Lavender plants are endemic to the western Mediterranean region countries such as Italy, Spain and France. But Does Lavender Plant Like Sun Or Shade? Yes, of course, they love heat and don’t prefer excess water. Additionally, it is important that they get full sunlight so that they can grow vigorously. In addition, full sunlight is a crucial factor for the flower blossoming of the plants. So, if you are someone who lives in a cold and humid place it is important that you stay patient and keep looking after them more cautiously.
Lavender plants are such graceful plants that would add so much glamor to the entire landscape. The highlight of the Lavender plants is their vibrant perennial flowers. In fact, bees are quite attractive to those. Not surprisingly, humans are also quite fond of having these plants. Many people have used these plants to produce perfumes, herbal remedies, recipes, and cleaning supplies as well. Lavender plants would release calming energy and it would be so soothing to look at them.
So, if you were ever wondering how to optimize the growth of these beautiful plants and if you want to keep the flowering for a longer period, you need to make sure that you provide all its fundamental growing requirements. What I would suggest you ideally do is grow them in a pot and then bring them indoors once it is winter. In addition to that, Lavender plants come in so many varieties and it is important that you choose the right variety which would suit you as well.
Keep in mind that all Lavender plant varieties would not survive in cold climates. Thus, it is important that you choose the right Lavender variety which would suit the weather condition you have. So, in this article, I am going to give you a piece of in-depth knowledge on whether the Lavender plants prefer to have full sunlight or shade.
Does Lavender Need Full Sun, Partial Shade, or Full Shade
Lavender plants would grow well in full sunlight and those would be optimal conditions for them.. In a few words, they need to have at least 6 hours of direct sunlight on a daily basis. When they are actively growing they need to have at least 8-10 hours of sunlight. That said, Lavender plants can tolerate some afternoon shade for some time and it would also be quite helpful to some extent. However, if you keep growing them in partial shade or in full shade for extensive periods it would badly affect the overall growth of the plants as well as the flower production of the Lavender plants.
If you grow Lavender plants, particularly for their coveted scent, it is vital that you let them gain direct sunlight. Only then they can do the Lavender flower oil production which is essential to emit the coveted scent. Additionally, if you live somewhere in a wet humid area, it is crucial that you expose them to direct sunlight as it would play a big part in preventing diseases. Besides, it would keep the plants dry too.
Lavender plants grow on sunny slopes in the Mediterranean region where they will gain full direct sunlight for 6-8 months of the year. Further Rocky soil. intense sunlight, hot summer conditions and mild winter conditions are some of the common conditions that your plants would usually get in their natural habitats.
Further, they would grow at higher elevations in their natural habitats. It is noteworthy that they don’t prefer to grow in waterlogged soil. Instead, Lavender plants prefer to stay dry as much as they can. It is vital that they get full sunlight, especially during spring and summer as they would be actively growing in these seasons. If you live in growing zones 7-10, they will remain evergreen plants if they get full sunlight.
If you live in zone 4-6 during winter, you don’t need to bother too much about providing full sunlight as they would be dormant during this period. However, what many people do during winter is that they bring them indoors and locate them in a cool place where there is proper air circulation as well.
How Many Hours of Sun Does Lavender Need?
Generally speaking, Lavender plants grow firmly in full sunlight. So, when you plant them ensure that the chosen place allows them to absorb full land direct sunlight for about 6 hours. That said, there could be some days where the plants would not get bright indirect filtered sunlight for 6 hours, which is fine with these plants.
It is safe to say that they would thrive well if they get full sunlight for three hours in the morning and another three hours in the afternoon. In fact, it is adequate for plants to survive. However, if the backyard around your plants is shady, I suggest trimming the taller trees and taller bushes which make the plants grow in the shade.
In addition to that, you can enhance the lighting by using white-colored rock, mulch, or any other fence in your gardens. In fact, the white color would reflect the sunlight on your Lavender plants. On the other hand, if you had cultivated them in a pot, you could move them around during the day. These tactics would be beneficial to enhance the sunlight levels.
Will Lavender Survive in Shade?
it is very unlikely that they will survive if you happen to grow them in shade right throughout the year. As correctly mentioned above, they need to have full sunlight for six hours of the day. So, if you happen to expose these plants to less than six hours of direct sunlight, they will form only a few flowers.
Further, those flowers would not be that strong in their pleasant fragrances. Ultimately, they would not grow vigorously as well. If you grow the Lavender plants while exposed to shade there is a high potential for the plants to perish. In fact, when you grow them in shade, it would be difficult for the soil to dry out.
Lavender plants require well-draining soil which would ideally dry out rapidly. So, if you grow them in a shady place it would result in waterlogged conditions in the soil and ultimately result in root rot as well. Having said that, there are some Lavender plant varieties that would thrive well in shade too.
