Spreading the Good News: Does Lavender Spread?

Lavender is a favorite herb for its many uses, but what exactly is it good for? It’s used in cooking and medicine, perfumes and cosmetics, aromatherapy, natural beauty products, soaps, lotions, shampoos, bath salts, skin care, hair care, body washes, candles, potpourri, as well as incense, essential oils, perfume, balms and more!

Many of the wonderful scents we enjoy today are thanks to this fragrant plant, but how much do you know about them?

These plants can be found throughout the country, and all over the world. Their beautiful colors make them even more attractive, as if the smell wasn’t enough. A common question that many people have about this plant is how much it spreads.

Spreading the Good News: Does Lavender Spread?

Well, if you’ve come here to find out about lavender spreading, you’re in the right place! Below, we are going to take a look at the main types of lavender, and how much they spread, including seed spread.

What is Lavender?

Lavender plants are beautiful ornamental shrubs or vines native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America that produce small purple flowers on tall stems.

Most often seen growing near roadsides, mountains, coastlines, or along riverbanks, these lovely plants provide an array of benefits to us humans. And like other herbs, there are several kinds of Lavender: French, English, Mexican, Portuguese, and Egyptian.

All four of these varieties differ slightly with regard to their appearance and scent, but they are all very beneficial to our health.

These plants are generally pretty hardy, and can thrive in a number of different environments. They don’t require a lot of sunlight, and they can survive temperatures that range from 20 degrees F up to 120 degrees F. This makes them perfect garden plants for temperate climates.

Giant Lavenders

Giant lavenders are lavender plants such as Hidcote Giant, Mailette, and Alba. These plants are the largest in the lavender world and can spread almost 50-inches in height and across. The giant lavender are most commonly grown by commercial farmers because of their ease of cultivation. It’s easier to grow larger plants since they aren’t as fragile, and they have a number of uses, including decorations.

Semi-Dwarf Lavenders

Semi-dwarf lavender include Hidcote, Pink Perfume, and Loddon Blue. They are considered to medium-sized plants, and can have a spread of up to 24 inches when they are mature.

Dwarf Lavenders

Dwarf lavender types include Hidcote Superior, L. Stoechas, and Munstead. They can grow up to 18 inches tall and wide when mature. These miniature plants are great for decorative purposes, and are popular indoor plants.

How Much Does Lavender Spread?

It’s important to note before we begin that when talking about Lavender, we are referring to the whole plant, not just the flower buds. The flower bud may only represent 2-4% of the length of the entire stem, depending on the type of Lavender.

We will also see that some varieties are better than others at spreading. There are two ways that Lavender spreads: through seeds and by root pieces. Both methods play a large role in the way it grows, and thus determine how much it spreads. 

The Seed Method of Lavender Spreading

This is the primary spreading method of Lavender, and it happens almost entirely through seeds. The seeds of the lavender plant can be spread easily via wind, water, animals, birds (which help disperse the seeds), or insects.

Some species such as Spanish lavenders can reproduce vegetatively, meaning that new plants grow directly off of existing ones, rather than germinating from seed. In fact, Spanish lavender has been known to completely replace its parent plant after many years of growth.

Because it takes too long to get started from seed, this isn’t usually done.

Root Pieces

Root pieces are roots that detach from the mother plant, either naturally or artificially. These pieces then sprout new roots and become new plants. When a plant grows into the soil, it can send out new roots that break apart, creating thousands upon thousands of tiny plants all over the ground.

This process of sending out roots is unique to each individual plant, which means that no one plant ever creates the exact same amount of root pieces.

While the lavender plant itself doesn’t actually spread root pieces, there are some conditions that cause this process to happen more frequently.

That being said, this does create a problem for people who have recently planted lavender due to the risk of losing an established planting.

To reduce your chance of losing a plant during this time, avoid disturbing existing soil around the base. You should wait until the soil becomes very dry before you dig it again.

If you’re unsure if the plant is healthy enough to withstand digging, it is best not to disturb it at all while keeping it watered well. Once the soil has dried out sufficiently, you should let your plant sit undisturbed by the sun for a few days so that it can recover.

Once it is recovered, you can safely begin to dig up the roots. After you’ve dug up the roots, you’ll want to replant them wherever you were planning to put them originally to prevent future issues. This method allows for easier transplanting and less stress on your plants.

Factors to Consider

Spreading the Good News: Does Lavender Spread?

How much a lavender, or any plant, spreads is determined by a few factors. A healthy plant is likely to spread more since it will grow more, whereas an unhealthy one will stay relatively small.

There are three primary things that a plant needs that will determine how much it can spread. These three things are below.

Nutrients

Like any living thing, lavender plants require nutrients in order to grow and stay healthy. If these plants get enough nutrients from soil or fertilizer, they will flourish and eventually start producing flowers.

However, without enough nutrients, the plants may not be able to keep growing, which leads to lower yields and smaller plants.

