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How Do You Make Sure Your Lavender Plant Doesn't Die?

There can never be too much lavender.
PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Monique Kraan/Unsplash, Taisiia Shestopal/Unsplash

There’s no denying that many people love lavender. Some rely on lavender essential oil to get some much needed shut-eye at night. It can also be used in different food and beverages. And when dried flowers became a quarantine trend, vases of lavender started popping up in people’s homes. One of the reasons is because they’re still so fragrant even after they’re dried. But did you know that you can actually take care of your own lavender plant? You don’t have to buy them dead, haha. If you’re curious about how it’s done, keep reading.

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Plant care for lavender: How to grow your own lavender outdoors

Like most plants, they can tolerate a lot of growing conditions, but for a lavender to thrive, it must be kept warm in “full sun” and in well-draining soil. “Full sun” means the plant gets six hours of direct sunlight. If you’re concerned about your lavender being burned, give them some sunlight in the morning so they don’t scorch under the afternoon heat.

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You don’t have to worry too much about your lavender plant, but there’s always the possibility of root rot. To avoid this, make sure your soil isn’t too wet. According to The Spruce, “an alkaline or especially chalky soil will also enhance lavender’s fragrance.” To add alkaline to the soil, crush up some eggshells and mix them on top of the soil once a month. You can also add some lime to this mix.

Before watering, check if the soil—not the plant—is wet or damp. Water directly at the base of the lavender, not the foliage. Watering the actual foliage can cause molds.

Plant care for lavender: How to pot/repot your lavender

Lavender has a pretty big root system, so you might think, the bigger the pot, the better. Actually, this plant prefers a pretty tight space to grow in. When picking a pot, check to see that the lavender’s root ball fits and then add two to three more inches of space for the roots to spread. This is important because if the pot is too big, there’s a higher chance that the soil will be too damp, which will then result into root rot. And because lavender is native to the Mediterranean, we suggest going with a terra cotta pot; it dries quickly and mimics that region's environment.

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Plant care for lavender: How to propagate lavender

There are several ways to propagate garden plants—but the easiest way is by taking stem cuttings from your lavender and placing them in a growing medium until the roots develop. From there, you can plant these on the ground or in a pot, depending on your preference.

You can take stem cuttings at any time, of course, but apparently, it’s better to do it when the plant isn’t in full bloom yet. Before you begin, make sure the plant is still healthy; the last thing you want is to take from a dying plant. To propagate lavender, cut a three- to four-inch segment from a shoot (for softwood cuttings). Along one side of the bottom of the stem, scrape off skin—yes, this means removing leaves that are there, too.

Fill a small spot with a seed-starting mix. Taking the stripped side of the shoot, dip that into a rooting hormone before burying it into the mix. Add water to the pot until the seed-starting mix is moist then cover it with plastic. It’ll take two weeks to a month before softwood cuttings begin to root. You have to wait for the roots to grow before removing the plastic and moving the pot to a space with full sun. Once a week, feed your plant with a liquid fertilizer that’s been diluted to 25 percent.

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Other ways to use lavender

As mentioned, there are many uses for lavender. If you already have vases of lavender in random corners of the house, you can try incorporating more lavender into your home by keeping them in small sachets, preferably using materials like cotton or silk. Place them by your bed or in your closet.

You can also buy candles with lavender essential oil so that you can benefit from its healing energy. There are also plenty of mists in the market containing lavender essential oil. If you have an empty bottle, fill it with water, add 15 drops of lavender oil, shake it well, and you’re all set.

Sources: The Spruce, Apartment Therapy

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