by Jennifer Poindexter
Would you like to grow lavender indoors?
It’s a beautiful plant that could add a subtle dose of color around your home. Plants also have a way of making your home feel cleaner and more welcoming.
Lavender is a simple house plant as long as you follow a few tips. Take the information I’m going to provide you and see if this could be a good choice for your home.
Here’s what you should know to grow lavender indoors.
What You Might Need to Grow Lavender Indoors
One of the needs vital to lavender is lighting. We’ll discuss this a little further in a moment. For now, ensuring you either have a bright window or grow lights should be the first thing on your list when growing this plant indoors.
Lavender is also a larger houseplant. Therefore, you probably won’t be able to sit it on a windowsill. You might need a plant stand to support it while sitting near a window.
The other items you’ll need to grow this plant are the basics when growing or starting any plants indoors. You must have potting mix, seed trays, or a well-draining container.
It might also be useful to have a heating mat to help seeds germinate, should you choose to start lavender from seed.
By ensuring you have these materials on hand when bringing lavender into your home, you’re taking essential steps to make the growing process easier.
Growing Conditions for Lavender
Lavender is a sun-loving plant. If you don’t provide it with efficient lighting, the plant won’t survive anywhere. This is especially true when growing it indoors.
Ensure you place lavender in a brightly lit window where it will receive full sunlight for a minimum of four hours.
If you don’t have a location which can provide this much sunlight, supplement the lighting with a grow light. You may use typical grow lights or shop lights. The main thing is to ensure they’re hung approximately a foot above the plant.
For every hour of natural sunlight, you’re trying to supplement, the plant needs two hours beneath a grow light.
Lavender also needs adequate temperatures. Ensure the plant has enough air circulating around it but do keep it away from vents and drafts.
These locations can put too much heat or cool air on the plant causing the foliage to become discolored. You should also be mindful of the temperatures.
In the fall and spring months, keep lavender between 55- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter months, place the plant in the coolest room of your home.
It can thrive in temperatures ranging from 45- to 60-degrees Fahrenheit. This will help the plant feel like it’s still in nature, though it’s being grown indoors.
The final things you must consider when growing lavender is to ensure you plant in well-draining soil. It’s wise to place small pebbles in the bottom of the container to encourage better drainage.
You should also choose a container that is twice the size of the root ball of your plant. Terra cotta is recommended as it allows the plant to dry faster which is essential when growing lavender.
Also, be intentional when deciding which lavender to grow. Smaller varieties tend to do better when growing indoors. They’re more flexible in their growing conditions and adapt to indoor life easier than the larger varieties.
By providing these basic needs, you can start your lavender plants on the right foot.
How to Plant Lavender
There are multiple ways to grow lavender indoors. The first method is to purchase a healthy lavender plant from a local nursery.
Once you have the plant, fill a container with a well-draining potting mix. Ensure the container is twice as wide as the plant’s root ball.
Place the lavender plant into the potting mix, and back fill the hole with the remaining mixture. Press firmly around the base of the plant.
You may also grow lavender from seeds. Use a loamy planting mix to fill your seed tray or disposable aluminum lasagna pan.
Sprinkle the seeds into your tray of choice. In the seed trays, plant two seeds per cell as a germination insurance policy.
If one seed fails to germinate, you have a second seed to take its place. If both seeds sprout, you can choose the stronger plant in the coming weeks.
Lightly cover the seeds with soil and place them in a warm location such as on top of your refrigerator or on a heating mat.
Mist the seeds lightly with a spray bottle to keep the potting mixture consistently moist but not overly saturated.
It should take the seeds approximately two weeks to germinate. When the seedlings start to grow, place them in a window with full sun or beneath grow lights.
They shouldn’t be in sunlight more than sixteen hours per day. Leave the seedlings in their growing trays until each has multiple sets of leaves on them.
Then follow the steps above to transplant your seedlings into containers. This is an easy and inexpensive way to grow lavender indoors.
However, our first method is a faster method for starting this plant in your home. Pick the option which works best for you, and start learning new gardening skills by growing lavender indoors.
How to Care for Lavender
Lavender has only a few things you must do to keep it happy and thriving. The first thing you should do is rotate the growing container one time per week.
This ensures that light hits all sides of the plant and should keep it growing evenly. If you don’t do this, your plant could become leggy.
It’s also important to water, fertilize, and prune the plant regularly. When watering indoor lavender, practice the deep watering method.
Place the container into the sink and allow water to run directly onto the soil until it’s draining from the bottom of the container.
Leave the planter in the sink until it’s done draining. You won’t need to apply any more water to the plant for a few days.
Test the soil with your hand to know when it’s time to apply more water. When the soil is dry to your first knuckle, it’s time for another deep watering session.
This will ensure that the plant receives enough water without overdoing it. If you overwater lavender, it will begin to rot. When underwatering lavender, the foliage turns yellow.
Lavender should be fertilized once per month during the spring and summer months. Use a balanced fertilizer at 50% potency. It should also be water soluble.
You should prune lavender once per year. The more you prune, the bushier the plant becomes. However, lavender flowers at the tips of the plant.
If you prune too much, you’ll reduce the size of your harvest.
The final thing to keep in mind when caring for lavender is that the plant should be repotted once per year. Repot in the early spring, ensure you use fresh growing medium, and choose a larger container.
This will provide more room and nutrients for your plant. Lavender also prefers alkaline soil. By adding crushed eggshells or lime to the soil each month, you can help keep things in balance.
Finally, keep lavender away from pets as it can be toxic depending upon the amount consumed and the size of your pet.
Follow these tips when caring for lavender to give your plant every opportunity to thrive when growing in your home.
Common Pests and Diseases for Lavender
You may think houseplants are exempt from pests and diseases. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Lavender is most susceptible to aphids, whiteflies, and spittlebugs when growing indoors.
You can treat these pests by using an insecticide specifically formulated to kill these bugs. Lavender is also susceptible to a few diseases.
The most common ailments they face are fungal issues and alfalfa mosaic virus. Fungal diseases can be avoided by planting the lavender in well-draining soil, providing ample sunlight, and ensuring air can circulate around the plant.
Alfalfa mosaic virus is typically brought on by aphids. You’ll know your plants have this disease if the foliage turns yellow on the underside of the leaves.
This is a very contagious disease that can be avoided by keeping aphids away from your lavender. If your plant gets this disease, it’s best to destroy it to control it from spreading to other plants.
Be sure you don’t compost a lavender plant infected with alfalfa mosaic virus. Stay alert to these potential threats, and your plants stand a greater chance at surviving if any issues do arise.
How to Harvest Lavender
The final step in growing lavender indoors is harvesting from the plant. Once you see your lavender plant producing flowers, snip pieces of the plant away.
Be sure to use scissors to avoid causing any damage. Leave enough of each stem to encourage regrowth. You should be able to harvest lavender multiple times in a growing season.
You can enjoy the lavender fresh or dried. Either way, be sure to use the lavender, or dry it, within a day or two prior to the leaves wilting.
Harvesting lavender is an extremely simple step in the growing process. Be sure not to harm the plant while harvesting, and you’ve overcome the largest obstacle.
You now know how to grow lavender indoors. Even if you don’t live in a home with a bright location, you can use grow lights to supply the main need for this plant.
By meeting the growing conditions, caring for the plant properly, picking the right variety, and harvesting the plant correctly, you should be able to grow a lovely new type of houseplant that will add subtle charm to your home.