Growing lavender indoors is a good way to infuse soothing fragrance into your home. Besides, its lovely flowers will boost the visual of the room without too much effort.
Lavender itself is a tiny, woody ornamental shrub that is originally from the Mediterranean region. It is utilized in various manners around the world.
This shrub is commonly used as an essential oil in personal care products like perfumes and soaps. You may also see people use lavender as an accent in their cuisines.
That’s why growing lavender indoors can be a satisfying challenge. If you have been successful in planting other plants like radish, lemongrass, and basils, this shrub should be the next perfect choice.
1. The Uses of Lavender in Everyday Live
People have been growing lavender around their home for a number of reasons. A long time ago, the Romans use this beautiful flower as an insect repellant. Even more, the records also state that lavender is use for relieve bug bites.
Meanwhile, ancient and Dark Age cultures utilized lavender for fragrance and cleaning in the laundry. This use is related to the meaning of its name that refers to ‘to wash’ in Latin word ‘lavare’.
The benefits of growing lavender indoors are proved to be many as well. Similar to tea tree oil, this plant is also used as an antiseptic. In World War I, people even took advantage of it to treat wounds on the frontlines.
In foods, you can see lavender is served as a charming accent in various ciders and desserts. Besides, it blends well with other Mediterranean herbs too like thyme and rosemary to flavor a variety of savory cuisines such as roast or stew chickens.
2. Proper Conditions for Growing Lavender Indoors
Just like other plants out there, you need to provide lavender with the proper environment to let it thrive perfectly.
Generally, growing lavender indoors is pretty simple as long as there is an excellent source of sunlight in your home interior.
Many growers keep this flowering plant in a balcony or close to a West or South facing windows where the lavender can obtain six to eight hours of sunlight every day.
In case you don’t have windows that are facing south or west, consider utilizing a grow light to support the available illumination conditions. This way, your lavender can thrive quickly and is away from being leggy.
You can use full-spectrum LED grow lights, high output T5 fluorescent lamps, or compact ones and suspend them about 30 centimeters above your lavender.
For your information, lavender is capable of taking much heat. Similar to most indoor plants, this is best to keep it away from your air vents.
When growing lavender indoors, keep in mind that the ideal growth temperatures shouldn’t go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Throughout winter, lavender plants will need cooler temperatures compared to summer, fall, or spring when they are actively growing.
Different from tropical houseplants, lavenders love to grow in a low-humidity climate even though they will do best in a warm, arid environment.
Since most homes acquire qualified humidity levels of around 40 percent, growing lavender indoors must always be perfect.
You don’t need to provide additional humidity by adding rock trays or grow these plants near the bathroom for higher levels of dampness.
3. Selecting Containers to Grow Lavender Indoors
Growing lavender in pots requires you to pick the right container for allowing the plant to thrive successfully.
An unglazed terracotta clay pot which is slightly larger than the lavender’s roots will be a great choice here. This kind of container allows overload moisture to filter from the core zone via the bucket’s sides.
When choosing a pot for growing lavender indoors, make sure to pick one with a drainage hole. Then, to keep things neat, consider selecting a matching saucer.
Simply empty the drainage saucer once you have finished showering the plant so that the standing water won’t drawback through the soil.
However, depending on the variety of lavender you are going to grow, the right container may differ.
Different from other herbs, you may like to start with a medium-sized pot to grow lavenders since they are more likely to resemble a small shrub when mature.
Generally, you can consider a 25-30 centimeters deep container for growing lavender indoors.
4. How to Grow Lavender in Containers around Your Home
It is possible to grow lavender both from seeds and cuttings. You just need to pick one that suits your style the best.
But the simplest method is by using a grown lavender plant. You can find the plants being sold in stores offline or online during the holiday season or throughout spring.
Cutting sizes vary from 5 centimeters pots to one gallon. Organic lavenders are usually ready as well. Since these plants are slow-growers, you better pick the largest selection that your space can accommodate.
While growing lavender indoors is also possible from seeds, this method is rather more challenging since the plant requires long germination time and doesn’t like moisture.
If you are wondering how to grow lavender indoors from seed, the best practice is to get packaged products for standardized growth.
Step-by-Step for Growing Lavenders in Containers
The guideline to grow lavenders in pots is identical to other indoor plants. You can begin by putting down an unused shower curtain or newspaper on your potting surface. Doing so will help to make cleanup easier.
Since this guideline will focus on how to grow lavender indoors from cuttings, you have to level the root ball with the soil once planted.
In this case, the soil level must be 1 to 3 centimeters under the edge of the container. Then, incorporate enough earth to your pot to elevate the plant to the preferred height.
After that, get rid of the plant from the container once it was sold. Add the earth in its selected pot and put soil mix around the root ball.
When doing so, make sure to not cover the root ball’s top. Then, tamp the soil near the lavender plant gently to help the earth settle.
Next, you just need to water the container thoroughly. Although lavender likes drier environment better than other plants, it is recommended to shower it until the stream flows via your pot’s drainage holes during transplanting.
