If you like lavender and want to see more of it in your garden, you will need to plant more. However, planting them continuously in a heap will not reap any rewards, they will be too close together.
That’s why you should ask how much space do lavenders need to grow.
The truth is lavenders need 2 to 3 feet of space to grow. But these numbers depend on the variant of lavender and the place of growing.
Lavender spacing in potted plants will be less due to the lack of space in such a small area. Also, there are fewer chances of oversaturating the soil with water.
But, if you are definitely looking to grow lavender in a field or a garden, more spacing is a must. On average, place them 2 or 3 feet from the next plant.
Why Lavender Should Be Given 2-3 Feet of Space?
Lavender plants have their own set of particular requirements, this includes their need for space.
But, when other plants (lavender or not) trespass into their space, the growing conditions undergo an undesirable alteration.
In most cases, these changes make it hard for either plant to attain its best health and flowering output. This is exactly why you need to give your lavender plants 2 to 3 feet spacing.
Here are a few causes of lack of spacing to convince you that lavender spacing is crucial for their survival.
Lack of Spacing Creates More Shade Than Sunlight
Easily, sunlight becomes one of the cornerstone requirements of lavender plants.
Looking at the natural climate in their native Mediterranean dwelling, these plants can never get enough sunshine!
A lavender plant will gladly soak up 6 hours or even 8 hours of sunlight in a day. But, other plants encroaching on a lavender plant’s space can cast a shadow leaving the lavender in shade!
But, that’s not to say that lavender itself can’t cast shadows on its fellow lavender plants. The taller variants of lavender can reach heights of 40 inches (1.0m). Basically, this means that they can easily tower over and cloud the sun’s path to another plant.
Any deviation from a minimum of 6 hours of daily sunlight will start to negatively impact the plants.
Find out what are the four best lavender plants for growing indoors.
Overcrowding Reduces Air Flow
Ever sat in a bus or room that had too many people inside? If you have, you would know that it produces a feeling of suffocation. The same applies to lavender plants that are growing too close to one another.
With the lack of open space between the foliage of each plant comes the inability of air currents to circulate. As a result, moisture will remain stagnant in the same spot.
This high humidity will ail a lavender plant that hates excessively moist air and soil conditions. Effects that could be visible after a while are wilting, yellowing, and even signs of fungal infections!
The inter-plant spacing of 2 to 3 feet is adequate for lavender. It will ensure that air passes through every space of all plants and remove any extra moisture.
Fight For Nutrients!
Over-rich soils will sabotage the plants by making them grow leggy and not produce flowers!
Generally, lavender thrives when you provide it with the soil of low to medium nutrient levels. But, when the nutrient levels are insufficient in the soil, things could take a turn for the worst.
Lavender plants should not have to compete with each other for nutrients and minerals from the soil.
The shortage could be fueled by having too many plants in a smaller area and lavender is not commonly fertilized to compensate for nutrients.
Overwatering Occurs When Spacing Is Scarce
Some plants like lots of water, lavender is not one of them! So what happens when you are practicing companion growing? What if the other plant loves water?
This is where spacing really counts and can save both plants especially when they have very different watering requirements.
Spacing them the right distance apart will mean that each plant does not have to share the same soil as the other. So soil moisture does not transfer from one area to another.
One plant can have wet soil while the other can have relatively dry soil.
Get to know more about growing roses with lavender.
The 2 to 3 feet mark makes it possible to water a thirsty companion plant like roses with lavender without overwatering lavender.
Also, this space makes it possible to water the roses without a drop touching the lavender.
Lavender Needs Space to Grow and Develop Roots
We have discussed the implications of growing plants too close together. The foliage of two plants can become bushy and affect the plant next to it. This doesn’t just happen above-ground, it occurs below-ground as well!
The roots of lavender plants can reach a depth of 8 to 10 inches or more (in some lavender varieties). Placing them too close to plants that have the same root depth will be catastrophic.
Close plant placement will cause the intertwining of roots and this could spark competition to source water and nutrients.
All this could result in the lavender not getting enough nutrients and establishing its roots.
Without established roots, lavender plants cannot grow and will not flower to their full capacity.
To give roots enough space, plant them far enough so that the roots of two plants never have to meet!
Different Lavenders Need Different Spacing
Lavender plants come in a range of sizes, with the smallest ones needing less spacing than the larger ones.
