The Q&A Archives: Starting Lavender From Seed

Question: Please provide specifics on starting Lavender from seed. I wish to have 150 plants by the end of May. Do the seeds need bottom heat to germinate. My basement is about 65 degrees F. Can I start the seeds off there and then move to a sunny location after leaves develop. If I start now, January 20th, how large will the plants be on May 25th? Anything else I need to know?

Answer: Lavender is more difficult to germinate from seed than many other herbs. Germination rates range from poor to uneven, over a period of a month or two. Seeds are usually sown outdoors in autumn, so will need cold stratification to aid germination. Store the seeds in the refrigerator at 41 degrees F. Put them in moist vermiculite or peat moss in a clear plastic bag and store for 1-3 months.

Sow seeds in a tray of soilless mix and keep moist until germination. You might want to put a plastic covering over it to create a "mini-greenhouse." When seedlings are large enough to be handled, repot into individual pots of soilless mix so roots can develop. It may be difficult to achieve plants of much size by your target date, considering the need for cold stratification and the long germination time. Good luck!

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