The best soil mix to plant lavender containers and pots is 30% coarse gravel or sand to 70% organic compost or pot soil. Add one tablespoon of garden lime to the mix to increase the pH to a level that has a slight alkaline. This soil mix mimics the ideal soil conditions of lavender’s natural Mediterranean range.
Continue reading to learn more about the particular soil requirements for potted lavenders, as well as information on the best soil mix that will ensure sturdy flowers and fragrance, and also how the dimensions of the container or pot that you choose to use can affect the lavenders.
Soil Requirements For Lavenders in Pots
Lavenders are native to Mediterranean area of Europe in areas like France, Spain and Italy which is where they thrive in moderate to low fertility, well-draining sandy, alkaline and clay soils.
To plant lavenders in pots, you must be able to replicate the soil conditions of their natural environment in order to reap the maximum benefits of your lavender in terms of blooming scent, fragrance, oil, and endurance.
The best type of lavender-loving soil is just as crucial as the frequency you keep the lavender watered. (For information on how to water, read my article on when to water your lavender).
While lavenders can thrive in neglect, they require specific soil conditions in order to develop and bloom at their fullest. This includes:
- Alkaline soil. The lavender in your pot will thrive in soil that is alkaline, but it will thrive in soils that range between pH 6.5-8 that ranges from moderate acidity to alkaline.
- It is essential to drain well-drained dirt, either gravelly or sandy. It is essential to drain the soil for the lavender is going to last through winter in the pot. Lavenders do not like being sat in wet, cold soils since they are more susceptible to the fungal root rot disease. The soil needs to drain quickly and not hold too much water since the lavenders ‘ roots prefer to dry between every watering.
- Low to moderate fertility. The lavender plant has been specifically developed for sandy soils that are comparatively low in nutrients. The most common mistake made by gardeners tends to be planting lavender into fertile soils, and then add fertilizer to stimulate the plant to grow and bloom. The lavenders that are planted in soils with high fertility tend to be leggy, with plenty of foliage and less flowers. A high concentration of nitrogen can make the lavender leaves yellow..
- Open soil structure. Lavenders favor a porous soil structure that has a high course of sand or gravel as it allows water to be able to drain efficiently and provides oxygen as well as an environment for roots to grow in to grow. Lavenders do not thrive in soil that is compacted.
The Optimal Soil Mix for Lavenders in Pots and Containers
We now know what soil that lavenders love in their natural habitat We need to think to replicate these soil conditions to grow lavender in pots.
The most crucial thing is to make sure that the soil mix has an adequate amount of gravel or coarse sand. Both of these substances are excellent to grow lavender and provide the ideal structure to allow for proper drainage.
It is crucial to note the fact that builders’ sand with coarse particles is superior to fine sand , which is smaller in particle size, and consequently less porous.
The lavender plants require oxygen in the soil to aid in the process of respiration as well as to reduce the risk for root decay. This is why it’s essential to mix the huge particles of gravel and sand evenly across the soil mix when plant the lavender into pots.
Only the larger coarse sand particles, or gravel can provide the proper structure to ensure that there is sufficient air in soil, and the ideal conditions for water to penetrate effectively.
The most frequent reasons that the lavender plants die is that the soil is retaining excessive water. The additional watering can exacerbate the issue and the plant will eventually suffer from root decay.
This is the reason why gravel or sand is essential to maintain the proper soil structure. Sand and gravel do not hold and absorb water the way that the organic soils that are rich do. This is why the necessity mixing minerals and compost to create the ideal amount of soil moisture to support lavenders.
When making lavender in pots, I always suggest a quarter inch of gravel on the base of the pot to aid in ensuring that the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot are clear and drain well.
Sand or gravel ought to comprise approximately 30 percent of the soil mix . It should be 70% compost that is well-rotted or store-bought organic pot soil.
It is possible to approximate this with your the eye, however excessive sand or gravel will always be better the lavender than not enough, so go overboard when you amend your garden.
The organic soil combined with gravel or sand will give the proper combination of nutrients, drainage and texture to allow lavenders to flourish and produce the highest quality flowers and scent.
Be sure that every ingredient is evenly distributed across the soil to ensure that soil structure is even and that the roots in the soil are able to access oxygen.
Sand and gravel don’t provide substantial nutrients to soil, which can reduce the fertility of the compost, allowing you to recreate the low to moderate fertility conditions that are typical of the lavenders indigenous Mediterranean environment.
Avoid potting soils that have been fertilized with nutrients because the soil with higher fertility will encourage leggy growth and less flowers.
The potting mix you buy from the store tends to have a pH of 7 (neutral) however I’d suggest that you add either some lime from the agricultural sector (about one Tablespoon) or wood ash to the soil in order to ensure that your potted lavender soil is within the ideal alkaline range.
Do not use any compost that has manure since it is excessively high in nitrogen as well as soluble salts to be suitable for the growth of lavenders.
Make sure that when placing the lavender pot in the soil mix, you don’t firm your soil in the area around it because it will push air out and make it challenging for roots grow.
(Read my article on on how you can take care of the lavender plants inside pots).
The Size of the Pot is Important
For lavender to grow successfully it is recommended that the pot be 16 inches wide and equally deep. This will ensure that the pot is able to hold enough soil to ensure that the roots are able to access water and nutrients as well as enough space for them to grow.
A container or pot that is this large also has enough soil to protect the roots from colder weather and stop that the soil gets dried out fast in the scorching temperatures of summer.
The right pot to choose is crucial to ensure healthy lavender, which is the reason I wrote an article that explains what containers and pots are ideal for growing lavender.
If you’re moving flowers from one place to the next then you should read my guide on how to transfer lavender successfully. You will learn the best way to minimize shock from transplants.
- The best soil mix for lavender pots in containers includes 30 percent sand or gravel and 70 percent organic potting soil. Include one teaspoon of lime to make sure that the soil is alkaline, which is the ideal soil pH of lavenders.
- The gravel or sand will make sure that your soil is in the ideal structure to grow lavenders, so that water can get in and roots are able to breathe oxygen. Sand or gravel aids in restoring the soil’s low-to-medium fertility needed by lavenders to bloom at their peak.
- Be sure that the compost organic and sand are evenly distributed across the pot.
- Place a layer of gravel on the bottom of the pot in order to ensure that drainage holes are clear to allow excess water to escape.
- A 16-inch diameter pot will guarantee that the container or pot is filled with sufficient soil that keeps the root warm during winter. The roots are able to grow and get access to the water and nutrients required for the health of the lavender plant.