Growing Lavender In Texas: Important Gardening Tips For Different Areas

Lavender is a plant that mystifies many, but its fragrance and beauty make the extra effort worthwhile. This flower can be easy to grow and require little care if it finds itself in an ideal environment. Furthermore, different species of lavender can become accustomed to varied conditions. This brings the question, how do you successfully grow lavender in Texas?

Growing lavender in Texas is difficult due to a combination of the region’s clay soil, poor drainage, and high humidity. However, this does not make growing lavender impossible. With the right species, proper care, and enough planning, lavender has the potential to thrive in your Texas garden.

Understanding lavender’s specific growing conditions and catering to them is a sure way to ensure this flower’s long life in your garden. Begin by looking into what kind of lavender does best in your region or area of Texas. From here, you should look into how to prepare a place in your garden for lavender and what you will need to sustain year-round health and growth.

Growing Lavender In Texas

Growing Lavender

Lavender is not native to the Texas climate, making it difficult to grow in this area. However, it isn’t impossible to bring these bushes of purple, aromatic flowers into your farm or garden.

As with any plant, research will tell you anything and everything you need to know about how to care for your new plant and what conditions it needs to thrive in your garden. Where you live and the specific weather and environmental factors in your area will influence your choices when putting together a garden with plants suited to the climate, weather, and other external factors that may affect the lavender’s health and growth.

Thus, it is important to be aware of your lavender plant’s possible problems and threats if you choose to grow it in Texas. This includes learning the specifics about which lavender species is best suited for the specific area of Texas you are in, the soil in your area, and how to best plant it in preparation for weather lavender is not accustomed to.

Read more: How To Grow A Lavender Plant Indoors

Problems With Growing Lavender In Texas

The Texan climate proves a challenge when growing lavender plants. Lavender plants are indigenous to the mountainous areas of countries bordering the western European section of the Mediterranean region. Because of this, lavender is accustomed to dry summers and mild, wet winters. Meanwhile, Texas weather opposes these ideal growing conditions.

  • Humidity – Lavender needs a dry, arid climate. Texas can frequently experience high humidity, creating a lot of moisture in the soil and air.
  • Rainfall – Lavender grows best with around 15 inches of rain a year, but some areas of Texas are known to experience closer to 39 inches.
  • Soil – Texas has a lot of clay and heavy soils which hold a lot of moisture. Once again, this may stunt your lavender’s growth at it is a plant that prefers dry conditions.

Being a plant that thrives in dry conditions, it is obvious why high levels of humidity and rainfall can pose a threat to the health and growth of lavender.

Lavender in high humidity

Overcoming Common Problems With Growing Lavender In Texas

The key to growing healthy lavender in Texas is to counteract the problems the climate naturally poses to these flowers.

  • Sun – Lavender needs full and direct sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours a day; thus, be sure to plant it in areas where it can receive the appropriate amount of sun throughout the year.
  • Soil – Ensure you use gritty, high-drainage soil. Additionally, mix gravel into your soil to improve drainage if your soil is sandy. Entirely avoid planting lavender in heavy or clay soil.
  • Mulch – Do not add mulch or any toppings to the soil that will bring or trap moisture to the plant and soil. The plant needs to be able to get steady airflow to remain dry.
  • Sprinkler Systems – Sprinkler systems will cause the plant to ‘splay’ open in addition to promoting fungal diseases. Generally, lavender does not need to be watered often enough to require a sprinkler system.
  • Companion Planting – If you choose to companion plant lavender, be sure to do it with other drought-tolerant plants that thrive in the same conditions as lavender.

Related: Why is My Lavender Plant Drying (Or Dried) Out? 5 Most Likely Causes & Solutions

What Type Of Lavender Should You Grow In Texas?

Not all kinds of lavender are fit to grow in a Texas garden. What thrives along the coast may not survive in Texas. Further, different lavender plants are suited to different regions in Texas. Thus, it is advised you discover which specific lavender plant would be best suited to your garden’s conditions.

There are three main groups of lavender:

  • English Lavender – Growing between 2-3 feet tall, English lavender has dense gray-green foliage and loose flower heads. It is winter-hardy in Texas but experiences susceptibility to fungal diseases due to the humidity levels. The ‘Munstead’ and ‘Hidcote’ varieties have proven successful in Texas.
  • French Lavender – Slightly larger than English lavender, French lavender has a more compact flower head. These variants are more tolerable to the humidity than suffering more during the winter. This is the most common lavender family grown in Texas, with the ‘Provence’ and ‘Grosso’ varieties being the most reliable.
  • Spanish Lavender – Reaching 2 feet tall, Spanish lavender has squared flower heads and long bracts. This plant prefers the more humid regions of Texas but has faced many issues in the North Texas area. Growing ‘Kew Red’ and ‘Blue Star’ is best from the Spanish varieties.

Using the above list, in addition to some more research, you should be able to determine which variety of lavender is best suited for your area.

North of Texas: Look for cold-tolerant varieties, such as English lavender, or grow your plants in containers and pots that can be brought indoors for the winter. Be sure the plants get plenty of light when inside.

South of Texas: Spanish or French lavender varieties may be better suited to your garden. Ensure the plants have sufficient air circulation.

Caring For Lavender Plants

Caring for lavender plant

Like all plants, lavender has its own ideal conditions to thrive. Growing your own lavender will be a breeze if these requirements are met.

  • Sun – Lavender loves the sun and needs full, direct sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. Too much time in the shade will cause your lavender to become leggy, bloom poorly and increase its risk of disease.
  • Water – Once the lavender is established, it needs little water. It is a plant that likes to be dry. If it does not rain during the year, water your lavender once every one or two weeks. To test if you should water your plant, the top inch of the soil should be dry to touch.
  • Soil & Drainage – Lavender requires well-drained, gritty, and alkaline soil, with a 6.5 – 7.5 or higher pH. These plants do not tolerate heavy or wet soils. It is best to plant lavender on raised mounds to allow drainage of excess water. Moreover, avoid planting lavender at the bottom of a slope or anywhere run-off-water can collect.
  • Containers – If you choose to plant your lavender into containers, ensure that the containers have sufficient drainage so that the soil remains dry.
  • Fertilizer – Light usage of a balanced fertilizer for the first year the lavender is planted will help the plant become established. Once the lavender is settled, some organic treatments like compost tea in spring are best, but fertilization is unnecessary unless the lavender is in poor soil.
  • Pruning – Lightly trim your lavender after blooming, cut back by 1/3 to 1/2 an inch. Furthermore, pruning in early spring will promote new, full growth and encourage more blooms. Pruning your lavender annually will allow it to live longer and healthier.

Conclusion

While growing lavender in Texas can be challenging, it shouldn’t deter you from bringing this beautiful plant into your garden. Finding the right variety of lavender for the specific region or area of Texas is the first step of growing a healthy plant, followed by preparing an area where your lavender is exposed to full sunlight, and the soil can have proper drainage.

With the correct care, you should be able to bring lavender in as a new and beautiful annual addition to your garden, no matter where in Texas you are located.

Sources

https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/flowers-and-plants/herbs/10-tips-for-growing-lavender

https://www.dallasnews.com/arts-entertainment/lifestyle/2015/08/06/take-the-lavender-challenge/