When To Plant Lavender Outside? Should I Start Lavender Indoors?

planting lavender outside pot

Ori: When to Plant Lavender

Lavender is a super plant that can be used in food, as a spice, as medicine, as a decoration, or just to smell good. When planted in a row, they make a beautiful scene, and they look great in bouquets in vases.

Planting lavender can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re just starting out. Are you wondering when the best time is to plant lavender outside? Or are you considering starting lavender indoors? 

Look no further! In this article, we’ll explain when the best time is to plant lavender outside and whether or not it’s necessary to start by growing lavender indoors. 

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this information will help you successfully cultivate this beloved herb in your garden.

With the right information and tips, you can confidently determine how and when to get started on your lavender-growing journey. 

When To Plant Lavender Outside

When planting your lavender plants outside, you want to wait until the temperatures are not too hot or too cold. In areas colder than zone 6 (6-3), lavender should be planted in the spring. 

These would be areas that have frost and snowfall. In areas warmer than zone 6 (7-10), lavender should be planted in the fall. Lavender can be grown successfully outside in zones 3 or higher.

plant lavender outside

Another way to know when you can plant lavender outside is by measuring soil temperatures. Before planting lavender plants outside, the soil temperature should be at least 50 degrees, and any threat of frost should be removed.

The farmer’s almanac’s last expected frost date tool can help you determine when to plant and how long your growing season is. It is specific down to your zip code, which means it takes into account microclimates such as living on the coast as opposed to living inland.

A soil thermometer is a useful and relatively inexpensive tool that looks like a meat thermometer but reads down to lower temperatures. Check the soil temperature around 9 a.m. to get a good average.

For a lavender plant to grow to its flowering stage, it will take approximately 1-3 months in a good growing environment.

This means that it is getting enough direct sunlight, with air temperatures between 55 and 90 degrees. Depending on the lavender variety, you should have beautiful blue-purple budding beauties in early summer or late spring!

You can still plant lavender outside during the summer, but consider placing a layer of mulch on top of the soil to keep soil temperatures down. Alternatively, use shade cloths if temperatures will regularly be over 90 degrees.

Best Time of Year To Plant Lavender?

Lavender is best planted in April or May, when the ground is starting to naturally warm up. This will also be the time when you will find the best seedlings at nurseries or garden centers.

If you live in a southern region without frost or snow, plant your lavender in late summer or fall. This will give young plants enough time over the winter to grow and bloom better the following summer.

These suggestions are for plants that are started from seedlings. Take note that starting lavender from seed can be difficult, and lavender seed germination is a finicky process.

Should You Start Lavender Indoors?

Before deciding whether or not you should start lavender indoors, consider the amount of space and light available in your home. Lavender needs plenty of sunlight to thrive, so it may be best suited for a sunroom or windowsill with direct sunlight. 

You should also consider whether you are growing lavender naturally from seed or from plants, as they will need to adapt to a new environment once transplanted.

So, you may consider starting to grow lavender indoors or outdoors. Here are the explanations for both choices:

Why You Should Start Planting Lavender Indoors.

Starting lavender plants indoors is a good idea if you are starting them from seed. Also, if you plan to grow lavender in containers, starting them indoors is a better choice.

To have a healthy and well-blooming plant, you need to replicate the hot and dry climate that lavender prefers. The plant will thrive best where it can be in direct sunlight for at least 6 hours a day and preferably 8–10. If you can, place your plant near a large, southern-facing window to give it the most light. 

As the plant grows, you can transplant it to a larger pot and gradually acclimate it to outdoor conditions before planting it in the ground.

If you have a window with a decent amount of sun exposure, good soil, and a properly sized pot that allows adequate drainage, your lavender plant will grow well.

Why You Shouldn’t Begin Growing Lavender Indoors

Lavender may not be a good candidate for starting indoors, as it does not transplant well from indoor to outdoor conditions. The lavender plant is adapted to warm, dry conditions, but it may struggle to adjust to the more humid and cooler environment of a typical indoor setting. 

It is generally best to plant lavender outside in the spring or fall when the weather is cool and the soil is well-draining. Choose a location with full sun exposure and well-draining soil, and consider the hardiness zone in your area to determine the best time to plant. 

Lavender prefers well-draining soil, so avoid planting it in areas with standing water or poor drainage. To promote airflow and growth, space lavender plants 18–24 inches apart and mulch to retain soil moisture and weeds. Water lavender regularly, but avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot.

Is It Too Late To Plant Lavender?

It is dependent on your specific location and climate. As mentioned above, planting lavender in spring or fall allows the plant to establish itself before or after the hot summer weather.

However, if you live in a mild climate, you may be able to plant lavender anytime during the growing season.

If it is currently summer in your area, it may be too hot and dry to plant lavender. Lavender is a drought-tolerant plant, but it still needs adequate moisture to become established. If the soil is dry and the weather is hot, it may be difficult for the plant to survive.

If you are unable to plant lavender in the spring or fall, you can still try planting it in the summer if you are willing to provide extra care and attention. Make sure to choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight and water the plant regularly to ensure that it gets enough moisture. 

You may also need to provide shade or use mulch to protect the plant from the hot summer sun. Start seeds indoors or buy seedlings online and have them shipped, then keep them alive in containers until planting season.

Tips for Successful Lavender Planting

If you are planning to grow lavender in your garden, here are some tips to ensure a successful planting:

  1. Choose the right location. Lavender thrives in well-draining soil and full sun exposure. Choose a location that gets at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day and has well-draining soil. Avoid planting lavender in areas with standing water or poor drainage, as it can lead to root rot and other issues.
  2. Select the right variety. Lavender comes in a wide range of varieties, each with special qualities of its own. Choose a variety that is suitable for your climate and intended use. For example, if you live in a humid area, consider a variety that is more resistant to fungal diseases.
  3. Prepare the soil. Lavender prefers well-draining, slightly alkaline soil with a pH between 6.5-7.5. If your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, you may need to amend it with lime or sulfur to adjust the pH. You can also mix in some compost or well-rotted manure to improve the soil structure and fertility.
  4. Plant at the right time. Lavender is best planted in the spring or fall when the weather is cool and the soil is well-draining. If you live in a hot and dry region, it is generally best to plant lavender in the fall to allow the plants to establish roots before the summer heat arrives.
  5. Space the plants properly. Lavender plants should be spaced about 18-24 inches apart to allow for proper airflow and growth. This will also help prevent the plants from getting too crowded and reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
  6. Mulch the plants. A layer of mulch around the base of the plants can help retain moisture in the soil and suppress weeds. Use a mulch that is suitable for your climate and soil type, such as wood chips, straw, or compost.
  7. Water regularly. Lavender plants require regular watering, especially during dry periods. Water the plants deeply, but avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings, and avoid getting the foliage wet to prevent fungal diseases.

By following these tips, you can help your lavender plants thrive and enjoy their beautiful flowers and fragrant aroma for years to come.

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