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Lavandula

lavandula.jpgLavandula (lav-van-dew-luh), Lavender; Lamiaceae Family. Lavender has been grown for centuries for its intensely fragrant flowers and beautiful appearance. It is a staple item of every sunny garden, and its dried flowers are widely used in potpourris and arrangements.

Lavender will grow in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil; and prefers alkaline, sandy soil with low fertility.

To prevent crown rot, well-drained soils are required, particularly in winter, so plant in hot, dry, sunny areas where nothing else seems to grow. Other than that, Lavender is known to have few problems with pests and diseases. Shearing back the evergreen foliage in early spring will rejuvenate plants and stimulate new growth.

Attributes: border plant, in containers, cut and dried flowers and foliage, drought tolerant, evergreen, fragrant, and mass plantings. Attracts butterflies. Deer and rabbit resistant.

PLANTING: Set plants in a dry, warm soil, spaced 12 to 18 inches apart, depending on the ultimate spread of the species you haveve chosen. Ample humus content and rather low fertility are best; choose a soil with excellent drainage as well. Planting bare root, Lavenders are very sensitive to drying out and need a good amount of consistent moisture until establish.

MAINTENANCE: Clip or prune in spring, before the new growth starts, to promote bushiness and maintain desired height and form. Trim off flower stems after bloom in late summer. This is also a good time to trim back the foliage again, if desired, to develop a more compact bush.

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