There are a number of different types of lavender, which differ in both their flowers and foliage. English and French lavenders are cold-hardy plants, and both will grow in cooler climates, but the former needs winter protection and a sheltered location. English lavenders are the most popular, and will bloom a single time each year. Both are resistant to foliar and root diseases. ‘Phenominal’ lavender is a vigorous variety, while ‘Provence’ has a long stem. French and Spanish lavender are hardy in zones seven to nine, but are only winter hardy in Zones seven to 9.
Growing lavender indoors has its own set of requirements, as it is grown in a pot instead of in ground soil. You should plant your lavender plant in a pot with a root ball that is at least one to two inches larger than the pot’s diameter. Using larger pots may not allow the roots to get the water they need. You should also avoid planting lavender in a pot that is more than twice the size of the root ball.
Another study investigated the effects of lavender essential oil on patients with high blood pressure. In a study published in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, researchers found that lavender essential oil reduced blood pressure and heart rate after open-heart surgery. While these findings indicate a positive effect on vital signs, further studies are needed to determine whether lavender essential oil can reduce the risk of heart disease. More research is needed, including randomized controlled trials with a larger sample size.
Lavender is used for many purposes in cooking. It pairs well with fatty and rich foods, boosting the overall flavor of the dish. In herbes de Provence, lavender is typically paired with lamb, poultry, and fatty fish. You can even make a lavender-infused shortbread cookie, a family favorite. However, do not use lavender essential oil in cooking. This is not safe for human consumption. It is safe to use lavender in moderation and only in cooking.
It is important to prune lavenders every year to maintain their healthy growth. If you haven’t pruned the plant in the past year, the resulting regrowth will begin this spring. First, remove dead foliage from the plant. Next, clip the gray stems at the base, while leaving the green buds on the rest of the stems. Also, remember to cut the low-buds on the remaining stems. By doing this, lavender plants will begin blooming again.
You can use lavender as an ingredient in many recipes. You can use dried lavender in simple syrups, to add flavor to your favorite desserts, or to steep milk and cream in your coffee grinder. You can even use dried lavender flowers as a substitute for sugar in your favorite recipes. If you prefer a more subtle flavor, try adding a few buds to your baking. This herb is perfect for all types of baking and can be used in a variety of ways.