If you’ve passed through the Mediterranean region of France, Spain, or Italy, you probably still have vivid memories of lavender fields in bloom. The fragrant purple blooms of these gorgeous, sun-loving shrubs contrast brilliantly with their delicate, gray-green leaves.
Lavenders need very warm, sunny weather to thrive outdoors though. If your weather just won’t do, you may wonder about growing lavender indoors. Can you grow lavender indoors? You can if you pick the best indoor lavender varieties and give them the exposure they need.
Can You Grow Lavender Indoors?
As outside plants, most lavender likes a climate that is quite similar to the hot Mediterranean regions where they grow wild. If you live in a fog belt or don’t have the room in your backyard, you might consider installing lavender as a houseplant.
Can you grow lavender indoors? Not all lavender plants grow well in containers in the living room. However, some do, and if you select carefully among indoor lavender varieties, you’ll soon be singing the praises of growing lavender plants inside.
Best Lavender as a Houseplant
Obviously, when you bring lavender plants inside, you are talking container plants. Since some regular lavender cultivars grow waist high, you’ll do best to pick dwarf plants when you are growing lavender indoors.
One cultivar to consider is 'Goodwin Creek Grey,' a fragrant variety that thrives indoors. It grows happily outside in hardiness zones 7 and above, so you can set the plants outdoors in summer if you like.
‘Munstead’ is another dwarf variety that does well indoors. It is compact and fragrant with rosy purple flowers. Another excellent choice is ‘Little Lottie,’ with its soft pink flower spikes.
You can also use cultivars of French lavender (Lavandula dentata) varieties. These are smaller plants and do well in pots inside. Or try Canary Island lavender (Lavandula canariensis) or moisture-loving fern leaf lavender (Lavandula multifida).
Growing Lavender Indoors
When you are planning to use lavender as a houseplant, it’s important to select an appropriate pot and good soil. Pick a pot for lavender that is only a few inches (8 cm.) larger than the plant’s rootball. The plant likes tight quarters, and excess soil can easily stay too wet. Check that the pot has ample drainage holes.
Use a light potting mix that drains well, adding in some sand, perlite, and compost. Mix in a little lime to tip the soil toward alkaline. Adding crushed eggshells every month or so helps keep it from turning acidic.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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