It’s an evergreen perennial with fabulous scent. Being water-wise it will grow happily in full sun, in well-drained soil. The lavender grows to approximately 60cm, forming a small/medium bush with spikes of grey/green leaves topped with flowers on the tips. The colours range from blue, white, lilac and pink, depending on the variety.
Lavender is used for its essential oil, which is valuable as an antiseptic and anti-bacterial agent. The floral scent is highly prized as a perfume too!
Another plus to growing this amazing plant is it’s effectiveness as a pest-repellant when companion planted, and, of course, bees and butterflies just love it!
Lavender can be grown in containers, as a small hedge, edging for a path or among other plants in the flower border. A bunch of lavender, hung indoors, will help deter flys and smell gorgeous!
Planted as a companion plant, especially with roses, lavender will naturally repel aphids, whitefly and other pests. One of the best varieties of lavender to use as companion planting is the highly scented ‘Margaret Roberts’ , with dark, blue flowers, which will benefit all plants growing near it. The Lavendula Augustifolia (English lavender) with shades of blue, purple, lilac and white plus strongly aromatic leaves is also useful as a companion plant for roses.
For container planting the Lavendula Stoechas (Spanish lavender) which has varieties of purple, pink or white flowers or the Dentata (French lavender) with blue/mauve flowers are the most suitable. The Stoechas variety of lavender flowers for the longest period, from late Winter to Spring and Summer.
After flowering, all lavenders need to be cut back on the green stems, not the woody stems. Lavender does not grow from the woody branches, so be careful not to cut into these.
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We at village gardens have a knowledge of all of your local edible plants here in South Africa. We can happily plant up your garden with edibles of all varieties from Mediterranean herbs and local indigenous edibles. We are surrounded by such stunning hardy indigenous plants, let’s get back to nature and have our own garden of local goodness.