A Guide to Growing Lavender from Seed Successfully

You must have ever heard that growing lavender from seed is pretty hard. However, it does not mean that you cannot successfully germinate this gorgeous and scented herb through seedlings.

Lavender itself is a hairy perennial plant that nurtures in the Mediterranean areas. If you are living in warmer locations, anticipate its green to gray leaves to remain evergreen all the year.

However, the fragrance, beauty, and other advantages of having lavender in the garden are not easy to achieve.

You must be careful and patient throughout your journey in cultivating this perennial plant in your place.

Success Tips to Grow Lavender from Seeds

Check the following short overview of the essential tips. These tricks help you make the most of your journey in growing lavender at home.

  1. Prepare Early for Growing Lavender from Seed

Plant lavender in well-drained, slightly alkaline soil with a pH between 6.7 and 7.3. You can add builder's sand to the soil before planting to increase drainage, which is vital because lavender will not tolerate excessive soil moisture or humidity.
Prepare for Growing Lavender

Lavender is a kind of herb that slows to germinate. Also, it requires several additional steps to get the germination progress completed.

For this reason, you should get ready to plant your lavender seeds indoors. Do it for around 3 to 4 months before the estimated planting time in your region or zone.

You should gather supplies to grow the lavender seeds now for the upcoming planting season. The time frame happens before your local nursery offers seed packets and starting pots.

  1. Start Your Lavender Seeds in Bags

Put a plastic bag in place bright (get sunlight). Check every day, adjust the conditions if needed. Lavender seeds germinate after 1 - 4 weeks.
Germinate Lavender in Bags

Rather than in pots of soil, you better put your lavender seeds in a baggy system. Utilizing a paper towel is something to avoid as well because it can promote the growth of fungal.

Moreover, a paper towel typically makes it difficult to discover or eliminate the tender roots when you are ready to plant the seeds too.

You should situate the lavender seeds in a bag instead of using a tablespoon of water. Then, make sure to press all of the air out before you start monitoring the germination process.

Make sure to refrain from planting the lavender seeds too deeply. This not only helps them to germinate properly but also saves you some space.

When growing lavender from seed, do not forget to provide them with enough light. Also, let the germination process complete before relocating them from the bag.

You can remove the seedlings from the bag when the first two leaves are open for a whole day. They typically are very tender during germination.

Luckily, lavender seedlings are somewhat resilient and not that difficult to transplant.

  1. Use Peat Pots as an Alternative

This year we used peat pots to germinate our lavender. They are convenient because the whole pot can be planted in the ground without disturbing the root system. Use a potting soil designed for starting seeds. This mix has a nice blend of peat and vermiculite to retain moisture and keep the soil light.
Use Peat Pots to Grow Lavender

Instead of bags, you can use peat pots to germinate your lavender seeds. Moreover, they make a nice option.

You can simply plant the whole pot in the ground later on without worrying about the existing root system.

To make it work, only utilize a potting soil that is particularly made for starting seeds.

This mix typically offers a perfect blend of vermiculite and peat which can preserve moisture and maintain the soil lightly.

You need to be careful when growing lavender from seed since they are very small.

Sprinkle them in the middle of your peat pot and fluff the dirt lightly. Thereupon, the seeds are tacky and get covered.

Do not forget to water the soil before planting to help these tiny lavender seeds from getting buried too intensely.

After that, you can situate the peat pots in a waterproof seed tray. If the dish features a clear plastic coverage, locate the containers on top.

However, if there is no plastic cover, you can slide the dish into a garbage bag. It functions to seal in the humidity until the lavender seeds perfectly germinate.

  1. Provide Your Lavender Seeds Enough Light

Your lavender seeds will require light while sprouting, preferably via sunlight or grow light. I had a low germination rate along the journey until I tossed the bag of seeds under one of my seedling lights.
Provide Lavender Seed Enough Sunlight

Growing lavender from seed requires you to place them in a location with adequate light. Furthermore, if possible, the area should provide grow-light or natural sunlight.

Some gardeners received a good result when they place their lavender seeds under the seedling lights instead of the window.

If you have no seedling lights at home, placing the seeds on a sunny, south-facing window must be sufficient too.

It will be much better if the window is warm and sunny throughout the day. Meanwhile, the condition should be cool and nice during the night.

Instead, you can place your pots or bags of seeds under a radiator heater throughout the night. Do it especially when the temperatures are very low.

  1. Take Care of the Lavender Seedlings

Starting with the proper conditions is essential for successfully growing lavender. Water plants deeply but infrequently, when the soil is almost dry. Prune every year immediately after bloom.
Take Care of Lavender Seed

If you have already pulled the seedlings from the bag, create a hole in your pot of moistened soil and put them there.

