When and How Long Does Lavender Bloom

When and How Long Does Lavender Bloom?

Want to add more colors and aroma to your garden? A plant capable of doing this is lavender. Besides its appealing violet flowers and green foliage, lavender is a herb that has therapeutic, industrial, and cooking uses. 

So are you interested in lavender just for its flowers? Then, you might be wondering when and how long does lavender blooms?    

Lavender bloom timing is variant-specific. English lavender blooms in midsummer. French lavender blooms in Summer. Meanwhile hybrid lavender blooms in mid-summer. However length of blooming ranges from a few weeks to several months!

Let’s look at each lavender variant individually. Ultimately this gives a clear picture of when and how long lavender blooms.

When and How Long Does English Lavender Bloom?

Lavandula angustifolia is the botanical name for this lavender plant. 

Despite the name English lavender, this variant of lavender is actually native to the Mediterranean, and not England!

English lavender goes by many other names, Common lavender and True lavender being the most popular alternative names.

So, English lavender blooms in the USA in early to mid-summer (mid-June), and it blooms for about 3 to 4 weeks. 

This lavender mostly blooms once but a weak second bloom is also possible after pruning.

Another fact about this lavender is that it is the hardiest variant. It even tolerates cold and frost and can grow in USA hardy zones 5 – 9!

English lavender can live up to an astounding 15 years if given the right care and attention it requires. 

Common lavender is ideal for ornamental purposes in the garden. So they are great for accompanying paths, rock garden installation, and lining the garden.

They exude fragrance from every part of the plant. Additionally, you can use this lavender to make oils, cook, potpourri, and even herbal remedies. 

When and How Long Does French Lavender Bloom?

French lavender blooms in the USA in spring through summer and even in the fall! (as early as May to December). So it is the longest flowering lavender variant that flowers for about 3 months!

French lavender is also called Spanish lavender.

The French lavender variant actually applies to two variants and they differ depending on where you live. These two variants of lavender are called French lavender:

  • Lavandula stoechas (applies in the United Kingdom)
  • Lavandula dentata (applies in USA, New Zealand and Australia) 

The blooming period for French lavender lasts several months making it a highly sought-after house pot plant. But, this plant itself is not as hardy as the English one and is difficult to grow in USA hardy zones 7-9.

Additionally, this variant can only live for 4 to 5 years no matter how well you look after it. 

French lavender is most ideal as an indoor potted plant rather than an outdoor one. Consequently, the scent of this lavender differs from the English one as it bears a closer resemblance to rosemary than lavender. 

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Identifying between English and French lavender is easy. You can do it by looking at the distinctly different flower inflorescences. 

Hybrid Lavender

These lavender variants are referred to as Lavandula x intermedia

Crossed lavender variants bear the common name Lavandin. And, most hybrid lavender variants are a cross between English lavender (Common lavender) and another variant or crossbreed. 

Hybrid lavender blooms in the USA in mid Summer (July) to September for around 2 months.

This lavender blooms later than other lavender variants, so don’t be alarmed if yours hasn’t bloomed when other variants bloom.

But hybrid lavender is quite tolerant to cold and frosty conditions. They have the capability to thrive in hardy zones 5 – 9 in the USA. 

You can use the flowers for making tea, extracting oils, or as a food flavoring.

A great advantage of growing hybrid lavender is that all parts are edible (raw leaves, petals, and flowers). What’s more is they are great for cooking too, in soups, salads, or as a condiment. 

Grow this lavender in your garden to improve scenery and reap the benefits of the flowers and other plant parts. However, these lavender flowers are useful when dry or fresh. 

Flower Comparison For English Lavender, French Lavender, and Hybrid Lavender

English lavenderLavandula stoechasLavandula dentataLavandula x intermedia
Flower TipThe flower is open and has no petals Tips have very long petals (4-6 petals)Tips bear short but clearly defined petalsTips are present 
Flower SizeFlowers clusters are long (1-3 inches)Short flowers (1 inch)Flowers are medium-length (1-2 inches)Flowers are 1.5 to 2.5 inches
Shape of FlowerFlowers are slightly cone-shaped. Larger bottom than the topRoundish, olive-shaped flowersFlowers are elongatedRoundish and large
Flower ColorLavender colored. Other cultivars can be white, pale pink, pale blue, even violetDeep violet, blue, white, and possibly even red crossesPale lavender, white, yellow, to deep violet Pink, purple, or white

Ideal Conditions For Lavender Blooming

Ever seen those fields of lavender in bloom before? And if you have, you’ll admit that it is a sight everyone has to see at least once in their life! 

When you see a blooming bush of lavender it may look so simple to grow the plant. But, this is not the case.

A lot of effort goes into making a lavender plant grow and be healthy enough to flower.

Factors influencing lavender blooming are climate, soil, weather, and watering routine. Therefore there is no hard and fast rule that guarantees an excellent lavender bloom. 

Apart from the factors mentioned above, to guarantee good flowering the plants have to be cared for, disease, and pest-free. 

For anyone looking to grow lavender, the following tips will help ensure a healthy and lengthy lavender bloom. 

Tips To Encourage Lavender Blooming

Making sure your lavender blooms well or blooms at all will require ideal flowering conditions. 

Let us look at a few of them below.

Soil

To flower to their optimum, the soil for your lavender should have low to medium fertility.

Avoid using fertilizer and highly fertile soil as it promotes excessive foliage growth, at the expense of flowers.

So, choosing the right soil is the first crucial point to promote good lavender blooming.

Alkaline soils are what stimulate good lavender growth and blooming. But they will tolerate a pH range of 6.5 – 8. Lavenders grown in acidic soils experience stress and are not likely to bloom. 

