Planting, Pruning, Benefits | All about Plant Care Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula) is known as aromatics by people around the world. This plant has been popular for the alternative medicine industries. Lavender is dominant with purple color, leaf color contrast, fragrance, and water-wise. Lavender originated from Mediterranean, Europe. Now, lavender is grown in all area which has the climate similar to the lavender origin. Lavender can be found in England, New Zealand, New Mexico, Texas, and Australia. The lavender also not only provides with purple color but also in pink, white, blue and violet. The plant care lavender is profitable for farmers. Although they have small space for planting this flower, through the right management, it will bring out the optimal result.

1. Lavender Plant

The extraction of lavender with large scale is very expensive and spent much money. To minimize the budget production, the farmers using a small scale for lavender production. Lavender requires a poorly drained soil, full of sun, and contains slightly alkaline for the growth. Plant care lavender is easy and needs little compost to fertilize. It should be done continuously and carefully. The lavender also consists of some unique types which can be selected by the farmers to plant. There are:

A. Lavandula Angustifolia.

This species has the sweet fragrance and usually used for the craft and culinary purposes – the Lavandula Angustifolia common known as English Lavender. This variant is resulting in the darkest purple into pure white flower. English Lavenders are a bloom from June to July.

B. Lavandula Stoechas or Spanish Lavender.

This species is different with previous species. Lavandula Stoechas isn’t using for culinary because haven’t the strong fragrance. This is one of the earliest species which is bloom in spring through a summer day.

C. Lavandins or Lavandula X Intermedia.

This is the most popular lavender species. The Lavandins produce the strong fragrance and contains high oil substance. It’s recommended for culinary and craft aims. The Lavandins has a long stem and large bloom. This species blooms from July to August.

2. Lavender Production Zone

2.1. Best place to plant

As explained before, lavender is originated from the Mediterranean, in Europe region. This location dominated with rocky soils, poorly drained and mild coastal climates. To determine the location for planting lavender, the farmers should consider several things; there are the topography, elevation, winter climate, pH, and other factors which are affected to lavender growth. The elevation of the place is affected by the plant survival. It’s reasonable because the elevation is related to the humidity level of the soil. The dry soil has less of humidity, so the dry place is the best zone to planting this plant. When the winter comes, the farmers have to be creative to protect their plants. Farmers can utilize the heavy mulch to keep the soil humidity. The plant care lavender also can’t be separated with a drainage system which becomes the crucial part of the planting process.

2.2. Best planting by zone

The adaptability of each lavender types is different. LavandulaAngustifolia or English Lavender very hardy to plant in zone five or below. Then, Lavandula X Intermedia or usually called Lavandins are strong growth to zone five. The last one, Lavandula Stoechas is hardy to zone seven. The best zone for plant care lavender is important, but it doesn’t mean the lavender plant can’t survive at inhospitable climate places. Some types of lavender can survive in a wet area like near lake, or sea. For example, in Ukraine can cultivating the lavender near the Black Sea, then in Japan, Brazil, and South Africa. These locations have the climate with large water, but the Lavender can live there. The lavender can save a life until ten to twenty years after planting. For the beginner farmers, the plant care lavender looks like complicated and difficult.

3. The Soil Preparation

soil preparation

  • STAGE 1

The preparation of the soil is necessary before planting lavender. The lavender plant can grow well on the soil with pH of 6.5 or higher. Lavender plant does not require an organic matter. The most important is to choose the place full of sunlight and alkaline. The soil preparation for planting lavender includes creating the natural soil, digging a hole, and create the irrigation. Before planting the lavender, it requires to produce the planting media. Combine 1/3 sand, 1/3 clay soil, and 1/3 loam. You can add more sand than clay. Adding some materials that can improve the soil quality, such as the old potting soil, mulched leaves, the ground cotton seeds, and compost. Then, clean up the ground from the residue. The plant care lavender needs the soil with low moisture, so ensure this case.

  • STAGE 2

There are no specific regulation to how to designing the ground for plant care lavender. It can be done depends on the soil topography. No matter the soil is square, round, large or narrow, the lavender can be grown there. Dig a hole with enough depth to plant the lavender stems; it’s about 7-10 inches. For the heavy soils, it recommended to change prior the soil and managing the drainage system. The farmers can use the mulch to cover the land and keep the humidity. Applying the mulch in one inch and spread evenly until 6-8 inches. If the soils slightly clay, adding the sand over the top to minimize the water content on it.

