If you want the healthiest and happiest lavender plants, you must make a batch of this best potting soil for lavender! It’s the best soil mix for growing lavender cuttings and seedlings, and you can make it with everyday ingredients from the garden center!
To grow a garden with lush purple mounds of French lavender, you need the right soil. The Mediterranean has dry, gravelly soil with little organic plant matter. It’s easy to make your own soil mix to provide lavender plants with these exact conditions.
Lavender Soil Requirements
The ideal soil for lavender will meet these requirements:
- Well-draining soil
- Low organic matter (little to no fertilizer or compost)
- Has rocks or small pebbles
- Slightly alkaline soil ph
Lavender also likes full sun and warm, dry conditions, so consider these when placing your new plants. Learn more about growing lavender.
How to Make the Best Potting Soil for Lavender
You must choose a well-draining soil to grow healthy new lavender plants in your garden. Soil that holds moisture close to the roots may cause root rot and will hinder your plants’ growth.
I prefer to use a mixture of:
- 4 parts of seed starting mix (no fertilizer)
- 1 part additional gravel, perlite, and/or coarse sand
This formula is really simple, and you can tweak it to what you have on hand. If you use quarts as your parts, remember to fill one quart with rocky, gravelly ingredients that improve drainage. It’s okay to use only one or all three aerating ingredients. I prefer to mix at least two elements from the second line to add different textures to the soil.
Can I use regular potting mix for lavender?
Most conventional potting mixes include highly absorbent ingredients that hold too much moisture close to the plant’s roots. Although this is ideal for some plants, it’s terrible for lavender plants that require good air circulation and drainage.
Using a regular potting mix for lavender is possible, but you’ll need to choose a specific type. Choose a seed starting mix, commonly available at garden centers and nurseries, or basic potting soil.
If you choose a potting soil mix, it should include minimal ingredients like sand, peat, and vermiculite, and it should not have any fertilizer.
Another option is to head to your local plant nursery to pick up some growing medium.
These are typically formulated for high drainage, good air flower, and enough density to hold the container in place. They are also low in compost or fertilizers and are ideal soil for lavender. Some great options include Pro Mix and VermiPro, which are soilless media and great for seed starting.
How to get good drainage in lavender soil
To improve your lavender soil, consider adding pea gravel, perlite, or sand to your existing soil. These will help force excess water out of the container.
Although sand can do well in potting soil for containers, it is not always ideal for amending your existing soil. Clay soil with added sand will have terrible drainage. Instead, amend clay soil with ingredients that promote drainage, like perlite or pea gravel.
On the other hand, heavy soils may benefit from supplementing with sand, mulch, or gravel. If you need to know the type of soil you have, conduct a soil test and adjust as needed.
Should I fertilize lavender plants?
Although lavender prefers poor soil with little nutrition, it does need some nutrition to survive.
To get a great harvest of lavender flowers, add about an inch of compost to the soil at the base of the plant each spring.
The compost will add some organic material and nutrition, but not nearly as much as store-bought fertilizers. Plus, compost will continue breaking down into the surrounding soil, improving its structure over time.
Learn more about fertilizing lavender.
How to amend soil PH for lavender plants
Lavender plants require an appropriate PH level to produce the best blooms and new growth.
Fortunately, they are very forgiving and can tolerate various growing conditions as long as they have the right amount of drainage and sunlight.
Generally, lavender prefers a slightly alkaline PH level. Look for seed starting mixes with a ph of 7 or add a small amount of pelleted lime to adjust the ph of acidic soil over time.
Will lavender grow in acidic soil?
Lavender prefers soil that is slightly alkaline but can tolerate some acidic soil. It does well in soils with a range of ph levels from 6.5 to 8. To figure out the ph in your soil, conduct a soil test.
Can I use succulent soil for lavender?
Since succulents also require soil with excellent drainage, and many of us have cactus soil on hand, this is a great question! Cactus soil can be an excellent choice for lavender plants as it is naturally well draining and has minimal organic matter.
You can use succulent soil for lavender, but keep in mind that lavender plants require more regular watering than cactus plants. If your soil mix is too porous, you should mix in a small amount of peat moss or coconut coir to find the perfect balance of hydration and drainage.
Is Miracle Grow potting soil good for lavender?
Miracle Grow and other conventional potting soil mixes are designed to increase moisture retention and fertilize plants. Lavender prefers well-draining soil with little nutrition. Add additional perlite or gravel to Miracle-Gro for better drainage in a pinch, but lay off any additional fertilizer.
How do I make lavender soil better?
Whether you’re growing English lavender or one of the other lavender varieties, all lavender needs well-draining soil. If the plants in your herb garden aren’t doing as well as you’d expect, try adding an inch of compost in the springtime to offer the plants a little extra food.
Add a coarse sand or gravel layer if your soil is too compact. These soil amendments will work their way into the ground and improve drainage over time.
If you’ve been itching to grow your own lavender plants, now’s the time! The best potting soil for lavender is easy to make, and you might even have these ingredients in your garage or shed.
Learn More About Growing & Using Lavender
- how to care for container-grown lavender plants
- tips for growing lavender from seed
- should I fertilize lavender?
- common lavender problems and how to fix them
- how to make lavender oil
Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check your her books below: