Lavender is a fantastic plant to have in your garden —its flowers and sprigs have many uses, and the smell is divine. It’s also a very easy plant to care for, since it’s drought tolerant and low maintenance. But one thing that we gardeners anticipate most when growing lavender is the flowering season.
Lavender blooms in Australia starting mid-spring, then peaks in the summer, especially in the more temperate climates. December to January are generally the most flush, with purple buds sprawling across fields throughout the country. Some varieties can bloom earlier, in late winter, but these are usually hybrids that can withstand the cold more than ‘true’ lavenders.
Want to know when to visit a lavender farm to view the blooms, or when your little homegrown plant is finally going to flower? Learn about when lavender flowers in Australia below.
Types Of Lavender
There are many types of lavender, each with their own blooming seasons. But there are a few main types of lavender that are commonly grown in gardens and pots!
English lavender (lavandula angustifolia), also known as ‘true lavender’, is one of the most commonly grown. These blue-purple flowers are suited to cool, temperate climates — mild to warm summers and winters. It blooms multiple times in a year, and is edible. It’s also very good for drying lavender since it has plenty of oils.
French lavender (lavandula dentata), or fringed lavender, is more delicate than other varieties. This type of lavender doesn’t tolerate extreme temperatures, thriving more in mild summers and warm winters. It also has lighter colours, and a less strong fragrance, but its flowering season lasts longer. Plus, the plant can grow fairly large — up to 1.0m in height!
Spanish lavender (lavandula stoechas) has pretty silver leaves, which are very aromatic and perfect for potpourri. This type of lavender has deep purple flowers, and tolerates humidity very well. Also called Butterfly Lavender, it thrives best in mild summers and winters.
Lavandin (lavandula x intermedia) is a hybrid lavender that marries the cold tolerance of English lavender with the heat tolerance of Portuguese lavender. This type of lavender has highly fragrant flowers, with colours that range from dark violet to white. They prefer dry conditions, making them perfect for more tropical climates.
When Does Lavender Flower In Australia?
Several types of lavender can flower in early to mid-spring for the first bloom of the year, before they flower again in summer. English lavender starts flowering in mid-spring, as does Spanish lavender. Italian lavender can also start flowering in spring. It makes for the perfect touch of purple amid all the other flowers you might have in your garden.
This is peak lavender blooming season in many places, especially the more southern states like New South Wales and Tasmania. From early November to early January, many lavender fields across the country are in full, gorgeous bloom (making it the best time for a visit!). Most types of lavender will be flowering at this time, in particular Lavandin and Portuguese lavender. Meanwhile, English lavender will be reaching the end of its own blooming season.
French lavender has the longest flowering time, starting in early summer and blooming repeatedly until mid-fall. Spanish lavender and Lavandin can also have some late season blooms in early fall, before they grow dormant.
There are, in fact, lavenders that flower in winter! Spanish lavender, for example, can start blooming in late winter, adding colour to your garden ahead of the spring months. Special hybrid lavenders also flower in winter, such as the Lace Series or the With Love variety. If you want a touch of pink instead, the Princess Lavender blooms in vivid fuchsia, while the Ruffles Collection has a range of colours.
How To Care For Lavender Plants
Growing lavender is very straight forward — you can grow lavender from seed, or propagate lavender from cuttings. Plant lavender somewhere with full sun, at least six hours a day, although they’ll tolerate partial shade. Keep them out of strong winds, but make sure they still have good air circulation.
Lavender plants prefer sandy, well drained soil that’s slightly alkaline, since this kind of soil doesn’t retain too much moisture. It makes them perfect for rock gardens, ground cover, and fence borders.
Once mature, lavender doesn’t need much watering. You do, however, need to prune lavender regularly. This helps maintain its health and appearance, and encourages new growth and flowering. The general rule is to cut a third of growth, but you can also get an expert gardening service to prune your lavender — and the rest of your plants, too! Then you can rest assured that your lavender plants will bloom full and healthy, adding colour and fragrance to your life in the different seasons.