French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is an evergreen subshrub with long, grey-green, linear leaves and upright stems that are topped in the summer months with fragrant purple spiked flowers.
French lavender is one of the most popular cultivated varieties and typically grows to a height of 1-2 feet but can reach 4 feet in ideal conditions. It prefers sunny sites with dry well-drained soils and is tolerant of drought and neglect.
The richly-scented flowering stems are often used in potpourris and sachets, while the essential oil is used in cosmetics and body products. French lavender is also widely grown for ornamental purposes in gardens, in containers or for hedging or edging along pathways.
- Is French Lavender different from regular lavender?
- What is a hybrid lavender?
- Which lavender is most fragrant?
- What is the difference between Lavandula and lavender?
- Do lavender plants spread?
- Can you smoke lavender?
- Can we drink lavender tea?
- What do you do with French lavender in the winter?
- Why doesnt my lavender come back every year?
- Is my lavender dead or dormant?
- Can potted lavender survive winter?
- Does lavender spread on its own?
- What happens if you don’t prune lavender?
- How do you take care of French lavender?
- How can you tell the difference between English lavender and French Lavender?
- Which is the strongest smelling lavender?
- Does French lavender repel mosquitoes?
- Which variety of lavender is best?
Is French Lavender different from regular lavender?
Yes, French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) is different from regular lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). French Lavender is a small evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean region and is also known as Spanish Lavender, Topped Lavender and Butterflies Lavender.
It is easy to distinguish from regular lavender because it has an unusual structure, with clusters of woolly bracts at the top, giving it a distinctive, tufted look.
Unlike regular lavender, French Lavender has a stronger camphor-like scent, which can be quite powerful and pungent. While regular lavender has countless uses in the kitchen, the flavonoid chemicals of French Lavender do not work so well with food.
It is mostly used for medicinal purposes, including and treatment of colds, coughs, fever, joint and muscle pain, and anxiety.
French Lavender has a higher concentration of essential oils, making it more useful as an insect repellent. This makes it much more valuable to farmers than regular lavender as they can use it to keep pests away from their crops.
In terms of cultivation, regular lavender tends to be easier to grow, as it prefers sunny and open areas, while French Lavender is more particular with its environment and needs a warm and sheltered spot in order to thrive.
Both come in a variety of colors, but while the range of regular lavender typically includes pinks, blues, and purples, French Lavender usually only comes in shades of purple.
What is a hybrid lavender?
A hybrid lavender is a combination of different lavender species and varietals that have been bred together. This type of plant was created by horticulturists to produce longer flower stems and an assortment of flower colors, aromas and texture variations.
The plants are also bred for their hardiness and ability to withstand climate fluctuations and drought. Some of the most common hybrid lavenders are Grosso, Provence, Super and Phenomenal Lavender. Each of these varieties produces specific characteristics such as a sweet, strong fragrance, dark green stems, and large, colorful blooms.
Other recently created hybrid lavenders are becoming more popular due to their attractive foliage and extended flowering periods. Hybrid lavenders provide a unique aesthetic to any garden or outdoor setting, and they are relatively easy to grow and maintain.
Which lavender is most fragrant?
The most fragrant type of lavender is the English lavender, also known as Lavandula angustifolia. This type of lavender is native to the Mediterranean region and has been cultivated for centuries. Its beautiful blue-purple flowers emit the strongest scent of all the lavender varieties.
The essential oils extracted from English lavender contain a higher concentration of aromatic compounds called linalool, linalyl acetate, and camphor, creating a more intensely herbal and floral aroma.
English lavender is often used to make perfumes, sachets, and potpourri, and its fragrance is believed to help reduce stress and induce sleep.
What is the difference between Lavandula and lavender?
The term “Lavandula” is a genus in the Mint family (Lamiaceae) that includes 47 species of perennial plants and shrubs. Lavender is a term that can be used to refer to the plants from the Lavandula genus, as well as their essential oils, extracts and other products derived from them.
This includes various species of Lavandula, as well as hybrids of different species, such as Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula x intermedia. As general rule, the essential oil derived from Lavandula angustifolia is referred to as true lavender essential oil.
Although all Lavandula plants contain some important constituents of Lavender oil, the chemotype and the quality of the product varies among species. Each of the 47 species of Lavandula has its own unique properties and compositions.
For example, Lavandula x intermedia, also known as lavandin, contains more camphor than other species. As a result, the essential oils from lavandin are often used as a less expensive alternative to Lavandula angustifolia in various applications, such as aromatherapy and cosmetics.
Do lavender plants spread?
Yes, lavender plants can spread if cared for in the proper conditions. If not regularly pruned and thinned, lavender plants can rapidly spread and become difficult to manage. This is especially true for varieties such as English Lavender, Spanish Lavender and French Lavender, which grow quite vigorously.
To prevent them from becoming unruly, it’s best to trim back the stems near the ground after about 4–6 weeks and remove any dead flowers. You should also try to keep the soil moist to encourage healthy growth and fertilize regularly.
