Many customers ask us how to grow lavender. You should be able to grow some lavender varieties in most parts of Australia, other than the most hot and humid regions.
There are many varieties and lavender cultivars and some are more heat or cold tolerant than others. The easiest lavenders to grow are the stoechas or butterfly lavenders, perform well in a wide range of soils and temperatures and are fabulous landscape plants. English Angustifolias are the hardest to grow, requiring poor soil, excellent drainage and temperate heat – which is why they grow well at our farm in Tasmania.
Lavender plants are simple souls requiring good drainage, slightly alkaline soils and lots of sun. Raised beds enriched with compost and a dressing of dolomite will produce vigorous, healthy plants. Lavenders don’t like wet feet and will die in waterlogged soil, or become mouldy.
Lavenders hate weeds so keep beds weed free. Mulch to conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds.
After flowering prune lightly and scatter lime or crushed eggshells around their base to stimulate further flowers, then prune harder in autumn.
Given the right conditions they’re generally trouble free, and most pests are repelled by their smell. Even the wallabies and pademelons leave them alone, although they will shelter under large bushes. We suspect the lavenders might help repel mites, fleas and other insects from their fur.
All lavenders beautify the landscape and bring bees and beneficial insects into your garden. They’re useful companion plants for their deterrent qualities. Lavender honey is rather nice too!