From the soil preparation, you can detect some cases which are crucial to plant care lavender.

1. The oxygen substance from the soil

2. Predict the disease or pest

3. The level of water contain

4. Develop the soil nutrients

5. Knowing the restrictions for the root establishment

4. The Irrigation Management

Although the lavender need the dry land, it doesn’t mean the irrigation isn’t important. Irrigation or flooding has the function to control the water supply to increase lavender production. The irrigation should be done on the soil type, weather, and climate zone of the place. By the right irrigation technique, the water needs for plant care lavender will be stable. The enough water amount is related with the expansion and establishes of root process. The water amount is different on each stage, learn the water needs for lavender plant below.

STAGE 1: After Planting

• On this stage starts from after planting until the plants are formed

• Watering the plants once or twice a week

STAGE 2: Maturing Period

• On this stage, the plant begins to mature and forming the buds.

• The water needs for this stage is bigger than the previous step, two until three per week.

STAGE 3: The Harvest Period

• This stage begins from the bud formation until harvest time

• The amount of water for this stage is once or twice per week.

5. Planting Practice

Plant care lavender

planting lavender

  • Firstly

Lavender plant common planted start from spring through fall. Planting lavender while spring and fall have the consequences. The fall-planted lavender is more able to survive, quick in establishes and produce lots of flowers. Selecting the plant size can be done while planting, ensure that the plant has strong enough root to hold the plant life during winter. Otherwise, the spring planted lavender having the chance to utilizing a long season to establish the root system. The best time for planting lavender is in the morning because the air still fresh and get the sunlight directly.

  • Secondly

After the hole is already prepared, put the mixture of planting media with amount ½ cup for each hole. Then, plant the lavender stems with the space two to three feet between the plants, and three to six feet between rows. Press the soil the hold the stem stand. The space between plants has the function as water absorption area during plant care lavender. Pour the water deeply for each plant. Seeking for to planting lavender on March-June, and September-October.

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6. Growing Lavender in Container

If you haven’t enough space to planting lavender, you can utilize the container. plant care lavender in the container as easy as in the ground. You can choose the container with 15-16 inches in the opening to provide enough room for planting. Combining the sand, perlite, and one tablespoon of lime on each pot. Then, plant the lavender stem inside, watering the plant deeply. To fertilizing the lavender in a container, use an organic fertilizer, pellets, and spring. Finish with the light colored gravel or white landscaping pebbles as mulch.

  • TIPS

Planting with this way will require the water regularly. During the growing season, the soil should be check continuously to keep the soil moisture during the growing season. Growing lavender in the container is one of the innovation in planting. In the winter season, move the pot into protected place, you can move the plant into the ground or adding the bagged mulch there. The maximum temperature at night is 32 degrees Celsius. If over off these requirements, the lavender should be covered over.

7. The Lavender Propagation

Plant care lavender

lavender propagation

The best time to cut off the lavender plant starts while the lavenders are bloom. The propagation process should be done carefully by using the sharp knife. It’s recommended to wearing a glove to avoid injury. Cutting from the bottom of stems, ensure there are no flower buds on them. Then, remove the leaves from the bottom half of cutting. Put these leaves into horticultural vermiculite or well-draining sterile potting soil. It’s not necessary to root the hormones there. Be sure that the cuttings are labeled and notice the date of cutting was collected. The lavenders must be root in three weeks after propagation. Doing the transplantation for the cutting rooted into pots with 2-4 inches diameter. The transplantation is an important part in plant care lavender, do it with the correct method. When the root system is developed, you can plant it in the garden immediately.

8. Plant Care Lavender

  • Winter Tips

The winter season can bring out the problem for the lavender production. As we know, the lavender is intolerant with over wet soils. When it occurs, the lavender can’t produce the flowers more, and it’s possible to die. To overcome this problem, the farmers should be paying attention to the drainage system during winter. The root area of lavender not allowed to be dry out during winter time because it can make the root system week. Adding the heavy mulch around the lavender plant become the best solution. The mulch will protect plant through severe winters. It’s not recommended to use the wood or bark for mulch, but it’s better to use the seashells, pebbles, and light colored gravel. These mulches work to maintain the moisture of the soil. So, the lavender plant will be secure. Another problem that may occur is weeds. When plant care lavender, it’s possible to appear the weeds around. The lavender plant can’t adapt to weeds. If the lavender planting in the field, use the landscape fabric as the weed barrier.

