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How to grow lavender indoors (beginner-friendly)

How to grow lavender indoors (beginner-friendly)

Can lavender be an indoor plant?

Yes, lavender can thrive as an indoor plant if provided with the right conditions. In this guide, we’ll show you how to choose the right lavender variety, whether full-size or dwarf, and provide essential tips on lighting, watering, and container selection to ensure your lavender can thrive inside your home.

Selecting the right lavender variety

When it comes to growing lavender indoors, choosing the right variety is key to success. Let’s talk about two important choices:

Choosing dwarf varieties

Dwarf lavender varieties are like the superheroes of indoor gardening. They’re perfect for small spaces and pots. Why are they so great?

  1. Size matters: Dwarfs are, well, tiny. They won’t outgrow your indoor space.
  2. Fragrance galore: They still pack that lovely lavender scent.
  3. Easy peasy: They’re low-maintenance and beginner-friendly.

So, for indoor cultivation, dwarf lavender is your go-to choice.

Can you grow full-size lavender indoors?

The big question: Can full-size lavender thrive indoors? The answer is a bit tricky.

Full-size lavender, like the famous English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), prefers outdoor life. It can be a challenge to keep it happy indoors because it loves lots of sunshine and space to spread its roots.

If you have a super sunny indoor spot and plenty of room, you might give it a shot. But for most indoor gardeners, dwarf varieties are the way to go. They’re just easier to please when it comes to indoor living.

Starting lavender plants: transplants vs. cuttings vs. seeds

When it comes to beginning your lavender journey, you have two choices: transplants and seeds. Let’s dive into each one:


Starting with transplants is like getting a head start. Here’s why:

  • Instant lavender: Transplants are baby lavender plants that are already growing. You skip the germination phase.
  • Less waiting: They’ll bloom sooner, giving you those lovely lavender flowers faster.
  • Easier for beginners: Transplants are more forgiving for new gardeners.

Propagating from cuttings

If you already have a healthy lavender plant you love, why not make more from it? Here are some things to consider:

  • Clone your favorites: If you already have a healthy lavender plant you love, why not make more from it?
  • Faster start: Compared to growing from seeds, cuttings can produce new lavender plants more quickly.
  • Need a parent plant: You’ll need a healthy lavender plant to take cuttings from.
  • Not suitable for all varieties: Some lavender varieties may not propagate well from cuttings.

Growing from seeds

Growing lavender from seeds can be rewarding but requires a little more patience. Here are some tips:

  • Be patient: Lavender seeds can take a while to sprout, and it may be a year or more before you see flowers.
  • Choose the right seeds: Look for seeds packaged for uniform growth.
  • Sow with care: Plant them in well-drained soil and be gentle with watering.

If you’re up for the challenge and don’t mind the wait, starting from seeds can be a fun project. Just remember, it’s a waiting game with a big lavender reward at the end.

Growing lavender from a transplant

If you prefer the fastest route to lavender success, starting with a transplant is the way to go. Here’s how you do it:

What you need:

  • A healthy lavender transplant (baby plant)
  • A pot or container with good drainage
  • Potting mix

Step 1: Find your transplant

You can usually find lavender transplants at garden centers or online. Look for healthy ones with no signs of disease.

Step 2: Get the right pot

Choose a pot or container that has good drainage. Lavender doesn’t like to sit in soggy soil.

We recommend that you pick a 6- to 8-inch (15–20 cm) pot made of unglazed terracotta. Lavender loves this material as it allows excess moisture to escape through the pot’s sides, preventing root rot.

This is our favorite 6-inch terracotta pot.

Step 3: Fill with potting mix

Lavender thrives in well-draining soil with a slightly alkaline pH. Fill your container with a potting soil mix designed for succulents or cacti. This mix promotes good drainage and helps prevent overwatering.

Step 4: Plant your lavender

Take your lavender transplant and gently remove it from its nursery pot. Dig a hole in your container, place the transplant in, and cover the roots with soil. Press it down gently.

