nothing to do with soap, everything to do with lavender

Posted by heidi goldberg on


hi guys!

thought id do a little post here about lavender. dont bother reading if youre expecting me to talk soap or product, im not going to. lol 

so, you may have seen that we had some of my home grown lavender bundles out for sale in the shop this week. and you may have seen some last year, or even recently purchased the little lavender bath teas i made recently. 

a lot of people love lavender, but dont know how to keep it. so, im going to post a little bit about that since so many people have asked what kind of lavender i grow, how do i get so many stems/buds, etc. part of that is the specific variety, the other is maintenance. 

...there are soooooo many different kinds of lavender. i personally love the more medicinal lavender over the super sweet lavenders. my favorite being lavindin lavandula x intermedia - its a hybrid cross between English Lavender and Portuguese Lavender, ( Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia) known for its strong scent, long blooming period, deep hues, and large, full plants with incredibly long stems. 

right. so, this plant has a few names but one you may see is called " phenomenal" lavender, and that is what i grow. i have a few other lavenders out back but nothing impresses me the way phenomenal does. i like my sweeter lavenders added to my coffees and teas, but i like this lavender for everything else. ... in my bath, in my linen closet, in vases, fresh cut or dried - theyre just beautiful and smell great no matter. 

today, i was at meijer and noticed some lavender plants - they had all the usuals, and then, around the corner towards the back.... i saw my beloved phenomenal lavender plants. i purchased 3. one for my neighbor, one for me, and one for my co-worker. i thought id let you guys know they are there in case youve been wanting a really great lavender plant, and especially one that survives ohio winters so well.

an important key to keeping your lavender plants healthy and full is cutting them back at the end of the season. lavender will grow " woody" as it ages, and each season it will become more woody, and less green and full with less lavender stems/buds unless you cut it back. it will always have some woody bits at the base, as it should, but the rule of thumb and the one i follow is to cut it back at the end of the season to where the green ends and wood begins. terrifies me every time, i always fear they wont make it as they look so horrible from what they just were, but every year they come back better and better. 

a few other things to know about em-- they are pretty forgiving plants with soil, although they love well draining soil they can handle pretty much anything. they LOVE light so make sure they get lots of that, however they do not do well indoors and -- they also can easily be overfed - this is a plant that actually performs better by not fertilizing it - fertilizers tend to weaken this plant and make them more vulnerable for things like pests.

( example of cutting:  that little green puff looked like the other lavender behind it shortly before this photo was taken lol)

this year, i only harvested one of my plants so far. another tip to cutting lavender - if you are doing so for scent is to cut them before the buds bloom. they hold more scent that way. i normally cut all three of mine this way, however this year i just dont have the heart to cut down my biggest one as the cutest little mama bunny built a nest under it two weeks ago. and.... well......

i also have a little humming bird friend that LOVES my lavender. so, we'll let him have some too.

i may get a second round of buds like i did last year, if so ill be cutting more.... after the bunnies have hopped off into adult hood and after my hummingbird is done filled up on lavender... 

alright, i think thats about all for now.. hope this post has helped for any of you who have been struggling to grow the kind of lavender you want, the way you want your lavender... or... maybe some of you learned something new and have been inspired to grow your first one :) 

whatcha waiting for? help me feed the hummingbirds!

until next,