Lavender on the balcony: everything about planting and care
When the first rays of sunshine herald spring, it's high time to start thinking about planting your balcony. If you want to enjoy a great scent on your balcony in addition to beautiful flowers, you can't miss with lavender. The fragrant purple flowers not only thrive in the flower bed: if you follow a few tips, it grows just as well in tubs or balcony boxes. We'll show you how to plant lavishly flowering lavender bushes on the balcony and how it's even easier with The Plant Box.
Lavender - the aromatic plant from the Mediterranean region
If one speaks of lavender in the garden or on the balcony, one usually means the so-called "real lavender". This plant from the mint family is native to the Mediterranean region, where it grows wild on dry and rocky slopes. Lavender came to Northern Europe in the 11th century, when it was brought over the Alps by Benedictine monks and cultivated in monastery gardens. It is not only appreciated for its scent and the attractive purple flowers, it is also said to have healing effects; as a medicinal plant, lavender is said to provide relief from stress, concentration difficulties, and inner restlessness. The name of the plant comes from the Latin word “lavare” (to wash), as a fragrant bath additive was made from the flowers in the Roman Empire.
In addition to the classic real lavender in light violet, there are also variants in other colors; white, blue, and dark violet types have arisen through breeding and crossing. If you come across the species "Lavendin" in the garden center, it indicates a special breed that has a high concentration of essential oils.
Which types of lavender are suitable for the balcony?
In total, more than 20 species of lavender are known, but not all can be easily cultivated on the balcony. Large, bushy varieties need a lot of space and are better off in the garden.
But even if you only have a small balcony, you don't have to do without the lavender flowers: many lavender varieties remain small and thrive well in balcony boxes or terracotta pots.
Hidcote Blue is characterized by the purple-bluish flowers and grows between 25 and 40 centimeters high. The flowers of this genus are particularly suitable for drying.
Cedar Blue stays just as small and spreads a very intense scent.
Peter Pan, also known as dwarf lavender, grows even lower and stands out in the window box with its bright blue-purple flowers.
Edelweiss lavender is a subspecies of Provence lavender with white flowers. It grows up to 60 centimeters tall and is particularly suitable for cultivation in pots.
Anouk is the most popular type of so-called French lavender. It forms purple flowers and is between 40 and 60 centimeters tall.
Under what conditions does lavender grow on the balcony?
If you want to plant lavender on your balcony, you have to pay attention to a few important things so that the scented plant grows well and develops fragrant flowers. Due to its Mediterranean origin, the lavender must be placed in full sun - south and west-facing balconies are particularly suitable for this, while east-facing and north-facing balconies are unfortunately unsuitable.
Since the roots of lavender grow deep and finely branched, the plant needs plenty of space. The rule of thumb is: When in doubt, the bucket should be too big rather than too small. Low-growing varieties can also be cultivated in balcony boxes. Since lavender does not tolerate waterlogging, pots and boxes must be used from which excess water can drain easily. A drainage or window box with a drainage mechanism creates ideal conditions for your lavender.
When planting, you should always attach importance to suitable soil and substrates. Conventional potting soil is not suitable for lavender because in most cases it is too heavily fertilized. Sandy, nutrient-poor soils are better. Alternatively, conventional potting soil can be mixed with sand in a 1:1 ratio.
Lavender: How and when to plant it?
Since lavender is sensitive to frost, it should only be placed on the balcony after the ice saints in May. If you want to grow the plant from seeds, you can start planting in potting soil as early as March and place the shoots on a sunny windowsill. The germination period is about 4 weeks. But you should be aware of one thing: Lavender grows quite slowly. If you want to enjoy the fragrant flowers right away, you should use young plants from specialist shops or garden centers as an alternative.
How do I properly care for lavender?
If you are looking for an easy-care, fragrant, and magnificently flowering balcony plant, a lavender bush is a good choice. Due to its Mediterranean origin, it is used to little water and poor soil. The addition of fertilizer can even have a negative effect, as so many shoots develop, causing the lavender to lose its winter-hardiness. It is sufficient to supply the shrub on the balcony with an alkaline, low-nitrogen fertilizer twice a year. Watering too much can also damage the lavender on the balcony. Gardeners recommend watering the scented plant little but regularly.
You should repot your lavender plants at least once a year; the new vessel must be at least a third larger than the previous one. So that the lavender on the balcony stays in shape and grows healthily, it must be cut back regularly. The "one-third-two-thirds method" has proven its worth: After the flowering period, the branches are shortened by a third and in spring by two thirds.
Varieties belonging to the true lavender family are winter-hardy. They can spend the winter outside in regions with a mild climate. To protect them from the weather, the plants should be placed in a wind-protected and dry place and covered with a jute sack or fir branches. An exception is the frost-sensitive French lavender, which should spend the winter in a cool place in the apartment or in the conservatory.
Lavender & more for your balcony with The Plant BoxWould you like to enjoy a blooming lavender on your balcony now - preferably right away? Maybe you don't have time to take care of the plants, or you lack the green thumb? Then The Plant Box will help you! Our plant experts create seasonal flower and plant arrangements that are conveniently delivered to your home. We offer you a variety of different compositions, for every taste and for every season. You can find lavender flowers in the Purple Provence Box!
Your advantages with The Plant Box:
- Regional, seasonal, and sustainably harvested flowers and plants
- Creatively arranged balcony flowers as a highlight for the balcony box
- Large selection of different refills - find the right flowers for every balcony
- Matching: The Plant Box balcony boxes made from recycled vegetable oils with a universal holder
Can't decide on a box or would you like to be supplied with fresh balcony flowers all year round? No problem! With our subscription to the Plant Lovers Club, you are guaranteed to have enough variety on the balcony. We will send you a refill for your balcony box five times a year, of course always tailored to the current season. Join our Plant Lovers Club and look forward to new favorite flowers for your balcony with many others.