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The lavender flower embodies the purity of the mountain air, the fullness of aromas and the beauty of the southern climate. Lavender bushes are easy to grow at home, observing a number of rules - choose the proper type of soil, container, watering regime, maintain the temperature. The inflorescences in the form of ears, formed by whorls of flowers of purple, blue, white or red, add color to the interior of the kitchen or balcony. Let's analyze the rules for growing lavender in a room.
Can lavender be grown at home?
According to its biological characteristics, lavender is a thermophilic evergreen perennial shrub, therefore, at home, lavender plants feel good, provided that optimal lighting, moisture and temperature are created for them.
In the family, lavender can be used and useful as an essential oil crop with a pleasant aroma and as a medicinal plant. Bouquets are placed in a bed with a newborn for a restful sleep; it is useful for the elderly to drink herbal tea to normalize the heart rate and good blood supply to the brain. Lavender baths have a calming and rejuvenating effect.
The botanical genus Lavender includes about 50 species. The most common and suitable for growing in an apartment are:
- narrow-leaved, with elongated pubescent leaves and spikelets of inflorescences from pale blue to purple;
- serrated, with fleshy jagged leaves, like succulents;
- woolly - the leaves are whitish, covered with tomentose pubescence, the inflorescences are high;
- broadleaf - the most rich in aromatic oils;
- multi-cut - triple inflorescences, leaves - fern-like;
- petiolate - tall peduncles with purple flowers, the whole plant is fragrant;
- stekhad - pinkish-purple flowers on rounded inflorescences.
All these species belong to the Lamiaceae family, which are widespread in areas with a temperate and maritime climate.
Narrow-leaved lavender varieties
Seed producers offer domestic lavender varieties Izida, Sineva, Stepnaya and Yuzhanka for purchase with flowering periods from mid-June to early August. However, at home, plants can bloom earlier, and with good care, they can give flowering shoots throughout the year.
It is important to remember: in autumn and winter at home, flowering will not be plentiful, as with the arrival of spring and summer.
English and Dutch hybrids are of particular interest. The cost of hybrid seeds is higher, but the variety of colors and aromas is wider: Mansted (purple), Headcoat blue (blue-blue), Alba (snow-white), Rosea (pink), Grosso, Elizabeth, Havana (purple).
Woolly lavender varieties
Densely pubescent leaves allow plants to evaporate less moisture and tolerate periods of drought well, at the same time, this type of lavender does not tolerate waterlogging at all, and if there is stagnant moisture in the container, the roots can get wet, which will lead to the death of the bush. The most common varieties are Richard Gray, Silver Frost, Sawyers.
These varieties are both highly aesthetic and contain many aromatic substances and essential oils. In room culture, the varieties Royal Crown, Blue Cushion (pale purple), Blue Ice (light purple), Christiana (blue-purple), Havenly Angel (white) are great.
The upper petals, like a tuft, above the flower head give the impression of an exotic plant, many varieties of Stekhad lavender are two-colored: Fathead - a dark blue spikelet with a scarlet tuft, Rocky Road - a purple spikelet with a pink tuft, Tiara - a blue cone with a white tuft, Kew Red - a bright red spikelet with a white tuft, Lilac Wings is a purple spikelet with a pink tuft. Monochromatic varieties are no less beautiful - Helmsdale is red, Snowman is white.
In nature, wild lavender bushes are found on the sandy coastal plains of the Mediterranean, in the arid mountain regions of Africa, Australia and India. The plant is very fond of warmth and does not tolerate stagnant moisture in the soil. Let's consider more similarly what conditions need to be created at home for successful lavender cultivation.
The root system of all varieties of lavender is deeply penetrating, pivotal. At the surface, the root branches, thickens and over time becomes covered with a dense crust. Therefore, for lavender, you should take a deep pot, the minimum container depth should be 12-14 centimeters. It is necessary to select containers on the basis that the flower will stay in the container for at least 3-4 years. In shape, these can be round, square or rectangular pots.
Vertically growing lavender bushes, planted at a distance from each other in elongated oval or rectangular containers, look spectacular. Bushes with drooping shoots are more effective in rounded or square pots. The color scheme of the container is also important - it is necessary to take into account the color of the flower and the details of the interior, creating harmony. It is advisable not to clutter the room with lavender with other flowers, otherwise the plant will not look good.
Placement and lighting requirements
To grow lavender at home in pots, you should choose south or southwest windows, where it is warm and a lot of light during the day. In winter, it is advisable to insulate the window sill; on cloudy days, additionally illuminate the culture with the help of a phytolamp. Lavender should be exposed to light for at least 6-7 hours a day in winter and at least 12 hours in summer. The room should be ventilated more often, but without creating drafts.
