Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lavendar Fresh

Growing Requirements :

As with most plants, your success in growing this coveted plant will depend both on what kind of growing conditions you can provide and which varieties you select to grow. Lavender plants will tolerate many growing conditions, but it thrives in warm, well-drained soil and full sun. Like many plants grown for their essential oils, a lean soil will encourage a higher concentration of oils. An alkaline and especially chalky soil will enhance lavenders fragrance. While you can grow lavender in Zone 5, it is unlikely you will ever have a lavender hedge. More realistically you can expect to have plants that will do well when the weather cooperates and to experience the occasional loss of a plant or two after a severe winter or a wet, humid summer.

Lavender is a tough plant and is extremely drought resistant, once established. However, when first starting you lavender plants, don't be afraid to give them a handful of compost in the planting hole and to keep them regularly watered during their first growing season.

Special Considerations

It is dampness, more than cold, that is responsible for killing lavender plants. Dampness can come in the form of wet roots during the winter months or high humidity in the summer. If humidity is a problem, make sure you have plenty of space between your plants for air flow and always plant in a sunny location. Areas where the ground routinely freezes and thaws throughout the winter will benefit from a layer of mulch applied after the ground initially freezes. Also protect your lavender plants from harsh winter winds. Planting next to a stone or brick wall will provide additional heat and protection.


Although lavender plants get regularly pruned simply by harvesting the flowers, to keep them well shaped and to encourage new growth, a bit of spring pruning is in order. The taller varieties can be cut back by approximately one-third their height. Lower growing varieties can either be pruned back by a couple of inches or cut down to new growth. If you live in an area where lavender suffers some winter die-back, don't even think about pruning your plants until you see some new green growth at the base of the plant. If you disturb the plants too soon in the season, they give up trying.

You can always grow your lavender in pots and move it to follow the sun or even bring it indoors for the winter. Keep in mind that although lavender has a large, spreading root system, it prefers growing in a tight spot. A pot that can accommodate the rootball with a couple of inches to spare would be a good choice. Too large a pot will only encourage excessive dampness.

Insure that the pot has plenty of drainage. To prevent water pooling in the pot, place about an inch of loose gravel at the bottom. Rot root is one of the few problems experienced by lavender plants. Use a loose, soilless mix for planting and remember that container grown lavender will require more water than garden grown plants. How much more depends on the environment and the type of pot. Water when the soil, not the plant, appears dry and water at the base of the plant to limit dampness on the foliage. Compact varieties make the best choices for containers. Some to try are L. angustifolia ‘Nana Alba’ and Spanish lavender (L. stoechas subsp. pedunculata)

Planting Lanvedar
Growing in Containers

How to Make Eye Pillow

This is what I used.
Silk scarf or piece of silk 5 inches by 20 inches or 10 by 10 inches.

1 cup of flaxseed
1/2 cup of lavender buds.
To make
Fold silk with right sides together so it is about 5 by 10 inches
Stitch the silk together leaving a small opening at the end.
Turn silk right side out.
Mix flaxseed and lavender buds.
Fill the silk with the lavender flaxseed mixture.
Sew closed.
Make a slighter larger sleeve of silk for a cover for your pillow. This can be left open on one end so it is easy to remove the sleeve for washing. Add a few drops of lavender to refresh scent as needed. Squeezing the pillow will also help release the wonderful scent.

Potpourri # 1 This is a light sweet fresh scent.
Mix and set aside
1 1/2 tablespoons orris root
2 drops of peppermint essential oil
6 drops of lavender essential oil
2 cups lavender leaves
1/2 cup peppermint leaves
2 cups lavender buds
2 cups rose buds and rose petals
Mix all ingredients or layer as desired in a dish or glass bowl. Sprinkle a few rose buds on top if desired. Cover and let oils infiltrate the flowers for about 2 to 4 weeks.

Potpourri # 2 This is nice and spicy, it reminds me of Christmas.

1 cup lavender leaves
1/2 cup peppermint leaves
2 cups dried flowers, (any kind)
1 cup lavender buds

Mix together
10 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of orris root
5 drops of lavender essential oil
4 drops of sweet orange essential oil
4 drops of cinnamon essential oil
2 drops of clove essential oil
Add all ingredients and store in a closed container for a couple of weeks to absorb the scent.

Potpourri # 3 This is a simple lavender recipe.

2 1/2 cups of lavender buds
1 cup of rose buds or rose petals
4 drops of lavender essential oil
Potpourri isn't a science. Put in what ever kinds of plant material you have on hand. Orange peels, cedar chips, pine cones, and spices. Play with it and add any spices you like or any combination of oils that are pleasing to you. Just have fun!

Lavender Bath Salt
This bath salt recipe is is a simple one.
2 ounces or 4 tablespoons of salt
18 drops of lavender essential oil
mix and store in a jar or bottle,
Add 1 or 2 tablespoons to your bath water. Soak and enjoy this relaxing bath.

Lavender Orange bath salt
2 ounces or 4 tablespoons of sea salt.
10 drops of lavender oil.
8 drops of bergamot or sweet orange oil.
Mix and bottle.
Use 1 or 2 tablespoons per bath.
This lavender bath salt recipe shouldn't be used in the summer or if you're using a tanning booth. This can cause photosensitivity for about 24 hours. I love this scent in the winter months. This recipe is very uplifting for the spirit.

Immunity booster bath salt
This is a good recipe for when you feel like you're coming down with something.
2 ounces or 4 tablespoons of salt
8 drops lavender
8 drops tea tree oil
2 drops lemon myrtle
Mix and bottle.
Use 2 tablespoons per bath. Then go to bed and try to get some rest.

Baking and cooking with Lavendar
Joys of Lavendar
Everything Lavendar
Lanvedar Craft Recipes