’ll want to make sure to purchase enough pots. Also, you’ll typically lose about 20% of these plants to weather, disease, and pests.
Second, buy 5-gallon pots.
- This is essential if you want to allow your lavender to grow to its fullest. It is also important if you want to continue to grow your lavender outside.
5. What Type of Garden Soil Should I Use?
When planting lavender the only type of soil you’ll need is potting mix.
- Very simply, this soil will contain the right mixture of soil, sand, and nutrients needed for your Lavender seeds to grow healthy.
- It has everything needed to not only start seeds but to continue to grow your Lavender if you decide not to transplant into your garden.
- Secondly, if you do decide to transplant into your garden this soil can mix right in with garden soil without affecting Lavender or those plants around it.
6. What Type of Fertilizer Should I Use?
When planting lavender the only type of fertilizer you’ll need is Besgrow Sphagnum Moss.
- What I love about this product is that it is incredibly clean, is stored in maintained swamps, and contains everything your Lavender seeds need to flourish.
7. What Gardening Tools do I need to Grow Lavender?
You will want to make sure you have gardening gloves, pruners, a small hand shovel, and a bottle sprayer
For this, I recommend Vremi 9 piece toolset
- What makes this really a great purchase is that all the tools are built with rust-resistant materials, comfortable handles, and a great way to carry it to and from your garden.