Lavandula is a member of the family Lamiaceae. This genus includes about 30 species. In natural conditions, it can be found in North and East Africa, Arabia, southern Europe, Australia, and India. In each country, only 2 types of lavender are cultivated, namely: medicinal lavender, or narrow-leaved, or English, and also French lavender, or broadleaf.
The name of the shrub was derived from the Latin word “lava”, which translates as “wash” the fact that in the Ancient world, the Greeks and Romans, it was used for washing and washing. Today lavender can be met not only in the garden area, but it is also grown on an industrial scale as a valuable essential oil culture.
The brief description of cultivation lavender flower
- Landing. Seeds are sown on seedlings in February–March, in the open ground ― in October, while seedlings are transplanted into the open soil in the last days of Mayor in the first ― June.
- Flowering. It begins in the middle of the summer period.
- Illumination. Needs a lot of bright sunlight.
- Soil. It should be dry, well permeable to water and air, loamy or sandy with a pH of 6.5–7.5.
- Irrigation. Lavender should be watered systematically and abundantly. During a long dry period, the frequency of watering will increase.
- Fertilizer. Feeding is carried out twice during the growing season. In spring, a complex mineral fertilizer with a high content of nitrogen is introduced into the soil, and in autumn ― phosphorus-potassium fertilizer.
- Hilling. Old plants need to be Spud twice a season, do it in spring and autumn.
- Clipping. When the Bush will wither away, he had removed all the blossoms, and in autumn the time to trim branches. After the plant is 10 years old, it is rejuvenated, for this cut off all the branches at a height of 50 mm from the surface of the soil.
- Reproduction. Seed method, as well as cuttings, layering, and division of the Bush.
- Pest. Leafhoppers (slavering Pennisi), iridescent beetles and aphids.
- Diseases. Gray rot.
Lavender flower is an evergreen perennial shrub, the root of which is fibrous and woody, it can go into the soil to a depth of about 200 centimeters. It has many stems, reaching a height of about 0.6 m, which are lignified in the lower part. Located opposite sessile leaf plates have a linear shape and a greenish-silver color, on their surface there is a soft pubescence.
Fragrant flowers are collected in interrupted spikelet inflorescences of 6-10 pieces in whorls, they are painted in lilac-blue or blue. Inflorescences are formed in the upper part of leafless shoots. The beginning of flowering lavender falls in the middle of the summer period.
This plant is considered an excellent honey plant. If its seed material is stored correctly, then it will have excellent germination even after many years. This shrub is considered a relative of the following crops: hyssop, Basil, mint, Melissa, motherwort, oregano, sage, and rosemary.
Growing lavender flower from seeds
Planting in the open ground
Lavender seeds can be sown directly in the open ground for the winter, or rather in October. If you grow it through seedlings, then the planting of seedlings in the garden is carried out in the last days of May.
If you decide to grow a shrub of seeds, then they should be purchased in advance, or rather, in the first winter weeks or early autumn. The fact is that before you start sowing seeds, they must be prepared. To do this, the seed material for two months stratified at a temperature of about 5 degrees, which greatly increases its germination.
To do this, the seeds must be combined with moistened sand and placed on the shelf of the refrigerator, designed for vegetables. Sowing seeds for seedlings are carried out in February–March.
Sowing for seedlings
The container intended for lavender sowing should be filled with a pre-prepared substrate, which should include large river sand and hummus (1:2). Since the seeds of such a plant are very small, the finished soil mixture should be sifted, which will help to remove all the lumps from it.
Then the substrate is disinfected, for this, it is spilled with a rich pink solution of potassium permanganate or calcined in an oven at a temperature of 110 to 130 degrees. At the bottom of the box, on which there are holes for drainage, first laid drainage layer, after which it is filled with prepared substrate.
The stratified seed material is evenly distributed over the surface of the soil mixture, after which it is sprinkled with a three-millimeter layer of sand. Moisten the crops with warm water from the spray and cover them with a transparent film or glass.
Put the box in a warm and well-lit place. The crops need regular airing, to do this every day for a while you have to lift the cover. In order for seedlings to appear, the crops must be at a temperature of 15 to 22 degrees.
Care of seedlings
Immediately after the seedlings appear, they need to start regularly great light, otherwise, they will stretch very quickly. To the new conditions of growth of the plant should be taught gradually. To do this, every day to clean up for a while shelter, while the duration of the procedure should be increased gradually.
Immediately after the seedlings get used to the new growth conditions, the shelter can be removed at all. After that, lavender should be seated in a larger box so that the distance between the bushes was not less than 50 mm.
