Introducing...

Lavender

Botanical name: Lavandula

Lavender are popular, aromatic, drought-tolerant garden plants. They are easy to grow and associate well with other shrubs, perennial plants and roses. Long-lived and hardy border plants include cultivars of the English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia and L. × intermedia). Other lavenders, including French lavender (Lavandula stoechas), are slightly less hardy and can be short-lived so need replacing every few years. All lavenders are popular with bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

Looks

Aromatic plants with masses of fragrant summer flowers, in colour shades of purples, blues, pink and white on wiry spikes above silver-grey or grey-green foliage.

Likes

Lavender are happy in a sunny border with well-drained, chalky or sandy soil. They thrive in containers, herb and gravel gardens, and sunny balconies. They are popular for Mediterranean-style and coastal planting.

Dislikes

Lavender won’t tolerate shade, wet, freezing or heavy soils. Some of the less hardy ones will need to be under cover over winter where water is only needed occasionally to avoid rotting and grey mould. These less hardy ones include: L. canariensis, L. dentata, L. lanata and L. pinnata from areas including Portugal, Madeira and the Canary Islands.

Did you know?

Lavender honey is produced by busy bees. Lavender flowers can be used in cooking – in ice cream, biscuits and cakes. Lavender stems can flavour barbeques by adding them to the coals. Lavender oil is also commonly used in aromatherapy and perfumes.

Growing guide

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.