Growing lavender indoors adds to the décor and gives you an additional gardening challenge.
Rise to this challenge, and your home will be full of the refreshing scent of these beautiful flowers.
Likewise, you can enjoy the aesthetically pleasing visuals of lavender throughout your home or even use them as cut flowers.
Learn the details of growing lavender indoors, avoid rookie mistakes and engage in this rewarding pastime.
Why growing lavender indoors is a great choice
Lavender is a beautiful, hardy, flowering plant with a distinctive aroma. The natural oils of lavender are familiar to most people because it is added to perfume, soap, shampoo, body lotions, and many other commercial products.
The lavender essential oil has a remarkably calming effect, allowing you to destress naturally.
Even if you don’t want to go as far as buying essential oils to add to a burner, you can still plant lavender indoors to enjoy its lovely lilac blooms and wonderful scent.
Other incredible benefits of growing lavender indoors include:
You can use it in the bath, under your pillow to promote restful sleep, and use it to destress.
Lavender makes a flavorful addition to foods and beverages such as ice cream, other desserts, cocktails, and cool summer beverages.
This plant is excellent for treating marks on the skin, eczema, acne, and other skin inflammation.
Great to use on burns, insect bites, and other skin irritations.
It can help reduce pain and hot flashes.
You can use this plant to decrease blood pressure and slow rapid heart rates.
Lavender is also suitable for treating fungus and the symptoms of asthma
Some people even believe that this plant supports hair growth.
You might not easily extract lavender oil in the home environment, but you can still use the flowers to make tea. Simply steep (soak) the buds in hot water for 20 minutes for a soothing beverage that aids sleep.
Besides the benefits listed above, growing lavender indoors adds to the beauty of your environment.
Nurturing this plant also offers a therapeutic effect that is calming, and besides, this plant is pleasant to look at and helps diffuse other aromas in the air.
It’s difficult to find reasons why you shouldn’t focus on growing lavender indoors unless, for some reason, you are allergic to this plant.
So, when should you start growing lavender indoors to enjoy its benefits?
When to plant lavender indoors
If you already have lavender growing outdoors, it is simple to transplant it in a pot and bring it indoors. But if you don’t have this plant in the garden, the best plan is to buy small plants from a nursery.
Growing lavender indoors is a tough call if you want to grow it from seed because it can take several weeks before the seeds start to germinate, if at all.
Some gardeners even report that seeds take as much as three months to germinate. This lengthy process of growing lavender from seeds is why gardeners recommend purchasing starter plants from a local nursery.
The best time to start growing lavender indoors from a small starter plant is during the spring.
Lavender thrives on heat so grows better when the soil and air around it are warm. Temperatures of 60°F and more are ideal for growing this plant, but you can also grow lavender in the fall months.
When growing lavender indoors, use a small starter plant or take cuttings from mature plants. If you take this route, you have a better chance of successful growth.
It is important to remember that you choose a mature plant if you plant lavender in the cooler months. Mature plants are more robust and able to withstand transplanting, especially in cooler weather.
Container or raised bed
Whether you use a container or raised bed for growing lavender indoors is immaterial.
You should be thinking about whether your indoor climate is warm enough to sustain lavender growth throughout the year. Lavender loves the sun and heat because it is indigenous to the Mediterranean, where there is an abundance of both all year round.
There are also multiple lavender varieties, with some being more suitable for indoor growth and outdoors.
Spanish and French lavender varieties grow better in the south of the U.S., where the climate is hot and humid.
You can choose English lavender varieties that will typically grow well anywhere and give them lots of sunlight and warmth.
Besides heat, lavender tends to thrive in dry arid conditions, so remember this when growing lavender indoors.
Growing lavender in containers is convenient, and the plant won’t easily reach heights of three feet or more with regular pruning. However, if you plan on growing lavender in raised garden beds, they will have more room to “spread their wings” and reach greater heights.
So, whether you choose to plant lavender in containers or raised beds, the main point is to cater to their soil, nutrient, and watering needs.
These plants also prefer a soil medium that doesn’t hold water well, so a rocky soil base is ideal. Although lavender needs some nutrients, it is not necessary to use soil dense in rich nutritional compounds.
Adding compost to the soil can add nutrition and cause acidity. Compost is also good to aerate the ground but keep in mind when growing lavender indoors that this plant does not do well with loads of nutrients.
Potting soil is enough for growing lavender indoors, but you can also add a little limestone to the mix.
To improve drainage, use a rocky medium, add sand or perlite as neither of these elements will change the nutritional base in the soil, but they will draw water away from the roots.
A product like FoxFarm is a good choice where you can use two parts of this potting soil and add one part of sand or perlite. If you find this soil mixture is too dry for growing lavender indoors, you can always add a little more of the potting soil.
As an additional source of nutrition, you can crush eggshells and sprinkle this over the soil mix every month. A little alkalinity in the soil is always good for this plant.
How often to water
Avoid giving your lavender too much water as this will destroy them. The best course of action for growing lavender indoors is to water it twice a week once you plant this shrub. You can continue watering the lavender at this rate until they become robust.
After this period, you should only water growing lavender indoors about once every two or three weeks until the buds start to appear. At this stage, you should water them once to twice a week.
When growing lavender indoors, ensure that you place them in the warmest spot in the home, especially in winter.
It will be even better if you have indoor heating to offer additional protection for these plants. As hardy as lavender is, they originate from a warm, arid climate, so they grow better in warm temperatures.
Most gardeners will tell you that lavender does not need fertilizer, and this is true to an extent. However, following the guidelines for the type of soil for growing lavender indoors will give them enough nutrients to thrive.
Despite lavender not needing additional nutrients, you can still add a little fertilizer to the soil for an extra boost. However, be cautious about giving them too much nitrogen as this will disturb their growth pattern.
Notably, too much nitrogen will prevent flowering, which you don’t want with lavender.
Potting soil is typically enough, but slow nutrient release compost helps develop the ideal soil structure when growing lavender indoors. Use minimal amounts of compost, though, as you don’t want to enrich the soil too much.
If you decide to go for a FoxFarm potting soil, choose one low in nitrogen and don’t add fertilizer as their potting soil is already rich in nutrients.
Here are several pro tips for growing lavender indoors.
Pro-tip #1: Always place your lavender where it will get the maximum light indoors. As mentioned, this plant loves heat, so ensure you expose it to lots of sunlight, especially in the colder months. If you struggle to place this plant in natural light, consider purchasing LED grow lights to boost growth.
Pro-tip #2: If you’re growing lavender indoors or outdoors, avoid mulching as this retains water, which is detrimental to the survival of this plant. Rather sprinkle pea gravel on the soil surface to increase drainage.
Pro-tip #3: If your area is humid, then keep container lavender far enough away from each other to improve airflow between the plants.
Pro-tip #4: Once the plant is established, prune it back in the fall to improve growth through the spring and summer months.
Growing lavender indoors comes with its challenges, but once you respond to the growing needs of this plant, you will have a lovely addition to your interior.
You can still plant lavender indoors if you live in a cool region but use interior heating or LED lights to care for this plant.
Lavender has multiple health and culinary benefits, so now is the best time to test your skills for growing lavender indoors.
Tyler C Rich is the founder and chief editor at TopsyGardening.com. An experienced gardener and a professionally trained agriculture development expert, Rich has worked in the gardening and landscaping industry for more than a few decades. Although he has retired, his spark for developing the best urban and indoor gardens has not faded a bit. He uses TopsyGardening.com as a platform to come across enthusiastic gardeners and share the unique insights he has acquired through years of experience. Rich is interested in aquaponics and technology apart from conventional gardening techniques.