What could be more delightful than a big pot of lavender in full bloom, set next to a doorway, greeting all passersby with its heavenly fragrance and colorful blossoms? Lavender (Lavandula) is a very attractive perennial which enjoys a long flowering season and is fairly easy to grow.

Since not all lavenders are hardy, containers provide the opportunity to grow lavender that would otherwise not be suited to your garden. Place them in a sunny spot (at least 6 hours of sunshine per day), provide the right soil and plenty of drainage, and your Lavender will happily blossom and grow!

There are many varieties of Lavender, including dwarf cultivars which are ideal for container growing and can be clipped in decorative balls and cones. Obviously, the compact varieties make the best choices. To assist you in selecting the right plant, we have compiled a list of great lavender cultivars for pots and containers.

Planting Lavender in a Pot

Dwarf Lavenders as well as tender and half-hardy Lavenders are perfect choices for terracotta pots and look particularly attractive on the patio.

  • Select a container that provides your Lavender enough room to grow. A 12-16 in. pot (30-40 cm) will be perfect. Make sure it has at least a 1/2-in. hole in the bottom. Add small stones for swift drainage.
  • Select a good sandy potting mix that easily drains water and fill the pot 3/4. Add a tablespoon of lime
  • Add your Lavender plant and fill the pot with soil within a couple of inches of the top. Firm the soil to remove air pockets. Your Lavender's crown should stick up about 1 in. (2 cm) above the soil.
  • Water thoroughly
  • Add a 2 in. layer of mulch (5 cm) to help retain moisture.
  • Place your container in a sunny location (Lavender requires at least 6 hours of sunshine per day) that is sheltered from the wind.

Caring for Potted Lavender

  • Once established, lavender is fairly drought-tolerant. However, it grows bigger and is more floriferous with regular watering, specifically when planted in containers. Water when the soil is dry.
  • Feed weekly with a liquid fertilizer to encourage more prolific flowering and improved flower color.
  • Overwintering: Lavenders grown in pots should be given protection in light, airy conditions. Lavender pots can be stored over the winter for the next season. The plants need very little water from November to February. Wait until the pot is noticeably lighter or even until plants start to wilt and then water only on top of the compost. Never water over the foliage in winter.