If you find that the lavender is growing too quickly or too densely, then you can thin out some of the plants to give the existing ones more room to grow.
Can you smoke lavender?
No, you cannot smoke lavender. Lavender is an herbal plant that has many healing benefits when inhaled or used topically, but it does not contain the same compounds that you would find in tobacco. There are no known compounds in lavender that will produce the same psychoactive effects that you would experience with smoking tobacco or even with medical marijuana.
Smoking lavender, like smoking any other plant, is not recommended due to the potential health risks associated with taking in smoke and carcinogenic compounds. In fact, some studies suggest that burning herbs such as lavender can produce more harmful smoke than smoking tobacco or marijuana.
It is recommended to ingest or topically apply lavender, but not to smoke it.
Can we drink lavender tea?
Yes, you can drink lavender tea, and it can have many benefits due to its unique blend of phytochemicals. Lavender tea is made from the leaves and flowers of the lavender plant and is known for its calming effects.
It may help soothe headaches, reduce anxiety, aid digestion, relieve insomnia, and improve cognitive functions. Additionally, lavender tea has anti-inflammatory properties and may help fight the common cold or flu symptoms.
While there are no significant side effects associated with drinking lavender tea, it is still important to consult a doctor before consuming any herb-based beverage.
What do you do with French lavender in the winter?
In the winter, French lavender must be taken care of properly in order to ensure it stays healthy and blooms throughout the colder months. The best way to care for French lavender in the winter is to provide it with some protection from the cold.
Try either wrapping it in burlap or using frost cloth to keep the cold out. It’s also important to make sure the soil around the plant is well-draining so the roots don’t get waterlogged during any winter rainfall.
Additionally, French lavender benefits from a few light feedings of fertilizer throughout the winter. The last step is to make sure the plant is regularly watered; this should be done slightly less than in the summer months (about once a week).
With these methods for winter maintenance, your French lavender plant should be blooming in no time!.
Why doesnt my lavender come back every year?
It is possible that your lavender may not be coming back every year because of a few different factors. The most common reason is that it may not be receiving enough sunlight or water. Lavender requires full sun and well-drained soil to thrive, so if it’s receiving too much shade or water, it won’t come back.
Additionally, lavender is a perennial plant, so it needs to be consistently pruned and deadheaded to keep it looking healthy. If the lavender is not being pruned to get rid of dead wood, then it will not flower.
Lastly, cold weather can be a factor if the lavender is planted in an unprotected area. Lavender can be damaged by cold temperatures, so it may not be able to survive the winter and come back the following year.
To ensure that your lavender returns, you can protect it from colder weather with mulch or a cold-weather cover and make sure it is receiving enough sunlight and water.
Is my lavender dead or dormant?
It can be hard to tell when a lavender plant is dormant or dead. To determine if your lavender is dormant or dead, there are a few things you can look for. First, check the leaves. If the leaves are firm or leathery, your plant is likely just dormant and not dead.
Next, take a closer look at the leaves and stems. If they are dark green, then they are still alive. On the other hand, if they have taken on a brownish hue, then the plant may be dead. Finally, an easy way to tell is to give the plant a gentle tug.
If there is no resistance, then the roots may have died and the plant is likely dead. If the roots are still alive, you may see some resistance when you try to pull it. If you are still unsure of its state, then you can try some basics of reviving the lavender, such as soaking it in water or giving it some fertilizer.
Can potted lavender survive winter?
The answer is yes, potted lavender can survive the winter season. However, depending on the climate of where it is located, lavender may need some extra help to survive the colder months. Generally, when grown in the ground, lavender is hardy and can tolerate temperatures up to -15°C.
However, when grown in a container outdoors, the roots may be more exposed to the cold weather and susceptible to frost damage or even outright freezing. To help ensure it survives the winter, potted lavender should be placed in a location that gets at least some sunlight, and preferably some protection from direct wind.
It should also be mulched and watered regularly in order to keep it healthy throughout the colder months. Additionally, you could bring the potted lavender indoors during the coldest weeks of winter to help protect it from freezing, though taking care of this delicate plant requires regular watering and ample light.
With some extra attention and protection, potted lavender can easily survive the winter.
Does lavender spread on its own?
No, lavender does not spread on its own. It requires human help to spread and propagate, usually by cutting and replanting or layering. The frequency of cutting or layering depends on the species, but generally it’s done once or twice a year.
When cutting and replanting, new plants should be spaced eight to twelve inches apart, and the soil should be well drained. If layering, use a piece of the old plant and press it into the soil. Over the following season, these pieces will develop roots and can be cut from the original plant and transplanted in a new location.
It’s important to regularly trim lavender in order to promote growth and remove any damaged branches. Pruning also helps to maintain a bushier, more attractive form. If not maintained, lavender can become thin and spindly.
What happens if you don’t prune lavender?
