Lavender existed for centuries and has been of use in many ways since time immemorial. Know the different types and the advantages you get for growing them.
Lavender comes from the same family as mint but shares the fragrant characteristic of citronella. The Romans used its scent to ward off insects as well as mice and other pests in the house. During the Elizabethan times and also in France, it was used on clothes and bed linen because baths weren’t a common practice yet. Lavender, in fact, is taken from the Latin word “lavare,” which means to wash.
It was so fragrant that Cleopatra reportedly used lavender as a perfume to seduce Mark Antony and Julius Caesar. The Egyptians, on the other hand, has used it in their mummification process over 2,500 years ago. The flowers are commonly used as an ingredients in potpourri.
Anouk (Lavandula stoechas)
The Anouk is compact and has flower heads of dark plum topped with violet-blue bracts that turn light pink when they mature and last a very long time. They bloom from mid- to late-spring to early summer, and they can even flourish in late summer or early fall. Bees and butterflies love them, and they typically grow in bushy mounds up to 18 inches tall.
Ballerina (Lavandula stoechas)
This one consists of plump, bright purple petals that are topped with long, white petals which eventually mature into pink and purple. It has silver foliage and is highly aromatic, growing up to three feet tall and three feet wide. It booms in mid- to late-spring to early summer, and can even bloom again in the fall. Bees and butterflies love it, and it makes for stunning hedges and containers.
Betty’s Blue (Lavandula angustifolia)
Compact and tidy, this type of lavender has large, deep violet flowers and erect stems and forms beautiful domes in your garden. They have a very sweet fragrance and are perfect for containers and low hedges. Also great for use as dried flowers, it blooms once in the middle of the summer.
Fathead (Lavandula stoechas)
With plump, round petals in dark purple and long, lavender-colored petals sitting on top of it, this plant has beautiful silver foliage, is very aromatic, and grows best in full sun. They are long-lasting flowers and look spectacular in mass plantings and as hedges.
Folgate (Lavandula angustifolia)
This award-winning flower is hardy and comes back year after year. It contains iridescent violet-blue petals and it is one of the first lavenders to bloom. It blooms in mid- to late-spring and has a wonderful scent.
Grosso (Lavandula x intermedia)
A vigorous flower with a scent that is much stronger than most other types of lavender, this plant has petals that are very large and deep purple in color. Since they retain their color and scent when dried, they make excellent potpourri and beautiful sachets. Perfect for mass plantings and even rock gardens, this form of lavender is showy and eye-catching, and bees and butterflies love it.
Hidcote (Lavandula angustifolia)
With a beautiful and long-lasting scent, the Hidcote has spikes consisting of dark purple blooms and blue-green foliage, making it a truly striking plant. The winner of several international flower awards, it is perfect for borders, edging, and low hedges. It blooms in late spring or early summer.
Hidcote Giant (Lavandula x intermedia)
The winner of several international flower awards, this type of lavender has dense, bright-violet petals that grow outwards and a very strong fragrance, not to mention long stems that grow up to 30 inches tall. A great showy specimen, the Hidcote Giant makes great borders and blooms from mid- to late-summer. It is also perfect for herb gardens.
Impress Purple (Lavandula x intermedia)
This type of lavender works great in bouquets and as cut flowers for vases, and it consists of strongly scented petals of dark purple and beautiful green foliage. It grows up to 30 inches high, does well even in dry soil, and does a great job of attracting butterflies and bees.
Kew Red (Lavandula stoechas)
A lavender plant with an unusual color, the petals are plump and deep crimson-pink and topped with pale pink flowers that fade to white as they mature. It has silver, very aromatic foliage, and bees and butterflies love it. Eye-catching as hedges or in containers, the Kew Red can bloom as early as May, and it thrives in full sun and dry to medium soil.
Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender)
Native to the Mediterranean area, English lavender is great for potpourri, cooking, garden borders, and even for its oil. It blooms on an upright stem in mid- to late-summer, and consists of colors that include violet-blue, lavender, white-pink, or blue-purple. With delightful fragrances, the English lavender is attractive to butterflies and bees and grows up to three feet high.
Lavandula pedunculata subsp. pedunculata (Lavender)
The winner of several international flower awards, this type of lavender has gray-green foliage and has flower heads of dark plum that are topped with long flowers that are a lighter shade of purple. The blooms are particularly unique and eye-catching, and it has both blooms and leaves that smell wonderful.
Lavandula stoechas (Lavender)
Also called the French lavender, Butterfly lavender, or Spanish lavender, this plant tolerates dry soil and is resistant to deer and rabbits. It has silver foliage that is very aromatic, and the flowers make a great essential oil or potpourri. It is beautiful as hedges or in containers, and it blooms from mid-spring to late summer.
Lavenite Petite (Lavandula angustifolia)
With its short stems, tight foliage, and intense violet petals, this type of lavender is perfect for containers and shorter vases. It has a tremendous scent, blooms in mid- to late-spring, and has contrasting gray-green foliage that makes it stand out. Originating in New Zealand, the Lavenite Petite even has leaves that smell fantastic.
Little Lottie (Lavandula angustifolia)
The winner of several international flower awards, this type of lavender blooms in late spring or early summer and consists of masses of beautiful light pink flower spikes. A popular choice for containers and even culinary uses, the Little Lottie prefers full sun and dry to medium soil.
Melissa Lilac (Lavandula angustifolia)
Blooming once in the middle of the summer, this plant is a type of English lavender and looks like a lilac colored marshmallow. It has stunning, compact, large flower spikes and silver-gray foliage that is broad and perfectly complements the flowers themselves. It is perfect for borders and edging.
