When you grow lavender from seeds in pots, you get to see the entire process, from seed to flower. Lavender (Lavandula spp.) is an ideal plant for sunny porches and patios where the clean, fresh scent will enhance your outdoor living areas. A native of the Mediterranean, lavender enjoys full sun and can tolerate some drought. Lavender is most commonly cloned from root division or cuttings. Seed propagation, while time-consuming, is an important way to promote genetic diversity in your plant colony.
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How to Grow Lavender From Seeds in Pots
Step 1: Prepare Seed Flat
Fill a seed-propagation flat with seed-starting compost. Select a seed flat that has drainage holes in the bottom. Scatter the lavender seeds over the compost so that they're spaced about 1/4 inch apart.
Step 2: Cover Seeds With Compost Mix
Cover the seeds with 1/8 inch of compost mix. Place the seed flat in water that comes about half way up the edge. Soak the tray until the water is absorbed upwards, dampening the top of the soil. Soaking the tray rather than top-watering will prevent the small lavender seeds from being disturbed.
Step 3: Position Flats in Sunny Spot
Place the seeds in a sunny window where the temperature is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Soak the seed tray when the top of the soil feels try to the touch to keep the soil evenly damp throughout the germination process. Lavender seeds germinate in one to three months.
Step 4: Transplant Lavender Seedlings
Transplant the seedlings when they are 1 inch tall. Fill individual 2-inch pots with potting soil. Pick the lavender seedlings out of the propagation tray by sliding a trowel under a section of the seedlings and lifting them up. Divide the seedlings with your finger tips, being careful not to damage the roots.
Step 5: Prepare Pots for Transfers
Make a hole that is about 1/2 inch deep in the center of each pot with a pencil or your index finger. Place one lavender seedling in each pot. Make sure the base of the stem is at the same level in the new pot as it was in the propagation tray.
Step 6: Secure Seedling in Pot
Press the soil down around each lavender seedling to secure it in the soil. Top-water the pots using a gentle misting spray. Soak the pots until water drains from the holes in the bottom. Water the seedlings when the top of the soil begins to feel dry to the touch.
Step 7: Place Seedlings in Warm Spot
Keep the seedlings in a greenhouse or indoors if the temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In warm weather, place the lavender seedlings outdoors in an area that gets dappled shade.
Step 8: Transplant Seedlings to Larger Pots
Transplant the lavender into 6- to 12-inch pots when it's about 4 to 6 inches tall. Fill the pots with standard well-draining potting soil. Slide the seedlings out of the 2-inch pots and plant them in the larger pots at the same depth they were in the previous pot. Backfill around the plants to cover the roots.
Step 9: Find a Sunny Spot
Place the pots on a sunny porch or patio in full sun when the weather is 50 degrees F and above. Bring the pots inside or into a greenhouse if the temperature drops in winter.
Step 10: Water Lavender Plants
Water when the top 1/2 inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Soak the pots at each watering.
Eulalia Palomo has been a professional writer since 2009. Prior to taking up writing full time she has worked as a landscape artist and organic gardener. Palomo holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University. She travels widely and has spent over six years living abroad.