Clemson Extension School and Community Garden Program

Fragrant Lavender Perfect for Family Herb Garden

Lavender (Lavandula sp.) is a beautiful perennial herb grown for its purple flowers, calming scent, and medicinal qualities. It is a perennial herb that develops woody branches and grows up to 3 feet tall over the years. The bright purple flowers bloom on the end of spikes and release a lovely fragrance.

Not all lavender species will survive in South Carolina, though, so research the cultivar you choose before planting in your garden.  Types that grow best in a hot climate are Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas), French lavender (Lavandula dentata), and sweet lavender (Lavandula heterophylla). These

French lavender growing in a raised bed
French lavender in my garden.

will need full sun and excellent soil drainage to avoid mildew.

My lavender is planted near my vegetable garden to help attract pollinators to my flowering plants.  Bees flock to the purple flowers and lavender scent.

Lavender is also one of my favorite scents, so I love being surrounded by the fragrance of lavender as I work in my garden.  Lavender leaves and flowers can be harvested and used in your home in potpourri, tea, and for flavoring desserts. It also works as an anxiolytic (anxiety reliever) and a sedative, so many people use lavender sprays or oils before bed.

Megan Shearer
Megan Shearer, Program Assistant, School & Community Gardening, Clemson Extension

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