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We have lavender in the garden but why not bring that smell inside?
Lavender is a beautiful plant to have in the kitchen or at your bedside. It has many uses and if you have a few plants in your home you'll soon find many more!
Growing lavender in pots makes really great gifts for friends or family that need a stress relief.
With the right pot, soil and light lavender thrives in a sunny window. Learn how to start off lavender right and give it a great place in your house. You might be inspired to grow other helpful plants inside, read how to grow basil indoors here.
Lavender is amazing to see grow from a seed. And it's much cheaper than buying plants and you can try more varieties. I'd recommend it to any gardener looking to get a better appreciation for the plant.
But it is difficult. Seedlings are not very resilient when they're young. Start at least two or three times the number of seeds you'd like to grow. Expect only a portion of those to make it to maturity.
Even when they're still seeds, be careful of over watering. They don't need to stay damp. Let the soil dry out before watering again.
Once they're sprouted, put them under light for at least 12 hours a day for the first few months. Learn about using an LED to start plants indoors and keep them healthy throughout their whole lifetime.
Lavender can also be started from cuttings. This is faster than starting from a seed and it's pretty easy to be successful.
The process of duplicating a plant by taking a cutting is called propagating. The most important aspect in propagation is getting roots to develop. I usually do four or six at a time to ensure I have a lot of viable plants.
For lavender, start by taking cuttings about 4 inches long. Make sure you cut above a node and at a 45 degree angle.
Prepare the cutting by removing all stems and leaves from the bottom half. Strip some bark or skin off of the bottom. This encourages the plant to develop roots there.
Now they're ready to be planted into dirt. Insert the bottom half into a pot with soil. Give it some water. You can expect the roots to take at least 3 weeks to develop.
Until roots are established keep a plastic bag or sheet over the lavender cuttings. Add more water to the soil only if the plastic dries out.
Once you can gently tug on the plant without it moving, you are okay to remove the bag. Now your lavender is established and it's ready to be transplanted to a permanent home.
Lavender is a little picky about pot size and soil type. Pay attention to how you're potting your lavender for a healthy plant.
Quick draining soil is really important. Any excess water is going to cause the roots to rot and the plant will die. Of course you can avoid this by avoid over watering it in the first place but it helps to have great soil. You can mix in sand, which doesn't retain water.
Find a pot that fits your lavender's roots with a little bit of extra room. Don't pot your lavender in a container that is way too big because that's too much room for water to sit.
Plan to re-pot into gradually bigger pots as the plant grows.
Terracotta pots are great for lavender and will give it the best chance to thrive. Terracotta pulls extra moisture from the soil helping it dry faster. They can make up for overwatering the plant.
Caring for the plant inside is a little bit different than when it's in the ground outside. Here are some important considerations:
There's no way to get around it: lavender needs light. Even our most sunny windows don't get the 8 hours that a lavender plant needs. So we supplement with a grow light in the darker months.
Pick lights that are easy to set up in your home. There are some recommendations that will work in my article Using a Grow Light to Start Seeds Indoors. It doesn't take much artificial light to really help a lavender thrive over the colder months.
The easiest way to kill a lavender plant is to water it too much and let the roots rot.
Make sure that the soil is dry before adding more water. Pay attention to the potting medium you use. It needs to drain quickly.
How often does your indoor lavender need fertilizer?
Lavender plants are not very needy with fertilizer. You only need to feed them once in the spring and once before winter.
When you're ready to feed liquid fertilizers works fine. If you are re-potting your plant anyway you can add fertilizer right into the soil.
Lavender has many benefits, both in the essential oil form and dried. The flowers are super easy to dry by hanging. Use to reduce stress or fall asleep. It smells great in homemade candles and soaps.
The plant growing indoors gives off a relaxing scent all year round. Also it looks beautiful and filters the air in your home.
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