layce72
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 9:11 pm
Location: Peoria, AZ

Growing and Harvesting Lavender

At the end of March, I received a packet of lavender seeds as a gift (I neglected to check what kind of lavender before planting unfortunately). I love the scent of lavender so I planted them in an empty spot in my backyard. They have grown HUGE!! Almost 3 ft tall already and I'm just starting to see the blooms coming out on the tops of some of them. My question is, since I'm not sure what kind they are, is there anyone with some tips or a lot more experience than me on pruning, harvesting, etc? I didn't know they were going to get this big and the other forums I've checked say how you prune and harvest depends on the type. Do I even have to prune them yet and if so, I haven't the slightest idea as to how to go about this. Thanks so much in advance, I'm an extremely beginning gardener!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Growing and Harvesting Lavender

Wow! Where are you and what did you do to them to get growth like that? You must be in the south somewhere? My lavender only recently came out of winter dormancy and it never gets that big. You may also have a different variety than I do. I have to grow the cold-hardy English lavender. Growing like that, you might have sweet lavender or French or Spanish lavender.

You don't want to do anything to it now, until it is ready to harvest. That means it has flower spikes full of buds, but the buds haven't opened yet or are just barely starting to and have deep color. Cut the flowering stems off with a scissors, about half way down between the flower and the base of the stem, but don't cut in to older woody parts of stem. It will put out new growth and re-bloom. At the end of the season or in early spring, cut it all back about a third.

Bundle your cut stems and hang them upside down to dry (helps to put them inside a paper bag, to be sure they have a dark, dry spot to hang in). I use the leaves as well as the flowers.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
skiingjeff
Green Thumb
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:22 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts Zone 6a

Re: Growing and Harvesting Lavender

When I started my lavender plants I found this great video on Youtube called "A Guide to growing lavender" by expert village. It is a great video. It talks about spacing, watering, sun requirements, and pruning. :)

I'm putting a link to the video below, I hope it works as I'm not the greatest on these links. :oops: If not, go to Youtube and do a search for it and it will pop up with other videos on lavender as well.



I love my lavender. I make sachets and other stuff with them. You can extract the oil or have it in your tea - its a great plant no matter the size (if you have the space) :lol:

Good Luck!

layce72
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 9:11 pm
Location: Peoria, AZ

Re: Growing and Harvesting Lavender

Thank you so much for your replies!! The more info, the better. I'm still a little confused because all the videos and things I see on lavender, and mine looks NOTHING like any of them. It has a really thick stalk and is growing more straight up than out. Kinda resembling a tree in a way. The leaves are really huge! Does anyone happen to know of any websites or blogs that might have pictures of all the different types of lavender? So I could maybe pin down the exact type? Again, thank you so much for all or your help.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Growing and Harvesting Lavender

Why don't you post a picture of your plant? It is possible it was mis-identified somewhere along the line, because it doesn't sound like lavender at all. If it is lavender, if you just lightly crush some leaves, it will smell very strongly of lavender. Lavender leaves are pretty distinctive too, almost like needles, looks a lot like rosemary leaves, but the scent is different. "Huge" leaves is NOT lavender. Lavender "leaves" are small, slender, needle like.

So no wonder it was growing so much faster than any lavender I'm familiar with... it isn't lavender.

If you put your lavender seed directly in the ground, maybe these are just weeds that came up in the spot you planted in. Lavender is not easy to start from seed - slow germinating, and needs just the right conditions. I start it from seed but only indoors, on heat mats, under lights, where I can baby it. And still it is slow getting started.

Here's a website with descriptions of all the different lavenders. The underlined name of each variety is a link. If you click on it, it will take you to a picture of that variety.

https://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/la ... ndtips.htm
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

layce72
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 9:11 pm
Location: Peoria, AZ

Re: Growing and Harvesting Lavender

Sheesh, I hope its not weeds!! They really don't look like it, but I really don't know. Here's some pics, maybe someone else has seen something similar! Thanks so much in advance :D
Image
Image
Image
Image

layce72
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 9:11 pm
Location: Peoria, AZ

Re: Growing and Harvesting Lavender

Well, come to find out, my daughter has also planted a packet of some kind of flowers in the same spot I put my lavender. My apologies everyone. It didn't dawn on me until you said the leaves are small, resembling rosemary. I do have a lot of something resembling that, so I was way off. Now I gotta find out what kind of flowers my daughter planted because these are getting wayyyy too big. Again, my apologies everyone and thanks so much for all of your help!

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11342
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Growing and Harvesting Lavender

The plant you have may be either an amaranth or chenile plant. When the flowers mature it will be easier to tell. Both plants have large leaves and similar catkin like flowers. From your pictures my guess is that it is probably an amaranth. The flower spike looks more grainy than fuzzy. It may be one commonly called love lies bleeding.
It is often grown as an ornamental.

Amaranths can produce an edible grain and some species are grown for their leaves.
https://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/amaranth-plant.html
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

layce72
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 9:11 pm
Location: Peoria, AZ

Re: Growing and Harvesting Lavender

Wow, thank you so much!! :D I love this forum, everyone is so nice and helpful. I'm gonna look up that kind of plant now and see what I really have. Again, thanks all!

Return to “Herb Gardening Forum”