Monday, January 9, 2012

Plants With Winter Interest Part 5 - Lavender

Lavender in Eckhart Garden
Most people grow lavender (Lavandula spp) for its fragrant blooms, or as a culinary herb, but it also adds to the winter garden with the year-round silvery blue/green color of its leaves.  Master Gardener Jerry Lewis covered harvesting lavender blossoms in July 2010.

These clumps were given to me by Master Gardener Evelyn Schoch as cuttings from her garden.  For care and maintenance, Cornell University recommends:
Deadheading after first bloom may encourage plants to rebloom. This is also a good time to shape plants. But avoid pruning after late summer until new growth begins the following spring. Cut back heavily (to about 6 inches) every 2 or 3 years to keep plants from getting straggly.

Compared with other shrubs, lavender is not a long-lived plant, so it is best to replace old plants about every ten years.
Lavender in Eckhart Garden
These clumps are about 6 years old.  Lavender is easily propagated by layering, or taking cuttings, but also can be started from seed.  If you don't deadhead, it can also self sow.  Here's a fact sheet on home propagation methods.  It should be noted that named cultivars should not be asexually propagated (cuttings or layering) because of copyright issues.  Hybrid plants that self-sow, may also not grow true to the parent plant.

No comments:

Post a Comment