One of the best ways to create low borders for your gardens and landscaping is growing lavender hedges.
Lavandula Augustifolia, or hardy lavender, belongs to the mint family and is an exceptionally fragrant flowering plant that features green foliage, square stems, and flower spikes that are various shades of purple and sometimes white.
Does Lavender Make Good Hedges?
As far as hedging plants go, there isn’t really anything that is comparable to lavender. In fact, it is grown in hedges as a way of farming it for the flowers.
The scent, of course, is second to none and used to edge a path or border or to create a low hedge you are going to send the scent up as soon as you brush past it.
The flowers when lavender is used as a hedge create a big sweep of purple or blue that is a beacon for pollinators.
Another plus point for using lavender as a hedge is that it is evergreen. It will provide structure and formality that you want with a hedging plant all the year-round.
What To Keep In Mind When Using Lavender As A Hedge
A few things to keep in mind before even considering using lavender as a hedge or edging plant:
- Lavender prefers full sun
- Adequate air circulation is required to prevent disease
- Lavender should be grown in well-drained soil
- Don’t plant lavender in mulch as it draws moisture to the plants
- Don’t use a sprinkler system, lavender needs very little water
- Lavender is best planted with other drought-resistant plants
- Lavender should be pruned in late fall
- Fertilizer is not necessary for lavender
- Lavender is a perennial and can last up to 15 years or more in a home garden with proper gardening and harvesting
Still interested in using lavender as a hedge or edge plant?
How to Create a Lavender Hedge
Lavender hedges are easy to grow but must be planted in dry soil that gets full sun at least six hours every day. Lavender flourishes in drier climates and doesn’t require much water but will require excellent soil drainage. Follow these steps to start your lavender hedge:
Create a 12-inch-wide trench using a garden spade or rototiller where you would like the lavender hedge to grow.
Create a ridge 6 inches high in the trench and add topsoil, and drainage such as grit, to increase the soil volume and drainage.
How Far Apart To Space Lavender?
To get the best effect from Lavender and create a seamless edge or hedge you want to space the plants around 10 – 12 inches apart.
Most cultivars tend to spread outwards in a fan so this spacing will create a good shape and the plants won’t suffer from overcrowding if they are kept shaped and trimmed.
How To Prepare Soil For Lavender?
Drainage is very important for lavender, they do really well in dry sandy soil. If you have heavier soil then adding sand or grit to the soil is highly recommended as lavender does not tolerate wet roots at all well.
Use a soil test kit to check the pH level of your soil. Alkaline levels should be between 6.4 and 8.3.
Use lime to raise the pH level if needed or follow the directions recommended on the soil testing kit to raise the alkaline levels. Once your soil is at the right pH levels, add 2.5 pounds of lime every 25 feet of hedgerow every year or two.
Plant lavender 10 to 12 inches apart in the middle of the hedgerow.
Water just enough to moisten the soil. Ensure that the soil is not wet during the first growing season as lavender flourishes with less water and is resistant to drought.
In late fall or early spring, remove the top 1/3 of top growth to encourage thicker plants and more flower blooms.
For extra thick edging, create a 24-inch-wide ridge rather than 12 in and set the lavender plants in two rows, staggering the plants so that each plant in one row is spaced halfway between the second row of plants.
Before planting, make sure to pull all the weeds from the vicinity of the lavender hedge otherwise the weeds will pull all the nutrients in the soil away from the lavender. Weeding after planting is difficult.
Best Type of Lavender for Hedges
Lavender Angustifolia, also referred to as English Lavender, True Lavender, Common Lavender, and Purple Lavender, is the most popular type of lavender for hedges. This type of lavender is often harvested for lavender essential oils and flowers from late spring to the middle of summer.
Some of the best lavenders for hedges in the lavender Angustifolia family include:
- Betty’s Blue
- Miss Katherine
- Nana Alba
- Royal Purple
- Royal Velvet
Lavandula x intermedia, or lavandin, is a hybrid flower that crosses the Lavandula angustifolia and the Lavandula latifolia. This type of lavender is less hardy than angustifolia, but grows taller with gray foliage and long, loose, flower spikes. Lavandula x intermedia blooms in late summer and is also used as accent plants and in potpourris.
Some of the best lavenders for hedges in the Lavandula x intermedia family include:
- Lavandula Stoechas is also called French or Spanish Lavender, and Butterfly Lavender. Like its nickname suggests, the Lavandula Stoechas attracts butterflies and other pollinators; and is beautiful in mass plantings or accent containers/planters. This plant flowers continuously from mid-spring through late summer and features extravagant flowers and conspicuous bracts.
Some of the best lavenders for hedges in the lavendulan Stoechas family include:
- Lavandula pedunculata
- Kew Red
- Regal Splendour
Top Benefits of Growing Lavender
Not only does lavender make a beautiful hedge or edge plant for your formal or informal garden, but there are many other benefits that people can take advantage of including:
- Lavender attracts pollinators like butterflies and bees which is great for lush gardens and nearby vegetable gardens
- Lavender repels bugs like mosquitoes, moths, and other types of insects who don’t like the smell
- Aromatherapy benefits of lavender include helping with insomnia, relaxation, anxiety, nerves, calming, depression, emotional stress, and migraine relief
- Lavender has antifungal affects when used on the skin for common infections
- Lavender is antibacterial and antiviral
- Lavender promotes a healthy circulatory system and lowers blood pressure, reducing hypertension
- Lavender stimulates your intestines for better digestion and relief for upset stomach, indigestion, gas, vomiting and other digestive ailments
- Studies have shown that lavender oil protects the body from increased glucose, obesity, and promotes good liver and kidney function
- Lavender oils can be used in hair loss treatments, killing lice, and boosting hair growth
Lavender is commonly used in formal and informal gardens because of its hardy growth, beautiful appearance, lovely fragrance, and many other benefits including human health and wellness.
Lavender is also great for gardens in family homes as the flower attracts butterflies and many types have a long blooming season. Use this guide to start a border on your garden using lavender hedge plants.