How To Grow A Lavender Plant Indoors

Lavender is a wonderfully diverse plant that can be grown outside as well as indoors. The scent of lavender has a soothing effect that helps reduce stress, and it can be used for flavoring in various dishes. So how do we go about growing lavender indoors?

Lavender is best grown in sunlight, and you will want to plant it in a terra cotta pot with quick-draining soil that is slightly alkaline. There are various types of lavender, but all need similar care. Water it regularly, but do not overwater it and water the soil directly to avoid mold growth.

Lavender is native to Europe as well as the Mediterranean; however, this does not mean that it cannot be grown elsewhere. Although not traditionally a houseplant, that does not mean that you cannot grow it indoors. With enough care and attention, you’ll have a thriving lavender plant in no time, so let’s see how

Selecting The Right Type Of Lavender

Growing Lavender

When you decide that you want to grow lavender indoors, it is advisable to consider which type of lavender you intend on growing. This is because most common lavender varieties tend to grow as high as waist height. It is, therefore, best to consider growing one of the dwarf plants indoors.

There is quite a variety to choose from, so do not think you will be limited in your options. ‘Munstead’ is a dwarf variety that does exceptionally well indoors, and it is nice and compact. Another option is a type known as ‘Little Lottie’ that has almost soft, pink flowers.

If you want something hardier that can be placed indoors and out is ‘Goodwin Creek Grey’. Another beautiful choice is ‘Canary Island Lavender,’ and variations of ‘French Lavender’ are compatible with indoor living.

Growing Lavender From Seeds Or Cuttings

Growing lavender from seeds

You must then consider whether you intend to grow your lavender from seeds or cuttings. Both of them are viable options and will ultimately yield the result you are looking for. If you already have lavender or know someone who does, then cuttings are going to be your best pick.

However, if you do not have a means of getting cuttings for your lavender plant, then seeds are an exciting alternative as you’ll be able to witness their development over time. If you purchase seeds from your local nursery nowadays, you will likely find that the plants will be consistent in their growth. 

You will want to grow your seeds in a relatively warm space (approximately 70 degrees). First, it is best to plant them in a seed tray with a very light soil mix that drains easily.

The seeds will then sprout after about two weeks, and at this point, you should move them into full sunlight. Once they grow leaves, then you can transplant them into their actual pots.

Related: How To Harvest And Dry Lavender

Planting Your Lavender Into A Pot

Before you transplant the seedlings from their seed tray or plant your lavender cuttings, be sure that you have the correct type of pot for the plant. The ideal pot will allow the plant to breathe, and this is why we recommend a terra cotta pot. You also want to make sure that, like the soil, the pot also allows for drainage.

You may find that the lavender outgrows its pot, in which case you will eventually need to repot it. This will allow the plant to ultimately reach its full growth potential. For your lavender to grow at an ideal rate, you will want to plant it in a good quality potting mix.

If you do not use compost, you’ll find that you need to add fertilizer almost every three weeks or so. Once your lavender is in its pot and you’re giving it the nourishment it needs, it will have slow growth over the first year, but you can expect more significant growth from year two.

Finding The Right Placement For Your Lavender

Lavender placed next to a window

As a rule of thumb, lavender should receive as much sunlight as is possible. You will want to find a south-facing window where the plant will receive at least three or four hours of sun per day. If you find another spot in your house that tends to get more sun, consider moving the plant.

However, placing it in the sun is not enough; there is a bit of extra work that needs doing. Be sure to rotate the pot on at least a weekly basis so that the plant can grow uniformly. If the plant as a whole does not receive enough sun, it will become weak and spindly, and it may even cease to grow flowers.

Another reason for reasonable amounts of sun for the plant is to ensure that it does not become susceptible to disease. The temperatures you should ensure for your lavender should be between 50 and 55 degrees at night and 70 degrees during the day. During winter, the temperatures will decrease, so be sure to protect it from frost.

 On top of finding it an ideal place in the sun, you also want to make sure that it is in a space with sufficient ventilation and air circulation. However, you want to protect it from being exposed to direct and fierce airflow. So placing it right near the front door, for example, is likely not the best idea.

Read more: When Does Lavender Bloom (Plus 6 Important Growing Tips)

Watering Your Lavender

Be sure to water your lavender sufficiently once you have planted it or it is still growing, but then over time, reduce the amount of water you give it. Overwatering lavender is a big problem, so it is advisable to only water it when the soil is dry to the touch. But be sure to check at least 1 inch deep as there may still be moisture.

The problem that usually occurs when we overwater lavender is that rot and mold begin to appear. This is why it is recommended to use a pot that breaths and allows for easy drainage so that the water does not sit in the soil for excessively long periods.

During winter, when it is colder, you will most likely have to water the lavender even less. However, be careful as you do not want to allow the soil to become entirely dry as this will cause the plant’s leaves to begin to yellow.

Contrastingly, when spring and summer arrive, the soil will dry out faster, and thus you will need to water more frequently. But do not be too generous as you do not want to drown the plant.

Pruning Your Lavender Plant

Pruning lavender

You may find that your lavender plant is outgrowing its pot or that it is perhaps just getting slightly out of control. Pruning may be a good short-term solution, but we must make you aware that cutting the plant’s branches will ultimately promote new growth and “bushiness”.

If you desire this effect, then, by all means, prune away, but also note that frequent pruning of the lavender plant will cause a reduction in its flowering as they are produced at the branch tips.

Transplanting Your Lavender Plant

If you find that your lavender is outgrowing its pot, then your first thought may be to divide the plant between two separate pots. This is not a good idea, though, as lavender is a woody plant, and if you attempt to split it, it is likely to die. Instead, it is a better notion to transplant it.

The best season to transplant your lavender is in the spring or fall; however, spring is usually the ideal time. You’ll want to do it when the weather is not too hot, so try to choose a period where the temperature is relatively cool but not cold.

Be sure to prepare the new pot ahead of time and be sure that the soil is also prepped. You want to have a good quality soil with compost in it that is neither dry nor wet, just slightly damp as the lavender will rot if the soil is soggy.

Before digging up the plant, cut off the flowers and trim any damaged or unhealthy-looking branches. You then want to dig a wide circle around the plant as lavender has an extensive root system. Then remove the plant with as much soil left intact. The hole in the new pot should be roughly twice as wide as the plant’s roots.

Place the lavender in its new home and carefully fill in the removed soil around the roots. You will want to ensure that the root ball is placed at roughly the same depth as in the previous pot. Be sure not to cover the crown (or the area where the stem arises). Water the plant, and be sure to keep the soil moist until the roots are established.

Conclusion: How To Grow A Lavender Plant Indoors

Most lavender is best grown outdoors, but some appreciate indoor growth. “French lavender”, “Munstead”, “Goodwin Creek Grey”, and “Little Lottie” are great choices. Growing lavender inside will add an aesthetic and fragrant benefit to your home, and you will be able to find excellent uses for this lovely plant.

Sources:

https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/grow-lavender-indoors-36602809

https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/care-lavender-plant/7406.html

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/lavender/lavender-as-a-houseplant.htm

https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/flowers-and-plants/herbs/growing-lavender-indoors

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/a20705663/how-to-grow-lavender/