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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Other Common Names Include:

English lavender, common lavender, lavandin

Latin Name: English lavenders: Lavandula angustifolia, lavandins: Lavandula x intermedia

Plant Family: Labiatae

Close Relatives: Rosemary, mint, sage, thyme, oregano, basil

Uses and Markets:Agri-tourism, Aromatic, Ornamental, Industrial (e.g. personal care products), Essential Oil, Culinary (e.g. desserts, spice blends), Medicinal (e.g. sedative, antimicrobial), Crafting (e.g. wreaths, decorated bundles)

Lavender in bloom. Close-up of lavender inflorescence. Peak bloom is when half of the individual flower buds have opened or senesced. Ground cloth used for weed control in lavender Essential oil distillation.
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone

5-8 (depending on variety). Generally lavandins or hybrid varieties (Lavandula x intermedia) are less hardy.

Special Notes

Marginally hardy varieties for a certain location can be grown with protection by straw or row covers. Different varieties are suitable for different end uses.

Propagation method

Most commonly by transplants from cuttings, less commonly by root divisions and seeds (although not as easily). Cuttings require cool air temperatures, high humidity, and bottom heat for optimal rooting.

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates

Autumn or winter (seeds and cuttings).

Field Seeding Date:


Field Transplanting Dates


In-row spacing

50-80 cm

Between row spacing

1 to 3 m, depending on use (wider for agri-tourism).

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions. In Washington State, up to 100 kg/ha N is recommended in the first three seasons, split 50% in spring and 50% after harvest. In subsequent years, no more than 50 kg/ha is recommended applied after harvest. Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Well-drained. Will not survive in saturated soils.

Soil pH


Special requirements for growth habit


Optimal Temperature Range

Prefers a temperate warm climate.

Temperature sensitivity


Irrigation requirements

New plants: Irrigation beneficial under normal Ontario conditions.
Established plants: Irrigation usually not required. 

Days to harvest


Specialized equipment

Mechanical harvesters, de-budders, and pruning equipment available. Distiller required for oil extraction.

Harvest Scheduling

Early to peak bloom (June to July depending on variety) for flower harvest; peak to late bloom for oil distillation.

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Hand harvest; machine harvest.

Quality parameters/grades

ISO standards available for oil quality.

Additional Harvest Notes

Whole flower stems harvested for cut flowers; top 15 cm harvested for oil distillation.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Hang flower bundles upside-down in a dark room with warm temperatures, low humidity and good air flow

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): Low for dried products, high for fresh bundles (>80%).

Temperature: Colder temperatures above freezing prolong shelf-life of most products (except dried); store essential oils in air-tight glass containers in the dark.

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: One or more years if properly stored (oil and dried products).

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates: Four-lined plant bug (Poecilocapus lineatus), spittle bugs, garden fleahopper (Halticus bractatus)

Diseases: Septoria leaf spot (lavender leaf spot, Septoria lavendulae), root rot, powdery mildew

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Rosemary beetle

Diseases: Shab*, yellow decline*, alfalfa mosaic virus, phytophthora root rot, lavender wilt, rhizoctonia

*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions.


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: four-lined plant bug, septoria leaf spot. Disease pressures can be reduced through proper site selection and by promoting good air movement through the canopy.  This crop is in Crop Group 19: Herbs and Spices Group and subgroup 19A: Herb Subgroup. This crop group is being revised and may change in the near future. For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist. For pest control products registered on this crop refer to OMAFRA Publication 838.

Four-lined plant bug damage appears as circular, brown lesions on lavender An adult four-lined plant bug on mint leaves Lavender leaf spot appears as small circular lesions with a grey centre and purple/brown border mainly on older leaves
Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile
  1. McKeown, A. and C. Bakker. 2003-2010. Lavender Variety Trials. Simcoe Research Station, unpublished.
  2. Westerveld, S., Todd, J., Walter, D., Paliyath, G. and F. Berland. 2010. Analysis of volatile components of lavender flowers as affected by variety, time of day, and bloom stage. OMAFRA/University of Guelph, unpublished.
  3. Westerveld, S., Todd, J., Paliyath, G., Bakker, C., and A. McKeown. 2010-present. Evaluation of 27 lavender varieties for flower and essential oil yield and quality at six locations across southern Ontario. OMAFRA/University of Guelph, unpublished.
  1. Beus, C. 2006. Growing and marketing lavender. Extension Bulletin 2005, Washington State University.
  2. Halva, S, and L.E. Craker. 1996. Manual for Northern Herb Growers. HSMP Press, Amherst MA.
  3. McVicar, J. 1994. Jekka’s Complete Herb Book. Raincoast Books, Vancouver.
  4. Lewis, L. 2009. The complete illustrated book of herbs. The Reader`s Digest Association Inc., Montreal.
  5. OMAFRA. 2005. Lavender.
  6. Schooley, J. and J. Llewellyn. 2009. Growing Culinary Herbs in Ontario.
  7. Growing Lavender in Ontario: An Introduction for Prospective Growers, OMAFRA Factsheet 18-017