Lavender

Lavandula spp.

taken from The Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Book by Walter Reeves and Felder Rushing

Perennial. English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the best known but least adapted to growing in the Southeast. Look for hybrids such as ‘Dutch’, ‘Provence’ and ‘Grosso’. Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) does well. The bushy, branching shrub has mature stems that become dense and woody. The small lavenderpurple flowers form terminal spikes 6 to 8 inches long. Plants can grow 36 inches tall with an equal spread.

Plant in full sun in a light, well-drained soil. Pick the flower stalks before the last flower on the spike has opened. Harvest on a dry day before the sun is too hot. Hang in bundles upside down in a shady, airy place. Store whole spikes or remove the flowers from the stems. Store in airtight containers.

The dried flowers scent sachets, potpourris and pillows.

• See also Home Garden Lavender

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