From the west of the Mediterranean, lavander was used by the Romans to keep their laundry fresh and perfume their baths! It symbolizes provincial France, as its signature fragrance. Rather wild, requiring little upkeep, you'll have a happy little plant on your hands if you give it what it wants: calcareous, dry soil, and sun.
Lavender is a dicotyledon shrub in the Lamiaceae family and the Lavandula genus whose flowers are often mauve or purple and arranged in ears. Most species are very fragrant and are largely used in the perfume industry.
It is a honey-producing plant that is very sought after by bees!
We distinguish between 4 species: Lavandula angustifolia, or true lavender, originally used in perfumeries, Lavandula latifolia, or spike lavender with a more camphor scent, Lavandula × intermedia, a hybrid of the first two which is predominantly cultivated today, and finally Lavandula stoechas, or French lavender, or topped lavender, a wild lavender with large unusual flowers.
Plant my lavender
Lavender enjoys almost anywhere in France and countries with a temperate climate as long as it has a lot of sunlight.
Plant it in autumn or possibly in spring. Choose a sunny spot and a rather chalky and well-drained soil: lavender hates to have cold feet! If your soil is too claylike, mix it with sand to lighten it.
Water my lavender
Lavender demands water only during the first weeks after planting, during high heat periods, and even more often if it's potted. Know that it handles a lack of water better than too much water!
Prune my lavender
In February-March, cut down a few inches from the previous year's growth, so as to keep lavender in a compact shape Never cut too short on the defoliated wood, because in this case it might not grow again : instead, cut the soft wood.
Reap my lavender
After flowering, you can cut the flower stems - and keep them for months or even years after drying them : hang small bouquets in a dark and dry area.