Lavandula angustifolia is native to the mountains surrounding the Mediterranean.  The bushy subshrub has been well-known since the Middle Ages and was often planted, especially in monasteries, due to its valued scented oil and its distinguished properties.  Today it’s a popular ornamental for the garden and is becoming even more popular as a potted plant for terraces and balconies due to its unmistakable scent.

Location and Soil

Lavender is a low-maintenance plant.  There are two requirements for its optimal growth:  a proper location and the right soil.  The subshrub can take heat without a problem and is at home in very sunny spots, preferably protected from the wind.  The wall of a home or an outdoor wall can offer protection and can also radiate warmth onto the plant at night after a winter day.  Planting your lavender in the shade will mean that you may not enjoy it for very long.

The ideal soil for lavender is sandy or gravelly.  Water should be able to flow freely or else the roots will rot.  Hard or loamy soil should be broken up so that the gravel and sand can mix with the soil.

Lavender does not require rich soil, but it does need alkaline soil.  For healthy growth, gardening lime should be mixed into the soil twice a year.  If you have potted lavender on your terrace or balcony, you can use nutrient-poor soil for herbs.  It has all the properties that the plants will need.  Lavender can be planted at any time of the year – so long as there is no risk of frost.  After planting it, keep the ground moist.


Lavender needs to be trimmed every year so that it doesn’t get too woody, but stays compact and abundant with flowers.  The first substantial trim should take place in spring before it branches out, as long as permafrost is no longer present.  Trim the plant back to just before last year’s growth.  After it blossoms, trim back all of the faded flower spikes.


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