French, Spanish and hybrid lavender

Short-lived and tender (French, Spanish and hybrid) lavenders are compact, shrubby little plants with strongly aromatic leaves. Popular for use as container plants and added to Mediterranean-style bedding schemes where they will flower between late spring to late summer.


They have soft, felty, grey-green leaves and long-lasting chunky flowers, many distinctively topped with ‘ear-like’ tufts of upright petals. Flower colours range from deep mauve-purple to pale violet, white and crimson-red. Plants grow in a range of heights from 40-90cm (16in-3ft).


A sheltered position in full sun is essential and the soil must drain freely. It will thrive in any hot spot in the garden or in containers.


More susceptible to cold than English lavenders so should be given protection from harsh weather, and ideally be brought under cover in winter. It can’t tolerate wet or frosty soil in winter.

Did you know?

Flowers have a distinctive sweet honey scent that is easily masked by the highly scented foliage and have long been grown for the fragrant oils used in perfumes.

Growing guide

French, Spanish and Hybrid lavender we recommend

Buy lavender from

Every purchase supports the work of the RHS

Useful advice

Containers: planting up

Containers: planting up

Hardening off tender plants

Hardening off tender plants

Overwintering plants in conservatories

Overwintering plants in conservatories

Plants for coastal areas

Plants for coastal areas

Other plants you may like

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.