May plant of the month

May plant of the month

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Lavender

Lavender is an easy to grow, evergreen shrub that produces masses of wonderfully perfumed flowers above green or silvery-grey foliage. You can cut the flowers for a vase indoors, dry them and rub off the individual florets to use as potpourri or make them into scented sachets for your drawers.

Hardiness:

There’s a huge choice of lavender varieties available, ranging from plants that are hardy throughout a cold winter to those that are tender and need to be kept in a frost-free greenhouse.

Soil:

Lavender thrives in any poor or moderately fertile well-drained soil and is ideal for chalky or alkaline soils.

Size:

Lavender grows to a height of between 30cm and 1 metre and a spread of between 30cm and 1.5 metres.

Positioning:

Lavender plants grow best in a south or west facing position. These drought-tolerant plants thrive in sunny borders, herb gardens, large pots and gravel gardens.

Watering:

Water your lavender regularly in its first growing season. Once it’s established it shouldn’t need watering, except lavender plants in pots which need watering little and often during summer.

Flowers:

Lavender produces spirals of beautifully scented flowers in summer. Depending on the plant you choose, flowers range from mauve or purple to pink or white.

Planting:

It’s best to plant lavender in April and May when the soil is warming up.

Pruning:

Prune your lavender each year to keep it compact. Using secateurs, remove flower stalks and around 2.5cm of the current year’s growth – making sure some green growth is left.

Feeding:

Prune your lavender each year to keep it compact. Using secateurs, remove flower stalks and around 2.5cm of the current year’s growth – making sure some green growth is left.

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