Above all, lavender impresses with its lush purple blooms. You can find out how to keep this bloom as long as possible and how to extend the flowering time here. The peak of lavender ( Lavandula ) is in the summer months from July to August. While the lavender in its original homeland, the warm Mediterranean region, opens its flowers as early as May, we usually have to wait a little longer. However, some types of lavender then bloom well into autumn and enrich the garden with a fragrant sea of flowers. You can even extend the flowering time of your lavender with suitable care measures. In this article, we will explain what you need to be aware of.
When does lavender bloom?
The flowering time of lavender is mainly dependent on the species. There are early-blooming and late-blooming species and varieties. The poppy lavender ( Lavandula stoechas ) grows mainly in its homeland, the coastal regions of the Mediterranean. It opens its flowers as early as May and is, therefore, one of the early bloomers of the Lavandula genus. The lavender with the pretty flowers is characterized above all by its long flowering time until August or even September. However, the poppy lavender in our latitudes is only partially hardy and therefore needs special protective measures in the cold months of the year.
The real lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia ), on the other hand, can be found in higher mountain regions. It only opens its flowers from the beginning of June but is extremely robust due to its origin. You may have to be patient at the beginning because depending on the variety and growing conditions, the real lavender does not bloom until the second year. In return, it can then be overwintered outside without any problems. A short time after the real lavender, the last one in the group, the Speiklavender ( Lavandula latifolia ) begins to bloom.
Most lavender species and varieties do not bloom until the end of June or the beginning of July under our climatic conditions. The flowering time does not only depend on the type and variety but also on the weather, the nature of the soil, and the care. Under optimal conditions, your lavender will bloom profusely in the warm summer months and give off its scent in the garden. Lavender loves the sun and the following rule of thumb applies in many growing regions: the higher the solar radiation, the higher the yield.
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Extend the flowering time of lavender
You can hardly influence the weather. However, the site conditions and the care measures also make a decisive contribution to the well-being of your lavender. You can ensure optimal growth conditions as early as the planting stage. The Mediterranean subshrub prefers warm and sunny locations with calcareous, well-drained soil. Heavy garden soil can also be improved by incorporating sand. A drainage layer made of pebbles can also be used to avoid waterlogging as much as possible.
Since lavender plants grow on barren, stony soils in their homeland, their nutritional requirements are not particularly high. Rather the opposite is the case because too rich fertilization can have a negative effect on winter hardiness. An annual small application of fertilizer at the beginning of the growth phase (March / April) is therefore completely sufficient. It is best to use fertilizers with an organic long-term effect. These also provide your lavender with sufficient nutrients in the long term. Above all, the phosphorus contained and sufficient potassium are important for a rich flowering. With lavender in pot culture, you should also change the substrate once a year and, depending on the growth of the plant, replace the pot with a larger planter.
Another measure to extend the flowering period is summer pruning. This should be done at the beginning of August at the latest in order not to negatively affect winter hardiness. Here, the faded stems are cut off in order to stimulate a second flowering. Because this way the plant can invest all of its strength in the new flowers. For more information on how to cut lavender, see here.
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Long-blooming lavender varieties and species
Since the flowering time is very dependent on the species and also the variety, you should already keep an eye on the properties of the individual species when buying lavender. So that you can benefit from the fragrant flowers for as long as possible, we would like to introduce you to some long-blooming lavender varieties below.
Long-flowering poppy lavender:
- ‘Marshwood’: Popular variety with lush flowers in shades of pink and purple; flowers from May to September
- ‘Anouk’: variety with dark purple flowers; the long flowering period from May to August; bushy growth; intense, pleasant fragrance
Long-flowering real lavender:
- ‘Folgate’: Real lavender flowers particularly early (from June) with compact foliage, tall spikes, and sapphire blue flowers; very suitable as a low hedge or border
- ‘Munstead’: particularly early flowering variety (from June); uncomplicated to care for; midnight blue flowers and attractive silver-gray foliage; spreads intense fragrance; compact growth
- ‘Irene Doyle’: Also known as the ‘Two Seasons’; blooms twice a year from mid to late June and September / October
- ‘Blue Mountain White’: Medium-high real lavender; white flowers from early June to late September
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