Varieties of Lavender for the Garden

Take advantage of the differences in growing requirements to find a lavender that's perfect for your garden.
By: Kristy Bruce

Lavender field

This highly aromatic perennial boasts numerous variations in flower color, time of bloom, fragrance and plant height. Give lavender a sunny site and well-drained, neutral soil. Once the plant is established, lavender is drought-tolerant; most types languish in heat and humidity. Giving lavender a haircut after flowering will promote branching and encourage additional blooms.

English lavender

This strong-scented lavender is a popular garden choice and a favorite in culinary and craft projects. Expect flowering late spring to early summer with a second re-bloom possible, especially if deadheaded. Sweet-smelling leaves provides year-long value. Cultivars include white, pink, and shades of purple and blue. English lavender averages 2 to 3 feet tall at maturity. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8

English lavender 'Munstead'

This compact version of English lavender averages 18 inches tall (two feet tall when flowering) and has violet-blue flowers. Munstead is more heat tolerant and starts blooming a little later than many other English lavenders. Its sweet fragrance and color make it ideal for cooking. USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

English lavender 'Blue Ice'

A relatively new cultivar, this English lavender features pale blue flowers in midsummer on a 24-inch-tall plant. Ideal for cottage gardens featuring other pastels, 'Blue Ice' is especially attractive to butterflies. Its lovely fragrance makes it an excellent choice for potpourri. USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 to 9

Spanish lavender

Known for its colorful "rabbit-ear" bracts on pineapple-shaped flower heads, Spanish lavender is one of the first lavenders to bloom. Flowering occurs mid spring to early summer and the scent is compared to rosemary. The species is dark purple; cultivars include pink and maroon. Best in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 and 9, though certain selections are rated for Zone 7.

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