The 14 Must-Know Tips For Growing Lavender Plants Indoors
The lavender plant is a fan favorite for its beauty, aroma, and health benefits. And while growing lavender as an outdoor plant is common, it’s possible to grow lavender indoors without much space – as long as you follow the right steps.
In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of growing a lavender plant indoors, and give you tips for cultivating one in your living room or kitchen to add a pop of color and fresh smells to your house.
Growing Lavender Indoors
Coming from the Mediterranean region, lavender is a good plant to grow indoors because it does well in pots and doesn’t need that much attention or maintenance. Lavender plants can also brighten up your home with their purple flowers and fresh aroma.
But if you don’t want your lavender plant to be indoors all year round, it’s easy to keep them inside from the late fall to early spring, and then transition back outside to your herb garden in the summer to catch some bright sun rays.
We’ll give more tips for how you can care for your indoor lavender plants, later on, so keep reading!
Benefits Of Growing Lavender
There are numerous culinary, medicinal and other benefits to growing lavender indoors.
Lavender first became popular over 2,500 years ago in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and India. It was named after the Latin word ‘lavare,’ which means to wash. Ancient Romans used lavender to freshen up the smell of the bathwater in their bathhouses.
Taking after history, lavender is still used for its aroma today. Both lavender plants and lavender essential oils, specifically lavender oil, are used for aromatherapy, stress relief, relaxation, and sleep aid.
Dried lavender flowers can be used to make scented sachets or potpourri, and can even be added to candles, soaps, and bath bombs.
Lavender flowers, known for their purple blooms, can also be added to desserts and beverages as a garnish or for extra flavor.
Beyond its smell, here is a full list of assumed benefits from growing lavender:
- Sleep Aid
- Anxiety and stress management
- Cancer treatment pain management
- Skin condition treatment (it has some antifungal and antibacterial effects)
When it comes to growing lavender inside you also have the added benefit of climate control. This is especially true if you want to keep your lavender alive and thriving year round, and/or you live in colder climates.
Growing Lavender Hydroponically
While the majority of this article is about growing lavender in pots and containers, I wanted to point out that lavender is an increasingly common plant to grow hydroponically. There are several indoor garden kits and hydroponic systems out there that make it easy to grow lavender. The two main benefits of these systems are that you don’t have to mess with soil – and the plants typically grow faster and larger. We’re big fans of hydroponics, and our condo has several systems growing a variety of greens, herbs, and vegetables.
We have a few partnerships with brands that do a good job of growing lavender:
Growing Lavender Indoors From Seed
Starting your own lavender indoors from seed is an inexpensive way to grow a beautiful and aromatic lavender hedge.
Tip: In order to make sure your lavender seeds are properly germinated, learn more about growing plants from seeds.
When growing lavender from seed, start with a seed tray filled with a sandy potting mix. If you want to mix your own, we recommend using vermiculite, sand, sphagnum moss, or something else that drains well. Warmth will help support germination, so we recommend using a heat mat.
The seeds should be evenly watered, but do not make them consistently damp. Overwatering is one of the biggest dangers to lavender plants. Doing so could cause the seeds to rot or drown.
Place your seedlings in full sunlight throughout the day (no more than 16 hours if under a grow light).
You can typically expect lavender seeds to germinate in about two weeks. Leave them in the tray until they have several sets of new leaves.
Types Of Lavender House Plants – Indoor Lavender Plant
When deciding which type of lavender varieties to grow, it’s best to start with smaller varieties for indoors. Not only do they adapt better than most plants, but they also fit better under a grow light.
Here are some of our top picks for growing indoor lavender.
Canary Island Lavender
Deeply cut, rich green fern-like foliage and blue-purple flowers on slender stalks characterize this lavender. The Canary Island Lavender, also called Lavandula canariensis, can reach a height and width of about four feet. In mild climates, this variety of lavender blooms almost continuously, making it an excellent alternative for decorative pots on sunny terraces.
