How to Grow Lavender and Use It
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Lavender is a wonderfully versatile herb with tons of culinary and medicinal uses. You can grow lavender for yourself at home and save a ton of money. Find out more about how to start an herb garden here.
Check out what to plant month by month in the garden here.
There are so many uses for lavender, it’s a great idea to grow lavender at home. It’s expensive to buy it and it’s hard to find sometimes. If you grow lavender for yourself, you know what’s on it and what’s in it and it couldn’t be easier to save.
It’s great for cooking, to use as a bug repellent, for relaxation, and it attracts pollinators like bees. Animals won’t eat it because of its strong fragrance. I love to walk past my lavender in the garden and brush it with my hand. It’s like heaven.
You can cut the lavender flower stems BEFORE they bloom and bundle them up and hang them upside down to dry or pull off the flower buds and dry them in a stocking, on a paper towel or in a colander. It’s simplest to dry them on the stems, then you can shake them right into an airtight container for storage.
How to grow lavender in Oklahoma
- Start out your plans to grow lavender with healthy plants.
- As soon as you buy them, bring them home and water them.
- Select a location that receives full sun for planting.
- Plant the lavender.
- Water consistently until established.
- Prune lavender each spring.
- Despite your climate, you can probably grow lavender if you chose the right type.
Lavender is a perennial, but in some areas it’s not cold hardy. Zone 4 or higher are better for lavender growing at all. If you live in the south, humidity might be an issue. Lavender hates moisture and fertile soil. So, if you have a dry climate and crappy sandy soil, lavender is going to do great. I do grow it in the humidity in Oklahoma, but it takes some finesse.
There are many kinds of lavender so grow the kind that works for what you’d like to use it for. Stronger, more flowery fragrant lavenders are Lavandin, Spanish and French varieties while English lavender is milder and better for cooking.
English lavender uses
English lavender is good for culinary use. It is colder hardy than other varieties. You can grow lavender of this variety in warm and dry conditions with well-drained sandy soil. It needs full sun unless your climate is oppressively hot, then it would benefit from some afternoon shade. English lavender has a grey hue to its foliage. English lavender grows well in zones 5-8.
French lavender uses
French lavender is good for culinary uses as it has a less strong fragrance than other varieties. The leaves of French lavender are a brighter green color. This variety will tolerate more humidity than English lavender. You can grow lavender of the French variety in zones 8-11.
Lavandin is a hybrid of Portuguese and English lavender, creating a type of plant that is more cold hardy, and heat tolerant than other varieties. This type is great for sachets, but not consider edible. It’s not harmful but has a less pleasant flavor than other varieties. It grows in long spikes of flowers. These grow well in zones 5-11.
Spanish lavender uses
Spanish lavender has a bright green leaf and a very mild scent. If you want to grow lavender purely for the blooms on the plant, this one is prized for its pineapple-shaped flower heads with double blooms. Zones 8-11 are best for this type.
Go to a reputable nursery to get plants to grow lavender in your garden. Make sure the plants are disease-free and don’t have bugs or damage on the foliage. Also, make sure they have been watered well. You can buy some online as well. Stark Brothers is a place I have purchased from before with good results to grow lavender in my garden.
You can also find lavender plants at the farmer’s market sometimes.
How to use lavender plant
Lavender has a ton of uses. I love to cook with it. My favorite recipe is these lemon honey lavender cakes. So cute and so good.
Herbes de Provence is a popular spice blend with so many applications. Here are 4 simple DIY recipes so that you can easily make your own!
You can make tons of other tasty recipes like Mixed Berry and Lavender Jam, Honey Lavender Cream Soda, Vanilla Lavender Limeade, Lavender Lemonade, or Lavender Chamomile Tea.
Check out some more things you can bake with lavender. Lavender infused shortbread cookies have an aroma so sensual, you might fall head over heels in love with them. Or try some Lemon Lavender Madeleines. Lavender Lemon Cookies take the classic linzer cookie and give it a spring refresh with bright citrus and floral flavors. And these Lemon Pizzelle Sandwiches with Lavender Cheesecake Filling look bomb!
You can make tons of things with your homegrown lavender too. Encourage peace and relaxation in your home by making and using this scented lavender wreath. Easy to make, this simple lavender grapevine wreath comes together in about 15 minutes. You can crochet a lavender sachet, make an easy sew headache pillow, or make candles with dried lavender buds.
I’ve made some wonderful lavender soap with soap base. If you’ve always wanted to make soap but are worried about working with lye, here is your answer. This homemade lye-free soap is basically the scaredy-cat version of How to Make Homemade Soap (well-sort of!)
Lavender is a natural moth and insect repellent is much safer than mothballs and can be harvested as it’s blooming to make lavender wands to use as a natural insect repellant. Naturally add fragrance to your home with this soothing stovetop potpourri pot. Not only is it beautiful, but the citrus lavender smell will fill your home with an uplifting scent.
There are a ton of body products that can be enhanced using lavender as an ingredient. Lemon coconut sugar scrub and Lavender Bath Bombs are a great addition to your relaxation regime. This lavender calendula oatmeal bath is so soothing and the perfect thing when dealing with dry skin, eczema, itchy skin, chickenpox, or even poison ivy! If you need relief from itchy and irritated skin, then oatmeal bath melts are perfect for you too. Oatmeal and lavender work together to calm inflamed skin and the shea butter and sweet almond oil help to moisturize and lock in additional moisture. Or make calming lavender bath salts or Lavender Bath Melts. And the best one yet, Lavender Bubble Bath.
Lavender isn’t just calming for your mind. It can calm and condition your hair as well! And it makes a wonderful lip balm!
Vanilla lavender sugar scrub is great for keeping your hands smooth and the smell is amazing and relaxing! Uses vanilla scented sugar and dried lavender buds.
I would highly recommend you grow lavender in your home garden. It’s gorgeous, smells wonderful, and is useful for so many things!
And don’t forget other great herbs to grow:
For more herb gardening basics, check this out.