Growing lavender from seed can be difficult, especially for new gardeners. But once you learn how, you will have better success! In this post, I’ll show you everything you need to know about when and how to plant lavender seeds, step by step.
If you struggle to successfully grow lavender from seed, you are not alone. When it comes to growing your own seeds, this is one of the most difficult to get the hang of. I get asked about it all the time.
Starting lavender seeds requires some extra steps, plus a few that may seem counterintuitive. It’s definitely tricky and needs some practice.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! In this detailed step by step guide, I will give you all of my tips and techniques for the best results possible.
You’ll learn exactly how to plant lavender seeds step by step, and get details about caring for the seedlings to ensure success.
Growing Lavender From Seed
While sometimes problematic, successfully growing lavender from seed is really rewarding once you know how long it will take, and the best methods to use.
Types Of Lavender Seeds To Grow
Related Post: How To Collect Lavender Seeds From Your Garden
Recommended Lavender Seed Starting Methods
The best method to use for growing lavender from seed is to start them indoors. They can take a long time to germinate, and tend to sprout unevenly.
Keeping them inside in a controlled environment will give you the most consistent germination rate.
Of course, you could try direct sowing them. They’re also a great candidate for winter sowing, since they do require cold stratification. So go ahead and experiment to see which method works for you.
Related Post: 3 Seed Starting Methods That Every Gardener Should Try
How Long From Seed To Harvest
When you grow lavender from seed, it takes a year for them to bloom to their full potential. They can flower lightly the first year, and you may get a few buds from them.
Then they should come into full bloom by their second season, giving you tons of delicious smelling flowers to enjoy.
Related Post: How To Harvest Lavender Fresh From The Garden
Planting Lavender Seeds
Successfully planting lavender seeds requires some special tricks. These cold hardy seeds need a bit of extra help in order to germinate. But don’t worry, it’s easier than you think.
When To Start Lavender Seeds
Plant lavender seeds indoors 10-12 weeks before your average last frost date. If you want to direct sow them, you should do that in very early spring, as soon as the ground is workable.
You could also try planting them in your garden in late fall, so they will sprout in the spring. Or winter sow them as soon as the temps stay below freezing in your area.
Preparing Lavender Seeds For Planting
In order to germinate, lavender seeds need a period of cool temperatures called “cold stratification”.
If you skip this step, you may still have success. But most likely, you’ll see a very low germination rate.
The easiest way to cold stratify lavender seeds is to place them in moist soil, then put them into the refrigerator for 3-6 weeks before planting.
How To Plant Lavender Seeds Step-By-Step
Planting lavender seeds takes a little bit more planning than other types of flowers. To really set yourself up for success, gather all of your supplies ahead of time.
- Seed trays with lids
- Seed starting soil or peat pellets
- Hand trowel
- Grow light (recommended)
- Soil thermometer (optional)
Step 2: Decide how many seeds to plant – Since they tend to germinate unevenly, I recommend planting 2-3 lavender seeds per hole or pellet.
If you’re direct sowing them outside, space them in groupings about 2″ apart, and thin them to 18″ later on.
Step 3: Plant the seeds – Since they need light to germinate, I prefer to drop my lavender seeds on top of the soil and leave them there.
You can cover them with a thin layer of dirt if you prefer, but take care that they aren’t more than 1/8″ deep.
Step 4: Water the soil – If it’s not already damp, then water the soil until it’s evenly moist.
It’s a good idea to water the trays from the bottom, rather than over the top, to avoid displacing the tiny seeds.
Step 5: Cover the trays – Put the plastic dome lid on top of the trays. This will help to keep the soil moist during germination.
Step 6: Give them plenty of light – Place them in a bright location, or turn on the grow lights. Remember, they need light in order to germinate, so give them plenty of sunshine if you don’t have a plant light.
Step 7 (optional): Monitor the temperature – Ideally, you should keep the soil between 60-65F degrees for the best germination rate. Use a soil thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Lavender Germination Time
As I have already mentioned a few times, lavender seeds are extremely slow to germinate. Some are a bit faster (2-3 weeks), but most can take a month or more to sprout, so be patient.
It’s also important to note that germination tends to be very uneven. You’ll probably notice that some will sprout faster than others. This is normal, so don’t give up on the slow pokes too soon.
What Do Lavender Seedlings Look Like?
The first two leaves that form right after germination are called the “seed leaves”. They are slightly oval shaped, and rounded on the ends.
Everything that grows after that are called the “true leaves”, and they look exactly like tiny baby lavender leaves.
How To Care For Lavender Seedlings
The success of growing lavender seeds also depends on caring for the seedlings properly. Once your seeds have sprouted, it’s important to give them lots of light and nutrients.
After germinating, the seedlings can get leggy very fast. So keep your grow light 1-2″ above them at all times. A sunny window won’t be good enough to prevent legginess.
It’s important to keep the soil evenly moist, but never soggy. I recommend using a soil moisture gauge to get it just right.
Transplanting Lavender Seedlings Into The Garden
It’s best to wait until all chance of frost is gone before transplanting lavender seedlings into the garden. Also, wait until they are at least 2-3″ tall for best results.
But, before you can do that, you must acclimate them to living outside. If you skip this step, then they probably won’t survive the move.
Since growing lavender from seed can be unpredictable, you may still have a few questions. Here are answers to some of the most common ones I get. If you can’t find an answer to your question here, ask it in the comments below.
How many lavender seeds do I plant per hole?
Since they are usually unpredictable, I recommend planting 2-3 lavender seeds per hole, pellet, or seed cell. If more than one grows, you can thin them out later.
How deep do you plant lavender seeds?
Since lavender seeds need light to germinate, you should not plant them very deep. Just cover them lightly with soil, but no more than 1/8″ deep.
Why aren’t my lavender seeds germinating?
When lavender seeds don’t germinate, it can be caused by several things. The soil was too warm or wet, they were planted too deep, didn’t get enough light, or the seeds were old and no longer viable.
For best results, give them plenty of light during germination. Also make sure the soil temperature is between 60-65F (using a soil thermometer), and that it stays consistently moist.
Do you need to stratify lavender seeds?
Though it’s not absolutely required, I do recommend that you take the time to cold stratify lavender seeds before planting them. Doing this will give you the best possible germination rate.
Growing lavender from seed can be tricky, but it’s incredibly rewarding. It takes time and patience, but having a bunch of lavender seedlings to plant in your yard will make you feel great about your hard work.
Are you tired of struggling to figure out how to grow your seeds by trial and error? Then you should take my Seed Starting Course. It’s a fun and comprehensive online course that will walk you through everything you need to know in order to successfully grow any plant you want from seeds. Sign up and get started right now!
More About Growing Seeds
- How To Grow Parsley From Seed: Step-By-Step
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- How To Grow An Avocado Tree From Seed
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Share your tips for how to grow lavender from seeds in the comments section below.