Planting lavender indoors is an easy project for any gardener who wants to grow lavender for their garden. If you do it the right way, you will be able to grow lots of little lavender seedlings, which will be ready to plant in the garden once summer rolls around. In this post, I’ll show you how to grow lavender from seed indoors.
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Reading: Growing lavender indoors from seeds
how to grow lavender from seed indoors
Growing lavender from seed indoors is fairly easy, and you can do it if you have the right setup.
To grow lavender from seed successfully, you will need to provide consistent heat and light, with low heat initially and then consistent lighting for 12-16 hours per day.
Once the seedlings start to grow, they are very hardy and easy to care for.
what you’ll need to grow lavender from seed:
- good quality lavenders seeds (I am growing elagance purple lavender, lavandula angustifolia, which I purchased from johnnys selected seeds.
- seedling trays or containers to plant your seeds
- good quality potting soil
- shelves on which to place the seedlings
- a heat mat to help germinate the seeds
- and some type of lighting to secure in your seedling rack to provide the necessary light for your new seedlings to grow
This set-up will give your seeds their best start if you are planting indoors.
You can also plant in a south facing window, however make sure the seeds get enough light. if they grow tall and leggy, they may need additional lighting.
Growing with a grow light guarantees the necessary amount of light and can be done quite profitably.
- You can use whatever type of seedling tray you want to use. you can use seedlings, paper pots, small pots, or even soil blocks to plant the seeds.
- Because we were planting 500 seeds, we chose to use all 128 seedling flats so that we could fit four trays of our lavender seedlings on one shelf.
land to plant the lavender seeds:
- any good sterile potting mix will do.
- add a small tablespoon of gaia green all-purpose fertilizer to our tub of potting soil and mix well before filling the trays with soil.
How To Grow Lavender From Seeds Indoors Using Heat Mats:
- Using heat mats was a game changer for us. It has increased our success rate with seed germination dramatically.
- Heat mats will warm the soil from below with slow, steady heat, which is important for germination.
- moist soil is usually cool, even in a warm room at room temperature. seeds often fail to germinate in fresh soil. the heat mat warms the soil, which increases the chances of seed germination.
- Heat pads can be quite expensive, however, they last for years. they are a good investment if you plan to sow seeds indoors every year.
- Lavender seeds germinated on the heat mat. once the trays had approximately sixty percent seed germination, they were removed from the mat and placed under lights.
shelves for trays of lavender seedlings:
- Shelves can be expensive and are definitely an investment. out of season the units can also be used for storage. this is where we store our seed pods for seed collection during the fall and early winter months!
- Our seedling racks have wheels, which is very convenient to move and highly recommended.
- We keep our shelving set up year-round with our grow lights plugged in.
- we can fit 4 trays of lavender seedlings per shelf on our shelving.
- we use regular shop lights from the hardware store.
- two shop lights are attached per shelf.
- in each light there are two fluorescent bulbs.
- We initially bought the more expensive purple grow lights, however we didn’t see any difference in plant growth between using each type of light.
- first fill your trays with the potting soil you have selected.
- I pat to make sure there are no air holes, however don’t pack too hard.
- then make a small indentation in each cell. I do this with my finger (see image above with a seedling tray filled with soil).
- This makes a small cavity into which you can drop the lavender seed.
- Place the seeds on a plate or in a shallow container next to the tray.
- pick one lavender seed at a time and place it in a cell.
- I like to use a pen or something else to mark the next row of cells as I go, to help prevent double-seeding! I place the pen at the top of the row, next to the row I’m planting.
- When I finish planting my row of lavender, I will move the paddock over a row and plant in the row where the paddock was. this is a useful technique if your seeds are small or too small to see, to keep track of your seed row.
- Lavender seeds require light to germinate, so don’t cover them.
- The tray of planted seeds is placed in a tub filled with several inches of clean water, to water the bottom of the tray (I use a shallow storage container big enough to fit the tray).
- Once the soil is saturated, remove it from the water and place it on the heat mat.
- Leave the lavender seed tray on the heat mat until about sixty percent germination is achieved. make sure the soil does not dry out completely while the seeds are germinating. the soil should remain moist during this period and water the bottom as needed.
- once the seeds have germinated, place the seed trays under the grow lights.
- Irrigate regularly and as needed.
- We leave our grow lights on for about sixteen hours per day.
