In a follow up from our post introducing you to the potential of lavender farming, today we are going to show you some of the varieties that you can grow. We have compiled this information into an eBook, so give that a look if you would like to have your own downloadable copy of this information.
First off, we are going to discuss some of the main features of lavender. Belonging to the family ‘Lavendula’, these are the requirements that apply to most cultivars:
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s check out some of the lavender species you can grow!
Also known as English lavender, unlike its name suggests this species hails from the Mediterranean. It is available in many colours which will vary with cultivar. These plants have attractive, silvery green foliage and the flowers are borne a top slender, leafless stems. Lavandula angustifolia can reach heights between 1 to 2 metres and is great for herb gardens and border plantings. This species prefers alkaline soils over acidic ones, but will tolerate both.
Another Mediterranean native, ‘Spanish’ lavender has striking, deep purple flowers topped with bracts that look like ears. This species can also tolerate higher humidities compared to others. Reaching heights of 0.5-1m when mature, Lavandula stoechas is great for hedges and topiary. It will also attract bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects to your farm or garden.
With similar flowers to Lavandula stoechas, this ‘French’ lavender can be identified by their ridged leaves that have a distinct ‘toothy’ appearance, hence the name ‘dentata’. The inflorescences are topped with bracts too. This species is favoured for its ability to bloom throughout the year, even in the cooler months. It can tolerate a variety of soils, provided they are well drained and not too acidic. Lavandula dentata also tolerates high temperatures better than other varieties, making them a great option for hot, dry areas.
This ‘Portuguese’ lavender can also trace its origins back to the Mediterranean. With its bright green foliage and profuse flowering, this species is favoured by farmers and gardeners alike. This species has one of the most aromatic flowers of all lavender and can grow between 30-80cm tall. Because Lavandula latifolia is one of the original 3 lavender varieties, it is commonly used as a pollinizer in the development of new lavender hybrids.
This lavender hybrid was created by crossing Lavandula angustifolia with Lavandula latifolia. It received the cold tolerance of the former and heat tolerance of the latter. This makes Lavandin a great option for growers who experience temperature extremes on both sides of the scale. This hybrid is also favoured for its heavy flowering and fragrant flowers and foliage. The long flower stalks also make it a great option to use as a cut flower. When mature, Lavandin will form a compact shrub just over 0.5m tall.