Lavandula stoechas. Sow French lavender seeds indoors, 6-8 weeks before last frost, or direct sow the seeds in early spring when a chance of frost is still possible. Uniform and distinctive, 'Sancho Panza' blooms from June to September on shrubby bushes that grow 35cm (14") tall. This variety of French lavender has a fantastic fragrance and dries particularly well. Great in containers, but in mass plantings the scent and colour are amazing. French lavender is also a very hardy perennial and drought tolerant, so good for use in xeriscaping. Cut back the whole plant by a third after flowering is finished to produce new growth.
The English lavender varieties we offer are variants of the species L. angustifolia. Lavandula stoechas is commonly known as Spanish lavender, and L. dentata is often referred to as French lavender. These nationality-based categories are more confusing than helpful. It’s best to know the specific variety you are looking for and track it down that way. We love all of the varieties. Comforting, beautiful to look at. Plant some of each variety for fresh lavender all season long.
When I Get My Seedling Home
Keep seedlings under very bright light to prevent legginess. Artificial lights are ideal, but a bright (ideally, south-facing) room will work for the short term. You may have to pot on seedlings more than once before they go out to allow for root growth. This is done by transplanting them into a slightly larger container with enough additional soil to keep the container mostly full. Keep the soil moist by daily watering and allow for free drainage so the plants are never sitting water.
Do not transplant outside until night time temperatures are steadily 10°C (50°F) or warmer. This may mean keeping seedlings indoors for up to a month. The plants should not require any fertilizer until transplant time.
Lavender prefers full sun and well drained, fertile soil. It works well in containers with adequate drainage. Transplant plants into the garden with 30-60cm (12-24") spacing, as they will grow as wide as they do tall, even if not in the first year.
Trim established plants back hard next spring, just as new growth starts – but never prune back into the woody part of the stems. This will give a rush of even growth for the first leaves and bloom. Cut back again in early autumn, but again – never into old wood.
Gather the flowers just as they open. Dry on open trays, or by hanging in small bunches. Pick the leaves anytime to use fresh, or if you’re dehydrating lavender leaves, gather before flowering starts.