The genus Lavandula contains a couple dozen species of aromatic, evergreen shrubs and subshrubs that are cultivated for their spikes of fragrant, tubular flowers on the end of long stalks. They hail from dry, sunny, rocky areas of the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia, and India. Leaves are small, densely clustered, and often grayish green. Grow lavender in a border, rock garden, as edging or hedging, or in containers. Flowers and leaves can be dried for a variety of uses.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsSpikes of fragrant flowers attract bees and butterflies.
CareSite in full sun and well-drained soil of moderate fertility. Prune in early spring by cutting back flowering shoots to within an inch of the previous year's growth, and then prune again lightly after flowering ends.
PropagationStart plants by layering or taking semi-ripe cuttings in summer, or sowing seed in a cold frame in spring.
ProblemsFusarium root rot, leaf spot