How to Plant Lavender

Wondering if lavender will thrive where you live?

No matter what variety you select, all lavender plants require full sun and well-drained, alkaline soil. If you can provide those three elements, then your lavender will be in a happy place. Lavender is a perennial originating in the rocky, arid areas of the Mediterranean, so we want to try to provide that environment as much as possible.

“Full sun” means that from sunrise to sunset, your lavender plant has the full exposure to the sun. If you plant your lavender in a place that receives shade for a portion of the day, it may suffer.

Well-drained soil will be found on higher ground and in rocky areas. If your soil is naturally rocky, you have a good start. Lavender likes minerals and minerals are found in rocks.

To ensure good drainage, you can mix some gravel into the soil to prepare your lavender bed.

You can measure your soil’s acidity with a pH kit. If your soil is too much on the acidic side, you can amend it with a handful of lime to help shift the pH to alkaline. Mix the lime into soil along with the gravel.


Second year lavender in early Spring.
Lavender bushes in their second year, early Spring.

Let’s Plant

To plant your lavender, mound the soil in your lavender bed. Dig the hole just deep enough for your plant. Loosen the plant from it’s pot and check the roots. If they are overgrown and and root bound, gently loosen them with your fingers. Fill the hole halfway with water and place your lavender plant in the hole. Pack the dirt in around your plant securely. Your plant should sit high on the mound. Avoid mounding dirt over the stem your plant.


Lavender planted
Mound the soil in your lavender bed to help with drainage.

What about fertilizer?

Lavender roots need to reach for nutrients as they grow, so do not fertilize the soil. Let your lavender reach deep for it’s nutrients in the form of the minerals that naturally occur in the soil and you’ll have a happy, fragrant plant. 


Pro Tip about watering

Please do not overwater lavender. If you’re not sure if you should water your plant, test the moisture level of the soil by sticking your finger in as far as it will go. If you feel dampness, then your lavender does not require watering. If the soil is bone dry, then water your plant generously in the morning. Then allow the soil to go completely dry before you water again.

Lavender does not like to sit in wet soil, aka “wet feet”. Most disease that occurs in lavender is due to too much water, leading to root rot.


Planting in a Pot

An option for apartment dwellers is to grow your lavender plant in a pot indoors.

If you don’t have a sunny window, your lavender will need to have a grow light.

To grow lavender inside, chose an English lavender plant and a terra cotta pot between 16inches and 24inches in size. Well tended, your lavender will need plenty of room to grow.

The optimal mix for your soil is 2 parts compost, 1 part sand and 1 part gravel plus a handful of lime. Put a few small rocks and a handful of gravel in the bottom of your pot. Fill it halfway with the soil you mixed. Loosen the plant from it’s pot and check the roots to make sure they’re not root bound. Put it in the terra cotta pot and fill it with soil, packing well, leaving about an inch of pot at the top.

Please do not overwater your lavender (see Pro Tip about watering, above)

Your lavender may be moved to the outside for the summer once the frost date is past. 

terracotta pot of lavender
A terra cotta pot will “breathe” better for lavender.

When is the best time to plant?

Spring time is a great time to plant lavender. Lavender is drought resistant but when it is first put in the ground, we do need to keep an eye on it to make sure it’s getting enough water to start. Spring weather has been so wet in New Jersey, keeping plants watered is not usually a concern. Just make sure the soil is draining well. Your lavender should bloom in mid June. All the varieties we sell bloom twice, so you’ll see a second bloom in late July or August. Click here to purchase lavender plants online. For farm pick up only. (no shipping)