Here are some examples of the spacing you should give them if you are to grow them.
- Dwarf lavender (Hidcote blue or Munstead) grows to a mature size of 16 inches by 18 inches. They require a spacing of 18 inches to 2 feet.
- Semi-dwarf lavender (Pink perfume or Hidcote) grows to a mature size of 20 inches by 24 inches. They require a spacing of 2 to 3 feet.
- Giant lavender (Hidcote giant, Provence or Grosso) grows to a mature size of 36 inches by 40 inches. They require a spacing of 3 feet or more.
Providing these spacing measurements is crucial!
Read about the differences between English Lavender and French lavender.
Spacing of Lavender For Large-Scale (Commercial) Growth
When growing lavender plants on a large-scale, spacing don’t just refer to the distance kept between each individual plant.
It also deals with the spacing between rows, this particularly applies to growing lavender on a farm.
So, we know plants within a row must be at least 2 to 3 feet apart from one another. But what about rows?
Well for farms, this decision depends on many factors:
- Size of field
- Method of harvest (hand or machine)
- Field access
- Design of field
Depending on these an appropriate spacing is selected.
Mostly a 5 feet distance is good but if more space is required 7 feet is acceptable. When measuring the spacing between rows, measure from the central plant of one row to the central plant of another row.
How Much Space Does Lavender In Pots Need?
It is clearly evident that lavenders grown in the ground need more space.
Each plant needs to be at a distance of 2 to 3 feet away from the next plant. The 2 feet applies for dwarf (small) lavender varieties and the 3 feet applies for larger varieties.
However, if you are growing lavender plants in pots, providing this much space is impractical! You can get away by providing much less space between each plant.
This lack of spacing will not pose a threat to your plants at all. This is because pot plants automatically receive better air circulation because they are raised off the ground.
Plus these pots will have better drainage than the ground and hence they will not need to be spread apart.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Lavender Spacing Right?
Every plant needs its own space, lack of space can prove to be problematic especially in the long run.
But that’s not all, providing too much space can also be bad for your plants. You have to do everything to get the spacing just right!
There are two main conditions to avoid when deciding on how much space to give your lavender and its companions.
Too Little Spacing
Planting lavender too close can affect the plants in a way that hinders their growth. In some cases, it can even lead to the death of it and its neighbors regardless of whether they are lavender or not.
Putting each plant too close to another will provide you with other problems as well!
Harvesting lavender is not the hardest job in the world. But, inadequate spacing between plants can make it harder to access each lavender stalk. Plus, there are chances that stems of two plants become entangled with each other.
Once stems are intertwined, separating them becomes close to impossible! Also, forcing your way to the lavender is not an option.
A forceful approach is something you should avoid since it can result in breakage and damage of lavender.
Eventually, difficulty in harvesting your lavender and damaging it by trying to harvest will lead to a reduction in the harvested amounts.
Too Much Spacing
Forget about being too close, plants can even be too far from each other! This too may not kill the plant but can result in losses for the grower.
Waste of Space
Not everyone has an enormous yard with lots of space. Planting your lavender too far apart than needed will lead to fewer plants and more bare ground.
Spacing has to be carefully calculated. Perhaps you have overestimated the size of your lavender.
Increase In Weed Growth
With too much spacing, there is more brown bare ground than the covered ground. As a result, weeds will take this opportunity to grow in all the vacant spaces.
This does pose a big problem for growers who will have to remove these weeds by hand!
More Time Consuming
The farther the lavender plants are situated from each other, the more time it will take to harvest their flowers/leaves. They should be put at a good enough distance, not too far away.
Bushes of flowering plants may look appealing in the garden but the troubles which will soon arrive are serious.
Growing plants too close together could even be the cause of a few plants dying or struggling to survive!
Lavender needs space to grow properly. A distance of 2 to 3 feet can prevent any loss of lavender plants and their beneficial flowers.
A distance of 2 or 3 feet will ensure all plants get enough:
- Air currents
- Adequate water (not too much)
- Enough space for harvesting
Different varieties of lavender require a different amount of space. Larger lavender plants need more space (3 m) while dwarf lavender plants need less space (2 m).
How far apart to plant English lavender?
English lavender is quite a large variant of lavender and hence a bit more spacing is required between plants.
Therefore, providing the full 3 feet (or more) distance between plants is essential. This ensures all plants have enough space to grow and thrive to produce flowers.