Lavender is an extremely popular plant with a variety of uses. Most people recognize this plant for its beautiful flowers and sweet fragrance. The Romans harness the lavender scent to repel insects such as mice from the house. Others use the flowers in a banquet, for culinary purposes, and herbs.
Lavender is cultivated into more than 40 different species. They are planted either for ornament or oil extraction. The different types do not only have different uses but also thrive in different climates and soils. The varieties vary in different types, including flowers, leaves, colors, and bloom times.
This article outlines different varieties of lavender, their blooming time, and uses. Read through to help you choose your desired species to adorn your garden.
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Read also: Lavender meaning and symbolism
How Many Types of Lavender Are There?
Lavender plants are one of the easiest to find plants because they can grow all most everywhere. The 450 varieties categorized in 50 different species are widespread all over the world. Well, these are not the total number as there are more varieties yet to be discovered.
This is because there are also hybrids, which are a blend of different species. Lavenders are widespread all over the world due to the fact they can do well in any kind of climate and do not require much care.
32 Types Lavender Plants
English Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)
Lavandula Angustifolia is the most widespread type of lavender. The lavender species is also formerly known as English lavender or true lavender. This lavender has its origins in the Mediterranean. They’re responsible for creating a huge sea of purple seen in the Provence fields.
Thanks to their ability to grow in any soil condition, English lavenders are the most cultivated. Gardens love it for its commercial purposes. As expected from lavender plants, English doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the desired fragrance. It releases a splash of aroma in the air when your leg brushes on it.
The beautiful plant produces a cluster of flowers hence known as inflorescence. The flowers appear in purple hues that can spread to cover a large area of land. Other varieties range from violet, pale lavender, blue-toned purple, and dusky pink.
English lavender is widely used to produce the essential oils for cooking and potpourri. Lavandula Angustifolia is also available in different varieties. Here are different types that you’ll find in various places. Let’s see the different types of English lavender that grow under the earth.
1. Betty’s Blue (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Betty’s Blue’)
This lavender grows in rounded molds and produces dark purple-blue flowers just like the name. This is a compact and tidy English lavender that makes a perfect doom of garden. They grow best as a small hedge. Betty’s Blue grows slightly taller than other lavenders of its type, making it unique in its own way. The lavender flowers are valuable, both freshly cut and dried.
2. Folgate (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Folgate’)
Folgate English lavender variety blooms once or twice towards the middle or late spring. It produces purple flowers that beautifully rise above its evergreen foliage. At dusk, the flowers may appear ultra-violet. Folgate is hardy lavender that can tolerate cold temperatures even though it appreciated full son.
They always come back every year as soon as winter is over to adorn your garden with a sea of beautiful flowers. Folgate lavender is cultivated for essential oil.
3. Hidcote (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’)
Hidcote is a vibrant violet looking lavender flower that grows anywhere despite the conditions. This lavender species is perfect for gardening. It won itself the Award of Garden Merit given by the Royal Horticultural Society. This means you can never go wrong with Hidcote in your garden. And yes, it’s a very hardy variety that you can grow almost everywhere.
The English lavender species blooms in late spring and early summer. If you love flowers, Hidcote is a perfect one for adorning your beautiful garden. This is because this garden lavender maintains its vibrant color even after it dries out.
4. Jean Davis (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Jean Davis’)
Have you seen some bright green foliage in your neighborhood? That’s Jean Davis lavender. This lavender is not popular only for its beautiful name but also because it’s an easy one to cultivate due to its resistance to drought. It produces delicate pale pink that blossoms like typical lavender.
The lavender produces a nice fragrance both from its flowers and foliage. If you prune it, you’ll receive a fuller and beautiful look. You can do the cutting in spring if you want new buds to form.
5. Lavenite Petite (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Lavenite Petite‘)
Lavenite Petite is English lavender species that carries a beautiful name. Well, its beauty is not just in the name but also its appearance and fragrance. It grows 6- inches long flowers that appear in spring. When you trim the plants, it grows in lush bushier foliage. Pruning is done in summer.
6. Little Lottie (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Little Lottie‘)
Just like the name, Little Lottie is a dwarf lavender type that falls under the English lavender species. It grows up to about 30 cm tall and can be an evergreen plant if grown in warm winter climates.
You’ll recognize Little Lottie with its pale, purple-pink flower spikes. They’re carefully held above green-grey foliage. Little Lottie does so well in dry soil under full sun. They’re perfect for creating beautiful garden borders.
7. Melissa (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Melissa’)
It looks like all human names were derived from lavender flowers, which makes them even more amazing. Melissa has an amazing fragrance. It takes a pure white look on a delicate pink blush as they grow older. Melissa is unique from other pink-flowered lavenders because it blooms longer.
