Archive for December, 2014

Wintering Lavender Plants Indoors

December 3, 2014

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Lavender plants love warm sunny spots in the garden so it is easy to think they will like the same conditions indoors.  The problem is the air in our homes is DRY.

Sahara Desert dry.  Growing in pots, lavender has a harder time surviving stressful conditions.  In your garden, their roots are below ground where it is usually much cooler than the air above.  The roots can go deep and usually find some moisture.

In the house, their roots are confined in a pot.  Not only are they susceptible to temperature fluctuations but if the pot really dries out they may wilt to the point of no return.  So how can you help your lavender survive inside?

  1.  Provide light, but not necessarily direct hot sun.  I have a wonderful south facing window many of my gardening friends covet but the plants are kept 5’ – 8’ back from the window to avoid direct sun, which can be very drying to them.
  2. Lavender does not like to be kept wet but neither does it like to be really dry.  Check the soil every day.  One of the simplest methods is to become familiar with the weight of the pot when it is wet and when it is dry.  Water the pots well then let them become nearly dry and water again.  I’m afraid there is no real formula for this unless you use a meter that checks the water in the soil and tells you when to water.  Quite a few seed companies sell these.
  3.  Fertilizing.  As the plants are not usually actively growing at this time of year I don’t use any fertilizer.

This year I’m experimenting with pruning the plants I brought inside.  I’m hoping that if there is less plant material it will be less stressful for the plant in the house and they may not dry out as quickly.  The pruning also encourages new growth so the plants will be bushier.

In March or April, when the light intensity changes, the plants will begin to grow actively and if they are going to stay in pots, I’ll transplant them in to new pots with new soil.  I’ll also begin to use some liquid fertilizer when they are watered.

One of the delights of having lavender inside is rubbing the leaves and having the fresh lavender scent.  They are not as easy to winter indoors as geraniums are, but a little care and you can keep your plants year round.

Next time – using lavender in you holiday celebrations.