How Do I Care For Potted French Lavender?

Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by Stephanie

French lavender thrives in pots and is low maintenance when you mimic the conditions in their natural habitat. Heres a guide on how to take care of the potted French Lavender:

Continue Reading for more details and the best ways to care of potted French lavender…

Potting Mix for French Lavenders Soil

French lavenders favor fast draining, and sandy soils that are relatively fertile, and has an alkaline pH of the soil, since it mimics their natural growth conditions.

So the potting mix must include these characteristics of soil.

Multi-purpose or general potting compost available at The garden centre is ideal to use with French lavenders. It is essential to mix about 1/3 (by volume) of the pot with horticultural soil (otherwise known as sharp sand, also known as builders sand) as well as perlite.

Perlite or sand with sufficient quantity can provide the fast drainage, porous structure lavenders need. They also dont provide any fertilizer to soils, which means that the fertility of the soil for potting is moderate and low which is the way French lavender prefers..

Lavenders that are planted in soils with rich nutrients or with fertilizers added to them will change yellow in the indication of stress caused by the excess nitrogen in the soil. Consequently, the smell wont be as strong, hence why it is important to amend the potting mix by adding sand.

Avoid the use of ericaceous (acidic) compost because French lavender is tolerant of soils with pH 6.5 (slightly acidic) however, it prefers alkaline and neutral soils (7-8).

Include a spoonful of agricultural lime to raise soils pH until it is alkaline. Mix with half a cup of wood ash to ensure an alkaline pH, which French lavenders require.

lavender in glass jar with purple background

Beware of these errors!

Do not plant French lavenders in containers that have soil that is containing moisture-retaining the granules, as they will hold excessive moisture around the roots of French lavenders.

Watering

French Lavenders are tough plants even in the harsh summer weather. They are not only drought-resistant, but they are they also thrive in dry, hot conditions that might appear harsh to other plants. (Hardy for USDA zone 7-11.)

French lavenders typically dont require extra watering after they have been established in the pot . They might only require irrigation in certain situations that I have described on the table.

The native species of lavenders is the dry environment of Mediterranean within Southern Europe where they thrive in soils that drain quickly with very little water. Gardeners must emulate the conditions of their natural habitats by regularly watering to ensure that the plant is healthy with a strong smell.

Potted French Lavender is the cause of more issues than the lack of watering since lavender is prone to pathogen root rot when the roots are placed in soil that is constantly moist.

Place in Full sun

French lavender is among the most drought - and heat-resistant lavender plants that prefers being in full sunshine (ideally at least 6 hours of sunshine each day).

The more sunshine, the more possibilities there are for blooms that are abundant and the more fragrant the scent.

French lavender wont do well in shade, and there will be fewer flowers and a leggy growth.

Full sun keeps the climate dry and hot and recreate the conditions found in the native lavenders of Southern Europe range. The plants that are in full sun do well and are more resistant to disease.

Avoid using Fertilizer

French lavender requires soil fertility that is low and any additional fertilizer could be detrimental to the plants health in terms of:

  • The intensity of the scent
  • Resistance to illness
  • Number of Blooms

Lavenders are nutrient-rich or soil that has fertilizer tends to grow leggy, usually with yellow-colored foliage, and will show less flowers. Fertile soils are contrary to the conditions under which French lavender thrives and grows in their native habitat and it is specifically designed to thrive in soils that have little nutrients.

French lavender is an easy to maintain plant which is the most happy and has the highest amount of flowers in soil which is generally poor in nutrients therefore, make sure you include sand in the pot mix so that your lavender will flourish.

French Potted Lavender Care in Winter

French lavender is quite delicate and requires the protection of frost during the winter. If your home is in a region where temperatures are frigid, youll need bring the plant indoors during Winter, or the lavender wont survive.

French lavender is only kept in the shade in warm climates like those in California and Southern Europe.

The benefit of French lavender in pots is the ease to move the plant inside prior to the first frost of Winter.

If nighttime temperatures are around 5 degrees Celsius (41degF) transfer the lavender pot into an enclosed greenhouse that is heated, a garage, or put it in a bright window inside.

