Lavender is a type of shrub that is quickly recognized by its characteristic purple and purplish color, as well as its characteristic smell. It is a genus of plants called Lavandula , which is made up of more than 60 different species of lavender. Although its purple color known, directly, as lavender is the most common and widespread of all, you can also find varieties with white, blue and pink tones.
Since ancient times, this perennial plant of the Lamiaceae family has been used for the treatment of different diseases such as anxiety, migraines, insomnia, skin diseases such as acne, the treatment of pain in the teeth and nausea, among others. many. It is a fairly resistant plant with the ability to grow easily in almost any place where it is planted. If you want to know how to care for a potted lavender plant, keep reading and we will tell you about it.
General characteristics of the lavender plant
Broadly speaking, the main characteristics of lavender are going to be those of a shrub with a Mediterranean climate. Which means that it has the following characteristics:
- You will need direct sun for at least six hours a day.
- Regarding the type of soil that you will need, it is a basically alkaline substrate (which implies that the soil has a high pH).
- Likewise, lavender is a plant that does not tolerate excessively humid soils well , which means that it will need good drainage so that the soil does not puddle.
In fact, in the event that the water accumulates in excess and for a long time, there is a risk that the roots will become ill or even rot. Therefore, when watering it, it is best to wait until the soil is dry and making sure that it has a good drainage that prevents the excess water from being retained.
What kind of pot does lavender need?
Lavender is a plant that can grow perfectly in a pot and, in fact, it is a very common practice that allows you to enjoy this aromatic plant without having to have a garden or a field of cultivation. However, it will be important that the pot in question is large . This is because, as it is used to growing in soil, it will need enough space to spread the roots . In this sense, a pot of about 30 or 40 centimeters in diameter should suffice. In the event that the pot is smaller, in general, the plant will not develop correctly or, at least, not in the way that is so showy and colorful to which we are accustomed.
On the other hand, the type of pot that is most recommended for planting lavender is ceramic or terracotta without painting or glazing . This is because, being porous, it allows excess water to evaporate more easily, which will benefit its growth and the health of the roots. Likewise, another fundamental aspect will be that it has adequate drainage, for which it is essential that the pot has holes in the lower part. In addition, if you want to improve the drainage even more, it is best to place a little gravel in the lower part before placing the substrate and the plant itself.
How to care for a potted lavender plant
As already specified, it is a plant that does not tolerate excess moisture well. Therefore, in addition to having the corresponding drainage, it is important to space the irrigations so that the soil can dry out between one and the other. It is not essential that the substrate dries completely, but it is necessary to avoid its continuous humidity. In this way, the correct thing to do is to water it once every two weeks during the cold months and once a week in the warmer months.
Regarding the fertilizer, it is a plant that does not need it excessively and, in addition, it can react negatively to inadequate fertilizers. In this way, it is best to avoid fertilizing it if it is not necessary and that, when it is done, we make sure that it is a fertilizer with a low nitrogen concentration, since it would alter the soil. In fact, as curious as it may seem, an excessive fertilizer will favor the growth of leaves to the detriment of the flowers, which will make our plant lose its aroma and showiness.
When it comes to pruning, it should be done in a limited way and maintaining the correct shape of the bush. The most suitable months for this are early spring and autumn. On the other hand, it is important that, when necessary, the wilted flowers of the plant are removed, since their presence can affect its growth and prevent the floral renewal from being carried out correctly.