The Whistling Rooster Homestead

it all begins at the cabin

Lavender: The Complete Growing Guide

Scientific Name:Lavandula angustifolia
Hardiness:Hardy perennial Zones 5-10
Spread:12”-36” tall by 12”-24” wide
Light Requirements:Full sun, 6-8 hours
Soil Requirements:pH between 6.5-7.5; prefers dry, sandy, or well-draining soil; even barren or alkaline
Days to Maturity:18-23 weeks (126-160 days) after germination
Start Indoors:10-12 weeks before last frost
Germination:14-21 days at 70°F
Direct Sow:Not Recommended
Succession Plant:Not Recommended
Difficulty Level:Easy
Lavender Gardening Facts
English Lavender

About Plant

Lavender is a hardy perennial herb renowned for its aromatic blooms and soothing medicinal qualities. Popular with pollinators and astoundingly deer-proof, this classical, compact shrub is a fabulous choice for low-maintenance landscaping or beautifying a kitchen garden. Dating back to the Old World and being native to the Mediterranean, lavender is drought-tolerant, easy to grow and thrives in poor soil conditions as long as it has good drainage.

Popular Varieties

Lady Lavender – classic and beautiful
Munstead Lavender – hardy and easy to find
Ellagance Lavender – uniquely shaped, highly fragrant blooms


Transplant (recommended): Germinate on damp paper towels (moist stratify) in the fridge for about 4-6 weeks; or surface sow seeds in a flat 10-12 weeks before last frost. Seeds require some light for germination, so press lightly into the soil or cover thinly with vermiculite. Transplant to individual cells when two sets of true leaves have emerged. Direct seeding is not recommended.


Transplant started plants in spring after the last frost. Plant shallowly, so the soil line is just above the top roots of the plant. Space plants 12-18″ apart in rows 24-36″ apart.
Lavender can be easily propagated from cuttings. Take softwood cuttings no less than 3” long, and remove leaves from two lower nodes on the stem. Stripping the stem on one side can also aid in root development. If desired, dip in rooting hormone or honey and bury the bottom portion in moistened potting soil in a small container. Cover with a humidity dome or plastic bottle and place somewhere warm with ample light exposure. When you can see root development, remove the plastic cover and put the pot into a location with full sun. Transplant after about a month of outdoor growth.


Plant in a loose, well-drained, gravelly or sandy soil. Lavender favors a protected south-facing location. Soil that is slightly acidic to slightly alkaline is most desirable. If the soil pH falls below 6.5, the soil should be amended to adjust the pH to no more than 8.3.


During the second year, cuttings can be taken from August-November, when the stems are semihardened, but before they have been subjected to a hard freeze. Harvest the flower spikes on a dry, warm, sunny day just as the flowers are about to open. Hang to dry in a well-ventilated space out of direct sunlight.


In late fall, clip plants back to below the flower stems and mulch heavily.

Sissy’s Notes

Season 2019:
Attempted to germinate in plastic cups with little success. Maybe one or two sprouts that died off shortly after germination most likely due to damping off.

Season 2021:
Tried cold stratifying on paper towels in the fridge, had about 30% germination. These seedlings died after transplanting as well, I believe from damping off. Need to isolate lavender from other seedlings in flats that don’t get as much water.

Season 2023:
Tried two different germination methods: broadcast sown in 4×4 flats, half covered with a thin layer of vermiculite and half just pressed into the soil; and spread on moist paper towels and taped to a south-facing window and left for 4 weeks.

Sparse germination in the flats of Livingston and Burpee seeds; 50% germination of Baker Creek seeds. I do not know whether these brands have been cold stratified prior to packaging and have not been able to find out.

Best germination was achieved in the window baggies – close to if not 100% of the two types from Baker Creek. Saw better germination of the department store brands but not much, and not enough to transplant. I suspect the differences stem from stratification prior to packaging. I’ve placed a few more packets of Livingston and Renee’s Garden lavender seeds into a baggie to dry stratify in the fridge, and will try again on paper towels. Transplanted the baggie seedlings to individual cells and they’re putting on good growth.

%d bloggers like this: