How to Grow Lavender Indoors from Seeds: A Comprehensive Guide
One of the most beautiful and aromatic plants you can grow inside your home is lavender. Due to its health and wellness properties, lavender is one of the most sought-after fragrant herbs – and for good reasons! This article will guide you on how to grow lavender indoors from seeds. We’ll take you through a step-by-step process to ensure your lavender plants are healthy and thriving.
1. Picking the Right Lavender Seeds
Selecting the proper lavender seeds is a crucial first step. There are about 39 species of lavender, each offering a unique scent and beauty. For indoor cultivation, the English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and French Stoechas lavender (Lavandula stoechas) are highly recommended due to their robustness. Ensure that you are purchasing seeds from reliable sources to get high-quality results.
Lavender seeds can be delicate and require a bit of finesse to germinate correctly. However, you shouldn’t let this deter you. With a little patience and attention to detail, you will soon be rewarded with burgeoning sprouts of this lovely, fragrant herb.
2. Preparation of the Seeds and Planting
Before planting, it’s necessary to stratify the seeds, a process that simulates a cold winter environment to break dormancy and stimulate germination. To do this, moisten a bit of sand and mix with the seeds. Place this in a sealed plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. After stratification, sow the seeds in well-draining seed starting mix, barely covering them with soil.
Remember, lavender seeds can take two to ten weeks to sprout. Keep the soil lightly moist and provide warmth to expedite the process. Light is crucial for lavender seeds to germinate, so make sure they receive plenty of it.
3. Lavender Care Post-Germination
Once your lavender seeds sprout, it’s time for some post-germination care. Lavender requires at least six hours of sunlight each day. If your indoor space can’t provide this naturally, you can use grow lights. Also, regulating the temperature to 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit will boost healthy growth.
Watering should be done meticulously to avoid overwatering. Lavender prefers a dry climate and well-drained soil, so let the soil dry out a bit between waterings.
4. Potted Lavender Plant Care
Once your lavender plants have grown to about 2 inches tall, you will need to transplant them into pots. Choose pots that have good drainage and use a sandy, alkaline potting mix for best results. Keep the lavender in a sunny spot, ideally a southern-facing window.
Keep an eye out for any signs of stress in the lavender, such as yellowing leaves, which may indicate overwatering. Similarly, an unhealthy root system might mean your plant needs more water. Learning to read these signs will enable you to take the best care of your indoor lavender plants.
5. Harvesting Your Indoor Lavender
Congratulations! With the right care and conditions, your lavender will begin to bloom and it’s time to harvest. The best time to harvest lavender is when about half of the buds on the stem have opened. Cut the stems above the leaf nodes, and your lavender plants will continue to produce flowers.
Once harvested, you can enjoy your lavender in various ways – from adding it to teas and desserts to creating fragrant potpourri and sachets.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is my Indoor Lavender Plant Dying?
Several conditions can cause an indoor lavender to die. Overwatering is a common issue. In fact, lavender is more likely to die from too much water than from too little. The plant can also struggle if it is not getting enough light or if the air is too humid.
2. How often should I Water my Indoor Lavender Plant?
Lavender plants prefer being kept on the dry side. Water them deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between watering. If the lavender is not getting enough water, the leaves will start to wilt. If it’s getting too much, the leaves turn yellow and may fall off.
3. Can I Grow Lavender Indoors All Year Round?
Yes, you can grow lavender indoors all year round. However, it might not bloom as heavily as it would outdoors. It needs to go through a period of winter dormancy, so consider giving your plant some “chill time” in a cool spot.