Planting in the open ground
Planting seedlings in open soil are carried out in the last days of May. Often, this shrub is used to decorate the Alpine hills, to create curbs or it is planted on both sides of the tracks. The culture grows well in open Sunny areas. Since lavender reacts extremely negatively to excess moisture, it is not recommended to choose a site with a high level of groundwater or wetlands for its planting.
For its cultivation, sandy dry soil is perfectly suitable, but it also grows quite well on drained loamy soil. The recommended pH of the land on the site 6,5–7,5. If the soil is acidic, then it should make crushed limestone.
Before you start planting, the site should be well prepared. To do this, it is due to a depth of not less than 0.2 m, and then the soil is well loosened, for this purpose compost or peat is introduced into it.
When planting seedlings of strong-growing varieties between the bushes, a distance of about 1.2 meters is observed. Planting seedlings of other varieties, the distance between the plants should be from 0.8 to 0.9 meters. Planting hole makes such a depth that it could fit the root system of the Bush.
Before planting a seedling, its roots should be cut a little, then the Bush is set in a hole and covered with earth. After planting, the root neck should be buried in the ground for 40-60 mm. Planted seedlings need abundant watering.
In regions with a mild climate and warm winters, seeding is recommended to produce directly into the open ground. Sowing is carried out in October in a pre-prepared area. To do this, it is dug up and simultaneously introduced into the soil peat. If the ground is excessively wet, then you can fix it by adding sand or gravel, which will increase its drainage properties.
The seeds are buried in the soil at 30-40 mm, after which its surface is slightly compacted. If the autumn was very dry, the crops are watered moderately. When the first snow falls, they should throw the surface of the site so as to obtain not very large snowdrift.
Care of lavender in the garden
After the first inflorescences are formed on the lavender seedlings, it is recommended to break them off. Thus, young bushes will not spend their energy on the formation of flowers and will be able to get stronger and form a powerful system of roots.
After planting lavender in the garden, during the first season it is characterized by extremely slow growth, in this regard, you need to regularly pull the weeds, as they can drown out young shrubs.
In addition, the bushes will need to be systematically cut and fed. At the same time, it is recommended to use potash fertilizers for fertilizing. The fact that nitrogen fertilizers and manure contribute to the active growth of green mass, and this has a negative impact on flowering.
Watering and hilling
In order for lavender to grow and develop well, it needs abundant systematic watering. In hot days, the frequency of watering significantly increases. Each time after the rain or irrigation is carried out, loosen the surface of the soil between the plants and remove all weeds. In order to significantly reduce the amount of weeding, loosening and watering immediately after the seedlings are planted in open soil, the surface of the earth between them is covered with a layer of peat.
The division of the Bush
For reproduction of culture is also used as a method of dividing the Bush. However, for this procedure, the plant should be prepared. Choose an adult because of the overgrown bushes. With the onset of autumn, when it fades, it should be pruned to a height of about 10 centimeters, after which it is highly Spud, trying to fill the entire space between the stems with soil. In spring, the plant is Spud again. During the summer, the Bush is formed abundant shoots.
With the onset of autumn, the Bush is removed from the ground and divided into several parts with well-developed roots and stems. Next divided planted in a new place in separate holes.
Reproduction by layering
To propagate the shrub layering, in spring you should select several stems, bend them and put in grooves with a depth of 30 to 40 mm, made in the soil near the plant. Fix shoots in this position, fill them with soil and pour well.
During the summer period, ensure that the soil above the layering was all the time in a slightly humid state. To separate from Bush which gave the roots of strains is possible only with the advent of the following spring. Next, the cuttings are dug and planted in a permanent place.
Pests and diseases of lavender
When grown in open soil lavender has a very high resistance to harmful insects and diseases. However, problems can arise with it. In some cases, shrub striking gray mold or it settled iridescent beetles or slavering Pennisi (leafhoppers).
If Bush settled the pests to get rid of them collecting insects by hand. Then necessarily replaced by a layer of mulch under the Bush. The development of gray rot contributes to the regular stagnation of liquid in the soil, which can be caused by excessively frequent and very abundant watering or prolonged rains.
This disease can not be treated, so the affected Bush is recommended to dig up and destroy. If the disease is at the initial stage of development, then you can try to save lavender, for this immediately after detection cut out all the affected parts of the Bush. And then be sure to adjust the irrigation regime.
Lavender in winter
If in the region where lavender grows, in winter it is colder than minus 25 degrees, then the plant will need a reliable shelter. Remember to insulate its leafless foliage, as under it the bushes may appear rot. Experienced gardeners will conduct mandatory in the autumn pruning of Bush and throws it on the winter spruce branches. In regions with warmer and milder winters, Lavandula angustifolia does not need shelter.
Types and varieties of lavender with photos and names
To date, gardeners cultivated only broad-leaved lavender and narrow-leaved. Below will be described those types of lavender, which can also be grown on your garden plot.
