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Lavender is a plant known for its relaxing scent, but sometimes your lavender plant may not smell as strong as you would like.
There are a few reasons why this may be the case, and in this article, we’re going to explore why your lavender plant doesn’t smell like lavender and what you can do about it.
The scent of a lavender plant is produced by its essential oils, which are found in the highest concentration in the flowers. If your plant has not yet flowered, it stands to reason that it would not yet be very fragrant.
It takes around two to three years for a lavender plant to reach full maturity, after which it will usually be more fragrant. Additionally, different lavender cultivars can vary in terms of how strong their scent is.
Another possibility is that the plant is unhealthy, thus not producing as much oil as a healthy plant. This could be due to several factors, such as too much or too little water, pests, or disease.
- 1 What Is Lavender and What Is It Used For?
- 2 The Benefits of Using Lavender
- 3 The Role Of Smell In Lavender Plants
- 4 Why A Lavender Plant’s Smell Might Disappear
- 5 How Do You Make Lavender Smell?
- 6 Do All Lavender Plants Smell?
- 7 Growing English Lavender – What Are The Best Varieties For Smell?
What Is Lavender and What Is It Used For?
Lavender is a beautiful, fragrant plant that has been used for centuries for its many benefits. The lavender plant is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries.
The flowers and leaves of the lavender plant produce a distinct smell. However, lavender can be used for much more than just its scent.
Today, lavender is used in various ways, including as an essential oil, as cosmetics, and as a dried herb. Lavender flowers can also be used for culinary purposes; lavender biscuits are famous!
The Benefits of Using Lavender
Lavender has a wide range of benefits and uses. The most well-known benefit of lavender is its calming effect on the body and mind. Lavender oil is often used in aromatherapy to help reduce stress and anxiety. The scent of lavender has also been shown to improve sleep quality.
In addition to its many benefits for mental health, lavender has many uses for physical health. For example, it can be used as a natural antiseptic. It can also be applied topically to help heal wounds and burns.
Lavender is most commonly used as a dried herb but can also be used fresh. Lavender is often used in potpourris and sachets, and it can also be added to baked goods or used as a decoration on cakes and other desserts.
Overall, lavender is a versatile and beneficial plant with a wide range of uses.
The Role Of Smell In Lavender Plants
Lavender plants produce a range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are attractive to many different pollinators. The most important VOCs for lavender plants are linalool and linanool, which make up the majority of the plant’s essential oil.
These compounds are known to attract bees, moths, butterflies, and other insects and pollinators.
Lavender plants use these VOCs to attract pollinators and ensure cross-pollination.
The fragrance of lavender plants is thought to play an essential role in attracting pollinators from long distances.
In addition, the colour and ultraviolet (UV) patterns on the flowers also help to guide pollinators to the nectar-rich flowers.
Lavender plants have a high concentration of VOCs compared to other plant species.
Why A Lavender Plant’s Smell Might Disappear
Let’s explore the three most common reasons that your lavender plant is lacking in aroma:
Lack of Sunlight
The most common reason a lavender plant’s smell might disappear is that the plant is not getting enough sunlight.
Lavender plants need at least six hours of sunlight per day to thrive. If the plant is not getting enough sunlight, the leaves will begin to turn yellow, and the stem will become woody. The plant will also produce fewer flowers.
Lack of Water
Another reason a lavender plant’s smell might disappear is that it is not getting enough water.
Lavender plants need to be watered deeply and evenly, about once a week. If the soil around the plant is dry, the leaves will begin to droop, and the plant will stop producing flowers.
Too Much Fertiliser
Finally, a lavender plant’s smell might disappear if it is too much fertilised.
Lavender plants need to be fertilised twice a year, in the spring and autumn (fall). If the plant is being fertilised too much, it will produce fewer flowers and stop smelling.
How Do You Make Lavender Smell?
If you have a lavender plant that isn’t producing any scent, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem.
- Check to ensure the plant is healthy – If the leaves are yellow or brown, it may be sick. Consider using an organic plant rescue remedy to bring it back to health.
- Make sure that the plant is getting enough sunshine – If it’s not, try moving it to a sunny spot, this is easier to do if you grow in pots or containers.
- Ensure your lavender plant is getting enough water – If the lack of smell is due to the plant being too dry, try watering it more often. Lavender plants tend to prefer being watered thoroughly once a week or so in average weather (you may need to water more often in particularly hot weather).
- Figure out how old your lavender plant is – Lavender plants take a few years to reach full maturity, so be patient!
Do All Lavender Plants Smell?
If you are still concerned about your lavender plant not having a strong scent, and you’ve tried all of the above, you may actually have a variety that just doesn’t produce as much aroma as you’d hoped for.
Not all lavender plants smell. While the vast majority of lavender plants have a strong scent, a small minority of lavender plants have very little to no scent at all.
The reason for this is that the production of the essential oils that give lavender its characteristic fragrance depends on a number of factors, including the specific variety of lavender plants, the growing conditions, and even the time of year.
There are two main types of lavender: French Lavender and English Lavender.
French lavender doesn’t have the strong, pungent smell of English lavender. Instead, it has a more delicate, floral aroma.
English lavender is the way to go if you’re looking for a lavender plant with a strong scent, but French lavender is an excellent choice if you prefer a more subtle fragrance.
Growing English Lavender – What Are The Best Varieties For Smell?
Here is our list of the top picks if you are hoping to have a garden full of the scent of English lavender plants!
May or April is the best time to plant Folgate lavender, one of the most fragrant varieties you can find; this aromatic variety brings a lovely perfume all year round.
The compact bush is excellent for low hedges and is extremely useful, freshly cut or enjoyed dried. Folgate lavender is often chosen for cut flowers and is one of the first to bloom in early to mid-April.
Folgate Lavender may generate two or three flowers flushes following trimming early in the season. It is hardy and can stand cold temperatures.
Popular among lavender varieties, ‘Hidcote’ produces silvery-grey leaves and purple-blue flowers that stay in fragrance all season. The compact mounded form of this lavender variety benefits from regular pruning to keep it dense.
Hidcote lavender is an excellent option for low hedges, edging, or creating borders. It is a dependable choice for young, uniform flowers and blooms often between early spring and summer. After the first flush of flowers, this variety may occasionally have a second or even third flush.
The wonderful deep purple flowers last a long time and are perfect for drying or craft projects.
Munstead lavender is extremely fragrant with rosy purple flowers that continue to be very attractive throughout the year.
This small cultivar does well in a pot and is suitable for hedges or knot gardens. This particular variety is well-known for its sustainable and compact growth, violet-purple blooms, and attractive silver-grey foliage.
Munstead lavender is recommended for potpourris or dried arrangements, it maintains its colour after drying.
This variety of lavender plant blooms twice, starting in the first half of spring or early summer, the second bloom performs best if the lowers from the first bloom have been harvested.
To encourage new growth, prune it back to around eight inches every few years in the spring.
Royal Velvet Lavender
English Lavender ‘Royal Velvet’ offers a deep, roasted, textured flow, making it an excellent item for floral arrangements.
It can grow up to 3-4 inches (7-10 cm) in length, and its flowers remain robust and eye-catching after cutting, making it an excellent choice for both fresh and dried flowers.
Royal Velvet lavender is exceptionally fragrant. It blooms often twice in the year, starting in late spring or early summer and matures through the summer and can even handle grey and wet winters in the UK!
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