Lavender is notoriously difficult to germinate from seed. But with a few simple steps you can successfully start your own lavender sets and plant a garden’s worth of this fragrant and beautiful herb.
Step 1. Start Early
Lavender is slow to germinate and takes a few extra steps to get the germination process going. Be prepared to get your seeds planted indoors about three to four months before your predicted planting time for your zone/area. Sometimes this time frame occurs before the garden supply stores start getting in their seed packets and seed starting pots. Gather supplies now for next year.
Step 2: Planting
This year we used peat pots to germinate our lavender. They are convenient because the whole pot can be planted in the ground without disturbing the root system. Use a potting soil designed for starting seeds. This mix has a nice blend of peat and vermiculite to retain moisture and keep the soil light.
We fill our pots with soil and then water to set the soil in place. Watering before planting helps to keep small seeds like lavender from being buried too deeply as the dry soil fills with water and settles.
Lavender seeds are very tiny so sprinkle a pinch of seeds in the center of the pot and just lightly fluff the dirt to get the seeds covered and moist.
Label the seeds appropriately.
This year we are growing:
French Purple Ribbon by Botanical Interests
English Tall by Botanical Interests
Hidcote Dwarf by Botanical Interests
And a perennial Lavender by Hart Seeds
Step 3. Cover the Pots
Place the pots in a waterproof dish or seed tray. If your seed tray comes with a clear plastic cover then place that on top. If not, slide the whole tray into a garbage bag. You want to seal in the moisture until the seeds germinate.
Step 4: Make Room in the Fridge
Lavender seeds need a dormancy period of cool temperatures to germinate. The fridge is a perfect place for this to occur. Place the tray in the fridge for three to six weeks. You won’t need to water them because the bag will keep the pots from drying out.
Mark the calendar when the tray is due to come out.
Once the dormancy period is over, remove the seeds from the plastic bag and place in a warm area.
Once the seeds germinate, place them on a sunny, south facing window or under a grow light.
These seedlings were in the fridge for four weeks and germinated within three days of coming out. They are now getting their second set of leaves.