When to plant lavender, and how close together?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by fjordaan, Nov 2, 2019.

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  1. fjordaan

    fjordaan Apprentice Gardener

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    I'd like to plant a hedge of lavender bushes along a fence about 25 meters long. When's the right time of year to do so (London, UK), and how many plants will I need?

    Optional question: what's your recommended variety for maximum size, and most hardy? (It's not in our garden and will not be tended regularly.) And pretty flowers and lots of bees obviously :)
     
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    • ricky101

      ricky101 Total Gardener

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      Hi,

      This link might help you decided on which variety to choose.
      Creating a Lavender Hedge

      Spacing typically 1 to 2 ft depending on type, but it will take a couple of years to form a reasonably thick hedge.

      Also consider the price of 1 or 2 year old pot grown plants as you will probably need at least 50.

      You can buy small plug plants but you need a year before they are big enough to even plant out, 2-3+ years before forming a decent sized hedge.
       
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      • fjordaan

        fjordaan Apprentice Gardener

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        Thanks! I was somewhat shocked at the cost of potted lavender, although I have found a supplier for plug plants at a 10th of the price. Are you saying I won't be able to plant those out directly?
         
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        • ricky101

          ricky101 Total Gardener

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          Hi,

          Yes they are expensive because they take time to get to a reasonable size.

          Plug plants are about 3cm tall and can be problematic as a batch we received had already become affected by some disease, replaced by the supplier.

          With them being so small you really need to pot them on and grow them on under shelter for a year before planting out, then it will take about 2-3 years for them to fill out and produce a good hedge effect.

          While they do look nice for the couple of months they are in flower, to us, they do look rather drab the rest of the year, partic during autumn and winter when they have been given the required pruning.

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          • Graham B

            Graham B Gardener

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            I would recommend English lavender. French lavender tends to get leggy more quickly, which is less good if it's not getting much attention. I'm personally not so keen on the flowers either, and whilst they do flower earlier, they also stop flowering a lot earlier. So English lavender all the way.

            As for which one, they're all pretty temperature hardy. Especially in London, that's unlikely to be a problem. What will bite you though is waterlogging - they really don't like having wet feet, and I know people who've lost a lot of their lavenders in a particularly wet winter.

            As far as the cost goes, many garden centres sell small herb pots much cheaper - larger than a plug plant, but smaller than a £5+ pot, and generally around £1.50-£2. You may well find reasonable-priced lavenders in there.
             
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            • CarolineL

              CarolineL Super Gardener

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              As someone who has spent the whole afternoon pruning lavenders, I agree with @ricky101! If you leave them only lightly pruned so that they retain a decent amount of foliage, they quickly get leggy and skeletal, and need replacing. If you prune them fairly hard so that they stay bushy, they often look stark for quite a while. And some varieties don't like hard pruning anyway.
               
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              • Mike Allen

                Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                Lavender in the garden. During my employ, I was landed with caring for the garden of the youngest General in the British army. Great guy and his wife was a real gem. Between us we had a very special bonding. The General would often start the ball rolling, a nod an wink between him and me followed.
                On the subject of lavender. Mrs. General. Mike. You do know of course that a garden with lavender in it, denotes.................................the lady of the house is the boss. The Gen. & I looked and smiled. Pardon me, maam! I was jokingly taking the 'P' mickey. Lavender attracts the bees, not popularity.

                So lavender plants. They can be slow growing. Yes costly at the garden center, and as I have found, can be very hit and miss at planting out. Truthfully from experience. To achieve ones ambition to have a fine lavender hedge/border has many if's but's an hiccups.
                 
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                • ARMANDII

                  ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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                  By "pruning them fairly hard" what is meant is to prune them down but leaving some of that year's growth. If you cut Lavender down to the "old wood" it will not grow on so leave some of "this" year's growth on. You might be able to get a good deal online with a Nursery for plug or slightly older plants. I have a 12' long Lavender Hedge that must be around 15 years old, probably planted around 10" apart that is about to get cut down leaving some inches of this year's growth using a Hedge Trimmer........when it stops raining that is!!:heehee:
                   
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                  • CarolineL

                    CarolineL Super Gardener

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                    Hi Armandii - yes, I didn't mean into old wood - though if you can see new growth near the bottom it might be worth chancing it... I was cutting back in the beds at the National Botanic Garden of Wales so didn't have access to convenient tools like hedge trimmers :help:. I'm never sure which takes less time - going over with a shears and then collecting all the stems, or grabbing a bunch of stems at a time and using secateurs. Even if you're careful they still end up looking like vegetable hedgehogs for a couple of months.:) Although I don't like santolina flowers, I think the foliage looks better in the winter months.
                     
                  • ARMANDII

                    ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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                    Oh, I knew that, Caroline:love30:. It was just that I thought it needed clarifying so that fjordaan, didn't make the mistake that some of my friends did of cutting back the Lavender too far:dunno:
                     
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