Lavender is a beloved plant that is popular among many garden enthusiasts. It is a hardy perennial that can thrive in various climates, including Illinois. However, planting lavender requires careful consideration of the weather and soil conditions to ensure that the plant will grow and flourish. In this article, we will discuss when to plant lavender in Illinois and how to care for it.
When is the best time to plant lavender in Illinois?
Spring is the ideal time to plant lavender in Illinois. It is recommended to wait until the threat of frost has passed, which usually happens between April and May. Planting in the early spring will give the plant enough time to establish its roots before the hot summer months arrive.
Fall is another suitable time for planting lavender. This is best done in September or early October, before the temperatures drop below freezing. Like spring planting, planting in the fall will give enough time for the lavender to establish its roots before the winter months arrive.
How to prepare the soil for planting lavender in Illinois?
Lavender thrives in well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline. In Illinois, soil acidity can be high, so it’s recommended to test the soil’s pH level before planting. If the soil is too acidic, it can be amended with lime to increase the pH level.
It is also crucial to ensure that the soil has adequate drainage. Lavender does not tolerate standing water, and waterlogged soil can cause the plant to die. To improve drainage, it is recommended to add sand or perlite to the soil.
How to plant lavender in Illinois?
When planting lavender, it is essential to select a location that receives full sun exposure. This means at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. The plant should be spaced 1 to 3 feet apart to allow air circulation and prevent overcrowding.
To plant, dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant. Place the lavender in the hole, and fill the space with soil, gently tamping it down. It is important to water the plant thoroughly after planting to help it establish its roots.
Care and Maintenance
One of the most critical factors in growing lavender is proper watering. The plant should be watered deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between watering. Overwatering can cause root rot, which can be fatal to the plant.
It is also recommended to fertilize lavender sparingly. Too much fertilizer can cause the plant to produce fewer blooms and become leggy. Organic fertilizers or slow-release fertilizers are ideal.
Pruning is also essential to keep lavender healthy and promote growth. Prune the plant in the spring, roughly two weeks after the last frost. Cut back the plant to just above any new growth, leaving about two-thirds of the plant intact.
In conclusion, lavender is a beautiful and versatile plant that can thrive in Illinois with proper care and consideration. Planting in the spring or fall, preparing the soil correctly, and providing proper care and maintenance will ensure that the lavender grows and flourishes. With its attractive foliage and aromatic scent, lavender is an excellent addition to any garden in Illinois.
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Last update 2023-09-22. Price and product availability may change.