  • Fertilizing Tips

Lavender is different from another plant that needs fertilizing regularly. For several lavender plants, the fertilizer requirement is less. But it doesn’t mean that fertilizing not important. The spring nitrogen can be applied while the plant starts to flowering. Besides that, fertilizer also important when founded the pests or diseases like insects. The main problem of planting veggies or flower is disease and pest. These problems common make the farmer restless, the probability to get lots of profit will disappear. In plant care lavender, the possibility to attacked pests and diseases is high. The lavender plant categorized as the susceptible plant. At this time, you should be aware and extra to protect your plants through prepare insecticide, pesticide, and fungicide. Ensure that you apply this potion based on the instructions. The freezing injury will change the stem color into browned and restrict the root system. To solve this problem, you can use the windbreaks, or hoop houses to reduce the injury and improving the plant survival.

There are several reasons why the problems are coming around the plant.

1. Lack of the supplement for lavender plant

2. Overwater supply in the soil

3. Can’t control the weeds development

4. The climate change

9. Pruning and Harvest Period

lavender pruning and harvesting

  • Pruning

The pruning period comes when the leaves already emerge from the base of the plant. The lavender should be pruned on every year. Cutting one-third part of the top of the plant by using pruning shears. Cut the stems as long as possible. Pruning process can keep the plant far away from splitting open and becomes too woody. Then, bundles about 50 to 100 stems with rubber bands.

  • Harvesting

After that, store the harvested plant in hot, dark, and dry room for 10-14 days. Hang them upside down and allow it to dry out. The best time to harvesting lavender plant is in the morning when the oils extract is concentrated, and 50% flower buds are opened. The lavender harvest usually is done manually; there’s no machine to pruning the plants. The aim to use this method is to keep the lavender quality and avoid the damage. The plant care lavender isn’t stopped at harvesting period, after that you should prepare the next process, which is the extraction.

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10. The Oil Extraction Method

The distillation of lavender flower should be done after harvest period. In general, the distillation process starts with removing the flower bud from the stems. The distillation will result in the essential oils. Each lavender types produce the different essential oil, include the amount and quality. Besides, the quality of the lavender plant is affected to the oil production, the extraction method also important to create good essential oil. The plant care lavender on this stage needs extra labor and more time. The extraction method selection also should be right to avoid the loss. There are four methodologies in lavender distillation.

1. Water distillation

This methodology requires the plant material and water. Then, boil it together for six to eight hours until getting the oil extract. Then, remove the unused plant and filtering the oil. From this method, the result called hydrosol, rather than a pure essential oil. Hydrosol can be utilized for the retail product.

2. The steam distillation

The steam distillation method is recommended for the large-scale production which is oriented to the commercial activity. This method uses the dry steam to vaporizing and extracting the lavender oil. The process is appropriate for the leafy crops for the lavender plant which has the specific gravity less than 1.0. For the small-scale production, the steam distillation can be applied on the stove, but it will result in just a few oils.

3. The solvent distillation

This methodology requires an organic solvent to extract an essential oil and oleoresins. Oleoresins have the function to strengthen the food grade of lavender oil. The result of this solvent distillation can’t be named as pure oil, because it’s already combined with another substance.

4. The supercritical extraction

The last methodology is supercritical extraction. This method uses the carbon dioxide which is under extremely high pressure to extract the lavender oil. The extraction of oil and oleoresins is separated. The oleoresins will be added at the end of the extraction process.

To resulting the hydrosols or essential oils, steam the lavender plant thoroughly. Include the stems, root, bark, and dried or fresh flower. During the steam process, the essential oil will float to the top of the container. The liquid which left on behind is hydrosol. The steam distillation needs the big container or steam unit, and the price of one unit is $8.000 to $11.000. For commercial production, it’s important to have this unit. The extraction methods above depends on the amount of lavender plant and the purposes of essential oil. So, choose the right extraction method to get the maximum result.

11. Lavender Oil Uses

Lavender oil uses

This plant produces the oil which is beneficial for some purposes, such as for culinary, medical, herbs, and aromatherapy. In addition, the lavender essential oil usually used for the fragrance and as the assortment substance for products like soap, perfume, etc. The development of planting method resulting in more than 40 lavender species. These variants cultivated in different locations and produce the different oils depends on the chemical compositions, the disease or pest that probably attack, and the quality of lavender flower itself. See the table below to know the comparison about the properties of lavender essential oil of Lavender Angustifolia and Lavandins.

