Useful information

Growing lavender in the Moscow region

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Narrow-leaved lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Narrow-leaved lavender is a thermophilic and light-loving plant. And this means that on the site she will need to allocate a sunny and protected place from cold winds. Nevertheless, our conditions near Moscow are far from the Crimea, and much should be foreseen when cultivating this plant.

The plant is undemanding to soil. At home, it grows on low-fertile slate and calcareous soils, but it absolutely cannot stand the close occurrence of groundwater, and, especially, stagnation of melt water in the spring when the snow melts. Therefore, on the site, you should take care of good drainage and, if necessary, add lime to the soil, the amount of which depends on the initial acidity of the soil - the more acidic, the more. Dislikes lavender and heavy clay soils. In such a place, she winters very badly.

Plants are propagated both in essential oil production and in ornamental gardening, mainly vegetatively. This allows you to preserve such valuable features as the composition of the essential oil - in the first case, and decorative qualities - in the second.

In Crimea, autumn cuttings of annual lignified shoots are most often used. Cuttings 8-10 cm long are cut from mother plants in October-November and planted in cold greenhouses or greenhouses according to the 4x5 cm scheme. Standard seedlings for planting are obtained in the fall of next year.


Propagation by cuttings

For Central Russia, green cuttings are more acceptable, which is carried out in the summer, simultaneously with currants and sea buckthorn. Usually this is the end of June - beginning of July. Cuttings about 10 cm long are cut, the lower leaves are removed (they are easily sniffed with your hands), the lower cut is dipped in Kornevin and planted in a pot, greenhouse or greenhouse according to the 4x6 scheme in the substrate. As a substrate, you can use sand, perlite, a mixture of sand and peat or turf and wood chips in a 2: 1 ratio. In very sunny weather, the planting is shaded. Several times a day they are sprayed with a spray bottle, keeping the dew on the leaves. This allows you not to overmoisten the substrate, otherwise the cuttings may rot. Under favorable conditions, the rooting rate of cuttings is 90 percent or more. Roots appear in 4-5 weeks.

Young plants overwinter in the same greenhouse, and those rooted in pots are rolled over as early as possible after rooting in open ground. It is very important to maintain a balance here - if you plant it too quickly, then there will not be a sufficiently developed root system and the plants may die right away, if you plant it too late - in late August-early September, the cuttings will freeze. Therefore, the key to success is the earliest cuttings.

To do this, when establishing a frost-free period, pour one of the bushes with warm water, cut it off, mulch around with peat or black film, sprinkle with Epin's solution (you can even pour a weak solution over the soil) and cover with agril on cold days and overnight. Agril is necessary to keep the growing shoots from frost. Water the plant periodically with humates or at least just a weak solution of ammonium nitrate once a week. From mid-May, shelter is required only in case of freezing. All of the above activities will allow you to start grafting at the beginning of June, get rooted cuttings by mid-July, and plant them in the ground by the beginning of August. Before the onset of cold weather, the soil must be mulched. There is an option to plant the rooted cuttings in pots and store them all winter in the basement or, if available, on a glazed, frost-free balcony. But in any case, it will not be possible to get one hundred percent overwintering. Therefore, prepare planting material with a margin. In the spring, the surviving plants are transplanted to a permanent place.

Potted lavender moldedPotted lavender molded

Seed Lavender

However, with such an easy vegetative propagation, seeds should not be ignored.Very often they allow resuming planting after a particularly unfavorable winter, when all the plants on the site have fallen out. And in horticultural centers, they can often be found in beautiful bags.

Fresh seeds have a low germination rate, however, after a year of storage, it increases markedly. Favorably affects the germination of seeds and 30-day stratification at low positive temperatures. To do this, the seeds are mixed with sand and placed in the refrigerator, periodically moistening. After a month, they are sown in a box or in a garden bed. When grown through seedlings, the plants dive at the age of 1 pair of true leaves. It is better to plant the seedlings immediately in separate pots, later, when they are planted in a permanent place, they do not get sick and immediately start growing. Seedlings are fed with complex fertilizers 1 time in 10 days.

Considering that lavender sits in one place for quite a long time, it is necessary to properly prepare the soil for it. The site must be dug up, rhizomatous weeds (wheatgrass and duckweed) must be selected, a bucket of compost or rotted manure must be added for each meter of planting area. In addition, 35-50 g of superphosphate and 20-25 g of potassium salt are added per 1 m2.


Lavender was pruned in time

In the spring, plants grown in advance or purchased in a store are planted in the ground at a distance of 50-100 cm from each other. The farther north, the more often. Well, they never grow up in the Moscow region the same as in the Crimea. When planting, they must be watered. Care consists in weeding and loosening. In order for the bushes to be elegant and bloom profusely every spring, they are fed with mineral fertilizers, and during the first half of the summer - 1-2 times diluted mullein or bird droppings. But this is not necessary. But in the second half of summer, fertilizers containing nitrogen cannot be applied under the plants, in this case the vegetation of the plants is delayed and they leave unprepared in the winter. In the conditions of central Russia, plants do not need to be covered.

In many books and articles, there is an opinion that lavender should be covered with a layer of peat or leaves for the winter. But this is a moot point. Plants in our area suffer greatly from damping off under the snow. Therefore, peat often only aggravates the problem. With prolonged snow cover and relatively mild winters, lavender plantations often come out into the “fresh air” in spring in a very miserable and thinned state. And if there is also a peat blanket….

It is much more important to prune the plants in the spring. Lavender is an evergreen plant that retains living leaves for up to 2 years. With the onset of the first sunny days, the leaves begin to evaporate moisture, and the roots are in the soil that has not yet thawed, and this moisture is not absorbed. The phenomenon of "physiological drought" sets in, when the plant dries itself out. To do this, you need to reduce the evaporation area, firstly, and, secondly, to promote soil thawing.

You can cut off inflorescences, starting from the second year of planting life. The inflorescences are cut with scissors 10-15 days after the beginning of flowering and dried in the shade in the attic. Do not dry them in a dryer, as this will greatly volatilize the precious oil. Store raw materials in linen bags in a dry and dark place, preferably no more than a year.

Well, how to use them is described in the articles.

Lavender essential oil: properties and uses

Lavender uses: go beyond oil