Growing lavender from seed can be difficult, especially for new gardeners. But once you know how, you will have much better success.
If you struggle with it, you are not alone. It requires some extra steps and lots of patience. In this post, I’ll show you everything you need to know.
Here you’ll learn all about when and how to grow lavender seeds. Including the best sowing techniques, step by step planting instructions, how long they take to germinate, seedling care tips, transplanting, and more.
Growing Lavender From Seed
|Days to germination
|When to start indoors
|10-12 weeks before transplanting
|When to sow outside
|3-6 weeks before your last spring frost date
|Days to maturity
|2nd year after germination
|Full sun to partial shade
|Seed planting depth
|Groupings 2″ apart, then thin to 18-24″
Types To Grow
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How Long From Seed To Harvest
When you grow lavender from seed, it takes at least a year for them to bloom to their full potential. They can flower lightly the first year, and you may be able to harvest a few buds from them.
But they should be fully mature by their second season, giving you tons of delicious smelling flowers to enjoy.
Related Post: How To Care For Lavender Plants
Tips For Planting Lavender Seeds
Successfully growing lavender seeds requires some special steps. They are cold hardy and need a bit of extra help to germinate. Below I’ll show you exactly what to do before planting them, and the best method to use.
Lavender Seed Starting Methods
There are 3 techniques you could use to grow lavender seeds: 1. starting them indoors, 2. direct planting, 3. winter sowing. So experiment to see which one works for you.
- Starting indoors (best method) – The best way grow lavender from seed is to start them indoors. They can take a long time to germinate, and tend to sprout unevenly, so keeping them inside in a controlled environment will give you the most consistent results.
- Direct planting – Of course, you could try planting them directly into your garden, I’ve had great success with mine. In this case, I recommend sowing them either in the fall or very early spring when it’s cold outside.
- Winter sowing – Since they need cold temps to germinate, they’re perfect for winter sowing. This way you’ll get the best of both worlds: you don’t have to take any extra steps to prepare them, and you won’t need to find room for them indoors.
Related Post: 3 Seed Starting Methods That Every Gardener Should Try
When To Start Lavender Seeds
Plant your 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 outdoor temps stay below freezing in your area.
Preparing Lavender Seeds For Planting
Lavender seeds need a period of cool temperatures called “cold stratification” to germinate. 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 them is to place them in moist soil, then put them into the refrigerator for 3-6 weeks before planting.
Lavender Germination Time
Lavender seeds are extremely slow to germinate, and on average it can take anywhere from 14-21 days. Some are 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 the mature leaves, only they are tiny.
How To Care For Lavender Seedlings
Once your lavender seeds have sprouted, it’s important to give your seedlings the proper care so they will grow strong and healthy. Here are some tips for success:
Lavender seeds need lots of light to germinate, and the seedlings can get leggy very quickly. A sunny window won’t provide enough, so you must supplement with artificial ones.
They need consistent water, but don’t like soggy or wet soil. So let it dry to the touch before moistening it again. I recommend using a moisture gauge to get it just right, and keep the reading between 3 and 5.
Lavender prefers nutrient-poor soil, so you don’t need to worry about feeding your seedlings. In fact, too much fertilizer can stunt their growth and cause other problems. So you can skip it.
It’s best to wait until all chance of frost is gone before transplanting your lavender seedlings into the garden. They should be at least 2-3″ tall for the 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.
Yes, lavender seeds need light to germinate, so do not plant them very deep. Just cover them lightly with soil, no more than 1/8 of an inch.
When lavender doesn’t germinate, it means the soil is too warm or wet, the seeds were planted too deep, they didn’t get enough light, or they were old and no longer viable. Give them plenty of light, make sure the soil stays between 60-65°F (using a thermometer probe), and that it’s lightly moist.
Though it’s not absolutely required, I do recommend that you take the time to cold stratify your 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 seedlings to plant in your garden 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. Sign up and get started right now!
More About Growing Seeds
- How To Grow Parsley From Seed: Step-By-Step
- How To Grow Basil From Seed: Complete Guide
- How To Grow Tomatillos From Seed & When To Plant
- 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.