Lavender conjures up images of the south of France with row
upon row of plants covered in deep
purple flowers
. Its familiar fragrance is in everything from soaps and
soothing beauty products to essential oils. This treasured flower has so many
uses and is so easy to grow.

Perennial lavender likes full sun but appreciates some
afternoon shade in hot climates. They are hardy in USDA zones 5-10. Feeding
with Espoma’s organic Bloom!
fertilizer
promotes flowering. Water young plants deeply. Once established
in the ground, they are drought tolerant. Over watering can stress established
plants.

Lavender is considered a woody plant and should be pruned
back by one third in the spring to keep them tidy. They bloom in early to mid-summer
and the flowers may be harvested to use fresh or dried.

How to Harvest and
Use Lavender

  1. Harvest lavender when the flowers just begin to
    open. They are at their most fragrant and beautiful at that time. Plus, cutting
    them early encourages plants to flower a second time.
  2. It’s best to harvest lavender in the morning
    after the dew has dried and before the hot sun draws out their essential oils.
    Cut them back to about an inch above the place the foliage starts. It’s best to
    just cut the thin stems and not the foliage.
  3. Use fresh lavender in bouquets to fill your home
    with their delicate fragrance. Add a fresh organically grown stem to a glass of
    Prosecco, it looks gorgeous and imbibes the drink with a delicate
    flavor
    . Try it in lemonade for a refreshing new twist. Make lavender sugar
    by layering fresh flowers in between layers of sugar in a jar. The flowers will
    impart flavor and color. Use it as sanding sugar for cookies or add to ice tea.
  4. Dry lavender in small bunches, hanging upside
    down in a cool dark place. A drying rack for laundry works well. Keep an eye on
    them, they may need to be re-tied as they dry and stems shrink.
  5. Dried lavender can be made into sachets,
    potpourris, soap, and more. Pair dried lavender with a thick slice of brie,
    drizzled with honey and strewn with a few dried lavender flowers for an “instagramable”
    cheese board. Keep in mind, dried lavender has a strong flavor, so use it
    sparingly.

If this isn’t enough to convince you to try growing lavender,
it’s good for the environment too. It attracts butterflies,
bees
and other beneficial insects.

Here are some of our blogs that we think you might be
interested in.

Bug Off: Plants to Repel Mosquitoes (Spoiler Alert – one of them is lavender!)

5 Edible Flowers to Grow in Your garden

Grow a garden Spa for Mother’s Day

Espoma Products  Bloom!

Bloom! Plant Food

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