Not all lavender is created equal. We take a close look at the type of coppice lavender and compare it with real lavender. The genus of lavender ( Lavandula ) comprises around 30 different species, all of which belong to the mint family (Lamiaceae). The most common and the star in cultivation is the real lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia ).
But other species compete with the famous lavender representative, especially in terms of flower color and shape, and which not only make a legitimate claim to a place in the garden thanks to their appearance. This definitely includes the lavender (Lavandula stoechas ), also known as Welscher or Arabian lavender.
It is particularly noticeable because of its pronounced, large bracts at the tip of the inflorescences. Just like the flowers themselves, they can shine in brilliant white, classic purple tones of different luminosity or strong purple colors. An interesting play of colors can take place between the color of the flowers and the color of the bracts, which provides life and variety in every garden. We’ll take a close look at the diverse range of potted lavender for you and see what its cultivation preferences are.
Black lavender varieties: purple, white, and pink
The crested lavender impresses thanks to its striking, large, and most brightly colored bracts at the tip of the spike-shaped inflorescence. Thereby it stands out impressively from the other famous species, such as the real lavender or the Speiklavender ( Lavandula latifolia ) within the genus Lavandula. Different varieties of lavender in their flower colors cover a color spectrum from pure white to purple to deep purple. Even the bracts and the actual petals can differ in their colors. We will introduce you to some varieties of French lavender and its characteristics.
- Alba: pure white bracts and petals; only tolerates frost to a very limited extent.
- Ballerina: purple flowers; initially white bracts change color from pink to purple over time.
- Kew Red: The red flower heads appearing from July to September are adorned by bracts in light pink.
- Papillion: flowers in classic purple; this variety should be emphasized because of its pronounced winter hardiness.
Planting potted lavender: location and reproduction
Even if the planting of the topped lavender hardly differs from other types of lavender, there are some differences in terms of location. The compatible lavender also has a few peculiarities concerning its reproduction and care.
Lavender: location and demands
The lavender prefers sandy soil. This is where the first difference to classic lavender lies because it thrives best on calcareous soils. Natural lavender is also more widespread in coastal regions, while real lavender thrives in mountain regions up to 1600 m. For the potted lavender, the soil should be as permeable as possible, and waterlogging should be avoided. If a substrate with such properties is available, it can of course also be grown in a pot. A 1: 4 mixture of sand and commercially available potting soil from specialist shops are ideal for potting. Like most Mediterranean plants, the potted lavender also prefers a location in full sun.
Propagate poppy lavender
Coppice lavender can easily be propagated by sowing. If you let it bloom freely, small poppy lavender seedlings will appear on their own next spring. The best time to sow outdoors is from June. The topped lavender seeds need warmth for good germination. Of course, you can also sow seeds in the warm four walls in early spring. Under no circumstances should the seeds be covered with the substrate, as the copy lavender is a light germ. If the seeds are kept evenly and well moist during germination, it will take three to four weeks for the first seedlings to sprout.
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Like most herbs, the topped lavender can also be propagated from cuttings. To do this, young, unwooded shoots without flowers or flower buds are cut off in late spring or early summer. These are rooted in a normal cuttings substrate in a growing house for the window sill at high humidity. As with sowing, it takes about three to four weeks for the first roots to form.
Cup of lavender care
The Mediterranean poppy lavender has very low demands in terms of both water supply and fertilization. In the bed, it is completely sufficient to water only during prolonged dry periods. Fertilizer is worked into the soil once in spring in the form of primarily organic long-term fertilizers or compost and manure.
When growing in a pot, you have to water more regularly. But here, too, you shouldn’t overdo it – it is enough if the substrate is moist. Organic liquid fertilizer can be added every four to six weeks to provide nutrients with the irrigation.
If the abundant flowering from June to September, which is usual for the poppy lavender, does not occur or is only very sparse, it may be due to insufficient nutrient supply. In this case, you can also try to stimulate flowering with plants that are grown in beds with a small amount of additional fertilizer.
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Regular pruning is recommended so that the poppy lavender does not become too lignified and bare. If a mere shape cut is to be made, this is best done in early spring when the bush sprouts. Just like with real lavender, a third to two-thirds are then cut back with sharp hedge trimmers. It is also recommended to snap out the faded inflorescences or to make a summer pruning if the flowering is only sparse or even absent. Both care measures promote the bloom formation in the poppy lavender.
Harvest, store and use poppy lavender
The topped lavender, like the real lavender, is popular because of its essential oils. These aromas are even more intense in the lavender. Tea can be made from flowers, which has an antispasmodic and relaxing effect. For this purpose, the inflorescences are best harvested when about half of the small flowers are open. The flowers are also ideal for fragrant sachets. By steam distillation, the pure form of the potted lavender oil can be obtained from the flowers and is often used in body and massage oils. And the tips of the leaves of the potted lavender can also be used. They are good for refining fish and meat dishes and can easily be harvested from the plant at any time as required.
Of course, lavender can also be stored. Either the fresh flowers are soaked in oil and the oils are removed from them, or the parts of the plant are preserved by drying. Most of the air-drying causes some of the aromatic essential oils to evaporate.