July 9, 2024

How to Plant a Lavender Hedge: A Simple Guide

Planting a lavender hedge in your garden will give you rows of beautiful blooms will a lovely scent. And not only do they look good but you’ll also be doing your garden a huge favor. Lavender hedges make fantastic natural borders and they attract all the right kinds of garden guests – like bees and butterflies – who in turn will thank you by keeping your plants happy and healthy.

This guide is packed with everything you need to know to get started and will walk you through each step of planting a lavender hedge as well as tips for caring for it.

Selecting the Right Lavender Variety

Choosing the right variety of lavender is the first step to a wonderful hedge. Lavender comes in various types, and one rather than another may be be suited to to climate, soil etc

Below are the most popular varieties and will help you to decide which is the best one for your garden.

Popular Lavender Varieties

  • English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
    • Characteristics: Compact, with narrow leaves and dense flower spikes. Known for its strong fragrance.
    • Best for: Cooler climates as it is hardy and can withstand frost.
    • Varieties: ‘Hidcote’, ‘Munstead’, ‘Royal Velvet’
  • French Lavender (Lavandula dentata)
    • Characteristics: Serrated leaves with a slightly pine-like scent. Longer flower spikes with a more delicate fragrance.
    • Best for: Mild climates; not as frost-tolerant as English lavender.
    • Varieties: ‘Goodwin Creek Grey’, ‘Royal Crown’
  • Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas)
    • Characteristics: Distinctive rabbit-ear-like bracts on top of the flower spikes. Strong scent and unique appearance.
    • Best for: Warm, dry climates; needs good drainage.
    • Varieties: ‘Anouk’, ‘Otto Quast’
TypeCharacteristicsBest ForVarieties
English LavenderCompact, strong fragrance, dense spikesCooler climates‘Hidcote’, ‘Munstead’, ‘Royal Velvet’
French LavenderSerrated leaves, pine-like scent, delicate fragranceMild climates‘Goodwin Creek Grey’, ‘Royal Crown’
Spanish LavenderRabbit-ear bracts, strong scent, unique lookWarm, dry climates‘Anouk’, ‘Otto Quast’

man planting a lavender hedge

Factors to Consider

When choosing your lavender variety consider the following:

  • Climate and Hardiness
    • Lavender thrives in full sun and well-drained soil.
    • English lavender is best for colder climates while French and Spanish varieties suit warmer regions.
  • Soil Type
    • Lavender prefers slightly alkaline soil with good drainage.
    • Heavy clay soil can be improved with sand or gravel to enhance drainage.
  • Purpose
    • For hedges choose varieties that are compact and uniform in growth.
    • Consider the fragrance and flower color that best suits your garden’s appearance or overall feel.

woman growing lavender

Preparing the Planting Site

A well prepared planting site is important for a thriving lavender hedge. Here’s some simple steps to get your garden ready.

Choosing the Perfect Location

Lavender loves sunlight and needs at least six hours of direct sun daily. So choose a location that receives ample sunlight and is not shaded by trees or buildings.

Tip: South-facing locations are ideal for maximizing sunlight exposure.

Soil Preparation and Testing

Testing the Soil

  • Use a soil test kit to check the pH and nutrient levels of your soil.
  • Aim for a pH between 6.5 and 7.5.

Improving Soil Drainage

  • If your soil is heavy clay mix in coarse sand or small gravel to improve drainage.
  • Raised beds can also be an effective solution for poor drainage areas.


  • Lavender doesn’t require rich soil but you can add a light application of compost to boost soil health.
  • Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers as they promote leafy growth over flowers.

man tending to a lavender hedge

Importance of Good Drainage

Good drainage is absolutely key for lavender health. Waterlogged soil can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. So make sure that your soil has excellent drainage to keep your plants healthy.

Tip: If you’re unsure about drainage dig a small hole and fill it with water. If the water drains within 30 minutes your soil is suitable for lavender.

Planting Your Lavender Hedge

Now that your site is ready it’s time to plant the lavender. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.

Spacing and Layout Tips

Proper spacing means that your lavender plants have enough room to grow and thrive.


  • Space plants about 12-18 inches apart for a dense hedge.
  • For larger varieties increase spacing to 24-30 inches.


  • Mark out your hedge line with string or stakes to ensure a straight row.
  • Consider staggered planting for a fuller look.

