Lavender Seeds - French
(Lavandula stoechas) Perennial BUT only hardy in zones 8-9.
Some varieties of Lavender are too good to pass up. French Lavender, also known as Butterfly Lavender is zone hardy 8-9, meaning that for most of outdoor Canada it is best suited to grow French Lavender in a large clay pot, or simply as an annual. French Lavender is one of the most wonderfully fragrant Lavender in existence! Its beauty is old-fashioned, classic, and utterly unparalleled as its flowers stand uniquely coiffed with splendid upright purple bracts.
Sowing: Start indoors 8-10 before the last frost. Direct sow in a pot after the risk of spring frost has passed. New transplants require slow hardening off of 2 weeks; gradually introduce to gentle wind, rain and shade before setting out permanently. During the hardening process transplants must not remain outdoors at night.
Growing tips: Drainage and sun exposure are the two most important considerations to successfully grow French Lavender. Clay pots (size 2 to 5 gallons) are slightly better than plastic as they tend to dry out faster, which is very important for French Lavender that does not like having wet roots for extended periods of time. Do not set pot in a saucer to collect water, especially in rainy seasons it may be a nightmare to any lavender.
Sun: Place pot in full sun even if it gets very hot there.
Soil: Do your best to increase drainage; make a unique potting mix that is 25% compost, 25% peat or grow medium, 50% drainage material i.e. sand, gravel, clay pebbles or broken down clay pot parts. The bottom of your pot, 1-2 inches, should be just gravel, clay or rock pebbles, and/or perlite.
Watering: Water abundantly upon planting in a pot. Water should not pool with the increased drainage as mentioned above. Water should drain out after a minute has passed. Once established only water after long droughts, meaning no rain beyond 3 weeks, during the first year. **If temperatures are extremely high, water no more than once a week.
Winter: Lavandula stoechas is said to be hardy to -10 degrees but Canada's more frequent wet then cold Winters are a terrible combo. It can live outside if your drainage setup is impeccable and the pot is well above the ground. If you're unsure, store indoors in a cold space.
Fertilizer: Only once in a while apply very low dose plant based fertilizer after watering when in a pot.
Cuttings/dividing: Easy to divide in Summer. Cut a stem from the main branch when it is 6 to 8 inches. Pinch off leaves of the last 3 to 4 inches, dip in rooting hormones, place in soil in a container. Water, keep moist, and place in bright lights but out of direct sun. Roots will start to grow out of the nodes where the leaves were pinched off.