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Even the Romans used lavender to extract fragrant bath essences: The name of this plant derives accordingly from the Latin word lavare = "wash". Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) belongs to the plant family Lamiaceae, which also includes mint and sage, and its different varieties are classics in the summer garden.
The subshrubs - that is, they only lignified below - were originally native to the coastal regions of the Mediterranean. There he lives mainly on dry, warm slopes. Lavender is also winter hardy in our latitudes as a garden plant.

Of the approximately 25 known lavender species in Central Europe mainly the hardy species Lavandula angustifolia is cultivated. However, "winterhardy" is a relative term - in the wine-growing climate, lavender usually survives the cold season without any problems, while it should be protected in colder regions.
One of the best ornamental species is Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote Blue'. Discovered in the 19th century in England in the well-known Hidcote Manor Gardens, it is by nature a bit squat and dense. The summer lilac for buckets and balcony boxes popular lavender (Lavandula stoechas) has conspicuous towering bracts on the inflorescences. Unfortunately he is not hardy.

Lavender France

France is famous for its lush lavender fields

Appearance and growth

Lavender has a compact, pillow-shaped habit with upright, highly branched and wiry stems. Characteristic are its needle-shaped, gray-green leaves and the mostly violet-blue, aromatic fragrant inflorescences. These are several rows of flowers arranged in a lively manner, forming an up to eight centimeters long, spike-like inflorescence. Lavender is perennial, about 60 to 100 inches high. There are also varieties with pink or white flowers. Flowering time is from June to August.

Lavandula stoechas

Lavender lavender (Lavandula stoechas)

Location and ground

Lavender needs a sunny, warm location with rather nutrient-poor, well-drained soil. It is important that it does not over-wetting in winter, otherwise the plants are sensitive to frost.

Use in the garden

You can plant lavender as a bedding border or as planting strips along walls and paths. It grows very well in front of warm southern walls. As an aromatic plant, it enriches sunken gardens and is a popular summer flower for rock garden beds. In addition, it fits perfectly with the Mediterranean garden style. Accompanying perennials can be for example bearded iris or Wollziest. Lavender flowers are a magnet for bees, butterflies and other insects in summer.

Lavender bedding border

Lavender can be used as a flowering bedding border

Lavender not only impresses with its spiky violet flowers, which appear from July, but also with the silver-gray, lanceolate leaves. These make lavender even after the bloom still attractive - especially as a bedding he unfolds all its charm and can also be kept well with the scissors in shape.
Roses and lavender are often planted as a bed partner, but actually do not fit very well to each other: Although both sun worshipers, complement each other optically perfect and lavender enjoys the call to keep away aphids. In the soil claims, however, the plants differ significantly: Lavender prefers poorer and moderately dry, mineral soils, while roses like to grow on humus rich and loamy fresh soil, which should not be too low in nutrients. You can solve the problem by keeping 80 to 100 centimeters planting distance and to lighten the locations of the lavender plants punctually by the incorporation of building sand. Basically, however, in terms of location claims, late varieties of steppe sage (Salvia nemorosa) or catnip (Nepeta x faassenii) are the better choice.
Lavender is also grateful as a pot or potted plant and for planting flower boxes. It is especially decorative in Mediterranean terracotta pots. So your seat in the summer is always surrounded by light lavender scent. For the real lavender, use light earth interspersed with sand and gravel. As drainage you should place a layer of potsherds or stones on the bottom of the vessel.

Lavender in the pot

Lavender is also suitable as a potted plant for the terrace

The lavender lavender can be easily integrated into all sorts of pot plants. It has similar requirements as the real lavender, but is used like a classic balcony flower. It goes well with ornamental grasses and other structural plants as well as white-flowered balcony flowers. He is like the true lavender perennial, the frost-free wintering is usually not worth it.

Use as a medicinal and aromatic plant

Especially the south of France is famous for its huge lavender fields - for the writer Jean Giono lavender was the "Essence de Provence", the soul of Provence. What few people know: In France, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is mainly cultivated with lavender (Lavandula x intermedia), in addition to real or narrow-leaved lavender. It is a cross between real lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and large lavender (Lavandula latifolia). This sturdy crossing bears more panicles and is more productive.

The real lavender is known from ancient times as an important medicinal plant. The essential oils of flowers and leaves have a soothing and harmonizing effect. In the kitchen, lavender flowers are often used to refine desserts and sauces. In addition, the oils are used as fragrances in the perfume industry, which is why the plant in the Provence, but also in some regions of England grown over a large area. Lavender should always be harvested early in the morning. Then the perfume content is highest. Even today, countless products are perfumed with lavender: from the soap to the candle to the famous fragrance bags. Also used as a kitchen spice for fish, lamb and salads is lavender very much appreciated.

lavender oil

Lavender oil is used as a perfume raw material, but is also suitable for fragrance lamps and humidifiers. In addition, the oil is said to have a wound-healing effect

Popular names such as Nervenkr├Ąutel or dwarf weed point to the use as a medicinal plant for headache and nervousness. Jean Valnet, military doctor in the French army, treated numerous burns and other injuries with lavender oil during the Indochina War (1950-1952). In his notes, he praises the excellent effect of lavender oil for wound healing. In the meantime, more than 160 ingredients have been detected that only in their entirety seem to produce the amazing healing properties of lavender.

Cut of lavender

You have to cut lavender regularly, otherwise the plants will grow old, become lazy and fall apart. The first, light pruning of the plants takes place immediately after flowering. In early spring, the lavender is then cut once again into the lignified parts. The plant branches at the interfaces, remains compact and beautiful bushy. Since the shrubs do not always tolerate the cut into the old wood, an annual cut in early spring is important. In early autumn you can once again remove the withered flower stalks.

Further care tips

Refrain from any fertilizer or composting. Lavender loves mineral soil and too many nutrients affect the growth of shoots rather unfavorable, as the plants lose stability. Also, watering is only possible with prolonged dryness.

Real lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Real lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is an aromatic summer flower with a Mediterranean flair

winter protection

The deciding factor is a warm location protected from cold east winds, and a well-drained soil so that lavender can get through the winter in cooler climates. Nevertheless, one should mulch the plants outside the wine-growing region in the fall as a precaution at the stem base and additionally cover with fir-spruce, in order to avoid failures by frost.

As a potted plant you can leave real lavender outside all year round, if you bring the plant together with pot in winter in a wind and rain protected location, put the pot in a wooden box and fill it with insulating bark mulch. On frost-free days, water just enough to prevent the root ball from drying out.


In spring you can multiply lavender with cuttings. These fall automatically when cutting and rooted best in sand under film. Later in the season, the propagation of cuttings is still possible. Occasionally, lavender sows itself, but the offspring are then not genuine.

Diseases and pests

Lavender is largely free of diseases and pests. It is shunned by aphids and other insect pests thanks to its essential oils. Also Schneckenfra├č does not occur. The only disease that affects plants more often at wet sites is the so-called stem rot caused by a fungus of the genus Phytophthora. When detected in time infection help commercial fungicides.

Video Board: Two Door Cinema Club - Lavender.

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