Although the lavender plant is in winter dormancy however, it still enjoys the suns rays as much as it can. The lavender emits its delicious scent from its leaves all year long (although its most fragrant in the spring) therefore bringing it inside can add a scent to your home.

The lavender should be watered lightly every 4-6 weeks during winter if the plant is kept indoors to ensure that the plant does not get completely dry for months at a.

Bring the Lavender outside in the spring in a sunny spot once youre sure that there will be no more frosts.

For more details and best practices, read my article on taking care of French Lavenders during winter..

Choosing the Right Pot

Make sure to select a pot with drainage holes at the base and sides (lavenders dislike soil that is moist) with an approximate diameter of 12-16 inches. This pot size ensures the pot has enough space for soil to ensure that roots are able to establish themselves and get the nutrients and moisture they need.

If the pot isnt big enough, the roots wont establish in the same way and the growth of lavender can be slow to grow.

Terracotta, clay or ceramic pots are generally the best choice because they are more durable than metal and plastic pots, and do not get hot in the sun as fast, that helps keep the soil cool, and stops the soil from becoming hard under the scorching sun.

Make sure you dont place the pot of lavender in a drip tray because it will collect every drop of water, and make the soil dry which can lead to fungal diseases like root rot, which could cause the death of the lavender.

To find examples of pots that are suitable check out my article on selecting the right pot to grow lavender.

In the spring, prune for more flowers

Pruning the potted French lavender is similar from pruning other varieties of lavender.

There are two different schools of thought on how to cut lavender. You can either cut the plant down:

  • The Spring Season begins when new growth begins to emerge from the bottom of the plant or…
  • Prune in the fall after the flowering.

Both are effective, but I personally have seen more results when pruning lavender in spring. This is due to spring growth which is responsible for the flowers and pruning in spring can be more effective in encouraging the stems to show the seasons flowers.

So Ive seen more flowers on lavender that has been pruned in the Spring, and then the lavender cut back in the fall.

Pruning is vital to prolong the lifespan as it will reduce the growth of wood at the base of the plant.

Cut back the upper third of the flexible, soft growth, and do not cut the base of the plant as the old wood doesnt regenerate. Always try to create an oblong shape to protect against the effects of weather-related damage and increase the number of flowers.

French Lavender Indoors

French lavender can be the most suitable lavender plant to grow indoors since it can withstand dry and hot conditions inside the house and doesnt require cool temperatures in Winter dormancy in the same way as other species of lavender.

Anouk in particular is ideal to grow indoors. The Anouk variety has its compact dimensions and can be able to easily fit in the window and emit its scent. It is important to note that lavender will only thrive inside if it is placed on a sunny window sill.

Make sure that you dont plant your lavender inside a humid area in the home (such as the bathroom or kitchen) since lavender does not like humidity. A breeze that occasionally flutters through the leaves from a window can lower the risk of fungal diseases.

Apart from that taking care of lavender indoors is generally similar to taking care of lavender outdoors. But there are additional best methods to know about and read this article to learn more on cultivating lavender inside.

Key Takeaways:

  • Make use of a potting mix that includes 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 aricturltral sand ensure adequate drainage. Include some wood ash or lime to ensure good drainage. French lavender thrives in alkaline conditions.
  • French lavender requires only regular watering following the plant. Once it is established in the pot, French lavender usually does not require additional watering outside since it is drought-resistant and heat-resistant.
  • Full sun is the best option for more intense blooms and fragrance.
  • Dont add any fertilizer since lavenders like low to moderate nutrients in soil. The addition of fertilizer can cause an unruly growth, with only a only a few flowers and yellow leaves.
  • Select a container that measures 12-16 inches in diameter and has drainage holes at the bottom, and preferably ceramic, clay, or terracotta.
  • French lavender isnt cold-hardy and cannot take frost. Place your lavender inside and put it in a sunny window during Winter. Then, bring the plant outside in the spring when there are no more dangers of frost.
  • French lavender needs to be pruned every year, either in the spring or in late fall after the flowering. Cut off the top third of the plants flexible growth and try to create an oblong shape that helps protect against weather-related damage. Pruning can prolong the lifespan of the lavender and will encourage the growth of more flowers and healthy leaves.
Stephanie

Stephanie

Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)