So, to sum up, if you opt to grow the Lavender plants while exposed to shade all year long, it would only be a failure except for certain varieties which I am going to discuss below. So, if you are purely growing Lavender plants for their magnificent flowers and for their aroma, I encourage you to grow them in a sunny spot with a little shade.
Shade – Tolerant Lavender Varieties
As explained above there are some exceptional Lavender plant species that can thrive well in some partial shade and with less direct sunlight.
English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavandula angustifolia plants thrive well with direct sunlight as well as with partial shade. If you grow these plants while exposed to full sunlight they would get as tall as 20 inches. Further, they would be 24 inches wide too. However, when you grow them in partial shade, they would not achieve this size. Besides, when you grow them in partial shade, avoid over-watering the plants as the soil will not be able to wither faster.
In addition to the Lavandula angustifolia plants, flowers would not comprise a stronger fragrance like the other lavender plant species. Further, they would come up with a smaller number of flowers too. Yet it would be a fine idea to grow these plants as they would come up with at least some flowers.
Other Shade–Tolerant Species
Apart from the Lavandula angustifolia plants, French Lavender (Lavandula dentata), and French lace Lavender (Lavandula multifida) would also perform well in some shade. However, they would not grow well as much English Lavender does in shade. These plants would also grow optimally if they get full sunlight. That said they are tolerant of some shade as well. Keep in mind that these plants would also not flourish and reach the maximum size as they would do in bright sunlight.
Does Lavender Need Sunlight in Winter?
Lavandula angustifolia is the only variety of lavender plants which can stay firm in colder climates even if you let them be outdoors during the winter. If we consider the other lavender plants, they are not that hardy when it comes to cold tolerance. That being said, it is fundamental that they get ample sunlight during the winter as well.
Hence if you live in a somewhat colder place, the best is to shift the plants to a sunny spot or if you have cultivated them in a pot you could simply bring them indoors.
Sunlight Catalyzes Faster Growth
Lavender plants require ample sunlight to conduct the photosynthesis process as it is what helps them to thrive. Literally, you could consider sunlight as fuel for the Lavender plant’s energy generation. Lavender plant leaves consist of chloroplasts and they would absorb the sunlight and then transform them into plant food. So, it is essential to have ample sunlight as only then can they conduct this process successfully. If the plants are lacking sufficient sunlight, the chloroplast of the leaves would not effectively get involved in the photosynthesis process.
Lavender plants are quite prone to damage which may occur due to sunlight deprivation. For example, their leaves may tend to become grayer in color. Besides they may also tend to take a silver tone as well. This literally means they don’t have sufficient chloroplasts compared to the brighter green plants. In addition to that lack of sunlight may result in stunted growth in the plants. Furthermore, it would cause reduced vigor and leggy growths of the plants too. Besides, it would contribute to little flower production and less volatile oil production as well. Needless to mention that lack of sunlight would weaken the stems of the Lavender plants too.
Sunshine Creates More Fragrant Blooms
If you wish to have plenty of sweetly fragrant flowers, make sure that you are planting them in a brightly lit place. Many people tend to grow Lavender plants due to leafy foliage as well as for their sweetly fragrant blooms too. So, make sure that you expose these plants to bright sunlight as much as you can. Less exposure to sunlight would only result in poor production of flowers. Additionally, they would not comprise a strong sweet fragrance as well.
Linaools and lavanulols are the main compounds that make these plants smell so good. In fact, these compounds can produce only if they get adequate sunlight only. So, when they run off ample sunlight they would not be able to effectively produce extra oil inside the flowers. Lavender plants are renowned for a set of plants that has the highest essential oil content. So, to make use of those it is vital that you grow them whilst exposing them to ample sunlight only.
Direct Sunlight Reduces Risk of Disease
Sunlight is crucial to avoid any moisture build-ups in the plants. Further, it would avoid rain from reaching the leaves as we. This literally means it could be beneficial to prevent diseases. Lavender plants go through some diseases commonly mainly due to lack of air circulation and excess moisture. So, when you expose them to direct sunlight it would minimize the humidity and rainwater from reaching the Lavender plant’s leaves. Ultimately it would reduce the potential for any fungal pathogen spread which may occur in the plants. Further, the heat would help to evaporate whatever dew is remaining on the plants as well.
Don’t plant Lavender plants in the Shade of Other Plants
Keep in mind to avoid planting Lavender plants closer to any neighboring plants which may obstruct the sunlight exposure for these plants. Many people tend to grow these plants alongside plants such as rosemary rhododendrons and sage. However, don’t plant them improperly as it would ultimately make the Lavender plants receive only shade and not bright sunlight.
Conclusion on Does Lavender Plant Like Sun Or Shade?
To recap what we discussed here, Lavender plants require a lot of direct sunlight and unfiltered sunlight as only then they can grow to their best potential. So if I elaborate further, try to give them sunlight for about 6 hours daily. If you have some shade tolerant Lavender plants, you could be flexible with this as well. For example, you could go ahead with a Lavender plant variety such as English Lavender plants.
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