Seeds and Seedlings · Vegetation

Lavender

Currently my bucket list includes the following items:

(1) Raise chickens.

(2) Start a lavender field.

Lavender you say? Oh yes. I’m ready to make lavender soap, lavender candles, lavender sachets, lavender tea, lavender-infused everything! Another reason to love lavender: bees love it. And I love bees. They pollinate my garden and they make honey. Oh yeah, that’s the other thing on my bucket list:

(3) Start a bee farm.

So I’m starting with the lavender field. I don’t know if field is the right word per se but my master plan does require quite a few lavender plants. I have about a 30′ long section of fence that faces the road. The side facing the road has a nice bed that’s begging to be filled. My husband and I moved in less than a year ago and the bed is filled with old mulch and weeds. Basically, it’s plain ugly. Every time I walk past it I cringe and then I dream of the lavender that will someday overflow out of the currently-rampant bed.

I could go to the local nursery, buy some lavender plants, and be done with this whole affair. But let’s be serious; that’s not how I roll. So I bought lavender seeds. A little Googling and I discover these little suckers are nearly impossible to grow from seed, and that if you do choose to grow them from seed your best bet is to cold stratify them.

So I put 25 or so seeds in water in a glass jar and stuck it in my fridge for several weeks. Then I divvied up those seeds between 5 small pots, put them on a heating pad in my house, and crossed my fingers. Success! After two weeks or so I thinned the seedlings to one per pot and set them outside. At the time I noticed there were two kinds of seedlings; some had green leaves and others had more of a purplish hue to their leaves. I didn’t think much of it but it ended up affecting the success of my seedlings. The two seedlings with the green leaves are doing great. The other three seedlings that had purplish leaves… eh, not so much. Two of them died almost immediately after me setting them outside. (Not cool.) The third one is still kickin it, and its leaves are green now, but it sure doesn’t look normal. I’m pretty skeptical, but I’m going to keep it around to see what happens to it.

So at the end of the day, I came up with a ~10% success rate with starting my lavender from seed. They are still pretty small so there is still a chance that percentage could go down, but I’m optimistic. I just need to be patient and hopefully next spring they will be ready to be planted in the ground. However, I need many more seedlings to start my lavender field so I’m going to be doing a round-two soon. I also need to keep my husband from telling me I’m crazy and just buying lavender plants from the nursery… 

Two of my lavender seedings.
Two of my lavender seedings.
The third, and rather deformed looking, lavender seedling.
The third, deformed-looking, lavender seedling.
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2 thoughts on “Lavender

    1. Yeah, I’m starting to think that as well. My lavender seeds are from open-pollinated plants so I think there might have been some cross-pollination. The seedling still doesn’t look like lavender but it’s doing well so I’m going to keep it around and see what it becomes. 🙂

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