How to grow lavender
I got my lavender plant as a small plant. I have tried growing lavender from seed with no success. I think its better from a cutting or by layering. I haven't had any success with cuttings either so far. I really need to work on this because I'd love to have more lavender in my garden. Lavender once established (and if you find the right one for your climate) is rather hardy and prefers not to be waterlogged, its best in full sun with well-drained soil. It does need to be trimmed to keep a nice shape, mine has got out of control lately and has a very woody stem and uneven growth due to being buried under a choko vine for most of last summer!
How to use lavender
Its hard to know where to start with lavender! It really has so many uses... I use both dried lavender flowers and lavender essential oil. Here's a list of examples:
- Pest repellent - I use the essential oil as an ingredient in my insect repellent and I put paper bags of dried flowers in wardrobes and drawers to protect clothing from moths
- Relaxation - a few drops of essential oil in a bath, or rubbed on my forehead if I feel a headache starting. I also put dried lavender flowers in the wheat heat packs I made.
- Itch calming - I find a little essential oil rubbed on an itchy bite helps the itch
- Wound healing - lavender essential oil can be combined with other healing herbs to help with healing of cuts and burns.
- Digestion - tea made with lavender flowers aids digestion (and ice cream with lavender syrup is yummy! - our local lavender farm Potique makes the syrup)
- Lavender flowers can also be used to flavour vinegar, oils or honey (I want to try flavouring honey with herbs as soon as we harvest some honey)
- And honey bees use lavender as a source of nectar, pollen and essential oils that can help them fight pests in the hive too, another reason I want to grow more lavender!
When my plant is flowering I cut all the mature flowers every few days to encourage more flowers. I dry the flowers in a basket and store in jars. I buy my essential oils from Sydney Essential Oil Company and that is not even an affiliate link!
Do you grow and use lavender? Which variety do you have? Do you use essential oils as well?