The potted lavender stands out thanks to its flower shape and intense color. We show what you have to consider when growing in your own garden.
The lavender ( Lavandula stoechas ) belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae ). It is related to the famous real lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia ) and the Speiklavender ( Lavandula latifolia ). Nevertheless, the crested lavender stands out thanks to its striking, large bracts at the tip of the inflorescence. Depending on the variety, these can appear in pure white, strong purple, or bright purple. They can also be differentiated in color from the actual flowers arranged in ears and, depending on the variety, offer a real color spectacle during the flowering period. We’ll show you how the colorful lavender can also be grown in your garden.
Even if the potted lavender is closely related to the real lavender, there are differences in cultivation and care. In the following, you will find out what you should pay attention to with the poppy lavender.
The right location for poppy lavender
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In contrast to many other types of lavender, the potted lavender prefers lime-poor soil. It gets along best with a sandy subsoil that has good water drainage. For the cultivation in pots, a substrate for potted plants can simply be mixed with sand (4 parts substrate, 1 part sand) – then the potted lavender feels right at home. The location of the Schopflavender can be in full sun.
Propagate poppy lavender
Coppice lavender can easily be propagated by sowing and, when grown in beds, reproduces quickly by itself via seeds. The seeds of the Mediterranean shrub need a lot of heat and light to germinate. In the open field, therefore, sowing should not be carried out before June and the sowing should not be covered with a substrate layer to protect it from drying out.
The seeds can of course be spread earlier in the warm house. It makes sense here to sow from mid-February to plant the plants outside as strengthened young plants from mid-May after the last frosts. But be careful: the plants grown indoors are prone to sunburn and should therefore initially find their place in the open air in a rather shady place.
Water and fertilize the lavender
When growing in the bed, the potted lavender does not need to be watered or hardly needs to be watered, except during prolonged dry periods. If it is cultivated in a pot, it has to be watered noticeably more regularly. It is important to keep the substrate evenly moist, but not wet. The supply of nutrients is also very important for the copiable lavender, as the beautiful flowers quickly fail if there is malnutrition. In the bed in the spring before budding, a little mainly organic slow-release fertilizer is worked into the soil. Organic universal fertilizer is ideally suited to provide long-term support for the poppy lavender.
Cut the lavender
Coppice lavender tends to lignify in the lower part of the plant. Therefore, a shaping cut should be made regularly. In addition, you can enjoy a richer flowering of the young shoots that develop in this way.
It is best to cut off half to two-thirds of the shoot length in early spring with the start of budding (around the beginning of March). However, it is not allowed to cut into the woody part, because the coppice lavender can no longer sprout there. If in summer there is only a sparse or no blossom on the Schopflavender, a cut can also be made to stimulate the blossom formation.
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Hibernate potted lavender
By nature, the poppy lavender is relatively poorly armed against frosty temperatures. It can withstand temperatures as low as -5 ° C without frost damage. That is why it is advisable to place it in a bright place in the house in winter. If the temperatures in early spring do not drop too much during the day and the sun is gaining strength again, it can be brought outside again early. Nevertheless, it must be carefully protected, especially from frosty temperatures at night.
Harvest poppy lavender
Of the main interest are the inflorescences of the crested lavender. These are best harvested when about half of the small, spike-shaped flowers are open. The leaf tips, which are used to refine meat and fish dishes, can be harvested at any time as required.
Store and dry the poppy lavender
Coppice lavender can be air-dried well and easily. To do this, simply hang the cut shoots upside down. After about two weeks, drying is complete in a dry, well-ventilated room. However, some of the intense aromas are lost in this process. Another way to preserve the smell and taste of the cuddly lavender is to soak it in oil. Here all parts of the plant must be covered with oil so that no mold can form through contact with air.