24 Beautiful Fast Growing Types Of Lavender For Beginners

Lavender plants (Lavandula spp.) are herbaceous perennial herbs with aromatic leaves and flowers. Most varieties produce small, gray-green leaves densely clustered along the branches. Tall stems loom over the leaves, topped with a spike of fragrant, tubular flowers. The flowers are clustered together on the ends of the spikes attracting bees and butterflies to the garden. Most types of lavender flowers are purple, but some varieties are available in pink or white.

Classification or Categories of Lavender

Genus lavandular can be categorised into four major groups:

  1. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Often labeled as Lavandula officinalis (“shop” lavender), Lavandula vera (“true” lavender) or Lavandula spica.
  2. Lavandula stoechas (“topped” lavender), also known as French or Spanish lavender
  3. Broadleafed lavender (Lavandula latifolia). Also known as spike lavender or Portuguese lavender
  4. Hybrid lavender (Lavandula x intermedia), Also referred to as lavandins or Dutch lavender

Spike Lavender

Spike, or Portuguese, lavender (L. latifolia) is native to the mountains of Spain, France and Portugal. Quite different from other types, spike lavender plants are 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide, and are often referred to as broad-leaf lavender because of their wide, spatula-shaped leaves. The plants tend to remain in flower longer than other lavenders and have branched flower stalks that produce violet-blue blossoms. Classically used in sachets and perfumes, flowers on spike lavenders are highly fragrant and keep well when dried. Cultivars include:

  • Jean Davis
  • Compacta

French or Spanish Lavender

French lavender (L. Stoechas) is also called Spanish lavender, or sometimes butterfly lavender because its purple flower spikes have tall, pink-to-purple petals that extend from the top of each spike and resemble butterflies. This type of lavender has gray-green leaves and generally reaches a height of 1 to 3 feet with an equal spread. It blooms from late spring into summer, producing desirably fragrant flowers. Cultivars include:

  • Strawberry Ruffles
  • Anouk
  • Royal Splendour
  • Ballerina
  • Bandera pink
  • Otto Quast
  • Blueberry Ruffles

Dutch Lavender

Dutch lavender (L. x intermedia), also called lavandin, starts to flower in midsummer, a bit later than English or French lavender. Hybrid lavender bushes, called lavandins, are typically crosses between English lavender and broadleafed lavender. forms bushy mounds about 2 feet tall and has strongly aromatic. It flowers and foliage. Its flowers are especially rich in lavender oil, but its fragrance has slightly medicinal overtones with hints of camphor or menthol. Lavandula x intermedia is the most common hybrid, encompassing such popular varieties as:

  • Grosso
  • Hidcote Giant
  • Silver Edge
  • Provence
  • Seal
  • Phenomenal

English Lavender

A common type of lavender, English lavender (L. angustifolia) is a bushy, shrublike plant that usually grows about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Its furry, grayish-green leaves cover the plant’s erect stems and give off a minty aroma when bruised. The plant’s flowers appear in summer on stiff, upright stalks. Each flower spike is made up of many tiny flowers that contain a fragrant oil. Cultivars include:

  • Nana Alba
  • Loddon Pink
  • Little lottie
  • Little Hidcote
  • Twickle Purple
  • Blue Scent

Caring for Lavender

These sun-loving plants grow best in good-draining soil that stays on the dry side. The soil needs watering once it is almost dry. Last year’s flower shoots are pruned back at the beginning of spring before new growth occurs. Deadhead the dying flowers to encourage the growth of more blossoms. Lavender plants are not long-lived shrubs and need replacing about every 10 years.

Propagation of Lavender

All varieties of lavender plants can be propagated by semi-ripe cuttings taken during the summer. These cuttings are dipped in rooting hormone and grown in a greenhouse until the following spring when they are transplanted outside. Many types grow well from seeds sown in a greenhouse or cold frame in the spring. Seeds of lavender plants germinate very slowly, taking one to three months to sprout. Do not propagate named lavender varieties from seed because they will not produce a clone of the plant.

Further References

  1. Growing Lavender: https://www.gardendesign.com/plants/lavender.html
  2. Everything you need to know about Lavender: https://plantvillage.psu.edu/topics/lavender/infos
  3. Tips for Growing Lavender: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/lavender/lavender-in-the-garden-information-and-growing-lavender-tips.htm
  4. Caring for Lavender Plant: https://www.thespruce.com/growing-lavender-1402779
  5. Facts about Lavender: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavandula
  6. Uses of lavender: https://www.britannica.com/plant/lavender