Lavender is a low shrub which with its pleasant fragrance, silver green leaves and the irresistible purple flowers it will capture your eyes. Originating from southern Europe and parts of Africa, Asia and India, many ancient and cultures relied on the herb not just for its characteristic scent but also its pain relieving and soothing properties. It is known as the herb with therapeutic and revitalizing benefits and stand out for the many uses.
The most common species of lavender are three: Lavendula angustifolia, lavandula dentate and lavendula stoechas. The most popular from them is the lavendula angustifolia, because their fragrance and color is sweeter and more impressive. Contrary to the name, not all lavenders are purple. Some hybrids come in other lovely pastel hues such as violet blue, pale pink, white and even yellow. The leaves can also vary in shape and color.
Lavender is a tough perennial that will last for several years under the right conditions. Because of its Mediterranean origin, lavender loves hot sun and dry soil. If your lavender doesn’t thrive, it’s most likely due to overwatering, too much shade or high humidity levels. Growing lavender is easy and rewarding. Lavender can be grown in garden or in pots. To grow lavender successfully it needs well-drained soil and full sun. In dry climates lavender grows well as a perennial, but in humid climates it is often grown as an annual.
The simplest and safest way to have lavender on your balcony is to plant a potted graft from a mature plant. Alternatively, you can plant lavender seeds in a pot. Initially, you should keep the pot in a shady place until the first plants appear. As soon as they are about 5-6 cm high, move your pot in a sunny place or transplant your plant into your garden to a place with rich sunlight.
Usually the lavender plants are planted many together by creating edgings or low plant closures. If you decide to plant a large surface with lavender, then the distance you should have from each plant is about 90 cm. If you want to achieve complete soil cover, then the 30 cm plant-to-plant spacing is enough. The root of the lavender grows and spreads to a great depth and width. Lavender is the ideal choice for rock gardens or seaside areas as it withstands marshmallows and sea drops.
Look for the soil you choose as it prefers slightly alkaline and enhanced with slow-release nutrients. The soil needs to be a light sandy mix which allows for good drainage. These prefer dry alkaline soils (ph 7.1) over acid ones. Sprinkle nitrogen fertilizer over the soil and scratch it in, for healthy leaves and potassium for strong roots. A bit of ash in the soil will also make it good as it corrects any acidic PH. In the late spring in order to develop more purple flowers, you may need a little fertilizer or manure.
Once established, lavender is very low-maintenance and requires minimal watering or pruning.
If your lavender is in a garden, it does not need much water. 3-4 times watering a month from March to October is enough. When planted in a pot need to be watered regularly but not too much because overwatering can dry it. It can withstand both the heat and the intense cold.
So, your plant will grow in width. Lavender’s wonderful flowers with a rich aroma will be enjoyed during the summer months.
To further encourage its growth, you can cut the tops that fly. After its flowering, in autumn, it is the right time to prune it.
Lavender has many healing and soothing benefits:
It is known for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, expectorant, antiseptic and analgesic properties.
Improve sleep: It is well known for its ability to relax the mind and improve quality of sleep.
Anxiety and depression: Just the odor of lavender seemed to help people stay relaxed and focused when asked to do various stressful tasks, or improved their ability to recover feelings of wellbeing after exposure to stress.
Treats skin problems like acne, eczema and wrinkles. It also helps form scar tissues, which may be essential in healing wounds, cuts and burns.
Blood circulation: It helps lower elevated blood pressure levels, and can be used for reducing hypertension.
Lavender is possibly effective for treating hair loss and boosting hair.
Improve digestion: May help treat stomach pain, indigestion, colic, vomiting and diarrhea.
Fight laryngitis, sinusitis, toothache, dyspepsia, itching even dandruff.
Bath: Adding a few drops of lavender oil to your bathwater can help you to experience the therapeutic benefits throughout your body instantly.
Massage: You can apply diluted lavender essential oil directly to your skin and massage it to help relax muscles, reduce stress and bring about a sense of well being.
Compress: Adding lavender oil to a towel compress can help treat sprains and muscle injuries better than a normal compress.
Aside from the therapeutic and topical benefits of lavender, it has other useful applications as well, such as for:
Use lavender as a natural pest repellent near patios and porches. The scent deters mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and other problem insects while attracting butterflies and bees.
For culinary purposes: Dried lavender buds or petals can help enhance the aroma of dishes, desserts and salads.
Air freshener: Lavender sachets can enrich the atmosphere in your house. You can leave lavender sachets inside your drawer to make your clothes fragrant or in your car as alternative air fresheners.
Home decorating: Lavender flowers are very pleasing to the eye, making them popular choices for home decorations. You can plant them in patterns to create natural borders in your garden, or you can just grab a bunch and place them in a vase or jar to add life to any room.
Lavender is a wonderful plant in every use and form. Find at www.anthemionflowers.eu this stunning to look at plant for your own house or just to offer it to someone special. It will charm you!