The amount of nutrients required by a lavender plant depends somewhat on the type of lavender that you’re trying to grow.

Most commonly, lavender requires little to no man-made fertilizers, but some types require stronger fertilization. Also, some varieties of lavender take months to bloom, while others do so right away.

Soil tends to provide most of the nutrients that a flower needs, but once you start using fertilizers, they tend to supplement this.

Water

Just like any other plant, lavender also requires a certain amount of water throughout its life cycle.

The number of hours needed to maintain adequate moisture levels varies depending on the type of lavenders, but generally speaking, plants need some level of humidity both inside and outside their pots as long as the weather permits.

Plants can sense when there isn’t enough water, and will either stop growing or their leaves and flowers will wilt until they receive this help.

There’s another factor to consider: irrigation systems. Some types of lavenders are prone to developing root rot when exposed to too much water. For this reason, many irrigation systems are designed specifically with the plants in mind, avoiding excess amounts of water.

The best way to ensure that you don’t water lavenders excessively is to simply check frequently to make sure that the plants aren’t getting too wet.

Sunlight

Sunlight is the last important factor that determines how far a lavender plant will spread. These plants enjoy up to 8 hours of direct sunlight every day. During the winter, however, they require more light than usual, so they’ll need at least 4 hours of sunshine per day.

If not enough light reaches the soil where the plant grows, the growth of the plant will slow down significantly or even halt altogether.

For new plants, you shouldn’t worry about sunlight yet since they are just beginning to establish themselves. However, you should watch your plants carefully over the next couple of years to make sure that they continue to thrive.

In general, if a plant is thriving overall, then it probably has enough sun. If it begins to show signs of slowing down, such as yellowing leaves, then you might want to adjust its time spent under the sun.

Final Thoughts

So, to conclude, the distance that lavender spreads is generally down to its size and health. Giant lavender will spread further than dwarf lavender, and healthy plants will spread more than unhealthy ones. If you are a lover of all things lavender, do you have a lavender plant? 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is English Lavender?

English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a species of lavender native to Europe and Asia. It’s one of the most popular lavenders for use in potting mixes because of its strong fragrance.

Which Season Does Lavender Thrive In?

Lavender does well in the late summer when they can get lots of sun. They prefer warmer temperatures as opposed to cooler ones.

What Is French Lavender?

 French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) is a species of flowering herbaceous perennial grown principally for its fragrant blue flowers.

Where Should You Plant Lavender?

It really depends on what kind of lavender you’re looking for. If you want English-style lavender, then you should grow them indoors or outdoors in full sun.

Dwarf varieties are easier to care for, but they won’t flower until later. French lavender prefers sunnier locations and needs regular watering once established.

What Is Portuguese Lavender?

Portuguese lavender (Lavandula latifolia) is a perennial shrub growing to 6 feet tall by 3 feet wide. It’s named after Portugal.

What Do Lavender Flowers Look Like?

The most common form of lavender is known as English type. This variety has small purple petals surrounding a central core of white color. English lavender and the other types of lavender all look different.

Do Lavender Like Humid Climates?

Yes, and no. Yes, as long as they receive full sun. No, because these plants require dry air and a lot of moisture during the spring and early summer growing season.

How Many Lavender Varieties Do You Get?

There are many types of lavender available; from giant varieties to miniature ones. The types of lavender vary depending on their characteristics and purposes.

For example, there are varieties with edible flowers, which are used in cooking. There are also varieties meant to be dried for tea blends and others that are used for soap making.

What Kind Of Soil Does Lavender Like?

Lavender, especially English lavender plants like well-draining soil that is either neutral or slightly alkaline. However, French lavender does well in slightly acidic soil.

Lavender does well in soil that is rich in nutrients. But, if your soil is lacking in any nutrients, then it will need some extra help feeding itself. You can buy special fertilizers designed specifically for lavender. These can even be included in your plants’ water. 

Do Lavender Plants Need Good Drainage?

Yes, good drainage is essential. Soil must drain well so that excess water doesn’t pool near the roots. This could cause root rot.

A drainage hole at least 2 inches deep should be dug at the bottom of each pot where the lavender lives. In addition, make sure to give your plants plenty of light. Your plants should have direct sunlight for about six hours per day.

How Much Light Do Lavender Plants Like?

Lavenders like direct and indirect sunlight. If you plant lavender outside, you need to ensure that it will get at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. 

Where Can I Buy Lavender Plants?

You can find them at garden centers, nurseries, and online retailers like Amazon and Home Depot. You may be able to order them directly from companies who grow lavenders commercially.

Why Does My Lavender Have A Woody Stem? 

Lavender get woody stems when their roots become crowded with too much water. When this happens, try to keep the amount of water around these roots to a minimum. They can also develop woody stems as they get more mature and need more support to hold up their bodies.

Morgan Daniels

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