Growing lavender in containers makes an ideal herb for patios, decks and walkways. Even a 6-inch plant, in a decorative pot, can provide a bright splash of color and fragrance to a small seating area. Or, plant several lavenders in a window box near a kitchen window for fragrance throughout the spring and summer.
1. Which lavenders are best for containers?
There are many varieties of lavender that are happy in containers. Tuscan, Provence and Grosso are three of the hardiest and most popular. But, my favorite for deck and patio containers is Hidcote Lavandula angustifolia a highly aromatic, smaller variety of common lavender. Frequently called English Lavender, Hidcote flowers are darker than most other lavenders; they appear navy blue at times with contrasting silvery foliage. Hidcote can make a stunning addition to the garden in containers or in the ground.
2. A very brief history lesson
This herb is a native of the Mediterranean. Ancient Romans, in their public baths, used lavender to infuse the warm water with its scent. Thus giving it the name “Lavender” meaning to wash. Bundles of Lavender were often scattered in the streets to ward off the Black Plague and other diseases during medieval times.
Medicinally Hidcote has been used to cure headaches and depression. Its oils are often seen in day spas for their calming, stress relieving effects. Not only does lavender offer a soothing effect on one’s nerves, but also Munstead and Hidcote Lavender varieties can help heal minor wounds and burns. Lavender’s healing potential is well documented, as is its anti fungal, antibacterial and collagen rebuilding abilities.
3. Hidcote features
• Grows as a perennial herb in zones 5-11
• Size 18″H x 18″W
• Full Sun
• Flowers range from purple to blue, blooms repeatedly during the summer
• The flowers are attractors for bees, butterflies and birds
• Its tough root system also makes it a great hillside and embankment plant
4. Lavender growing in containers tips
• Grow in well-drained soil
• A slightly alkaline soil is best
• Lavenders need full sun, 6 to 8-hours of sunshine
• Moderate watering as needed
• Use a 10 or 12-inch pot or space 2-1/2 ft. apart for hillside and embankment planting
• Feed with a 10-10-10 balanced fertilizer every three months
5. How to use lavender
• Scented bath water
• Sachets and potpourris
• Flowers and leaves are editable
• Use flowers in salads
• Combine with chocolate in baking
• Fresh lavender can be substituted for rosemary
• Salad dressings
• Lavender shortbread cookies: a killer combination