A Comprehensive Guide to Understand the Different Growing Stages of Lavender


Updated: 6 Mar 2024

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Lavender is a genus of 47 known flowering plant species, Lamiaceae, belonging to the mint family. It is native to the Old World and found in Cape Verde and the Canary Islands and from Europe to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, southwest Asia, and southeast India. The plant is widely popular for its unique color and soothing fragrance.

Lavender plant growing pictures
Lavender plant growing pictures

The life cycle of lavender involves several stages. The stages of lavender growth start from seed germination and then progress to seedling growth, followed by vegetative growth, budding, blooming, and seed formation. Each stage requires specific care to ensure healthy growth and abundant blooms. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll take you through different stages of growth, sharing insights I’ve gleaned from my own experiences and research.

Lavender plant growing stages
Lavender plant growing stages
Table of Content
  1. Germination stage of lavender growth
    1. The onset of a lavender's life
    2. Conditions for successful germination
    3. Time
  2. Lavender seedlings
    1. Emergence of the first green shoots
    2. The growth of true leaves
    3. The importance of proper spacing
  3. Vegetative stage of lavender growing stages
    1. Root and foliage development
    2. Preparing for future blooms
    3. Transitioning to the flowering stage
  4. Lavender Flowering time
    1. The arrival of lavender blossoms
    2. Lavender blooming time
    3. A sign of a plant's health
  5. Lavender plant harvesting
    1. Harvest time
    2. Harvest methods
    3. Post-harvest care
  6. Factors affecting the stages of lavender growth
    1. Climate and weather conditions
    2. Soil type and composition
    3. Pest and disease management
  7. Care tips for lavender plant growth stages
    1. Germination and seedling care
    2. Vegetative stage maintenance
    3. Flowering and harvesting best practices
  8. Common problems and solutions during lavender stages of growth
    1. Dealing with slow germination
    2. Overcoming poor blooming
    3. Addressing root rot and pests
  9. Question related stages of lavender growth
  10. Conclusion

Germination stage of lavender growth

The onset of a lavender’s life

The germination stage marks the beginning of a lavender plant life cycle. My journey with germinating lavender began with choosing high-quality seeds and preparing a well-draining soil mix to provide the perfect cradle for new life.

Germination of lavender plant
Germination of lavender plant

Conditions for successful germination

Moisture, warmth, and light play pivotal roles during germination. Maintaining a consistent temperature of around 70°F (21°C) and ensuring the soil stayed moist but not soggy was vital in encouraging the seeds to sprout. It’s worth noting that lavender seeds require light to germinate, so sprinkling on the surface sufficed rather than burying them deep into the soil.

Lavender germination
Lavender germination

Time

It can take anywhere from two weeks to a month for lavender seeds to germinate. Over the years, I’ve learned to resist the urge to tamper with the soil or seeds during this waiting period. Instead, I focused on maintaining optimal conditions and observed the tiny miracles unfolding.

Lavender seedlings

Emergence of the first green shoots

When the first green shoots appeared, I knew my efforts during the germination stage were paying off. These delicate seedlings are the foundation upon which a robust and vibrant lavender plant will be built.

Lavender seedlings
Lavender seedlings

The growth of true leaves

As the seedlings mature, the first pair of true leaves develop. These leaves indicate the plant’s readiness to photosynthesize on its own. At this point, I gradually introduced the seedlings to more direct sunlight to strengthen them for the journey ahead.

Seedlings stage of lavender plant
Seedlings stage of lavender plant

The importance of proper spacing

Crowding can harm seedlings, stifling their growth and making them susceptible to disease. I ensured proper spacing by thinning the weaker seedlings, leaving only the strongest to continue growing. This selective process was essential for developing robust plants with ample room to expand.

Vegetative stage of lavender growing stages

Root and foliage development

The vegetative stage is characterized by a focus on developing strong roots and lush foliage. This is when the plant’s energy is directed towards growing taller and producing more leaves. My lavender plants showed significant growth during this period, and I provided them with the proper nutrients and ample water to support their development.

Lavender vegetative growth
Lavender vegetative growth

Preparing for future blooms

Although lavender plants won’t flower during the vegetative stage, this period lays the groundwork for future blooms. I learned that proper care during this time is crucial for ensuring a bountiful flowering stage. Regular pruning helped to promote bushier growth and prevented the plants from becoming leggy.

Lavender blooming
Lavender blooming

Transitioning to the flowering stage

As the days grew longer and the temperatures warmer, I could sense my lavender plants preparing for the next phase. The vegetative stage gradually led to the onset of budding, signaling the impending flowering stage. It was a reminder that each phase seamlessly transitions into the next when the plants are well cared for.

Lavender Flowering time

The arrival of lavender blossoms

The flowering stage is undeniably the most visually and aromatically pleasing phase. Seeing my garden awash with purple blooms and the air filled with their fragrance was a testament to the care invested in the previous stages. Lavender flowers attract bees and butterflies, adding to the garden’s vibrancy.

Lavender flowering
Lavender flowering

Lavender blooming time

Lavender typically reaches its peak blooming period in midsummer. The vibrant purple flowers stand tall and proud during this time, signaling the plant’s maturity. I took the opportunity to enjoy the garden blooms and collect some to dry for their fragrant oils.

A sign of a plant’s health

The flowering stage is not just about aesthetics; it’s also a sign of a plant’s overall health. Lavender that blooms abundantly is often a sign that it has been well-nurtured through its growth stages. The quality of the blooms can serve as an indicator for any adjustments needed in care routines.

