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How to Grow Lavender From Seed In 8 Easy Steps

Known for its blue-purple buds and soothing aroma, lavender is a must-have plant in every herb garden. When you learn how to grow lavender from seed, you’ll have an endless supply of lavender to keep or give away!

The most popular way to grow lavender is by propagation, as lavender seeds don’t have the best germination rates. This process involves taking cuttings of a parent plant, allowing them to develop a root system, and then transplanting them into containers. Learn how to grow lavender from cuttings here.

A field of lavender flowers with cattle fencing, trees and blue skies in the background.

To be successful, it’s helpful to remember that lavender comes from the Mediterranean region.  If you want to grow lavender from seed, it’s a good idea to replicate these conditions as much as possible. Lavender is a hardy plant that loves warm temperatures and low humidity, and a lot of sunshine: at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

If you’ve saved your lavender seeds or bought a small pack of lavender seeds and want to start brand new lavender plants, follow the instructions below to experiment with growing lavender from seed.

1400 English Lavender Seeds for Planting Indoors or Outdoors, 90% Germination, to Give You The Lavender Plant You Need, Non-GMO, Heirloom Herb Seeds

Choose The Right Type Of Lavender To Grow

There are many different types of lavender, including English lavender, French lavender, Spanish lavender, spike lavender, lavandin, and more. All lavender cultivars have their own unique needs and challenges, so it’s important to learn more about the specific type of lavender you want to grow.

My favorite varieties of lavender to grow from seed:

  • Ellagance lavender grows well with nice pink, white, and purple lavender flowers
  • Jean Davis is a pale-pink English lavender varietal
  • Munstead lavender is an old standby and my favorite lavender variety

Since there are so many types of lavender, it’s best to look for a type that grows well in your area and its specific growing conditions.

How to Grow Lavender From Seed in 8 Simple Steps

If you’re ready to start planting, you’ll need to gather a few supplies, including:

1. Cold stratify your seeds

In their normal germination process, lavender seeds experience a period of cold temperatures in the winter before they sprout in the spring. If you are trying to control this process yourself, you’ll need to use cold stratification.

To do this, you’ll need to place your seed packet of lavender seeds in a refrigerator or other dark, cold place for approximately one month.

Although it is possible to grow lavender from seed without chilling the small seeds, your germination rates will probably be very low.

2. Choose a protected location indoors

Lavender takes a long time to germinate, so you’ll want to start your seeds indoors approximately 3-4 months before you plan to plant your seedlings. Select a safe location indoors to prepare your seed trays.

3. Prepare your seed trays

Fill your seed trays with peat pellets, coconut coir, or potting soil for lavender. Remember that lavender likes warm, dry conditions, so it’s important to use light soil that won’t retain too much moisture. You can also use biodegradable peat cups or your favorite growing medium.

Lightly water your seed tray to provide just enough moisture for the seed.

4. Sow seeds

Position your seeds approximately 1 inch apart and 1/8 in deep. They barely need to be covered, and if planted too deep, they may struggle to germinate.

5. Heat your seed tray

For the best results, place your lavender seedlings under a grow light and/or on a plant heating mat. Use a soil thermometer to keep the plants around 60-65 degrees F for 3-4 weeks until the seeds begin to sprout. Make sure your plants have plenty of light and good air circulation to avoid mold and root rot.

6. Wait

Give the seedlings plenty of time to sprout while monitoring the soil temperature and keeping them properly moist. If you’re lucky, you will have lavender sprouts that turn into seedlings you can transplant after your last frost date has passed.

7. Harden off the plants

Once your lavender seedlings have a decent root system and several sets of leaves, they’re ready to plant out in your garden beds or pots (here’s the best potting soil for lavender). It’s best to do this in late spring after the danger of frost has passed. 

But if you transplant your lavender seedlings right away, they may die from the shock of the cold weather. Instead, start taking them outside for increasingly long stretches of time over the course of 5-7 days. This will help the plants gradually adjust to the cooler temperatures.

8. Transplant your starts

Planting lavender in our front yard.

Once your plant is used to the outside temperature,  plant your lavender plant in a warm spot with well-draining soil. The growth may slow down initially as the plant gets used to the new conditions, so be patient.

The plant will mostly work on developing a root system in its first year, so don’t expect to see many buds. And if you see buds, remove them, so that the plant can concentrate on strengthening the root system. However, by the next year, your plants should be ready to begin producing flower buds.

FAQs

Is it worth growing lavender from seed?

Although the most popular way to grow lavender is by propagation, many farmers do grow lavender from seed. It takes a fair amount of time, and your plants will most likely not flower in the first year, but this is a great way to grow many lavender plants over time, without spending a lot of money.

How long does it take to grow lavender from seed?

Lavender seeds are very slow to germinate. It typically takes approximately one month for lavender seeds to sprout in the right conditions. After your lavender sprouts, it will need to grow for another 2-3 months before it is big enough to plant outdoors.

Can I just scatter lavender seeds?

Yes and no. Technically, it is possible for you to grow new lavender plants from seed simply by sprinkling the seeds on the ground. However, you’d have to do this during the fall or late winter, as lavender seeds require a period of cold temperatures to sprout.
One option is to sprinkle the lavender seeds in the late fall in a place that gets good daylight and appropriate rainfall. If you’re lucky, the seeds will sprout and take root by the spring.

Should I soak lavender seeds before planting?

Soaking seeds is a great way to rehydrate the seed before planting, ensuring it has enough moisture to survive. For picky lavender seeds, it’s more important that your seeds experience a period of cold temperature before planting.
After approximately a month in the fridge, you can try planting your lavender in seed trays. Another option is to soak your cold-stratified lavender seeds in water, then place them on a damp paper towel in a plastic bag in a sunny spot like a south-facing window. This is a low-tech way to germinate fussy seeds like lavender, although it is less consistent than using the grow light method described above.

How to grow lavender from seed.

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