Lavender captivates the onlooker especially with its lush purple flowers. Here, you can learn how to keep the flowers as long as possible and extend the flowering time.
The peak bloom of lavender (Lavandula) is in the summer months from July to August. While the lavender in its original home, the warm Mediterranean region, opens its flowers already from May, we must unfortunately usually wait a little longer. However, some varieties of lavender then bloom until autumn, enriching the garden with a fragrant sea of flowers. With proper care, you can even prolong the flowering of your lavender. In this article, we explain what you need to consider.
- When does lavender bloom?
- Extend the flowering time of lavender
- Long flowering lavender varieties and species
When does lavender bloom?
The flowering time of lavender depends mainly on the species. Thus, there are early flowering and late flowering species and varieties. French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) grows primarily in its native habitat, the coastal regions of the Mediterranean. It opens its flowers already from May and thus belongs to the early bloomers of Lavandula genus. Lavender with pretty flowers is characterised mainly by its long flowering time until August or even September. However, in our latitudes, French lavender is only conditionally hardy and therefore requires special protective measures during the cold months of the year.
True lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), on the other hand, is found in higher mountainous regions. It opens its flowers only from the beginning of June, but due to its origin is extremely hardy. You may have to be patient at the beginning because depending on the variety and growing conditions, the true lavender will not bloom until the second year. But then it can be wintered outside without any problems. A short time after the true lavender, the last in the around, finally begins to bloom spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia).
Most lavender species and cultivars under our climatic conditions do not bloom until late June or early July. The flowering time depends not only on the species and variety, but also on the weather, soil conditions and care. Under optimal conditions, your lavender will bloom profusely during the warm summer months and exude its fragrance throughout the garden. Lavender loves the sun and the following rule of thumb applies in many growing regions: the higher the sunlight, the higher the yield.
Extend the flowering time of lavender
You can certainly hardly influence the weather. However, site conditions and maintenance practices also play a critical role in the well-being of your lavender. Already at planting, you can ensure optimal growing conditions. Mediterranean semi-shrub prefers warm and sunny locations with calcareous, well-drained soil. A heavy garden soil can also be improved by incorporating sand. A drainage layer of pebbles is also a good way to prevent waterlogging – as much as possible.
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Since lavender plants grow on poor, stony soils in their native country, their nutrient requirements are not particularly high. Rather the opposite is true, because too rich fertilisation can have a negative impact on winter hardiness. A small amount of fertiliser applied at the beginning of the growth phase (March/April) is therefore quite sufficient. It is best to use fertilisers with a long-term effect – such as our Plantura All Purpose Plant Food These also provide your lavender with sufficient nutrients in the long term. Especially the contained phosphorus and sufficient potassium are important for abundant flowering. For lavender grown in pots, you should also change the substrate once a year and, depending on the growth of the plant, replace the pot with a larger planter.
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Another measure to extend the flowering time is summer pruning. This should be done no later than the beginning of August, so as not to negatively affect the winter hardiness. Here, the faded stems are cut off to stimulate a second flowering. Because in this way the plant can invest all its energy in the new flowers. For more information on pruning lavender, click here.
Long flowering lavender varieties and species
Since the flowering time is very much dependent on the species and even variety, you should already have an eye on the characteristics of each species when buying lavender. To ensure that you benefit from the fragrant flowers for as long as possible, we would like to introduce you to some long-flowering lavender varieties below.
Long-flowering French lavender:
- ‘Marshwood’: popular variety with profuse flowers in shades of pink and purple; blooms from May to September.
- ‘Anouk’: variety with dark purple flowers; long flowering time from May to August; bushy growth; intense, pleasant fragrance.
Long-flowering true lavender:
- ‘Folgate’: particularly early flowering true lavender (from June) with compact foliage, tall growing spikes and sapphire blue flowers; very suitable as a low hedge or bed border.
- ‘Munstead’: particularly early flowering variety (from June); uncomplicated in care; midnight blue flowers and attractive silver grey foliage; spreads intense fragrance; compact growth.
- ‘Irene Doyle’: also known as ‘Two Seasons’; blooms twice a year from mid to late June and September/October.
- ‘Blue Mountain White’: medium height true lavender; white flowers from early June to late September.
A comprehensive collection of various lavender species and varieties can be found here.