Lavender plant harvesting

Harvest time

The timing of the lavender harvest is critical. I aimed to gather the flowers when they were just about to reach full bloom, as this is when the essential oils are most potent. Cutting the stems early in the day, after the dew had evaporated but before the sun peaked, helped preserve the oils’ integrity.

Harvest methods

I used sharp, clean shears to make precise cuts, taking care not to damage the plant. Harvesting provided me with fragrant blossoms for various uses and encouraged new growth. The plants responded well to harvesting, often producing a second, albeit more minor, wave of blooms.

Post-harvest care

After the harvest, I focused on post-harvest care, which involved returning the plants by about a third. This pruning helped maintain the plants’ shape and prepared them for the cooler months. Proper post-harvest care ensured my lavender plants remained healthy and ready for the next growing season.

Lavender harvesting
Lavender harvesting

Factors affecting the stages of lavender growth

Climate and weather conditions

Throughout my gardening journey, I’ve learned that climate and weather conditions significantly impact the stages of lavender growth. Lavender thrives in a Mediterranean climate with ample sunshine and mild winters. Adaptations such as mulching or sheltering the plants can be necessary in areas with less ideal climates.

Soil type and composition

Soil quality is another critical factor in lavender growing stages. Lavender prefers well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. I’ve had to amend my garden soil with sand and small gravel to improve drainage and occasionally adjust the pH to meet the plants’ preferences.

Pest and disease management

Pest and disease management is an ongoing concern. Lavender is relatively hardy but can still prey on issues like fungal infections or pest infestations. Proactive measures, such as proper spacing and avoiding overhead watering, effectively mitigate these risks.

Care tips for lavender plant growth stages

Germination and seedling care

During the germination and seedling stages, maintaining the proper environment is paramount. I’ve learned that gentle watering, adequate light, and warmth are the cornerstones of successful lavender seedling care. Patience during these stages must be balanced.

Vegetative stage maintenance

The vegetative stage requires a focus on nutrition and pruning. I’ve made it a point to fertilize my lavender plants with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer and to prune them to encourage bushy growth. Ensuring the plants have enough space to grow without competition is also essential.

Flowering and harvesting best practices

When it comes to the flowering and harvesting stages, timing is everything. I’ve honed my skills in identifying the optimal moment for harvesting to maximize the essential oil content. Post-harvest, I ensure my plants are pruned and shaped to promote healthy growth for the following year.

Lavender
Lavender

Common problems and solutions during lavender stages of growth

Dealing with slow germination

Slow germination can be disheartening, but it’s a common issue with lavender. To counteract this, I use fresh seeds and ensure the soil temperature is consistently warm. A heat mat can be a valuable tool for maintaining the ideal soil temperature during this stage.

Overcoming poor blooming

Poor blooming is often attributed to insufficient sunlight or overfertilization, leading to excess nitrogen. I’ve learned to place my lavender plants in an area that receives full sun and to use a balanced fertilizer sparingly. If blooming is still inadequate, assessing the plant’s age and overall health is necessary, as older plants may need replacing.

Addressing root rot and pests

Root rot and pests are common afflictions that can be adequately mitigated. Ensuring good drainage and air circulation has been my best defense against these issues. For pests, I’ve turned to natural solutions like neem oil and encouraged beneficial insects to help control the problem.

How long does lavender take to grow?

The time it takes to grow can vary depending on various factors, such as the lavender variety, growing conditions, and the propagation method. Lavender typically takes about two years to mature and produce significant blooms fully.

How lavender grows?

Lavender can grow from seeds, cuttings, or seedlings. It takes about two years to reach full maturity, with germination taking 14 to 21 days. The first year focuses on root development, and by the second year, the plant reaches full height (2-3 feet) and blooms in late spring or early summer. Regular pruning encourages bushier growth

When does lavender bloom?

Lavender typically blooms in late spring to early summer, usually from June to July, depending on the specific variety and local climate conditions. The timing of blooming can vary slightly based on factors such as geographical location, temperature, and daylight duration

what does lavender look like, fully grown?

When fully grown, lavender is a compact and bushy shrub with distinctive narrow, linear leaves and small, fragrant flower spikes. Here are some key features of fully-grown lavender:

1.   Height: Depending on the variety, lavender plants can reach a height of about 1 to 3 feet (30 to 91 cm).

2.   Foliage: The leaves are narrow, elongated, and usually gray-green or green-gray. They are arranged in opposite pairs along the stems.

3.   Stems: Lavender stems are woody at the base and become more flexible toward the top. They often have a grayish appearance.

4.   Flowers: Lavender flowers are arranged in spikes at the top of the stems. The individual flowers are small and tubular, forming clusters along the spikes. The color of the flowers can vary and includes shades of purple, violet, blue, pink, or white.

5.   Fragrance: One of the defining features of lavender is its aromatic fragrance. The plant releases a pleasant and soothing scent when fully grown and blooming.

Overall, fully-grown lavender is visually appealing with its vibrant flowers and silvery-green foliage. It offers a delightful fragrance, making it a popular choice for gardens, landscaping, and aromatherapy.

Conclusion

The stages of lavender growth from seed to harvest are a journey filled with challenges and rewards. Each stage has taught me patience, care, and attentiveness. The growing stages of lavender are a beautiful reminder of the cycles of nature and the joys of gardening. Understanding these stages can significantly enhance your experience with this beloved herb, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice. With the proper knowledge and dedication, you, too, can cultivate a thriving lavender garden that will bring beauty and fragrance to your life for years.


Sikandar

Sikandar

Hi, I am Sikandar Mehdi, founder of mybestvegetables.com. I have been a professional farmer for 20 years. After graduating in 2002, I started learning about vegetables. After a lot of experience, in 2023, I started sharing my blog on my platform, mybestvegetables.com.

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