Tip: For curved hedges use a garden hose to outline the shape before planting.

man growing rows of lavender in a garden

Step-by-Step Planting Guide

  1. Digging the Holes
    • Dig holes twice the width of the root ball and just as deep.
    • Space holes according to your chosen layout.
  2. Preparing the Plants
    • Gently remove the lavender plants from their pots.
    • Loosen the roots slightly to encourage spreading.
  3. Planting
    • Place each plant in its hole and backfill with soil.
    • Ensure the crown of the plant is just above soil level to prevent rot.
  4. Watering
    • Water the plants thoroughly after planting to help them settle.
    • You want the soil to remain moist but not waterlogged for the first few weeks.

Tip: Mulch around the base of the plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds but keep mulch away from the stems to prevent rot.

a man growing a long lavender hedge in a garden

Caring for Your Lavender Hedge

Proper care will keep your lavender hedge healthy and vibrant. These are some of the most essential care tips.

Watering Schedule and Techniques

Lavender is drought tolerant once established but needs regular watering initially.

Watering Schedule

  • New Plants: Water regularly during the first growing season.
  • Established Plants: Water deeply but infrequently and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.


  • Water at the base of the plants to avoid wetting the foliage.
  • Morning watering is best to allow the plants to dry before evening.

Tip: Overwatering is the most common mistake. Check soil moisture before watering.

Pruning and Shaping Tips

Pruning keeps your lavender hedge looking neat and promotes healthy growth.

When to Prune

  • Prune annually after the flowering season, usually in late summer or early fall.

How to Prune

  • Remove spent flowers and cut back about one third of the plant’s height.
  • Avoid cutting into the woody stems, as they do not regrow well.

Tip: Light pruning in early spring can also encourage bushier growth.

Fertilization and Soil Care

Lavender is not a heavy feeder but occasional feeding can support its growth.


  • Use a balanced, slow release fertilizer in spring.
  • Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers.

Soil Care

  • Maintain soil pH and drainage.
  • Refresh mulch annually to retain moisture and improve soil quality.

woman planting lavender in garden

Common Problems and Solutions

Even with the best care you can still run in to problems. Here are some common issues that you might face and how to address them.

Pests and Diseases to Watch Out For

Common Pests

  • Aphids: Small, sap-sucking insects. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
  • Spittlebugs: Create frothy “spittle” on stems. Remove by hand or spray with water.


  • Root Rot: Caused by overwatering. Improve drainage and avoid waterlogged soil.
  • Powdery Mildew: White, powdery fungus on leaves. Ensure good air circulation and treat with fungicide if necessary.

Troubleshooting Growth Issues

Poor Flowering

  • Check for adequate sunlight.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing.

Yellowing Leaves

  • Could indicate overwatering or poor drainage.
  • Adjust watering practices and improve soil drainage.

Leggy Growth

  • Caused by insufficient pruning.
  • Prune annually to maintain compact growth.

Tip: Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests and diseases to catch problems early.

Seasonal Care Tips

Different seasons bring different care requirements.


  • Light pruning to encourage new growth.
  • Apply a slow-release fertilizer.


  • Water deeply during dry spells.
  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms.


  • Major pruning after flowering.
  • Prepare plants for winter with a light mulch.


  • In colder regions protect plants with burlap or frost cloth.
  • Reduce watering as plants go dormant.

Tips and Common Questions

These tips will help and common questions that may arise when planting a lavender hedge.


Mulching and Its Benefits

  • Mulch helps retain moisture and suppress weeds.
  • Use organic mulch like wood chips or gravel.

Companion Planting with Lavender

  • Lavender pairs well with other Mediterranean plants like rosemary and sage.
  • Avoid planting near moisture loving plants.

Long term Maintenance Strategies

  • Regular pruning and proper watering are key.
  • Refresh mulch and check soil pH annually.

Common Questions

How Fast Does Lavender Grow?

  • Lavender grows relatively slowly. Expect noticeable growth within the first year with full maturity in 2-3 years.

Can Lavender Survive Winter?

  • English lavender is frost-hardy, while French and Spanish varieties need protection in colder climates.
  • Use mulch and protective covers for winter care.

How Often Should Lavender Be Watered?

  • Water new plants regularly then reduce frequency once established.
  • Allow soil to dry out between waterings.

What Is the Best Time of Year to Plant Lavender?

  • Spring is ideal for planting lavender giving plants time to establish before winter.

How Do I Prevent Lavender from Becoming Woody?

  • Annual pruning after flowering helps maintain a bushy, non-woody growth.

Final Tips

By following this guide you’ll be well on your way to growing a beautiful and healthy lavender hedge. Remember to choose the right variety for your climate, prepare your planting site thoroughly and care for your hedge throughout the seasons. With not too much effort and attention your lavender hedge will flourish.

For more detailed information and resources consider joining local gardening clubs or online forums where you can share experiences and tips.

how to plant a lavender hedge

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