Taking care of your potted lavender plant
Lavender is arguably one of the most recognisable scents in the world. Not only to these flowers smell wonderful, but they also have practical uses. They can be used in food, teas, and to ward off bugs. They usually grow outdoors but, if you don’t have a large garden or if you just love the smell, you can grow lavender as a potted plant in your home. Here are some care instructions.
Find the right container
When selecting a container, it needs to be large enough to allow your plant to grow. The pot needs to be filled with plenty of soil to hold a fair amount of water. If the container is light in colour, such as white, it will reflect heat. This helps keep your plant cool in the warmer months. Darker containers attract heat which can have a negative effect on your plant during the summer. The container should also have enough holes for drainage so that the soil is wet but not soggy. Soggy soil leads to root rot and your plant will die. Pots with a wide rim are best.
Creating the best pot conditions
If you buy potted lavender from your florist or nursery, you will most likely receive it in a suitable pot. There is no need to remove the plant from this pot if the ideal conditions are met. Lavender prefers a soil-less potting mix. You can sprinkle a bit of lime into this potting mix but mak sure that you follow the instructions carefully. Before putting the potting mix in the pot, you should use newspaper to line it. This helps retain water and insulate the roots from the hot or cold. That said, you should not cover the drainage holes of the pot with newspaper. Place small stones at the bottom of the pot to help drainage. Fill the pot to the ¾ mark with potting mix. Place the lavender plant I the pot and top up with potting mix. Water the plant and ensure that the water is draining out the bottom of the pot. If the water isn’t draining properly, you can use a stick to gently move the stones around the bottom to allow for better drainage. Top up with some more potting mix to help the soil maintain moisture.
Liquid fertilizer is best for lavender plants. Add some to water and use every other time you water the plant. Since the soil is porous, it does not hold nutrients very well which is why you need to fertilize regularly. Early morning or evening watering is ideal and you should keep a close eye on your plant during the first few weeks to ensure that it’s getting enough water. In the winter, the plant should be placed in a room that has a moderate temperature. These plants enjoy fresh air so make sure that the room is properly ventilated. You can prune about a third of the plant back after it blooms. This encourages growth in the healthiest way.