Miss Katherine (Lavandula angustifolia)
The Miss Katherine variety of lavender has won several international flower awards and consists of masses of beautiful, deep pink petals and silver calyces that make it shine when it’s in the sun. It blooms once in late spring to early summer, and the flowers are dense, open, and last a very long time. It is a perfect flower for low hedges, rock gardens, and containers.
Munstead (Lavandula angustifolia)
With rosy purple flowers and a height of up to two feet, this type of lavender blooms in late spring or early summer and has gray-green foliage that perfectly complements its petals. It is beautiful and eye-catching all year long and looks great in hedges, containers, and knot gardens. It also has a delightful scent that lasts a very long time.
Nana Alba (Lavandula angustifolia)
The winner of several international flower awards, the Nana Alba blooms once in mid-summer and consists of snowy white flowers that come in short spikes and eye-catching silver-green foliage. Both its blooms and its scent last a very long time, and it is perfect for white gardens, containers, and small gardens.
Phenomenal (Lavandula x intermedia)
These plants bloom earlier than other types of lavender – usually mid- to late-summer – and consist of narrow leaves that are gray-green in color with dense, violet-blue petal spikes that can grow up to 30 inches tall. They grow well even in heat and humidity, attract butterflies and bees, and make great showy specimens and borders.
Provence (Lavandula x intermedia)
If you live in a humid area, this is one of the best lavender plants to purchase because they do great in those conditions. They are commonly known as the Fat Lavender plant, and they consist of large petals of pale lavender, making them perfect for hedges. The Provence can grow up to three feet tall and has one of the strongest fragrances of all lavender plants.
Regal Splendor (Lavandula stoechas)
With violet blue flower heads and long pink-purple flowers on top, the contrast is stunning and sure to catch people’s attention. Deer- and rabbit-resistant, the Regal Splendor grows up to 30 inches tall and is a magnet for butterflies and bees. It makes a beautiful hedge and looks great in mass plantings.
Rosea (Lavandula angustifolia)
Blooming in late spring or early summer, the Rosea thrives in full sun and dry to medium soil. It is very fragrant and has upright petals of pale pink and silver-gray foliage. Both its flowers and its foliage are wonderfully scented, and it can grow up to 30 feet in height. These plants are perfect for perennial borders, low hedges, and even herb gardens.
Royal Purple (Lavandula angustifolia)
Deer and rabbit resistant, the Royal Purple has vibrant, long, lilac flowers on beautiful long stems that bloom once in the beginning of the summer. It is tall, growing up to three feet in height, and elegant, and has a sweet fragrance. It is also perfect for crafts and certain culinary uses.
Royal Velvet (Lavandula angustifolia)
This plant blooms twice starting in late spring or early summer, grows rapidly, and retains its beautiful look and aroma for a very long time. Perfect for herb gardens and low hedges, it produces eye-catching intense lavender blooms on stems that grow up to 30 inches high. It does best in full sun and is perfect when used in perennial borders, low hedges, and rock gardens.
Seal (Lavandula x intermedia)
With a height of up to three feet, these plants are perfect for borders, mass plantings, and even in rock gardens. They have violet-blue petals and leafless stems, a soft and pleasant fragrance, and are great for potpourri or sachets. The Seal lavender is deer and rabbit resistant and is attractive to bees and butterflies.
Thumbelina Leigh (Lavandula angustifolia)
With flowers that bloom continuously from early- to mid-summer, this type of lavender consists of round, compact, two-tone flowers of violet-blue which are extremely fragrant. They are stunning flowers that look great in containers and herb gardens, and butterflies and bees love them.
Growing Lavender at Home – Main Benefits
Perfect for insomnia.
If you’re having trouble sleeping or even relaxing, place a few drops of pure lavender oil on your pillow or a sachet of lavender under your pillow. Just the smell of the lavender can induce relaxation and sleep, without all of the side effects of prescription sleep medications.
Good for skin conditions.
Lavender is the only essential oil that doesn’t need to be diluted with a carrier oil, and you can place it directly on your skin for ailments such as acne, bacterial outbreaks, dry skin, and even scars and burns.
Helps with digestion.
Lavender oil can increase the movement of food through your digestive tract, as well as stimulate your intestines and the production of gastric juices and bile. Rub the oil on your stomach for relief of diarrhea, upset stomach, gas, nausea, vomiting, and many other stomach conditions.
Repels bugs and mosquitoes.
Bug repellants have harmful chemicals in them, so using lavender essential oil is both effective and much healthier for you. The scent alone can repel mosquitoes, moths, insects, and midges, and if you rub the oil on bites and other skin irritations, they can feel better immediately. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, lavender essential oil is perfect for your next trip to the woods and great to keep in your first-aid kit.
Relieves many types of pain.
When rubbed directly on the area, lavender oil can get rid of pain associated with joints, sprains, tightness, back aches, and even menstrual cramps. You can use the oil in several ways to relieve pain, including rubbing it on the bottom of your feet or applying it directly to the sore area underneath a warm towel.
Great for hair loss and other conditions.
Lavender oil can kill lice and lice nits, as well as make hair thicker and softer. Place a few drops in your conditioner or rub a few drops directly into your scalp once a day.
Helps strengthen the immune system.
Lavender oil works wonders for skin and nail conditions, and its antifungal properties can prevent diseases such as typhoid, diphtheria, and even TB. This has been documented in several medical journals dealing with microbiology.
Great for the circulatory system.
Lavender oil can lower blood pressure, reduce hypertension, and promote blood circulation. Because of this increased blood flow, you can experience benefits that include increased oxygen in the muscles, greater protection against heart disease, and even more glowing and attractive skin.