How to Plant Lavender in Late Summer & Fall


If you live in one of the USDA plant hardiness zones 5 to 8, you can cultivate fragrant, fast-growing lavender (Lavandula spp. ), which adds a low-maintenance beauty, texture, and subtle colour to outdoor spaces. This is true whether you grow lavender in pots or in a garden bed. Lavender is known for its pleasant scent. Lavender requires a little bit of additional care and attention early on so that it can create a robust root system, but once it is established, it can tolerate heat and poor soil and even thrives in these conditions.

Planting lavender in the autumn or late summer is recommended by the Colorado State University Extension. This allows the young plants to have time to grow roots throughout the colder months, which will assist them in blooming more effectively the following year. Planting lavender in the summer or fall is a straightforward operation, and the resulting plants need far less maintenance than those that were started in the spring, when the plants are in the midst of their active growth phase.

Lavender Growing Conditions

Planting lavender in a location that is warm, has good drainage, contains alkaline soil, and receives a lot of sunlight is optimal for the plant’s growth. Although the plants are tolerant of some light midday shadow in warmer climes, the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County advises a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunshine each day. However, the plants can survive in environments with some moderate midday shade. Although lavender grows best in alkaline soil, it is not picky about the kind of soil as long as it has good drainage; thus, if the soil is dense, you may consider planting it on a gradual slope. Avoid planting in areas that collect water after it has rained.

Planting lavender in heavy clay soil should be avoided since the soil drains slowly and might produce root issues that impair the plant’s health. Clay soil should be amended at the planting location by incorporating a layer of wood chip mulch with a thickness of 1/4 inch into the top 6 to 8 inches of the soil. This recommendation comes from the Colorado State University Extension. While you work, break up any big clumps of dirt that you come across as you apply the amendment to the whole planting location.

Planting Lavender in Fall

Planting lavender in the fall requires a container that is at least 4 inches in diameter since smaller plants have a lower chance of surviving the harsh winter temperatures. According to the UIC Heritage Garden, fully mature lavender plants can reach heights of one to three feet and spreads of one to two feet. Because of this, it is important to leave approximately 24 inches of space between each plant to allow for their mature size and prevent the plants from becoming overcrowded. They should be planted at the same level as they were in the pots they came in at the nursery. If the soil does not drain well, consider growing lavender on individual mounds or in little berms to prevent water from pooling when it rains. This will help prevent the spread of disease. After planting, be sure to water well.

Since lavender does not do well in competition with weeds or other plants, you should add a layer of mulch in the spaces between the plants to prevent the growth of weeds. When planting lavender in the summer or autumn, mulch is an additional tool that may assist protect the plant’s roots. Make your mulch out of lightweight wood chips or pine needles. It is important to ensure that there is some space between the base of the plants and the mulch so that excess moisture may evaporate from the soil.

Caring for Lavender

When planted in late summer or fall, lavender requires less maintenance and upkeep since it is not actively growing during those times of the year. Its water requirements, which are already far lower than usual due to the season’s milder temperatures, will be satisfied by rainfall. Only water the plants if there hasn’t been any rain for at least a week and the soil is very dry just below the surface. It is important not to overwater the lavender since wet soil might encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi in the plant’s roots.

If it is predicted that there will be a severe frost during the winter, protect the lavender plants from the cold by piling up piles of straw all around them. As soon as the freezing temperatures have passed, remove the straw from around the plants so that there is once again free circulation of air. If there is any frost damage, cut off the growth that has been harmed using pruning shears that are clean and sharp. Be careful to clean off the blades with rubbing alcohol to eliminate any germs or fungus, which, during the chilly, wet days of fall and winter, might cause an illness.

or bigger, 4-inch pots

Mulch made of either wood chips or pine needles!!-!! Straw (if needed)

Shears for cutting back bushes and shrubs Alcohol for rubbings

Pruning shears

Rubbing alcohol