Fernleaf lavender is a fragrant, showy shrub. Growing fernleaf lavender is similar to growing other forms of lavender, in that it needs a warm environment and drier conditions. This lavender is an excellent choice for herbal purposes.
English lavender is the most common type of lavender and also the most aromatic, making it perfect for producing essential oils and other scented goods.
English lavender can be grown in areas with clay soil and humid weather or with a light snowfall in the winter, making it one of the most cold tolerant types of lavender.
Other types of lavender that can be grown in cold regions are the lavandula x intermedia ‘Provence’ and the lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’.
In comparison to English lavender, French lavender is less common and has a softer scent. Sometimes called the best choice for indoor growers, French lavender also blooms the longest and is known for growing into a large plant with a big, blooming flower head. If you’re looking for beautiful blooms, we highly recommend the French Lavender variety.
Planted some French Lavender today… so much fun.https://t.co/TunYgoE0LX#frenchlavender #lavenderplant #lavendergarden #beautifulflowers💐 #floweroftoday #livingwellviewpoint #life #sport #medicine #lifestyle #livingwell #wisdom #athlete #tennis #r… https://t.co/8fQhM8KagL pic.twitter.com/nw58aFhrIT— Living Well Viewpoint (@WellViewpoint) July 25, 2019
Spanish lavender has the softest scent out of each type of lavender, which makes it most suitable for indoor landscaping, not oil production.
The most common types of Spanish lavender plants include lavandula dentata, fathead, anouk, and L. latifolia.
Before you pot your lavender seedlings, make sure to strategize where to place your plant, the amount of water and type of soil it needs, and even the fertilizer required for long-term success.
Lavender Sunlight Needs
Lavenders love the sun, so you should aim to place your indoor plant in a south-facing window or any other sunny window. At a minimum, this beautiful plant will need 6-8 hours of bright light or sunlight. Don’t have that available? The good news is that you still have options. A great way to supplement the sun with an LED grow light.
Most grow lights can remain on a lavender plant between 12-16 hours a day. If you start to see burnt tips, you should consider shortening the time the light is on.
If you start to see spindly growth, it’s likely a sign that you’re not giving your lavender plants enough light. Especially when growing under LED lights, turn your plant about once every 4-7 days to support uniform growth. With the right light conditions – natural or otherwise – you can easily grow lavender indoors.
If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, you can also use a hydroponic system, which includes a grow light and self-watering system. Several products provide this, including the Gardyn, the iHarvest, and the iDOO. You can read our reviews of these products here:
Best Soil For Lavender
The best lavender soil type is well-drained and slightly alkaline soil,, with a pH between 6.7 and 7.3. If you’re following your own DIY lavender soil mix recipe, you can also add builder’s sand and lime to improve drainage and add the right amount of nutrients to your plant’s potting mix.
Here’s our recommended ph meter for your soil:
If you’re growing your lavender outside, plant it in a raised bed. But for the sake of this article, let’s review the best ways to grow lavender indoors in pots.
When potting your lavender, try to find a pot that is 2-4 inches wider in diameter than the lavender root ball. You should also choose a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom to prevent root rot, or your lavender plant from being overwatered. Good drainage is essential for growing a lavender plant!
If you don’t have a pot with holes in the bottom, you can place an inch or two of gravel or styrofoam at the bottom of the pot instead. When planting your lavender, dig a hole in the potting soil that is big enough to cover the roots of the plant, but don’t bury the stem with soil.
Potting For Lavender
When growing lavender inside, you should have the right-sized pot. A lavender pot should be no more than 1-2 inches larger than the rootball of the plant. So small pots are fine for a smaller plant but you will likely need a large pot for a larger plant.
If you plant your lavender in too large of a pot, its roots won’t be able to absorb the excess water around the edges of the container, which may lead to root rot.
If you’re keeping your lavender plant for several years, you should plan to repot it to a slightly larger container every spring.
Terracotta pots are some of our favorites for lavender, as they support good drainage. Garden centers are the best place to get these pots.
Another option is to do a plant medley container, in which you plant several herbs or flowers in a larger pot, including lavender. In terms of good companions, Echinacea, Alliums, basil and oregano are wonderful choices.
