Last updated on October 25th, 2023 at 12:12 pm
Not everyone has a large garden in which to garden. But even in the middle of the big city or on the fifth floor of an apartment building, you can create a beautiful pot garden – all you need is a balcony. The frugal lavender also feels very comfortable in a pot, provided that it is spacious enough.
Lavender is a versatile and aromatic herb that thrives in containers, making it an excellent choice for small gardens, balconies, or patios. To ensure your potted lavender plants thrive and provide you with fragrant blooms and foliage, it’s essential to understand their specific care requirements. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to properly care for lavender in a pot.
1. Select the Right Container
Choosing the right pot is the first step in successful lavender care. Opt for a container that is at least 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter and has good drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil. Terracotta pots are an excellent choice, as they allow for good airflow and drainage.
2. Choose the Right Soil Mix
Lavender prefers well-draining soil. Use a mix of potting soil and perlite or coarse sand to ensure proper drainage. This will help prevent root rot, a common issue when growing lavender in containers.
3. Provide Adequate Sunlight
Lavender thrives in full sunlight, so place your potted plant in a location where it receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you’re growing lavender indoors, consider placing it near a south-facing window or using grow lights to supplement sunlight.
4. Watering Techniques
Proper watering is crucial for lavender in pots. Here’s how to do it:
- Water deeply but infrequently: Lavender prefers to dry out between watering. Water thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain from the pot. Wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering again.
- Avoid overhead watering: Water the soil directly, not the leaves, to prevent fungal diseases and maintain the plant’s aromatic oils.
- Water in the morning: It allows excess moisture to evaporate during the day, reducing the risk of fungal issues.
5. Pruning and Deadheading
Pruning is an essential part of lavender care:
- In spring, trim back one-third of the plant to encourage bushier growth.
- After flowering, deadhead spent blooms to promote new flower growth and maintain the plant’s shape.
Lavender doesn’t require heavy feeding. Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer sparingly in the spring or early summer to avoid over-fertilization, which can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of blooms.
7. Pest and Disease Management
Lavender is generally resistant to pests and diseases, but it’s still important to monitor for issues:
- Common pests like aphids and spider mites can occasionally affect lavender. Treat infestations promptly with organic pest control methods.
- Ensure good air circulation around the plant to prevent fungal diseases. Avoid overhead watering and overcrowding of plants.
8. Winter Protection
In regions with harsh winters, consider providing winter protection for your potted lavender. Move the pot to a sheltered area or cover it with straw or burlap to shield it from extreme cold and wet conditions.
Every 2-3 years, repot your lavender into a slightly larger container with fresh, well-draining soil to maintain its health and vigor.
10. Enjoy the Fragrance and Harvest
Lavender’s fragrant blooms and foliage are one of its main attractions. Enjoy the delightful aroma, and don’t forget to harvest lavender flowers for culinary, medicinal, or craft purposes.
Proper care for lavender in a pot is essential to maintain its health, vigor, and aromatic beauty. By providing the right container, soil, sunlight, and water, along with regular maintenance such as pruning and fertilization, you can enjoy the vibrant and fragrant presence of potted lavender in your garden or on your balcony. Lavender is a versatile and resilient plant that can thrive when its specific care requirements are met.
Once you have purchased young lavender plants, it is best to transplant them as soon as possible. The roots need a lot of space, because they grow widely branched and especially deep. Therefore, choose a pot that is not only wide, but also as deep as possible. The plant pot should have a drainage hole at the bottom, through which excess water can flow out. In addition, if possible, choose a pot made of clay or ceramic, because the water can evaporate from this material – in a plastic pot it remains “locked”, so there is a risk of waterlogging. At the very bottom of the pot comes a layer of broken clay, gravel, pebbles or expanded clay,(20,00€ at Amazon*) only above a substrate suitable for lavender. This should be as sandy as possible and contain few nutrients. There you plant the lavender and then water it well, but later it needs less water.
Suitable varieties for keeping in tubs
Different varieties of lavender can reach very different heights. Which variety you choose depends primarily on the available space. For a balcony planting, the low-growing lavender varieties are especially suitable, but with a suitably large tub, the up to one meter high Speiklavendel will also feel at home with you.
In terms of care, potted lavender is somewhat more demanding than garden lavender, which is planted out and is more or less self-sufficient. First and foremost, you need to make sure that waterlogging does not form – this is deadly for lavender – but also that the plant is not too dry, especially on hot days. Water regularly, but with tact – if your lavender turns brown, you have definitely done something wrong and need to investigate the cause. In addition, the plants should be pruned once or twice a year and also repotted at least once a year.
Winter readying lavender in a pot
How you overwinter your potted lavender depends primarily on the variety and secondly on the weather conditions on your balcony. The only hardy lavender is Lavandula angustifolia, the true lavender, which comes in many different varieties and flower colors. All other varieties are hardy to the maximum, but should not be overwintered outdoors. Cool, but frost-free overwintering at about 10 to 12 °C is recommended – for example, in a bedroom with little heating or in a bright stairwell.
Tips & Tricks
Although the lavender is quite easy to care for as a pot plant, the Mediterranean inhabitant is not suitable for purely indoor cultivation. At least in winter, the lavender wants to spend the winter in a cool and bright place – a heated living room does not suit it at all in the cold season.