Can Lavender Grow in The Shade?

The most frequently asked concerns for gardeners who are just beginning their journey is whether any kind of lavender can thrive in shaded conditions.

Lavenders are not able to thrive in shade. They require complete sun and dry conditions for the humidity as well as drainage. Lavenders that get less than six hours of sunshine during the growing season will produce lower flowers, have poor growth , and may die.

I’ve read about different lavender varieties that claim to be tolerant of shade, but from my experience, you’ll have to give up flowers and scent when the lavender is not in full sunshine.

The origins of lavenders lie in Mediterranean countries like Italy, Spain and France where they flourish in the sun’s full rays, on sandy soils, and with very only a little water.

While you don’t need to be within the Mediterranean to cultivate lavenders, it is important to mimic the conditions for lavenders to be able to which bloom and emit their unique scent.

If you are looking to make the most of your lavenders, place them in the sun, and don’t sacrifice shade for a more sunny area in your garden.

Here’s a helpful lavender grower’s checklist to ensure that you are aware of the ideal conditions to grow the lavenders…

Lavender Growers Checklist

  • The full sunshine is the most crucial conditions for the growth of lavenders. The lavender plant requires at minimum six (preferably more) hours (preferably greater) of direct sunlight each day in the summer and spring months.
  • The best soil for lavenders is one with low to medium fertility. If the soil is too fertile and rich, lavenders will produce more foliage , but little or no flowers. The soil that is rich will retain moisture better which can cause rot to the roots of the drought-loving lavender
  • The lavender’s soil needs to be sandy, a little rocky, or chalk, as the lavender roots require excellent drainage and do not like to be sunk in moist or humid soil. The lavender plant is very vulnerable to root rot and excessive irrigation. In the countries they come from, the soil is dry and sandy as it bakes in the summer sun with a comparatively low amount of rainfall.
  • The lavenders require very minimal irrigation. The most frequent reason why lavenders die is that gardeners overwater their plants. The signs of an over-watered lavender are like the symptoms of plants that are not watered. For instance, the over watered lavender may exhibit signs of stress, like wilting or browning or yellowing of the leaves. The lavenders require water every two weeks during the season of growth. If there have been numerous rainy days, and overcast days, lavenders won’t require additional irrigation.

lavender in the shade

  • One reason that lavenders thrive on chalky soils is because they prefer the soil they are in to be either pH neutral, if not alkaline, but they are able to be tolerant of soils that are mildly acidic. It’s recommended to test your soil using an inexpensive kit available from Amazon to determine the pH of your soil to help you select the right plants.
  • Lavenders are tolerant of air circulation. They are generally disease-resistant plants , but they are also susceptible to a fungal disease. A gentle breeze can help keep the disease at the bay. Lavenders are an excellent option for a beachside garden since they are tolerant of the sea air and a bit of coastal winds.

Conclusion

Lavenders require full sun, and do not develop very well in shade, or even full shade.

Lavenders are generally small-sized garden plant (4 years is the norm) therefore, don’t cause them harm by putting them in unfavourable shade.

Instead, cater to their Mediterranean needs and take pleasure in the stunning aroma and gorgeous flowers.

It is important to note that they are incredibly easy to grow, and even though they live only for four years, you can easily grow a variety of lavenders to replace older ones by a little planning , and without any cost.

If you’d like to learn more about the soil lavenders require and how to easily amend the soil to accommodate the lavender variety, take a look at my post in which I explain precisely what you must do to ensure drainage is good and the perfect environment for the lavender.

Stephanie

Stephanie

Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)