How Much Water Does Lavender Need?
Lavender is a drought-resistant plant that doesn’t like too much water. That said, once you’ve moved your seedlings to a pot, you’ll initially want to thoroughly water your plants until it drips out of the drainage holes. From here, the amount you water your lavender depends on a few factors, mainly the season and amount of light.
In the winter months, you may not need to water it for four weeks or more. In most cases, you’ll need to increase your waterings in the spring and summer. When in doubt, water less, not more. Lavender is highly susceptible to root rot.
A good rule of thumb is to water when the top inch of soil is dry. For most people, that’s the length of the top knuckle on their pointer finger. If your soil becomes completely dry, you may notice that the lower leaves start yellowing.
But again, we can’t stress enough that overwatering is a big problem when it comes to growing lavender indoors. Well-intentioned growers are often known for drowning lavender plants. Rise above the norm and chill out with the watering can.
We should start this section by saying that a lot of lavender experts will tell you that this sweet-smelling plant prefers nutrient-poor soil. This is a little misleading. Lavender needs nutrients like any other plants. That said, it’s important that you give your lavender plant the right kind of fertilizer, the right amount, and at the right time.
Best Fertilizer For Lavender
Good compost is generally the best type of fertilizer for lavender plants because it provides essential nutrients to the plant, without giving it too many nutrients.
In addition, you could also give your lavender plant a slow-release fertilizer for more nutrients. Slow-In addition, you could also give your lavender plant a slow-release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer for more nutrients. Slow-release fertilizers can be purchased on Amazon.
When To Fertilize Lavender
You should plan to fertilize your lavender plant once a year after the first flowering in the spring to keep it fresh and cared for. This might not seem like enough, but it’s important that you don’t over-fertilize your plant because that could hurt it and keep it from flowering.
How To Fertilize Lavender
If you decide to fertilize your lavender plant using compost, all you need to do is put down an inch of compost around your lavender plant.
However, if you use a slow-release fertilizer, put a small amount of fertilizer down on your plant and then leave it alone. If you fertilize it too much, your lavender plant can be damaged.
So remember when you fertilize, a little goes a long way.
Here’s our favorite LED lights to grow your own lavender plant:
How Much Light Does Lavender Need
Whether you grow your lavender plants inside or outside, it is crucial that they soak up full sun as much as possible, especially when indoors or in the winter.
Typically, lavender plants grow best indoors when on a windowsill or near south-facing windows where they can receive enough light. Lavender plants should soak up at least 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight each day, but 8 hours maximum would be preferred.
Try to keep your lavender plant at a temperature between 45 to 50 degrees F at night and 60 to 65 during the day in a room with nice airflow and no humidity. No matter where you decide to grow your lavender plants, try to rotate the pot weekly so each side of your plant can grow strong in the sunlight.
Tip: While lavender plants love heat, you shouldn’t blast them with hot air in the winter. They will survive fine in a colder room for a time, and they’ll have new growth again in the spring.
When To Harvest Lavender
Typically, you can harvest your indoor lavender plant in the early summer. To keep the plant clean, the flowering stems may be picked when in bloom or snipped off after the flowers fade.
You typically prune your lavender plant in the sprint or late summer, and many growers suggest you actually prune twice – once after the plant flowers and once in the spring.
Cutting flower branches encourages new growth and bushiness. Prune the tips of the plant for additional bushiness. Branch tip trimming reduces flowering since flowers are generated there.
Lavender Growing Season
While some readers want to grow lavender indoors all year round, others are interested in transplanting them between outside and inside as weather allows. This is actually fine. You can move your lavender plants indoors from late fall to early spring and then place them back outside when weather allows.
Indoor Garden Tips
Now that you’ve learned everything you need to know about growing lavender plants indoors, it’s time to expand your kitchen garden with even more indoor herbs.
Think about your favorite kinds of plants and herbs, and put them under your LED light next to your lavender hedge. Good luck growing your indoor garden!
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