Step 5: Water it in

Give your newly transplanted lavender a good drink of water. Make sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged.

Step 6: Find a sunny spot

Lavender loves sunlight, so place your container in a location with full sun, preferably with 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.

Step 7: Care and maintenance

Keep an eye on your lavender. Water it when the top inch of soil feels dry. Lavender prefers slightly drier conditions than many other indoor plants. Remember to prune your lavender regularly to encourage healthy new growth and prevent it from becoming too leggy.

And that’s it! You’re well on your way to enjoying the beauty and fragrance of lavender without the waiting time of growing from seeds or cuttings. Happy growing! 🌿😊

Propagating lavender from cuttings

If you want to grow more lavender without buying new plants, propagating from cuttings is your jam. Here’s how it’s done:

What you need:

  1. Sharp scissors or pruning shears
  2. Small pots or containers
  3. Potting mix
  4. Rooting hormone (optional)

Step 1: Choose your lavender

Pick a healthy lavender plant you want to clone. While any lavender variety can be propagated from cuttings, if you’re looking for easy-to-grow options, consider these dwarf lavender varieties:

  • Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’: This compact lavender variety is perfect for small spaces, making it an excellent choice for indoor gardening.
  • Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’: Another dwarf lavender, ‘Hidcote’ is known for its deep purple flowers and lovely fragrance.

Step 2: Snip, snip

Use your sharp scissors or shears to cut a 3-4 inch (7-10 cm) piece of a non-flowering stem. Make the cut just below a leaf node (those little bumps on the stem).

Step 3: Remove lower leaves

Strip off the lower leaves, leaving only a few at the top.

Step 4: Rooting hormone (optional)

To give your cutting the best chance of success, consider using a rooting hormone.

We recommend “Dip 'N Grow” rooting hormone, which is readily available in gardening stores and can help your cutting develop roots more quickly. You can also pick it up on Amazon through our affiliate link.

Step 5: Plant the cutting

Stick your cutting into a small pot with potting mix. Water it lightly.

Step 6: Cover it up

Cover the pot with a plastic bag or a plastic dome to create a mini-greenhouse. This keeps the humidity high, which lavender loves when it’s growing roots.

Step 7: Wait patiently

Put your pot in a bright, indirect light spot. It might take a few weeks, but you’ll start seeing roots grow. Once you see roots poking out of the pot’s bottom, your new lavender plant is ready to transplant.

And there you have it, a new lavender plant born from a cutting of its parent. You’re now a lavender magician!

Growing lavender from seeds

So, you’re excited about growing lavender from seeds? Let’s get started on this fun journey:

What you need:

  • Lavender seeds
  • Seed tray or small pots
  • Seed starting mix
  • Fine water mist spray bottle
  • Patience (because growing from seeds takes time)

Step 1: Gather your seeds

First, get your hands on some lavender seeds. Make sure they’re labeled for uniform growth.

Step 2: Prepare the soil

Fill a seed tray or small pots with a seed starting mix. It’s specially designed for baby plants.

Step 3: Sow the seeds

Sprinkle the lavender seeds evenly across the soil surface, and patiently wait for them to sprout. Gently cover them with about 1/8 inch (3 mm) of soil.

Step 4: Give them a drink

Use a fine water mist spray bottle to water the seeds until the soil is saturated.

Step 5: Find the right spot

Place your seed tray or pots in a sunny spot, or use grow lights if you have them. You might also want to use a seedling heat mat to keep the soil temperature between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit (15-27 degrees Celsius).

Step 6: Keep them moist but not waterlogged

Misting the soil in the morning and early evening can help maintain the right moisture level. Don’t let the soil dry out completely, but also avoid overwatering.

Step 7: Patience is key

Growing lavender from seeds takes time, usually a couple of weeks for germination and a few more for the plants to develop strong seedlings. Make sure to give your sprouts 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.