Water

As a drought-resistant plant, lavender does well in dry conditions. In fact, it only requires watering once every 2 weeks!

This time period will increase during rainy conditions.

Overwatering a lavender plant will lead to rotting of the root and stems. Subsequently, this inhibits flowering and can even kill the lavender plant.

For example, a sign of overwatering is the yellowing of leaves. But, too much or too little water will reduce flowering chances and flower numbers. 

Do not place mulch around your lavender plants as it promotes moisture that can cause root rot. However, you can use white stones. White stones reflect sunlight back onto the plant and induce flowering and can even enhance the fragrance. 

Pruning

Constant deadheading in summer keeps the plant maintainable and appealing, spurring on blooming.

The best time to hard prune your lavender is in either fall or early spring. Pruning at this time will stimulate the growth of next season’s new flowers and halts any legginess. 

Sun

Lavender is a plant that requires full sunlight, and this applies to all variants and species!

Failing to supply your lavender plant with long hours of full sunlight will have dire effects. Flowers will be less bountiful and your lavender plant will not live out its full lifespan. 

Lavender Bloom

Types of Continuously Blooming Lavender Plants

When lavender is in full bloom there is a carpet of purple with the flowers and grey to green stalks.

Indeed this will make an appealing scene wherever in your garden you may decide to plant them. 

But, wouldn’t it be amazing to have this lavender haven bloom continuously?

Though, not exactly continuously, but there is a lavender variant that blooms from spring to the end of summer, continuously! This variant is called Spanish Lavender/French lavender or even Butterfly Lavender. 

If you are interested in continuous lavender blooming, these are a few popular French lavender cultivars:

Lavandula stoechas ‘Regal Splendour’

As the name suggests, ‘Regal Splendour’ features violet-blue flower heads that boast a full shape.

Atop of these heads lie pinkish-purple bracts that together with the violet creates a contrasting gradient of color. This beautiful aromatic flower is coupled with bright green plant parts. 

The Regal Splendour lavender blooms from mid-late spring to late summer continuously. Flowers even open as early as May. A second bloom opens in June while the third flush of flowers reveals themselves in late summer/fall.

Lavandula stoechas ‘Ballerina’ 

Flower heads of the ‘Ballerina lavender’ are full and purple.

These adorn lasting white flowers that gradually turn pink with time. This variant is particularly suitable for gardens due to its appealing flowers and silver foliage. 

Expect continuous blooming from mid-late spring to late summer with this lavender. Flowering commences in May, June, and summer to fall.

Lavandula stoechas ‘Anouk

The ‘Anouk’ cultivar has dark plum heads. Additionally, they have violet-blue bracts.

These are long-lasting and fade gently to pink on maturation. Flowers are aromatic and attractive with their silver foliage, making it a great addition to any garden. 

Again blooming occurs from mid-late spring to late summer with ‘Anouk Lavender’. Ultimately, flowering commences in May, then in June, and lastly in summer to fall.

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Types of Early Blooming Lavender 

Lavenders that bloom early tend to bloom in the Spring season. The majority of early blooming lavender are either English or French lavender variants.

Lavandula stoechas ‘Kew Red’

Flower heads of this lavender variant are plump and feature a crimson-pink color that is both deep and bright. The bracts are pale pink that converts to white when mature. Gardens will benefit from this very aromatic flower and its silver foliage.

Blooming takes place from mid to late spring and ends in late summer. As with other French lavender variants, a second and third bloom are possible. 

Lavandula angustifolia ‘Folgate’

This lavender features distinctly violet flowers that have more of a sweeter lavender smell. Certainly, their appearance makes them a popular choice for cut flowers.

The first bloom occurs in mid to late spring. Another bloom is possible and even a third if the flowers are cut fast!

Types of Mid to Late Summer Lavenders

Most of the lavender flowering from the middle to end of Summer belongs to Lavandula x intermedia and Lavandula angustifolia categories.

Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’

Flowers are large, with a deep violet coloring and long spikes, giving this variant the nickname “fat lavender”! The flowers retain their strong color and smell, even when dry. They have appeasing silvery-green foliage. 

The Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’ blooms in mid to late summer and thrives in full sun.

Lavandula x intermedia ‘Hidcote Giant’

The ‘Hidcote giant’ bears light violet flower spikes and has a strong fragrance. Its long stems make it a great addition to flower bouquets. 

Expect Hidcote giant lavender to bloom anywhere between mid and late summer. Above all factors, full sunlight is crucial for flowering. 

Lavandula angustifolia ‘Nana Alba’

The Lavandula angustifolia ‘Nana Alba’ is a dwarf lavender that cannot be mistaken for any other lavender. It has white flowers gracing silvery-green foliage. This is most ideal for small gardens and indoor potted plant containers. 

The Nana Alba lavender blooms once in mid-summer and again in the same season. Deadheading should be done fast if you want a third bloom!

End Note

Lavender plants bloom between 1 to 3 times a year depending on the variant and the cultivar.

If you want a lavender plant that blooms for several months, French lavenders are the best choice. Otherwise, if you want a long-living plant, English lavender is the one to choose. These can live up to 15 years! 

FAQS

How many times does lavender bloom in a season?

It depends on the lavender variant. English lavender variants have the capability to bloom many times. Up to two or three times in a single season! Other variants may bloom once or maybe twice in a season. Or if conditions are not good, it may not bloom at all! 

References

  1. https://mountainscholar.org/bitstream/handle/10217/196517/AEXT_ucsu2062272452009.pdf?sequence=1