What could be more delightful than a big pot of lavender in full bloom, set next to a doorway, greeting all passersby with its heavenly fragrance and colorful blossoms? Lavender (Lavandula) is a very attractive perennial which enjoys a long flowering season and is fairly easy to grow. Since not all lavenders are hardy, containers provide the opportunity to grow Lavender that would otherwise not be suited to your garden. Place them in a sunny spot (at least 6 hours of sunshine per day), provide the right soil and plenty of drainage, and your Lavender will happily blossom and grow!
Dozens of Lavender varieties are available and finding the right Lavender plant for your favorite containers is not always an easy task. To assist you in selecting the right plant, we have prepared this guide, which we hope will be helpful to you.
Main Lavender Types for Pots & Containers
- Lavandula angustifolia, also called True Lavender or Common Lavender, has long been cultivated for its high quality lavender oil. Cultivars of this species tend to be compact in habit and have grayish green narrow leaves and relatively short compact flower spikes. This Lavender type is great for formal or informal edging along walkways, raised wall beds, rock gardens, herb gardens, containers and in mass plantings. Flowering typically occurs from late spring to midsummer. Small-growing Lavender cultivars are ideally suited for containers as they keep a reasonably compact and small form naturally. Larger Lavender varieties can also be grown in containers, but they will need to be either transplanted to the garden after a couple of years, or planted in a larger container.
- Lavandula stoechas, also called French Lavender, Spanish Lavender or Butterfly Lavender, is recognizable by the conspicuous sterile bracts resembling extravagant ears, on top of the short dense inﬂorescence. Grown for its silvery aromatic leaves, it is used extensively for essential oils or potpourris. The very distinctive flowers, however, steal the show with their pronounced "ears" sprouting from each flower head. This Lavender loves hot weather, but is more tender (Hardiness 8-9) than other Lavender.. A beautiful selection for mass plantings or containers. Flowering typically occurs from mid spring to late summer.
Suggested Lavender Varieties
There are many varieties of Lavender, including dwarf cultivars which are ideal for container growing and can be clipped in decorative balls and cones. Obviously, the compact varieties make the best choices.