Or Lavandula latifolia. The homeland of this species ― South-West of Europe. The smell of spectacular flowers of lavender is very strong, they can be painted in different shades of pink, green, white, purple, purple or Burgundy.
This lavender blooms slightly earlier than other species, and it occurs in April–May. Flowering ends in July, but sometimes in the last summer weeks, the Bush blooms again. Compared with narrow-leaved lavender, this species is not so highly resistant to frost, therefore it is cultivated mainly in regions with the warm and mild climate.
The most popular among gardeners is the variety ― Lavandula stoechas pedunculata or “butterfly” Papillon: the flowers in this shrub have an unusual spectacular shape.
The best varieties of lavender are:
- Yellow Whale. Foliage in the shrub greenish-yellow color, flowers ― dark purple and bracts ― crimson.
- Rigal Splendor. The flowers are painted in dark purple.
- Rocky Road. This variety appeared relatively recently. Its large flowers, painted in a bluish-purple color, open in July.
- Tiara. Bracts in large blue flowers of the cream color.
- Helmsdale. The flowers are painted in Burgundy-lilac color.
This group of hybrids, characterized by high decorative, created using lavender English and other species of the genus. Such a large shrub is decorated with narrow leaf plates of silver color, as well as large flowers of oblong shape, located on long peduncles that bend under their weight. It blooms in July.
The best varieties include:
- Alba. The flowers are painted white.
- Arabian Knight. The color of flowers dark purple or dark blue.
- Sawyers. The color of the flowers is pale purple.
- Grosso. Large beautiful flowers are painted in lilac-purple.
- Richard Gray. Compact shrub decorated with dark purple flowers.
This species comes from the Mediterranean. It is a compact shrub characterized by heat. Silver sheet plate rugged and soft. In July, there is flowering, during which large fragrant flowers are revealed. The species is not highly resistant to frost. The most popular among gardeners is a variety ― Royal crown: the flowers are painted in purple.
Or Lavandula spicata, Lavandula officinalis. The homeland of this shrub is southern Europe. This perennial is decorated with leaves of greenish-silver color and even small lilac-blue flowers. Flowering begins in July–August. This type differs from the others in that it has the highest resistance to frost. T
he most popular variety of this shrub is ― lavender Dolphin-shaped: the height of the Bush is not more than 0.3 m, it is decorated with very spectacular leaves of silver color. Also widely cultivated lavender Hidcote, it is often used to create very high fences.
The best varieties include:
- Rosea. Low shrub, reaching a height of about 0.4 meters, during flowering forms mauve inflorescences.
- Instead. Bright blue flowers bloom on the Bush, reaching a height of 0.4 meters.
- Hidcote Giant. The height of such a compact shrub is about 0.6 m.
- Hidcote Blue. Violet-blue flowers adorn a compact plant, which reaches a height of about 0.4 m.
Properties of lavender: harm and benefit
Medicinal properties of lavender
Lavender has essential oil in all above-ground parts, in its composition, there is linalool, coumarins, ursolic acid, tannins, Geraniol, and borneol. Lavender oil is very useful, because of this it is widely used in medicine and in the perfume and cosmetic industry. This oil is used in the treatment of injuries and burns.
Lavender is also used in the treatment of cerebrovascular diseases, convulsions, and paralysis after a stroke, and it can help with dizziness, headaches, and drowsiness. The culture has a diuretic effect, and it is also able to eliminate toothache.
Tea with such a plant is used to eliminate discomfort and stomach cramps. It can also help with melancholy, irritability, hysteria, and neurasthenia, as well as flu, asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, tuberculosis, enteritis, flatulence, atony of the gastrointestinal tract, worms, rheumatism, cystitis, amenorrhea, hypertension, fever, and various rashes.
Experts note that the infusion of lavender has a positive effect on the nervous system as a whole, as well as on his General mental state. It helps to eliminate stress, as well as reduce the negative impact of adverse factors on the mental state and human consciousness.
It was also observed that the infusion promotes stimulation of mental activity and rapid recovery of energy and strength. Lavender foliage is used for the preparation of medicinal baths, and dried inflorescences are used as an effective means against moths when storing clothes, as well as fragrance linen and premises.
Lavender oil cannot be used by pregnant women, especially in the early stages, because lavender promotes stimulation of uterine muscle contraction. It is also forbidden to use it after abortion, as in this case, it can cause bleeding. Still, lavender cannot be used simultaneously with drugs, which include iodine or iron.
Long-term use of the oil can cause depression, as well as the appearance of irritation of the mucous organs of the Gastrointestinal Tract. Products made on the basis of lavender, have a powerful effect, and therefore can cause a strong allergic reaction. In this regard, before using such a drug for the first time, it is necessary to consult with a qualified specialist.