Planting a Lavender Tree

By Shannon C , last updated April 12, 2011

Planting a lavender tree is a wonderful way to beautify your home's landscaping. For best results, Lavender Trees should be planted in the spring or fall seasons. In cooler climates that get severe winter weather, earlier planting is recommended to allow the young tree to establish a full and healthy root system before winter frost and snow hits.

Selecting The Right Location

Lavender trees can reach heights of 40 feet at maturity, so it is essential to select a location free of overhead obstructions, power lines, or other potential obstacles to its growth. Lavender will not respond well in soil without adequate drainage - drainage is essential for a successful planting. Soil should shy away from acidity and contain at best composting and other organic nutrient material to enrich the soil. Soil pH should fall between 6.5 and 7.5 for best results. Lavender is a very expressive tree and will display yellowed leaves or poor growth to signal the need for better nutrient balancing in the surrounding soil. Lavender trees do require direct sunlight in order to thrive. However, Lavender Trees also do better in cooler, drier climates where they are not exposed to overmuch moisture or sunlight that is too intense, which can alternately rot or scorch the tree from the roots upwards as it grows.

Planting

To begin, clear the area to be planted of weeds, debris, rocks, and other growth. Loosen the soil surrounding the hole with a rake or shovel. Prepare the hole at a width of two times the diameter of the root ball and just as deep. Gently loosen the roots before planting the root ball in the newly dug hole. Fill up half the hole around the new root ball with nutrient enriched soul, then water thoroughly to remove air pockets. Fill the remainder of the hole around the new root ball with soil. Add a thin top layer of mulching to help control for weeds and garden pests, but do not allow the mulch mixture to touch the trunk of the root ball. If planting several Lavender trees in a row, allow adequate space up to the mature diameter of the Lavender tree to avoid overcrowding.

Care After Planting

The Lavender Tree will only need watering as the topmost inch or two of soil becomes dry to the touch. Lavender trees will do better in drier rather than overly moist or soggy conditions. Fertilize as needed after planting but not more than recommended on the type of fertilizer used. In many case, use of compost and other organic materials can reduce or eliminate the need to fertilize the Lavender Tree, as these trees can tolerate very diverse soil conditions well. Lavender Trees should only be pruned in the fall as soon as the blooming season has ended and only as necessary to keep them healthy and growing. Prune back to one third of the length of the branches, including both flowers and foliage, for best results.

Pests And Diseases

Lavender Trees are susceptible to garden pests and diseases. Fungal infections, yellow leaf spot, as well as borers and other common garden pests can be attracted to Lavender's fragrant blossoms. A soapy fungicide or pesticide mister or spray can effectively treat garden pests. Remove the affected branches and foliage and treat the remainder with soapy sprays or commercially available pesticides formulated for that purpose.

About

Lavender is a prized herbaceous tree that sometimes resembles a bush, sometimes a tree, depending on the varietal. Also known by its botanical name of Heteropyxis natalensis, Lavender originated across parts of south and central Africa and only later made its way stateside. Cattle appreciate Lavender's medicinal properties, and breeders often administer a white powder made from lavender leaves to treat intestinal worms in commercially bred cattle herds. Lavender's pale greenish yellow flowers appear in early spring prior to the foliage and are delectable to insects, so insects, birds and other creatures are often attracted in droves to lavender trees during blooming season. After the blossoms have fallen seed pods will appear, and these too will attract interested denizens of the air and ground. Lavender also emits a lovely fragrance that is considered by healers to be soothing and calming, and Lavender itself can also be used as an herb and for flavoring. Lavender bark has an unusual quality in that it often appears to "peel" away from the trunk of the tree itself, making it a visual point of interest year round. Lavender leaves will turn a deep, brilliant red when the leaves turn color for the fall.

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