If you don’t prune your lavender, it can grow to a leggy, sprawling plant that may become overcrowded. The stems of the plant can start to bend over and eventually cause the flowers to become sparse.
The plant may also become more susceptible to disease and pests. Pruning your lavender regularly helps to keep it healthy and encourage bushier growth, leading to more flowers and a more pleasing shape.
If you notice your lavender needs some attention, it’s best to prune it back to about six inches. You should do this annually, preferably in spring just after flowering. This will ensure your lavender stays healthy and attractive for many years to come.
How do you take care of French lavender?
Taking care of French lavender is relatively easy, but it’s important to keep a few points in mind. Firstly, French lavender prefers to be planted in well-drained soil with plenty of air circulation and full to partial sunlight.
When planting, use a combination of rich potting soil mix, sand and compost and avoid using acidic soil as this can restrict growth. Water regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist and choose an area where you can allow any excess water to drain away freely.
Once established, your French lavender should be pruned about once a year in early spring or late summer. Remove any flower heads and cut off about one-third of the previous year’s growth in order to prevent the plants from becoming leggy.
However, avoid pruning too heavily or you could risk stunting the growth of the shrub. Deadheading can also help to improve the plant’s appearance and encourage re-flowering.
To ensure your lavender stays looking its best, fertilize it twice a year, once in the spring and again in the summer. Use a slow-release fertilizer or a water-soluble fertilizer diluted with water, and avoid over-fertilizing as this can harm the plant and make it more susceptible to disease.
Additionally, check your lavender regularly for pests and diseases, and if needed, treat with an insecticidal soap.
Overall, with regular care and pruning, your French lavender should stay healthy, attractive and aromatic for many years to come.
How can you tell the difference between English lavender and French Lavender?
The primary difference between English Lavender and French Lavender is the species of plant. English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a compact, shorter, hardy shrub with gray-green foliage and a sweet aroma, usually seen in cottage gardens.
French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) is a taller, more delicate and less hardy shrub with silvery foliage and a more pungent aroma. They both produce beautiful purple flowers and have valuable essential oils.
Another difference between the English and French Lavenders is their uses. English Lavender is excellent for adding a sweet aroma to potpourris, sachets, and perfumes. French Lavender can be used to flavor or scent ice cream, breads, and fruit dishes.
It is also often used as an herbal supplement.
Lastly, English Lavender is best for a sunny, dry climate and is tolerant of colder temperatures, while French Lavender requires full sun and will suffer in cold winters. English Lavender also grows to be shorter, seldom reaching more than 3 feet tall, whereas French Lavender can grow as tall as 4 to 5 feet in some cases.
Which is the strongest smelling lavender?
The variety of lavender with the strongest scent is said to be the Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia) due to its higher concentration of camphor and 1,8 cineole. This can give it a more musky scent than other lavender varieties.
The Spike Lavender is also known for its ability to yield an incredibly high amount of essential oil, making it an ideal lavender to use in aromatherapy or homemade fragrances. Due to the strength of its scent, it is recommended that people dilute the essential oil produced by Spike Lavender when using it.
Does French lavender repel mosquitoes?
The answer is yes, French lavender can repel mosquitoes. Lavender plants have a strong scent which can deter some insects, including mosquitoes. The essential oils from the lavender flowers can also be used to make natural insect repellents.
When applied to the skin or clothes, it may help to keep mosquitoes away. Additionally, lavender plants emit natural oils that create an aroma which may act as a deterrent for some insects. Research has also shown that oils from the Lavandula stoechas plant can be effective in repelling mosquitoes.
In summary, French lavender can be used as a natural mosquito repellent, either through direct application of the essential oils or through having the plant growing in the area.
Which variety of lavender is best?
The best variety of lavender for growing depends on where you are located, what you’re growing the lavender for, and what kind of climate you have. If you’re looking for a lavender that produces essential oils, the best options include Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia), Lavandula x intermedia, and French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas).
These varieties are highly aromatic, have longer stem lengths, and have more volatile oils. Spike lavender grows best in warm climates, while French lavender tends to thrive in more temperate areas.
If you’re looking for a lavender to grow for its fragrant flowers, the best options include English Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and Dwarf English Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia ‘Nana’). These two varieties are highly fragrant and produce intense blue, pink, or white flower clusters.
English lavender is hardy in USDA zones 5-8 and does best in a sunny, well-drained location. Dwarf English lavender is also a good option for containers, rock gardens, and edging. It’s hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and produces masses of small, intensely colored flower heads.
Finally, if you’re looking for a lavender to use as an ornamental or as a groundcover, good options include Munstead Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’), Hidcote Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’), and Grosso Lavender (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’).
These varieties are highly ornamental and compact, making them ideal for edging and borders. Munstead lavender is hardy in USDA zones 5-9, Hidcote in USDA zones 6-9, and Grosso in USDA zones 5-10. All three varieties are hardy and will provide long-lasting blooms from summer to fall.