How To Grow Lavender In Florida
The humidity is considered one of the most valuable resources of Florida. This has attracted many tourists and settlers who want to enjoy sunlight and warmth all year round. Still, in dry seasons, there will be a water shortage. Besides, the most common type of soil in Florida is loam. Most plants prefer this condition, except for lavenders.
Lavenders do not like the too hot and humid climate. They usually grow in rocky and dry areas. Fortunately, there is now a new lavender species called Phenomenal lavender that can tolerate the climate of Florida.
Continue with our how to grow lavender in Florida to explore more!
Is Lavender a Sun or Shade Plant?
Lavender has the scientific name of Lavandula angustifolia, which is a plant of the Lamiaceae family. Lavender originates from the Mediterranean region. From the Middle Ages, it has been used as a flavoring and a medicinal herb. In addition, the lavender essential oil can be used as insect repellents, antiseptics, or sedatives.
Lavender flowers have long stalks that are slightly gray and angular. The leaves have no stalks and are opposite to each other. Especially, lavender leaves are covered with a smooth layer. The elegant purple color and strong aroma is the most basic feature when mentioning lavender.
In terms of light, lavender is a photophilic tree, so it requires a sunny location with appropriate humidity. However, in places where the temperature is high or the light is too strong, it is necessary to place it where there is only 75% natural light.
What Lavender Grows Best in Florida?
Thanks to the advanced hybrid technology, there are about 47 different types of lavenders in the world. One of the most tolerant species is the ‘Phenomenal’ French Hybrid Lavender.
As the name suggests, “Phenomenal” is an outstanding type of lavender with its cold hardiness, resistance to diseases and deer, and tolerance to high humidity and heat.
This kind of lavender is well-adapted and has strong resistance, and thus, it is grown in places where traditional lavender can’t grow.
Along with that, it is about 2 – 5 feet tall. With such a long and strong body, it is perfect for making dried flowers or cutting.
Also, its fragrance is slightly sweeter than the English Lavender, making it suitable for sachets and essential oil. It can also help to attract butterflies, creating a beautiful landscape.
How to Grow Lavender in Florida?
Living Condition Preparations
When planting lavender, gardeners should take these living conditions into consideration to keep it growing well.
Soft and alkaline soil is the most suitable environment for this lavender and the soil pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5, as close to the neutral as possible. Accordingly, experienced lavender cultivators and experts recommend using rocky or sandy soil and avoiding clay soil because it holds water.
If you choose to plant lavender in a pot, you should choose one with a drainage hole for better air circulation.
Lavender prefers a temperature range of 18 to 24 Celsius degrees. When it comes to the appropriate growing season, we should plant in the spring and summer because, during this, the amount of light that lavenders can receive is the most intense, promoting its growth.
In Florida, it would be best to grow lavenders in winter, when the temperature ranges from 18 to 21 Celsius degrees.
Techniques of Growing Lavenders with Seeds at Home
Step 1: Soak the seeds
Soak the seeds for about 12 hours in the water and for another 2 hours with Gibberellin (a growth regulator that can be purchased at agricultural supplies stores) before sowing.
Step 2: Sow the seeds
Water to dampen the soil, sow the seeds, and then cover them with a soil layer with a thickness of 1/8 inch. Then place on the top of the soil with grass or plastic film to keep the soil moist. It usually takes about 3 weeks for plants to germinate.
Step 3: Take care of the seeds
Water twice a day in a small amount to keep the soil moist, helping the seedlings grow. Please don’t water too much, which can make the soil get too wet and the mushrooms can grow.
Step 4: Prepare the soil/potting mix
Make the mixture of 2 – 3 pea gravel stones (2.5cm in diameter), manure, and bone meal.
The stones will encourage better drainage, and the lime increases the alkalinity of the soil and bone meal, while manure helps lavender grow better.
Then cover the mixture with a layer of soil and prepare to transfer the seedlings to the pot or the ground.
Step 5: Transfer the seedlings
We should transfer lavenders when they have reached 5 – 10 cm high. Shake gently to remove any soil from the roots before putting it in a habitat. If lavenders are transferred with bare roots, it will help them adapt quickly to the new habitat and grow faster.
Side note: Make sure that when transferring the pots, the lavender roots are not in contact with the soil mixture.
Step 6: Plant lavenders
Carefully place the lavender into the prepared habitat. Then, add some soil to the space around the roots and pat around.
In case you are planting your lavender in a big garden with a large number, each lavender needs a space of an inch and a half apart from each other. This helps to ensure the space for lavender to grow well.
Lavender is a plant that only needs fertilizing once a year. The fertilizer mixture for lavender is the bone meal and manure.
The best time to fertilize a newly planted lavender is after the first watering. But make sure that the soil is dry before fertilizing your lavender plants.
Lavender only needs to be watered once or twice a week for the first 2 years. It should be a sufficient amount and not too much as it can cause waterlogging, making the roots rot. It is best to water every 7 – 10 days.
If you are growing lavender in a pot, make sure that the pot has good drainage.
Pruning lavender is essential to help it blossom, stimulate new branches, and keep it from getting too old. Lavender should be pruned at least once a year in the early spring and harvest season.
When pruning, we should cut about one-third of the plant to avoid affecting the development of new shoots.
Side note: For potted plants, if you are not growing indoors, in cold winters, you should bring them inside. Also, if this is the first time you have planted this type of flower, you can consult some master gardeners to grow and care better.
Lavender is a popular flower thanks to its fragrance, beauty, and therapeutic properties. For people living in Florida and wanting to grow this flower, the species of ‘Phenomenal’ French Hybrid Lavender is a perfect option.
Hopefully, with our article on how to grow lavender in Florida, you can understand more about the organic gardening techniques and plant growing and care of this wonderful purple flower.
And now, thanks for reading! Good luck!
Source: Gardening 101