Lavender Types

Specific Gravity

Chemical Profile

Camphor

Caryophylene

Cineole

Linalool

Linalyl acetate

Ocimene

Angustifolia

0.876-0.892

0.5-1%

3-12%

1-2%

30-49%

30-45%

2.5-6%

Lavandins

0.885-0.897

4-11%

5-10%

30-40%

20-30%

Source: Australian Production Data of Lavender Growing Oil Production – plant care lavender

The lavender oil and lavender essential oil is different if there’s no clear statement on the label that “essential oil” it can’t be used as the therapy. The lavender oils are working like perfume oils and not contain the advantages that are found in essential oils. To knowing the authenticity of the products, the consumer suggests looking at the price of the product. The pure lavender essential oil has a high price. Regardless of the pros and cons of lavender oil and lavender essential oil, there is some positive impact that we can get from this oil.

  • STRENGTHEN THE NERVOUS SYSTEM

The lavender essential oil has a calming impact on the nervous system. It’s recommended to use this oil for the people who easy to depression, stress, anxiety, and fatigue. The fragrance will bring the relaxation feeling.

  • OVERCOME HEADACHES

Use this oil to reducing the headache. It can be work in two ways. First, massaging the oil into the forehead, neck, behind ears, and temples. Second, inhaling the oil fragrance and feeling your comfort.

  • CURE THE WOUND

Apply the essential oil and water into the wound. The oil will help in the regeneration of cells and hasten to the healing wound. It can be applied and safe for the wound in all human body part, like on foot, hand, face, etc.

  • MENSTRUAL SYNDROME

The lavender essential oil can alleviate the menstrual syndrome of women. Just applying this oil to the stomach during the menstrual cycle.

  • SKIN TREATMENT

The essential oil also beneficial for beauty treatment. This oil believable can clean up the face from acne because contains anti-micro bacterial, overcome the sunspots, and as skin food which can protect and nourish the skin.

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12. Lavender Side Effect

The plant care lavender is easy to do but, this plant also brings out the disadvantages for people. The lavender oil can cause an allergic reaction, diarrhea, skin rash, abdominal pain and difficulty breathing for certain people. The lavender oil contains some side effects on a human. Therefore, this oil usage should be in right amount and control. Here the side effects of lavender oil.

1. Allergic reaction

The allergic reaction from lavender oil can be found in some cases, such as the inhaling and skin application. This reaction common occur while inhaled as aromatherapy or deodorizer. The application of lavender oil by beauty product or cosmetic can trigger this risk. The allergic symptoms can be seen with a headache, diarrhea, and the burned sensation in the throat or eyes.

2. The medical side effect

The lavender oil isn’t able to interact with general medicine. This oil can cause excessive sleepiness if consumed with sedative medication, such as Morfin, narcotics, and anti-anxiety. It can become a danger for the human body. It’s recommended to doing the consultation with the doctor or medic to prevent the medical interaction that may occur cause lavender oil.

3. Acne problem

We should be careful while using the lavender oil. Lavender oil is forbidden to ingested. The lavender oil can cause the acne problem for skin. The application of this oil into the sensitive area such as lips, nostrils, and eyes is forbidden. The lavender oil can’t be used as the main medical treatment. This side effect applies to certain people who have the high-sensitivity.

In short,

Although the lavender oil is having lots of advantages for health and therapy, it doesn’t mean the lavender oil usage is free without the limitations — the lavender oil common sold as an herbal supplement. There’s no absolute regulation about the standard manufacturing of lavender oil, such as how many the herbal compounds that combined with that. The herbal supplements which are marketed in stores have been found contaminated with drugs and metal toxic. As the consumer, we should be aware of this case. It’s recommended to purchase the herbal supplements from a reliable store to minimize the contamination risk. For the dose of use, you have to follow the instructions which labeled on the product package. It’s not recommended to use overdose. If you’re in pregnant condition or having low or high blood pressure, ask your doctor before to get the recommendation.

In Conclusion

Before deciding to plant care lavender, you have to learn all about the lavender plant. The lavender cultivation gives so many benefits for farmers and industry. Lavender needs at least 6-8 hours of sunlight. No specific pest and disease maybe attack to the plant — it just common pest like an insect. The essential oils which produced by lavender plant contain lots of advantages for human living. Therefore, except the flower is a beautiful and good scent, this plant can’t be denied as a multi-purpose plant.

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