Loving Lavender

Lavender loves full sun and well-drained, lightly alkaline soils, making it a perfect choice for Colorado gardens!

Look for English lavender varieties, which are hardy here and often bloom twice in one season. There are hundreds of varieties of English lavender that come in various sizes and colors ranging from white, to pink, blue, and many shades of violet/purple.

French or Spanish lavenders (L. stoechas) are not hardy in Colorado and should be treated as annuals. They make a great choice for containers in a sunny spot.

Lavender is a semi-woody perennial sub-shrub and should be pruned to 4 to 8 inches when green leaves start to emerge in the spring. Pruning will help keep your lavender as a tidy mound and the flowers will appear on the new growth.

Lavender will bloom in July here in Colorado. Flower buds are prized for sachets, potpourri, and culinary uses. Here are some tips for harvesting the flowers:

  • Harvest early in the day when about 35 to 50% of the flower buds have opened.
  • Cut stems as long as possible.
  • Secure bundles with rubber bands and hang to dry in a cool, dark place.
  • Once dry, store the bundles in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid to lengthen their storage life.

Lavender is a low-maintenance and easy-to-grow plant that may live 10 years or longer. Bees particularly love lavender, so consider adding some plants to your landscape to help the pollinators!

Want to know more?

Check out these publications from CSU Extension:

Have a gardening question?

Contact a Larimer County Master Gardener by calling 970–498-6000 Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. now through mid-October. You can also email them year round.

This article was written by Janet Vetter, Colorado State University Extension master gardener in Larimer County.

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