Congratulations! You've brought one of our lavender seedlings home. Now what?
All of the lavender seedlings we sell here at Seafoam Lavender are perennials that are suitable to grow in Nova Scotia with little maintenance required when they become mature plants. However, when lavender seedlings are small, they need more attention.
Firstly, do not plant your lavender in the ground until all risk of frost has passed. We recommend gradually hardening them off by putting them outside for just a few hours a day for about a week, then for the full day for about a week. After that, they can remain in pots outside day or night, as long as temperatures are above 5° C with no frost warning in the forecast.
While you're caring for the seedlings in pots, provide them the essentials of life. Lavender seedlings need regular water, but make sure the soil is allowed to dry between waterings. Soggy roots will kill your lavender plant.
Lavender also needs full sun, so make sure to keep them in the brightest room of your house or in a greenhouse during the hardening-off process. Then, when they're hardened off, make sure they are kept outdoors in an area with full sun.
Lavender plants are susceptible to white flies when indoors. So if, during the hardening-off process, you have to keep them indoors or in a greenhouse for more than a day or two, we recommend spraying your seedlings' leaves with an organic insecticidal soap such as Safers' Soap or some dilute dishwashing detergent once per week.
We recommend regular pinching back, and NOT allowing them to flower in their first year. Pinching off the ends of green branches every couple of weeks, and removing flower stalks as they develop during the first year will help to promote branching and vigorous root growth. Flowers cost the plant energy, so in the first year, we suggest helping the plant to devote energy to root and branch development.
After the risk of frost has passed in your region, plant them in the ground as soon as possible. Please read our blog post about how to plan a lavender garden and prepare your soil before planting in the ground. It's important to plant your lavender plants outside by August at the absolute latest, so that they have time to build strong roots before the winter.
Attentive care to your seedlings while they are small will help them to build strong root systems. Healthy roots provide your best chance of having tough, winter-hardy plants that can provide years or even decades of lovely lavender blooms.