I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved lavender. It’s literally my favorite color, my favorite flower and my favorite scent.
It’s also one of the few essential oils that I can use liberally without triggering my deranged mast cells and that’s a good thing, because lavender oil helps keep me calm which keeps my deranged mast cells in check!
So it’s a win-win.
As a little girl I dreamed of running off to France to live in a fabulous castle surrounded by fields of lavender and while I’m still holding out hope that my dream may some day come true, I decided to just try and grow my own here at my lowly peasant farm in Idaho.
So I ordered a pack of seeds online and didn’t think twice about it. It wasn’t until they arrived and I saw the instructions that made me begin to wonder about growing lavender from seed at all.
Just the fact that they can take so long to germinate made me go hmm, so I decided to do a bit of research on growing lavender from seed and that’s when I found out that it is not easy, apparently!
Lavender seed is very tricky, apparently!
How tricky is it? Well, according to more than one expert, it’s much easier to just buy a lavender plant and forego the whole trying to grow them from seed thing because of the low germination rate. Also because lavender seeds have special needs that some of us may find daunting.
Some experts suggest cold-stratifying lavender seeds by placing them in moist soil in a freezer or refrigerator for two to seven weeks before moving them onto heat. Some claim you just have to do that overnight before planting them in the dirt. Some just soak the seeds until they swell and then plant them.
When I say plant them, you don’t actually plant them like normal seeds, though. You lay them on top of the dirt and let the sunlight penetrate them so they will sprout. Apparently, lavender doesn’t like to be buried and needs a lot of sunlight to germinate. Some people use a special set up with grow lamps and timers and heating pads under the growing trays. Some people just do it the old fashioned way and use a greenhouse or a warm, sunny windowsill.
For every lavender plant in France there seems to be an expert with different advice on how to grow these plants from seed! I spent a few hours pouring over the advice and watching YouTube videos to figure it out and I still wasn’t sure what to do, so I decided to try three different methods I found and set out to challenge myself on sprouting lavender seeds.
The first method I chose was to put the seeds into a bowl and let them sit for a few days to see if they swell before planting them into peat pods.
The second method I chose was to put them in a wet paper towel and then into a freezer baggie before putting it in the freezer for a couple of weeks.
I made sure to write the date on it so I don’t forget how long they’ve been in there.
The third method was to just put them right on top of the soil in some peat pods and place them in a sunny windowsill without stratifying them in any way. Some people have had success with this method online so I thought, why not?
I put some plastic wrap over the top to make a little greenhouse for them to keep the moisture in. I should be seeing them sprout within a few days to a few weeks, if this method works.
Once the seeds in the bowl of water swell up I’ll do the same with them, except I’ll try what I saw in this YouTube video and put them into cups with plastic baggies over the top of each cup. That seemed to work well for her and didn’t take very long at all to see results.
She uses a germination heat pad so I might get one of those or just use my regular heating pad (on low).
Hopefully one of these methods will work because I’d REALLY love to grow some lavender here. Maybe one or two here and there or maybe even rows of them, like they do in France.
It’s not like we don’t have the space for them.
Well, maybe not THAT much space but the hubby sure is enjoying using that rototiller this year so who knows! 🙂