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How to look after English Lavender

English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a popular and fragrant herb known for its beautiful flowers and aromatic foliage. Proper care is essential to ensure its health and longevity. Follow this comprehensive guide to keep your English Lavender thriving:

1. Location and Sunlight:

  • English Lavender thrives in full sun. Choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • Ensure good air circulation around the plant to prevent fungal issues.

2. Soil:

  • Plant English Lavender in well-draining soil. Poor drainage can lead to root rot.
  • A slightly alkaline soil with a pH of around 6.5 to 7.5 is ideal.

3. Watering:

  • Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. English Lavender prefers slightly dry conditions.
  • Water deeply but infrequently. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.
  • Watering in the morning allows the plant to absorb moisture before the sun is at its peak.

4. Mulching:

  • Apply a thin layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant to help retain soil moisture and control weed growth.
  • Avoid piling mulch directly against the stem to prevent moisture buildup and stem rot.

5. Pruning:

  • Prune English Lavender annually to maintain its shape and encourage new growth.
  • After the first bloom, trim back spent flower spikes to promote additional blooms and prevent seed formation.
  • In early spring, lightly prune the plant to remove dead wood and promote new growth.

6. Fertilization:

  • English Lavender doesn't require heavy fertilization. Too much nitrogen can lead to excessive growth and reduced fragrance.
  • Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring or use a diluted liquid fertilizer during the growing season.

7. Pest and Disease Control:

  • English Lavender is generally resistant to pests and diseases.
  • Monitor for aphids, spider mites, and other common pests. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil if needed.
  • Ensure good air circulation to prevent issues like powdery mildew.

8. Winter Care:

  • English Lavender is somewhat cold-hardy, but severe winter conditions can be challenging.
  • Mulch around the base of the plant to protect the roots from freezing temperatures.
  • In colder climates, consider covering the plant with burlap during harsh winter months.

9. Propagation:

  • English Lavender can be propagated from cuttings or by dividing established plants.
  • Take cuttings from healthy stems in spring or early summer and root them in well-draining soil.

10. Harvesting and Use:

  • Harvest lavender flowers just as they begin to open for the best fragrance and color.
  • Dry the harvested flowers by hanging them upside down in a well-ventilated area. Use them for potpourri, sachets, or culinary purposes.
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