How To Care For Potted Lavender
There are few scents in this world as recognizable as that of Lavender. Not only does Lavender have a wonderful smell but it is also very practical and often used in teas, food and to stop bugs in their tracks. While these plants are often grown outdoors in the garden, the good news is that you can also grow them in your home. Here are some care instructions to insure that you get the most out of your potted Lavender plant:
Step 1: What to look for in a container
Make sure that your container is large enough to allow your Lavender plant room to grow. You should also ensure that the pot is filled with soil in order to retain plenty of water. If your container is light in colour (like white for example), it will reflect the light and help keep your plant cool. Darker containers attract heat and can really make your poor plant warm in the summer months. Your container should have sufficient drainage holes so that the plant does not stay in soggy soil after watering. Sturdy pots that widen towards to rim are ideal.
Step 2: Ideal pot conditions
Whether you order your Lavender from your local florist or nursery, you are bound to receive it already potted. There is no need to disturb the plant if all its preferred conditions are already met. A soilless potting mix is ideal for growing Lavender. You may sprinkle some lime to the potting mix but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Before placing potting mix in the pot, you should line it with newspaper to help retain some water and insulate against hot and cold. Do not, however, cover the drainage holes. Scatter small stones at the bottom of the pot to assist with drainage. Fill ¾ with potting mix and place your Lavender plant in the pot and fill with potting mix until you reach the level at which the plant was previously planted. Water your plant and ensure that water is draining out. If the water is not draining out properly, use a stick to gently shift the stones in the bottom around. Add about half an inch of mulch on top of the potting mix to help retain some moisture.
Step 3: Regular care
Use a liquid fertilizer every other time you water your Lavender plant. The potting mix is extremely porous and loses nutrients quickly. It is essential that you maintain a healthy environment if you want your plant to thrive. Remember to water in the early morning or evening so that you plant can enjoy the most of the water and nutrients you provide. Keep a close eye on your plant for the first few weeks to make sure that it is receiving enough water. Take care during the winter months and don’t leave your Lavender plant in a room that gets too cold. Lavender also enjoys a fair amount of air circulation so avoid placing it in corners or similar parts of your home that don’t enjoy regular air movement. Prune back about one third of the plant after every time it blooms in order to encourage healthy growth.