Then, fill up the gap with dirt until half of the lavender stem.

You do not have to water the soil if it is already well-watered before transplanting. Rather than keeping water off of your lavender when watering, simply lean your pot until the dirt soaked up.

  1. Be Patience in Growing Lavender from Seed Indoors/Outdoors

The lavender plant will benefit from being moved into a semi-shaded area outdoors after all danger of frost is past.
Growing Lavender Indoor or Outdoor

Are your lavender seeds not growing after 3 or 4 weeks? If so, you should not just toss the bag or peat pot away.

Subsequently, cultivating this plant is all about patience.

Some beginners think that their seeds are bad while the real problem is the conditions where they grow their lavender.

Although the rule of thumb for the seeds to germinate is in 3 to 4 weeks, the reality could be 10 or 12 weeks.

Thus, you just need to be patient to see your seeds sprouting whether you plan to plant them outdoors or indoors later on.

You better wait at least 3 months before determining that the lavender seeds are bad. Meanwhile, make sure that they already received a minimum of 7 heated days too.

Growing Lavender from Seed and Planting It

Lavender germinates most evenly if seeds can be collected in the autumn and sown on the surface of a seed tray with bottom heat maintaining 4-10°C (40-50°F). The seedlings are then overwintered in a cool greenhouse or cold frame with good ventilation. Seedlings can then be potted on as needed.
Growing Lavender from Seed

Once your lavender seeds have successfully germinated, you can start planning to plant the seedlings in your garden.

Lavender plants can reach around 1 to 3 feet tall when mature. Therefore, make sure to plant them 2 to 3 feet apart.

To avoid the growth of weeds around your lavender, do not forget to add mulch as well. Alternatively, you can take advantage of pea gravel or rock since they work perfectly fine too.

Nevertheless, you should not apply the mulch near the crown of your lavender plants. Further, this can encourage root rot and overload moisture.

If you want to skip several months to wait for your lavender seeds to germinate and overwinter, purchasing small starter plants should not go wrong.

Visit a local garden nursery and get small starter lavender plants to grow at home. Otherwise, you can take a cutting from a mature plant during spring or at the end of summer.

When to Plant Lavender Seeds for the Best Result

Plant lavender in spring, once all chances of frost have passed. This beautiful, fragrant herb is a great addition to raised beds, in-ground gardens, and growing in containers.
When to Plant Lavender

Spring is the best time to plant young lavender seedlings. At this season, the soil has warmed and the danger of frost will not be an issue.

In case you want to start growing your lavender in the fall, a bigger and established plant is the one you should find instead of the young seedlings.

More established lavender plants should be able to withstand the winter if you start growing them in the fall.

Tips to Care for Lavender Plants

Starting with the proper conditions is essential for successfully growing lavender. Water plants deeply but infrequently, when the soil is almost dry. Prune every year immediately after bloom.
Lavender Plant Care Tips

You will not want your lavender plants to die in vain after doing the hard work of waiting for the seed germination completed.

For this reason, you can do the following caring tips for maintaining your lavender in good condition.

  • If you are growing lavender from seed and planting it in colder areas, it is necessary to prepare for additional winter protection.
    For instance, protect it by using a mulch of evergreen straw or boughs.
  • Water your lavender one or two times weekly after panting and doing so until the plants are well-established.
  • When it comes to mature lavender plants, you just need to water them every 2 or 3 weeks. Do watering before the buds appear and one or two times a week until the harvesting time.
  • You can do all pruning throughout autumn if living in warmer regions. Meanwhile, in a cooler climate, it must be carried out in the spring.
  • When pruning your lavender, get rid of around one-third of the top only. So, the plant will not become leggy.

Moreover, if you are growing lavender in colder climates, plant it in a pot or container. Thus, this way will be a better choice.

You can easily move the plant indoors during winter and bring it outdoors when the summer comes.

The Bottom Line

While Lavender is usually regarded as a summer-blooming flower, some Lavender plants are early bloomers with their magnificent blooms appearing early in spring.
Lavender Plants Flowers

If you give up on growing lavender from seed on the first try, remember that no one nailed something without numerous attempts.

There have been many gardeners and homesteaders who failed at growing lavender. Nevertheless, they realize that failure is just the foundation of learning.

Keep in mind that poor germination rates among lavender are nothing serious. Even if you only got 20 percent of your seeds that germinate properly, it is already a great thing!

You should not expect a higher germination rate of more than 50 to 60 percent since you will eventually be dissatisfied.

Most seed manufacturers have included a bunch of lavender seeds in their packages.

Hence, even if you could only achieve a 20-percent germination rate, there will be adequate seedlings to beautify your home garden.

In conclusion, you must be patient when growing lavender from seed and each of the above tricks is important to accomplish a pleasing germination rate.

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