- When we turn off the grow lights at night, we also turn off the heat mats.
- We have had great success with this method.
Method For Planting Your Lavender Seeds Indoors:
fill your trays:
plant the lavender seeds:
bottom water of seedling tray:
place on a heat mat:
place under grow lights:
Is lavender easy to grow from seed?
In my experience, it has been fairly easy to grow lavender from seed.
The seeds germinated with this method quite quickly, and within a week we had good results, and the seedlings were placed under the grow lights.
The seeds were planted on February 11 and are just over four weeks old (after germination) at the time of this publication.
The lavender seedlings are healthy and growing and will have plenty of time to grow larger and more robust before planting this spring in our zone 5b garden.
When To Plant Lavender Seeds
Lavender seeds should be planted six to twelve weeks before the last frost.
This will allow them to grow into good sized seedlings before planting outdoors.
In our area, that means planting time is anytime in March.
The lavender seeds I potted in February were planted fairly early and may need to be placed in larger containers before they are ready to be planted outside.
We will soon be starting another planting of lavender seeds, which we have just ordered from a local lavender farm in our area, seafoam lavender. these seeds are called true lavender (lavandula angustifolia ‘krajova’), and they are resistant to our area.
It’s a great idea to grow lavender that grows well in your area. I’m looking forward to planting these seeds.
How Quickly Does Lavender Grow From Seed?
In my experience, elagance purple lavender seeds planted in February grew quite quickly, with germination taking about seven days and good growth after that.
These seeds grew faster than expected as the package indicated 14-21 days for germination. this is why the lavender seeds were planted in mid-February, as expected, we may not germinate until March.
luckily they grew extremely fast and we also had a high germination rate.
seedlings will be ready to plant in late spring, towards the end of May in our zone 5b after the chance of frost has passed.
These plants will remain small this summer and will need a few years of growth before reaching their mature size.
As difficult as it may be, we will cut back lavender flowers this summer to promote good root growth and stronger plants.
Should You Soak Lavender Seeds Before Planting?
We did not soak our Elagance Purple English Lavender seeds before planting and we had great success with our results.
However, some English lavender seeds can have a hard coating and can benefit from the scarification process, which involves scraping or scratching the seed to aid in germination.
Growing Lavender From Cuttings
I have grown lavender from cuttings in the past and have had great success with this technique.
I can certainly do a blog post on this technique.
The problem I had with my cutting plants here in zone 5b was that they didn’t have time to establish a good root system once planted in the garden and therefore didn’t survive our cold winter.
earlier planting would be key for us to successfully grow lavender from cuttings.
They are fairly easy to root with rooting hormone and a really fun project to increase your lavender plants!
Transplanting Your Lavender Seedlings To The Garden
Transplant your baby lavender seedlings outside once all risk of frost has passed.
Although they are perennials and fairly robust at this stage, they will remain tender until they harden off and acclimate to the outdoor elements.
These lavender seedlings have been growing indoors and now they need to be ready for the next step: growing outdoors! until they harden, they are at risk of injury from sun, wind, and cold.
here is a post on how to harden off your seedlings:
how to harden off seedlings before transplanting
Once your seedlings have hardened off, they are ready to be planted in the garden.
growing lavender outdoors
Lavender is not an indoor plant and should be planted outdoors whenever the time is right.
all lavender require full sun and good drainage.
Lavender benefits from regular watering, especially during the first growing season.
We will grow our lavender on the farm in rows, on a hill facing south for good drainage.
we have clay soils that will be amended with a good organic compost.
Lavender grows best in a protected area. it will also benefit from some form of winter protection in colder climates, such as covering it with burlap or leaf mulch.
How Quickly Does Lavender Grow In The Garden
slow and steady wins the race!
Given the right growing conditions, lavender will reward you with beautiful blooms in a couple of years. you can even have some flowers in your first year.
Lavender will become a small bush in a few years.
In the meantime, you can always enjoy the wonderful scent of lavender by gently rubbing your hand over the leaves of the plant.
Even the little four week old seedlings have that fresh lavender smell!
Have you tried growing lavender in your garden? Be sure to leave a comment below to share your experience!
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This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. see full disclosure here. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
cell trays for seedlings
initial seed mixture
I hope you have found this information helpful on how to grow lavender from seed indoors. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!
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