The Q&A Archives: Growing Spanish Lavender in Arizona

Question: Is Spanish Lavender a perennial here in Scottsdale AZ,
Does it bloom all summer?


Lavender is one of the best adapted plants for desert landscapes. In its native environment from the coastal to inland hillsides along the Mediterranean, lavender thrives in rocky, gravelly, alkaline soils very similar to ours here in the desert. It flourishes in full sun and heat, and once established, needs only occasional watering. Spanish Lavender (Lavendula stoechas), probably provides the best show of color for desert landscapes. Lavender-purple flowers blanket gray-green foliage in early to mid-spring. Scattered flowering continues through early summer. Unlike the elongated bloom spikes of most lavender, this one has short, squat flower heads. Showy purple bracts, resembling bunny ears, sprout out from the top of these dark blue heads. Spanish lavender grows low and wide, 2 feet high and 3 feet across. To keep plants blooming, harvest the flower spikes regularly and occasionally trim plants back lightly to stimulate additional flowering. If woody portions develop, prune out some of the older stems. Lavender need little or no fertilization.

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