Once they’ve established themselves, you can transplant them to larger containers or your garden for continued growth.

Creating ideal growing conditions

To make your indoor lavender thrive, it’s important to remember that it has its roots in the Mediterranean, where it thrives in sun-drenched climates. That is the environment you should strive to replicate. Let’s break it down:

Optimal light conditions

Lavender loves the sun. Here’s how to give it what it craves:

  • Bright, direct sunlight: Place your lavender on a sunny windowsill, preferably a south-facing one, where it can soak up 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • Supplement with grow lights: If you can’t provide enough natural light, consider using grow lights to make up the difference. Keep the lights about 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) above your plants.

Watering frequency & routine

Lavender prefers to keep its feet dry, so water it wisely:

  • Let the top inch dry: Water your lavender when the top inch (about 2.5 cm) of the soil feels dry to the touch. Stick your finger in the soil; if it’s dry, it’s time to water.
  • Avoid overwatering: Lavender hates soggy soil, so don’t let it sit in standing water. Ensure your pot has good drainage, and empty the saucer under the pot after watering.

Regulating temperature & humidity

Keep things cozy for your lavender with these tips:

  • Ideal indoor temperature: Lavender, hailing from the sun-soaked shores of the Mediterranean, prefers indoor temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C). Avoid exposing it to temperatures below 50°F (10°C).
  • Low humidity: Lavender thrives in low-humidity conditions. If you live in a humid climate, consider using a dehumidifier to maintain the right moisture level around your plant.

Creating the perfect growing conditions may take a little effort, but your lavender will reward you with its delightful aroma and beauty. 🌞

Choosing the right containers

Selecting the right pots and ensuring they have proper drainage is crucial for your indoor lavender’s well-being. Let’s get it right:

Selecting pots

  • Unglazed terracotta: Lavender adores pots made of unglazed terra cotta. Placing them on a sunny windowsill allows excess moisture to escape through the pot’s sides, helping prevent root rot.
  • 6- to 8-inch size: Opt for pots that are 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) in diameter. This size provides ample space for your lavender to grow while avoiding overcrowding.

Proper drainage

  • Drainage holes: Ensure your pots have drainage holes at the bottom. These holes are essential to let excess water escape and prevent the soil from becoming too alkaline, keeping your lavender’s roots happy.
  • Use a saucer: To keep things tidy, place your pots on a saucer. After watering, empty the saucer so the plant won’t sit in standing water.

Choosing the right containers and maintaining proper drainage will go a long way in ensuring your indoor lavender thrives. Happy potting!

Picking the right potting mix

To create the perfect potting mix, blend regular potting soil with cactus or succulent potting soil. The addition of sand or small gravel promotes fast drainage, preventing the soil from becoming too compacted and ensuring your lavender’s roots remain healthy.

And remember that lavender hails from the Mediterranean, where the soil is naturally alkaline. Mimicking these conditions is key to its success indoors. To maintain the alkalinity of your potting mix, consider these options:

  • Crushed eggshells: Adding crushed eggshells to your potting mix not only provides calcium but also helps raise the pH, making the soil more alkaline.
  • Lime: Incorporating lime into the mix is another effective way to increase soil alkalinity. Be cautious with the amount; a little goes a long way.

Additional resources

We’ve got more lavender wisdom for you! Dive into our related articles to become a lavender expert:

How to care for lavender: Learn the essential tips and tricks to keep your lavender plants healthy and thriving. We’ve got all the care advice you need, including when and how to prune your lavender for new growth.

What to use lavender for: Discover the wonderful world of lavender’s uses. From cooking to aromatherapy and beyond, lavender can do it all. Explore its diverse applications and get inspired!

These articles will be your lavender companions on this fragrant journey. Happy reading and growing! 🌿📚😊

Amanda Shiffler
About the author

Amanda Shiffler

With an M.Sc. degree in agronomy and over a decade of experience gardening, Amanda combines her plant knowledge and knack for writing to share what she knows and loves.