Garden AdviceWhat Types of Potting Soil Are There?
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Do you want a multifunctional flower with superpowers, such as repelling mosquitoes, calming your nerves and providing a delicious flavour to cakes and refreshing summer drinks? Then look no further – lavender is here!
This plant can bring any home to life, with its beautiful blossoms and lovely aroma. Its uses are numerous, in medicine, crafting and in the kitchen. Did we catch your attention? Then prepare to learn how to grow lavender indoors with this helpful guide!
Then read on, because this post is for you!
There are a couple of things you have to keep in mind before planting lavender or sowing it from seed. The type of soil, the size of your container, and the amount of water you use will all play a part in whether your plant will thrive or not. So, let’s learn how to grow lavender indoors!
If you’re wondering when to plant lavender, the good news is that the suitable conditions are the same as for most plants. The best time to plant your plants or sow your seeds is when the soil is warm and has had the opportunity to dry out quickly. So, you’ll be better off planting lavender in spring; March, April and May are the best months for the job.
Never plant lavender during winter, when many plants are vulnerable and can succumb to disease and rot due to waterlogged soil.
Not all plants are capricious when it comes to the soil they grow in. Well, this one can be. If you want to ensure the best possible conditions for your plant, you need to know what the best soil for growing lavender is.
Lavender prefers quick-draining, rocky soil, as it doesn’t like to sit in damp conditions for too long. If you are making your own potting mix, you can use a 1:1 combination of regular potting soil and cactus and succulent mix. The cactus mix will improve the soil’s drainage.
Avoid using straight coir or peat moss in your potting mix, as they retain too much water and can eventually drown your plant.
Lavender also grows well in alkaline soil with a pH between 7 and 8. To tilt the mix towards alkaline, you can add limestone or crushed up eggshells.
When growing lavender in pots, the container you choose is also an essential part of creating the perfect conditions.
In order to recreate the Mediterranean environment that lavender thrives in, the best options are quick-drying terracotta or clay pot. These materials can soak up the excess water and prevent the plant from drowning.
As for the container size, choose one that is only slightly larger than the lavender plant’s root ball; 2-5 cm larger will be best. Lavender likes to live in a tight space and choosing a pot that is too large can promote the retention of more water and slower drainage, which, as we’ve already mentioned, can be detrimental to your plant.
Speaking of drainage, always, and we can’t stress this enough, ensure that the pot you choose has proper drainage holes. Sure, decorative planters look pretty, but most of them lack drainage holes, which can be disastrous to your lavender plant. If you want to opt for a decorative planter, your best bet would be to plant the lavender in a smaller pot with drainage holes, which you can then place in the decorative planter and take out whenever you need to water your plant.
Keep in mind that in order to encourage growth, you’ll need to repot your lavender once a year, every spring, into a larger container.
When it comes to lavender, transplanting seedlings and young plants is way easier than growing them from seed. We will talk about both of these methods, but first, let’s get into how to plant lavender plants.
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Get your container, young plant, tools and soil ready. To make cleaning up more manageable, you can put down a tarp or some newspapers on top of the surface where you will be working.
Using your hands or a hand trowel, add soil to the bottom of the container. Add as much as you need to lift the plant to the desired height in the pot.
Take your lavender plant out of its nursery pot by placing your hand on the soil, turning it upside down and gently tapping the bottom. Once it’s out, place the plant in its new container.
With the hand trowel, add more soil around the sides, but don’t cover the top of the root ball.
As you keep adding soil, gently press down with your hands to help the soil settle.
Once you’ve finished planting, water your lavender thoroughly.
Some gardeners prefer starting their plants from seed. However, growing lavender from seed can prove to be difficult, due to their long germination time and their dislike for excessive moisture. Nevertheless, we know some of you may enjoy the challenge, so here are our quick tips on how to plant lavender from seed!
Now that you have planted your lavender, it’s time to learn how to care for it. Yes, these plants can be temperamental, but growing them is so rewarding! The many benefits, the fantastic aroma and the beautiful blossoms can make you glad you took the time to care for your lavender plant.
Keep in mind that lavender will need some time to acclimate to your home, especially if it has spent lots of time outdoors beforehand.
If you’re looking for a smaller lavender variety that is easier to handle, we recommend French lavender. It is one of the most common lavender species used as houseplants.
Now then! Let’s get into how to care for lavender plants! Starting with…
Watering lavender can be tricky, but once you get the hang of it, you can ensure that your plant is thriving.
The main thing you should keep in mind is this – do not overwater your lavender! It will find it extremely hard to spring back once it’s been waterlogged. Lavender likes its soil to dry out in between waterings, as consistently moist soil can lead to root rot and mildew issues.
However, you should also take care not to let the soil go bone dry, either, as that will cause yellowing leaves. Besides, arid soil has minimal water retention capabilities, letting the water flow right through it without actually holding on to any of it. Once your potting mix has been left bone dry for too long, it would be best just to repot the plant.
So, how do you know how often to water lavender? It’s not as hard as you think. Just use your finger to check! Stick your finger 2-3 cm deep into the soil. If it feels dry, then you can water your plant. If it’s still moist, don’t water.
So, how do you water your lavender plants? Well, one thing you should pay attention to is this – water only the soil and don’t let moisture get onto the leaves. This can lead to mould growth and pest infestations, so take care and keep the leaves dry.
When watering, drench the soil thoroughly until about 10% of the water flows through the drainage holes. Empty the saucer when it fills up and don’t let your lavender sit in standing water.
Lavender is notoriously thirsty for light. Outdoors, it grows in full sun, so naturally, you should provide it with the same conditions indoors. Well, as close as you can.
Lavender needs as much sunshine as possible. A minimum of 6 hours of light a day is best, which is why south-facing windows are the best place for a lavender pot. Without enough sunlight, the plant will grow weak and be more susceptible to disease. If your home can’t provide these conditions, you may want to think about investing in a grow light.
To ensure even growth on all sides, rotate your pot weekly.
Also, keep this in mind – lavender likes warmth, but it doesn’t do well when placed in the way of direct airflow. Keep it away from air vents, air conditioners, fans and the like.
Lavender does not need much fertilising at all. In fact, over-fertilising can be an issue, as it can promote leaf growth and inhibit flowering. So, if you choose to feed, do so sparingly.
You can use an all-purpose, water-soluble fertiliser. Dilute it at half strength and feed the plant twice a year – once in spring and once in autumn.
There is no simple answer to this question, as all lavender varieties bloom at different times, though mostly in the summer months. Nevertheless, here are the blooming times of the most common species:
Most plants require pruning at some point. Whether it is to encourage new growth or to promote bushiness, it can help the plant grow healthy.
But when do you prune lavender? It’s not difficult to remember – always prune your lavender plants after the first flowering and once more in autumn, before it slows down its growth for the winter.
Well, that’s great, but you need to know how to prune lavender, too. Here are our tips on how to do just that:
If you’re a gardening enthusiast, but lack time to plan the whole thing out, then why not get help from a professional? Fantastic Services offers an expert planting and flowerbeds service, which includes complete planning of your garden space and even planting of your flowers. We can provide you with a personalised care plan for your plants, advice on how to best look after your greenery, and much more! Interested? Then give us a call or book your landscaping survey through our simple online form!
Find a professional to take care of your plants.
Did you enjoy this article? How did you get on with growing lavender indoors? Let us know down in the comments!
Image source: Shutterstock / ttlger