8. Melissa Lilac (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Melissa Lilac’)
Melissa lilac creates a stunning view with its silver/gray leaves. Melissa lilac flower is a fragrant fluffy flower. Both their leaves and flowers produce a lovely aroma when you brush against them. If you prune the plant at the end of spring, they’ll bloom beautifully in summer. They look very beautiful when planted in garden borders.
9. Miss Katherine (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Miss Katherine‘)
Miss Katherine produces pink flowers with beautiful dark shades. They do well in well-drained alkaline soil with full sun. Beautiful Miss Katherine bloom once per year in late spring or early summer. It’s also an evergreen plant that can survive in hot, dry conditions. You can plant them anywhere, and they’ll still do well with very little maintenance.
10. Munstead (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead‘)
Munstead lavender is very popular thanks to its compact nature. The lavender displays violet-purple flowers with attractive silvery foliage. The flower of lavender produces a strong fragrance. If you want this lavender plant to grow beautifully and adorn your garden, you can consider pruning it to eight-inch. Do this in winter and after every three months.
11. Nana Alba (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Nana Alba‘)
Nana Alba also differs from other English lavender varieties. It doesn’t take the popular pink shade but instead produces white flowers. The flowers grow in short, stiff spines. They have short bushy foliage that comprises of graying leaves. Nana Alba is a popular miniature type that blooms in midsummer and can make perfect flower beds.
12. Rosea (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Rosea‘)
Rosea is a rose-pink variety that produces frothy flowers. People love this lavender plant because it makes beautiful flowerbeds and gardens. The hardy plants have an average growth rate. They produce their beautiful flowers around late spring and summer.
13. Royal Purple (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Royal Purple‘)
Royal purple is highly recognized for its strong scented purple flowers. The English lavender appears very beautiful when it blooms during early summer. It retains its purple color after it dries. The flowers grow as an informal hedge and stunning low.
14. Thumbelina Leigh (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Thumbelina Leigh‘)
Thumbelina Leigh is known lavender for its strong scent. The lavender grows up to one foot tall and does well in well-drained soil under full sun. You’ll differentiate this from other English lavender varieties with its dark bluish plump flower spikes.
Their plants bloom up to three times a year, mostly in summer. Most landscapers use this lavender as a border for their garden, and it does that very beautifully.
Portugese Lavender (Lavandula Latifolia)
Portuguese lavender has its origin from Portugal all the way to North Italy. Many people use Lavandula latifolia as a pollinator to create different hybrid lavenders. This lavender species portrays simpler and elegant flower types. They are used in culinary dishes and drinks. Their leaves and flowers produce a sweet fragrance that attracts not only humans but also butterflies and honeybees.
Broadleaf is a type of Portuguese lavender with the strongest fragrance. The lavender has unique and beautiful green foliage that almost looks like fur. They feature pale purple blooms that grow on top of long spikes.
Thanks to its strong aroma, broadleaf is commonly used in aromatherapy. Broadleaf’s sweet fragrance attracts many beneficial insects, such as butterflies and bees. This lavender plant thrives well in direct sunlight and warm climates. Broadleaf lavender is an evergreen plant.
16. Portuguese Giant (Lavandula stoechas ‘Portuguese Giant’)
Portuguese giant has very broad flowers, just like the name suggests. Describing this plant as ‘Giant’ is not an exaggeration because it produces very large showy large floral heads. The large flowers bloom from extra-large spikes or about 10 to 12 inches and bloom non-stop.
The lavender also has a very strong fragrance hence friendly to honeybees. They thrive so well when exposed to sunlight and bloom in late spring.
Hybrid Lavender/Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia)
Hybrid lavender species were created as a crossbreed between English and Portuguese lavender. The type of lavender grows huge with large and more flower spikes. Hybrid lavender blooms later than other species and requires full sun to grow perfectly.
The flowers are useful both fresh cut and dried thanks to their various uses. They can also adorn your garden beautifully. The different kinds of hybrid flowers include;
17. Grosso (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’)
Grosso is easily recognized with its dark and tall stems. They also produce dark purple flowers. Unlike other lavender types, Grosso doesn’t have a strong fragrance though it still smells good. They’re unique in their own way because of their love for winter climates and can thrive in a temperature as low as 15 degrees.
18. Hidcote Giant (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Hidcote Giant’)
Hidcote is another type of lavender that’s popular for its huge stems. The lavender is perfect for gardening as they spread nicely and produce a very lovely violet color. This lavender species thrives so well in the heat of summer. Their sweet fragrance has made this lavender friend with bees and butterflies.
19. Impress Purple (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Impress Purple‘)
Impress purple lavender has a very important purpose in human life. The lavender species is used in bouquets. Their tall bunches that consist of purple flowers that are sure to impress everyone. Their dark colors differentiate them from the rest of the lavender species.
20. Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia)
Lavandin lavender is a unique type born as a combination of English and Portuguese lavender. Because of this combination, lavandin is resistant to both cold and warm weather. But when the weather favors them, the lavender can spread quickly and is very easy to maintain. They’re also loved for their aroma. They’re easy to grow and maintain.
21. Phenomenal (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Phenomenal‘)
Phenomenal flowers tend to bloom earlier than other flowers hence attract bees and butterflies. They produce violet-blue petals with a nice fragrance. The plant can grow up to 30 feet tall. You can grow them in your garden and get the beautiful color before any other flower in your neighborhood does.
22. Provence (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Provence‘)
Provence falls under lavender species that thrive in humid conditions and indoors. If you love indoor plants, this lavender is perfect for you. Provence can grow up to three feet tall and also produce a sweet aroma. Even though they’re perfect as indoor plants, you should make sure the sun reaches them.
23. Seal (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Seal‘)
Seal lavender falls among the tallest lavender species. The lavender can grow up to three feet high. Seal can grow everywhere, regardless of the condition of the land. If you have a rocky garden, this is the lavender plant to cultivate. Seal does not produce a strong fragrance like other flowers but still has a sweet scent.
Spanish Lavender (Lavandula Stoechas)
Just like their English counterparts, Spanish lavender is also popular for its aroma. But they differ from other varieties because they can tolerate hot climates. They’re mostly found in hot, dry climates of the Mediterranean region. So, if you live in warmer climates, here are different Spanish lavender types to consider growing in your garden.
24. Anouk (Lavandula Stoechas ‘Anouk’)
Anouk blooms earlier than most lavenders of its type. The flowers bloom from mid-spring from their plump deep purple heads. Their petals portray light purple color. Anouk is also known for its ability to withstand warm temperatures and hotter summers than other types of lavender.
25. Ballerina (Lavandula Stoechas ‘Ballerina’)
Ballerina is Spanish lavender that grows very distinct bulbs and blooms white flowers. When the plant matures, its white flowers fade to pink and purple. This has made them very unique to other types of lavender. Ballerina does so well in climates with mild summers and winters but loves the sun. The strongly scented flowers bloom twice a year.
26. Fathead (Lavandula Stoechas ‘Fathead’)
Fathead is lavender species with long-lasting flowers that portray round petals. Their flowers are dark purple or pink. Fathead thrives well in direct sun.
27. Fringed Lavender (Lavandula Dentata, French Lavender)
Fringed lavender is loved for its exceptional beauty. The lavender has an abundance of beautiful flowers throughout the summer. The lavender is also unique for its exceptional ability to withstand heat and drought hence perfect for sunny areas. The flower will surely adorn your garden with its rich dimension, fragrance, and soothing effect.
28. Kew Red (Lavandula Stoechas ‘Kew Red’)
This is a unique Spanish lavender species with dark pink petals. The petals are seen as red from far hence the name. Kew Red lavender also releases a very strong scent. The lavender has a long flowering season that goes from spring to fall. Their flowers are visible all year as long the climates are mild.
29. Regal Splendour (Lavandula Stoechas ‘Regal Splendour‘)
Regal splendor surely lives up to its name. The lavender creates a beautiful blend with its violet-blue flower heads and pink-purple flowers. The plant grows up to three inches tall, and its strong scent is sure to attract beneficial insects like bees.
30. Egyptian Lavender (Lavandula Multifida)
Egyptian lavender differs from other species because of their furry leaves. Their leaves resemble fern hence also called fern-leaved lavender. Their smells also differ from other lavenders.
They almost appear acidic. Egyptian lavenders are fancied because they spread very quickly and blossom in late spring. They can do so well even without watering as long as they’re planted in well-drained soil.
31. French Lavender (Lavandula Dentata)
French lavender produces delicate flowers with paler colors than other lavender plants. The lavender grows well in different climatic conditions. But they’ll not tolerate extreme temperatures. The variety is quite large and can spread white and grow up to two feet tall.
32. Dwarf Lavender
Dwarf lavenders grow well in the sun. They can resist high temperatures but cannot grow well under shadows. These lavenders can only grow about 20 to 40cm and surpass the size even if you water them.
Despite their size and compact size, they have very impressive fragrant. Dwarf lavender is perfect for pathways, garden borders, and rockeries. They create a beautiful, deciduous garden with their fragrant violet flowers.
Quick Lavender Care Guide
Lavender is the easiest plant to care for if you grow it in favorable climatic conditions. Different varieties need almost the same kind of care, which consists of well-drained soil and lots of sun. Some types don’t even need watering.
