University of Maryland Extension

Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula vera)

Lavender in a field


Description

Lavender is a many-branched, somewhat woody, perennial plant growing 1 ½ to 3 feet tall. The narrow leaves are about 2 inches long and have a pleasing gray-green color. The small lavender flowers are borne on long-stemmed, slender spikes.

Culture

Lavender grows best in rocky, dry, sunny places that have abundant lime in the soil. It can be propagated by seed or cuttings. If winters are severe, the plant will need protection. Lavender is considered a sub-shrub and not a herbaceous perennial. 

Lavender is considered a sub-shrub and not a herbaceous perennial. Do not severely cut it back as this can kill it. Wait until spring when it puts out new growth to prune off what was damaged in the winter. Also, prune off dead tips and dried flower spikes. After it finishes blooming deadhead and shape it. This should encourage it to bloom again. Do not prune after mid-August. 

Harvesting

Cut whole flower spikes when the first flowers begin to open and dry.

Use

Lavender is one of the most popular of all herbs for the fragrance of its dried flowers and the oil distilled from them. It is used most often in sachets, perfumes, and baking.

 bee on lavender flower

 

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.