Lavender’s beauty is only exceeded by its aroma. The combination of bright colors and beautiful aroma induces instant calmness and is a sight to behold!
The Lavender is a North African, Mediterranian, North American and Indian plant. French lavender grows quite well indoors. They adapt better to indoor conditions compared to English lavender.
Freshen homes with the smell of lavender by adding it to a pot of boiling water. You can deodorize practically anything by adding lavender flowers or buds to it.
Enjoy this ornamental beauty at home. Flowers come in whorls and spikes shape as they rise above the foliage and are purple or violet in color.
Benefits of Indoor Lavender Plants
Growing lavender has a lot of health and culinary benefits. Being a member of the mint family, it can be used for medicinal or culinary purposes.
Whether fresh or dry, the flowers of the lavender plant have a soothing fragrance. This is one of the top reasons it is widely chosen and popular among people.
One can include the flowers in aromatherapy for a soothing and calming feeling. For a relaxed body bath, one can add lavender in the bathtub.
Lavender and lavender oil, which is extracted from its flowers through steam distillation, is a perfect natural alternative to harmful bug repellents. The scent of lavender is too strong for many insects like mosquitoes, midges, and moths.
Lavender oil as anti-inflammatory properties. It can relieve the irritation caused by the bite of a bug.
Lavender is known to help in insomnia ( sleepless nights). Researchers at the University of Southampton in Britain tracked the sleep patterns of 10 adults. They found the quality of sleep better in lavender-scented rooms.
Psychologists at Wesleyan University in Connecticut had 31 men and women sniff lavender essential oil one night and distilled water the next night. Researchers monitored their sleep cycles with brain scans and found that lavender increased slow-wave sleep, which plays an important role in slowing the heartbeat and relaxing the muscles. The group also reported feeling energetic the next morning.
A Thai study looked at 20 participants and the impact of lavender on their health. It found a reduction in BP, heart rate and respiratory rate. In terms of mood, those who inhaled lavender reported to have more energy and were more relaxed. The research showed that lavender was able to alter the brain waves and reduce stress.
A small study at Indianapolis hospital found that lavender aromatherapy helps reduce anxiety and depression in women with postpartum depression.
Keep a sachet of lavender under your pillow or pluck flowers from your pot and place it in a bowl of water near your sleeping area.
Add lavender to the water you use to splash your face. It helps to reduce acne and scars. According to the journal of medical microbiology, lavender shows a potent antifungal effect against the strains of fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections.
A study was conducted on 30 young healthy men to find out the effect of lavender therapy on heart circulation. It was found that aromatherapy has relaxation effects and beneficial acute effects on heart circulation. It lowers BP, heart rate and levels of cortisol ( stress hormone).
In 2014, scientists in Tunisia tested the effects of lavender oil on blood sugar levels. They found that radical antioxidant properties of lavender were more effective than vitamin C. It was found that lavender is helpful against diabetes and oxidative stress.
Lavender oil is also found to have hair growth-promoting effects. A study was done on mice by applying lavender oil on their backs once a day, five times a week for four weeks resulted in an increase in the number of their hair follicles and a thicker dermal layer.
Dry lavender in bunches either indoors or out in the sun and use it for anything from crafts to cooking. Being exposed to the sun, lavender can change color when drying outdoors.
Use lavender for a sweetly spicy flavor in tea and lemonades. Savor lavender with honey or butter on pancakes, toasted or on cookies, jellies or as a salad.
Lavender plants are rich in vitamin A, C, iron, and calcium. Besides, it is cholesterol and sugar-free. 100 gms of lavender contains 215mgs of calcium.
Like all other plants, lavender is really good at filtering the air. It removes our respiratory waste and gives out fresh oxygen into the air.
Lavenders are the best and cheap interior decors. They can instantly brighten up any room. Besides this, instead of purchasing a humidifier machine for your home, purchase a few lavender plants for increasing humidity.
They will improve your mood, your concentration and have a positive impact on your focus, memory, mood and give you physical, mental and spiritual upliftment besides appealing to your taste buds.
Plants are also known to keep air temperatures down. They are also known to absorb, diffract or reflect background noise levels and thus helping to keep the environment more comfortable for the occupants.
How to care for Lavender Plants?
Growing Lavender indoors requires slightly little more care than other plants.
French lavender is the best choice for indoors. Growing it is fun and easy.
Where to place?
Lavender must have plenty of light so place it in direct sunlight. Give it around eight hours of direct sunlight. If the sun gets too strong, the lavender may need a bit of shade.
You can also use supplemental light to mimic the sun. standard fluorescent tubes suspended 6-12 inches above the lavender provides sufficient light for its growth.
Lavender plant will benefit when placed in a semi-shaded area after all the danger of frost has passed.
Soil and fertilizer requirements
Remember to keep the soil moist but not wet. Lavender, like most plants, do not like wet soil. It requires well-drained soil. Use a rich fertile well-draining potting mix. Add organic matter to the soil to improve soil fertility and enhance plant growth. Mix sand as sand does not retain water.
Being a member of the mint family, it needs an alkaline soil with a pH between 6.7 to 7.3. Blend dried and ground eggshells monthly and add to the soil.
The pot for lavender should not be very large. Only a size or two larger than the root balls. This is because the excess soil will not be able to absorb moisture and thus becomes too wet or waterlogged near the roots. The end result is root rot. That is how many lavender plants perish.
Use a terracotta pot to grow lavender. The porous clay pot loses moisture and protects against root rot.
Fertilizer with an all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer at half the strength written by the manufacturer every four weeks in spring and summer.
Organic fertilizers such as compost, ripen fruits and vegetables helps to boost the lavender plant growth.
How much water?
Water lavender thoroughly and then waits for the soil to dry before watering it again. The soil, however, should not go completely dry as lavender will react with yellowing lower leaves. Overwatering and keeping the soil moist constantly will cause root rot. When the lavender is placed outdoors in spring and summer, be mindful that soil will dry up faster and the plant may require watering more frequently.
Cut back on watering in the winter season.
For lavender to bloom, allow it sometime outdoors in summer. Afterward, take time to acclimatize the plant. You can do that by taking it out and bringing it back in for longer and longer periods of time until it has adjusted to the temperature changes.
Once it begins to bloom, bring it in and place it back in a sunny spot.
Rotate your pot every couple of days to allow for even light distribution on all the leaves. This will promote even growth and flowering for the plant. Flowering will begin from late spring and into the summer.
The ideal indoor temperature for lavender from spring through mid-fall is 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. From late fall and throughout the winter, the temperatures should be cooler. Around 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the day time.
How to dry lavender?
You can dry your own lavender at home and use it at your own convenience.
Once you see a few blooms have opened up, harvest them by cutting the stems to the first set of leaves. Harvest on a dry sunny day when all dew has dried up but before the sun is blazing. Make a bundle of a couple of stems and secure it with a rubber band or a cloth band.
Hang them upside down in a dry cool place out of the direct sun. (you can use a rope to hang them). Within 3 -4 weeks they will be ready to use.
Certain varieties of lavender like English lavender are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting.
Keep an eye out for aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, and spits. Use pesticides or neem oil to get rid of them.
With the right conditions of soil, light, and water, lavender is bound to thrive. Soon you will see flowers blooming and spreading beautiful fragrances. Give it a great place in your house and you might inspire others to grow this wonderful plant indoors.
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