Growing Lavender Outdoors
The best time to plant lavender outdoors is during spring and early summer if you live in colder areas. If you live in warmer areas, the best time to plant lavender is to fall when the soil is still wet, and the roots can get comfortable easily.
Lavender plants grow comfortably even in soil that is not too fertile. You don’t worry about fertilization or mulching. They can do extremely well in slightly alkaline or neutral soil. You won’t need to water the plant unless the soil is too dry.
Growing lavender indoors
Growing lavender indoors is a little different from growing outdoors. The first thing to note is that you’ll be using a pot; hence you must be very careful about the size you choose to use.
Make sure your pot is about one to two inches larger than the plant’s root. If you choose a smaller size, your plant will be squeezed and won’t grow comfortably. There will be too much soil in a larger pot, and your plant won’t receive enough water.
To allow your lavender plant to thrive indoors, fill the pot with lean soil. Place the plant near a window so that it can receive the required sun as lavenders love the sun. Make sure you water your plant one inch deep when the soil is dry. Don’t water in the winter months.
Controlling Pests and Diseases
Many types of lavender are resistant to pests and diseases. But this doesn’t mean you should relax as they won’t resist everything that comes their way. Keep monitoring your lavender just in case any stubborn pest or disease gets to them. Understand your specific type and any disease that they might not be able to resist.
You should avoid adding fertilizers, compost, or any organic matter. As long as the soil allows it, lavenders can grow well without this.
Maintaining Your Lavender
Since you won’t need to water regularly or fertilize your plants, there is no doubt that lavenders are the easiest to care for. Most species require very little effort from your side to grow comfortably. All you need to give them is lots of sun and well-drained soil, and they’ll be good to go.
Lavenders can also grow everywhere. You just need to make sure they’re in a safe and right environment. You can relax and see them spread out beautifully.
Consider the climate around your area. If you live in colder environments, the English lavender will be perfect for you. If you live in areas that experience a hot climate characterized by longer summers, Spanish lavenders can do well. For areas with an inconsistent climate, where it keeps switching from cold to warm and vice versa, grow hybrid lavender.
Pruning Your Lavender
Just like other plants, some lavender species also require pruning to grow beautifully. If you don’t prune them, they can grow carelessly and spread everywhere. You won’t get the beauty you desire to get from your plants. You can do the pruning once or twice a year. The best time to prune is early spring or early fall.
Pruned lavenders grow with much strength and vigor. They love the pruning and will flourish better after that. Take advantage of this to reproduce as much as you can or as little as you wish.
Which lavender is easiest to grow?
If you’re looking for the easiest lavender to grow, then go for the English species. Munstead and Hidcote are the English lavender types that grow easily and require very little maintenance. They can survive in both cold and warm climates. These types are also highly available and are regarded by gardeners. They are cultivated for commercial purposes, liked for their strong fragrance.
Which is the hardiest lavender?
When it comes to the hardiest lavenders, English varieties still take the lead. The lavender types live the longest if correctly pruned. They’ll look beautiful and maintain the fragrance for up to 20 years. They can tolerate cold temperatures and higher levels of rain. Munstead and Hidcote are the hardiest in the English lavenders capable of thriving in Zone 5-11. Some species of hybrid lavenders are also hardy.
Which lavender blooms the longest?
If you want to enjoy the sweet lavender fragrance for the longest time, you should grow Spanish lavenders. Provided you cut their flowers after every flush, they produce several flushes of flowers from spring to summer. You can keep your garden beautiful with lavender flowers all season if you plant both early bloomers and late bloomers.
Is Lavender poisonous to dogs?
Some dogs have an allergic reaction to lavender oils. You’ll notice symptoms such as irritation or itching. Others are at risk of poisoning if they ingest the oils in large amounts. The poison comes from a compound found in lavender known as linalool. Since the linalool is available in very small amounts, it’s only poisonous when ingested in large quantities of lavender.
Is all lavender edible?
Some lavender species are used for culinary purposes. They are widely used as spices or condiments for a variety of dishes. The dries buds are perfect for this. Others use lavender as a desert in the dough mix or as decoration. There is also lavender tea for those looking for a relaxing experience.
Well, if you’ve never thought you’ll plant lavender in your garden, then I bet you’re now interested after reading this. The beautiful colors and the fragrance of lavender are irresistible. If you plant them indoors, their sweet scent will surely make you feel at home and relaxed.
Lavenders are not only about beauty but about how they make you feel. Their aroma will no doubt make you sleep better, relieve pain, and reduce stress. You can never say no to a plant that gives you the much needed mental boost.
And because lavenders are very easy to care for and thrive almost everywhere, you have no excuse for not planting some in your garden. Find out the varieties that can do well in your climatic area and adorn your garden with these beautiful plants.