5. How to Care for Indoor Lavenders
The rule of thumb of growing lavender indoors is to provide it with plenty of direct sunlight, minimally six to eight hours each day.
Compared to other plants that are grown indoors, lavender doesn’t require much water. That’s why you should shower it infrequently or whenever the top of the soil is dried out.
If you want to grow more than one plant in a single pot, space them around 5-8 centimeters to prevent the lavender from touching one and another.
Remember that growing several lavenders without space can make air freely circulate around them. As a result, insect pests, fungal, and mold issues may affect your plants.
Similar to some woody shrubs like juniper or rosemary, growing lavender indoors doesn’t require you to prepare rich soil with many nutrients since it can thrive properly even in poor ones.
When watering the plant, make sure to avoid showering on the leaves to put off mold and fungal growth.
Even though fertilization is not necessary in growing lavender indoors, doing so will help to make the blossoms smell more aromatic.
Once established, you can consider feeding the lavender with a higher-nitrogen liquid fertilizer every four to six weeks. However, make sure to avoid over-fertilization since it may harm your beautiful flowering plant.
To avoid over-fertilization, consider applying a balanced, water-soluble formula which is made up at half of the suggested strength in early of its growing season and late summer.
In case you want to repot your lavender, incorporate a little amount of granular, slow-release plant food to the potting mix instead of spring fertilization.
Diseases and Pests of Lavender
When you are growing lavender in apartment and it receives too much water, the plant will end up developing powdery mildew or being prone to root rot.
Powdery mildew appears like powdered sugar and often affects the bottom of the stem or the lower leaves. You can treat this issue with fungicides that come with the non-toxic bacteria called Bacillus subtilis.
Once the treatment is performed, make sure to decrease the amount of water you provide to the plant. Then, put your lavender in a sunny spot afterward.
Meanwhile, root rot typically happens when the soil if constantly saturated. This practice may create anaerobic environment that suffocates the cores accordingly.
The best way to deal with root rot is by preventing the issue from happening. In this case, you have to let the soil dry slightly between showering.
Pruning and Harvesting Lavender
Whether you are growing lavender indoors or not, it is recommended to prune your plants after the first blooming. Do the same in fall before growth becomes sluggish in winter.
Simply eradicate up to two-thirds of your lavender. Make sure you don’t trim into the woody part of this shrub.
To promote bushy growth, you should pinch back the tops of your lavender plants during the growing season.
If you want to harvest the blooms, trim them with sharp scissors or pruners at the beginning of spring right after they open.
Then, put the stalks together in your fist and cut them around 5 centimeters above the woody growth at the foot of the plant.
6. Varieties of Lavender to Grow Indoors
Now that you are interested in growing lavender indoors, choosing the right varieties to plant around your home is a must.
Some varieties of lavender plants may do better than other when it comes to container growing. Thumbelina leigh, for instance, is a good choice for indoor planting.
This robust dwarf variety is compact and capable to grow around 25-45 centimeters in height. Thumbelina leigh acquires beautiful double-tone blossoms with a strong scent, making it a favorite option among many growers.
Since this lavender variety comes with short spike, it will make a great plant to grow in containers.
Nana Alba and Hidcote
When it comes to growing lavender indoors, Nana Alba should be another variety to choose from. This floriferous dwarf plant will grow around 30-40 centimeters tall.
Nana Alba owns silvery-green foliage and thrives in a dense, bushy dome. This lavender variety has lovely, bright white blossoms that wonderfully contrast its aromatic leaves.
In addition to Nana Alba, Hidcote also makes a great choice for a container-growing plant. This lavender also has a compact, luxuriant dome.
Hidcote can grow about 30-50 centimeters in height with a distinctive fragrance and a dark-purple shade of blooming spikes. Meanwhile, this lavender also has stunning foliage and murky blue blossoms.
If you are interested in growing lavender indoors that is taller than the previously mentioned varieties, munstead is probably the solution.
Once established, munstead can reach up to 60-76 centimeters. This variety is popular for its enduring and pleasant scent.
Besides, this lavender variety also comes with fascinating leaves that look highly amazing when kept in containers.
It also makes a good choice for growing lavender indoors because the plant typically blooms several times in a year.
Rosea and Lavenite Petite
Growing to a maximum of 60-76 centimeters in height, rosea is a bunch lavender variety that makes a great alternative to munstead. Moreover, this plant owns a strong fragrance and pink blossoms with silvery-gray leaves.
Meanwhile, Lavenite Petite is a unique variety of lavender with appealing violet blossoms and a strong scent.
Different from rosea, this variety thrives in a compact form, measuring 30-45 centimeters tall and acquires short stems as well as tight leaves.
7. Final Thoughts
To conclude, growing lavender indoors can be a great choice if you want to introduce a strong, pleasant fragrance that can repel some insects naturally.
Aside from being a perfect container-growing plant, you can also trim the flowers and store them as herb or beautiful centerpieces in a vase.
If you want to store a lavender plant as herb, simply tie it in bundles once harvested and suspend them upside down to dry in a warm area without direct sunlight.
Now, you have finally read everything needed for growing lavender indoors. So, why don’t you give it a shot!