In the summer, the pots are transferred to a balcony or loggia, trying to prevent direct sunlight from falling on the delicate plant, otherwise it may burn out. It is preferable to find a bright place for the container in the back of the balcony.
Lavender grows on alkaline soils with a predominance of sand, so coarse river sand should be added to the soil mixture.
Important! When choosing a soil mixture, pay attention to the pH of the soil, it should be above the 7.0 mark.
If the substrate is mixed independently, then you should take garden soil, sand and peat in a 2: 2: 1 ratio. You cannot take a lot of peat, since it has an acidic reaction in the environment. On sale there is a soil for cacti with a pH of 7.5-8.0, which contains sod soil, ceramic chips and vermicompost. It works great with lavender.
Basic rules for growing lavender on the window
For growing in a pot culture, lavender can be sown with seeds, root cuttings taken from acquaintances or friends, layering or divide the finished bush.
Seed sowing rules
Sowing is best done in early spring, because at this time the plants are most active in growth. The seeding depth is half a centimeter. A film is stretched over the container with the sown seeds to avoid moisture evaporation and drying out of the seeds. Seedlings appear within 10-20 days.
Immediately after the emergence of sprouts, the film is removed and the plants are provided with access to light, ventilation and loosening of the soil. If the seedlings are overly compacted, it is advisable to split them into separate containers.
Shoots 2 to 4 years old with bark root well in water or sandy substrate. To do this, the stalk must be freed from the lower leaves and placed in a container with clean water or powder the lower end in Kornevin or KorneStim powder, and then planted in a substrate, deepening 2-3 centimeters. Cuttings can be stored in the refrigerator for about a month.
Reproduction by layering
If you have a lavender bush in mind that you would like to propagate, then one of the old branches that deviate down to the soil can be sprinkled with substrate, and after 3-4 weeks, carefully cut off from the mother bush, dug up and transfer to a new container.
Dividing the bush
The division of the bush can be performed if the plant is adult, and many well-developed shoots are leaving its root, and the root itself has grown in a horizontal direction. In this case, the bush is carefully cut with a pruner along the root and planted in separate containers.
Further care of the culture
When grown at home, lavender needs infrequent watering, dressing and pruning of the bush. In addition, it is important to arrange "seasonality" - in winter it should be cooler and drier, in summer it should be warmer and more watering. Let's take a closer look at how to care for lavender at home.
In the summer, watering should be no more than 2 times a week, moderate in volume. If the soil contains a lot of sand, then the soil in the container will dry out noticeably, but this should not be a reason for frequent and abundant watering.
In winter, watering should be done once every 10-14 days, in small portions. The water should be at room temperature, you can not water the flowers with unsettled water coming directly from the water pipes.
Lavender is responsive to potash fertilization. In summer, the soil can be fertilized with 5-7 grams of potassium salt, dissolved in 0.5 liters of irrigation water. In the spring, it is good to give top dressing with Potassium Humate at the rate of 5 milliliters per 0.5 liters of irrigation water.
Important! Nitrogen fertilizers, as well as manure and chicken droppings, should not be given under lavender.
Diseases and pests
Plants in containers can be affected by gray mold. This fungal disease manifests itself in the form of a white cannon bloom that appears on the shoots. Over time, the plaque grows into a gray-blue mold, and the plants die.
In the initial stage of the disease, the plant can be saved by spraying with Hom or copper sulfate. In the later stages, the drugs are of little effect.
Of the pests, spider mites carried from the street by the wind or with shoes can attack lavender. If a light cobweb is visible on the shoots, this is a sign of the appearance of ticks that are not visible to the naked eye. The bushes will be saved by one treatment with Fitoverm.
Difficulties in growing
When caring for lavender, the most difficult thing is adherence to watering regimes. The plant does not like long periods of waterlogging or lack of moisture in the soil.
To avoid this problem, make it a rule to water the flowers every other day, and the amount of water to irrigate varies depending on the room temperature. If it's hot, give more water and vice versa.
Spikelets are collected at the moment of full disclosure of each flower, tied into small bouquets and dried in a suspended state on the balcony. Store dry grass in paper bags or cotton bags for no more than 1 year. Dried bouquets in vases can be used in interiors as dried flowers. The lavender plant, for its beauty and benefits, deserves to be planted in an apartment. Use our recommendations to grow it and harvest a bountiful harvest of fragrant flowers.