Lavender seeds: how to grow it in your garden or balcony
From lavender seeds the fragrance of memories
If Hamlet was not set in Denmark (where it is too cold and the light is not enough to grow it), maybe Shakespeare would have made Ophelia cite even the ears, amongst the essences that stimulate memories. When we think of a relaxing fragrance, pleasant for everyone, delicate but persistent without being annoying and that is often associated with memory and memories, is this the plant that comes to mind. From the seeds of lavender we create delicate infusions used to reconcile relaxation and sleep; dried flowers are picked to exploit their aroma in pot-purri with other essences or alone in perfumed bags that grandmothers use to hide in between laundry, to perfume it and keep the moths away, and that refer to a less hectic past.
Moreover, the ears collected in bunches are used to create dried flower compositions and decorate and the dried flowers are used as ingredients in heart shaped cookies gifted for Valentines.
Its cultivation is very rewarding both in an open field and in a terrace or balcony; in fact, this plant is not excessively needy, there are many varieties to which pick from and from the different types of lavender seeds plants with blue and purple nuances will sprout, from a slightly different smell and ears.
Characteristics of lavender seeds
What this plant cannot give up is the abundance of light and a sandy and permeable soil: probably the image that comes to mind when we think about “the ear” - once this mediterranean essence was known with this name too - is that of the intensive cultivation in Provence, region in which there is also (in Grasse) a perfume museum focused on the production of essences and eau de toilette that use this flower.
It also arises spontaneously in various regions with a mediterranean climate, but if you want to grow it it’s best to know that the plants that sprout from lavender seeds prefer hot and dry climates and dry winters, which temperatures don’t drop too much, ideally in zones along a sunny coastline. Naturally though, with a little attention and a few tricks, you can also create the best possible condition for its growth.
Cultivation starting from lavender seeds
Firstly, if you sow in the open ground, choose the sunniest place available - this plant needs at least 8 hours of light a day - and if necessary the soil must be amended by enriching it with sand, so that it will become soft and permeable because lavender cannot handle stagnation of water. Moreover, if possible it is best to sow in an alkaline soil, with values in between 6,5 and 7,5 pH, work it to make it light and foresee its need of a certain protection from wind, because the plant resists quite well but not without damage to the ears.
So, you can finally plant the lavender seeds, in an open field in between April and June, with and eventual transplant and thinning starting from may.
The seeds must be buried 1 centimeter deep, mantaining 50 centimeter distance from plants and 70 from rows: as it is known, once they are grown (and reach 2 meter in height), plants need a certain space all around them, also because some ears tend to arise outward. You can do without fertilization, while it is above all important to pay attention to watering: neither the lavender seed just after planting, nor the plant during its development must be drowned in excessive water, but it is sufficient to wet the soil when it has dried.
The plant grown from seeds will produce flowers after circa 3 months and the cultivation in pot poses no special problems at all - on the contrary. In fact, you can have a bigger and more immediate control on the levels of soil humidity, the protections with which counteract any eventual intense gusts of wind - if we are dealing with a few movable pots, it is sufficient to shelter them indoors or in a closed space until the weather is better.
As for maintenance, it is an essence that can live several years, and for which you must foresee a spring cutting of circa 1/3 of its height, to get rid of dried branches and to give it a more compact shape - lavender tends to open, and if the news branches grow on the old ones that have not been cut then they will be too long and fragile.