By Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.
Lavender is a valuable and beautiful flower for your indoor breast cancer healing garden. Lavender (Lavandula) is such a wonderfully romantic flower that it should be required that every gardener grow it. This amazing plant is a native of the Mediterranean and a lover of sunny, dry, rocky habitats. Learn how to grow, harvest and use the luxurious lavender below.
Some lavender plants can surprise you. Some varieties can explode in growth and grow extremely large in height and width, while others stay incredibly small. We estimated plant sizes of common adult lavender and the approximate spacing you may need and recommend the following for an indoor garden:
Lavandula Angustifolia (True Lavender)
Can grow up to 24” tall x 22” wide (space > 2.5ft.)
Can be used for landscape, low hedges, oil production, fresh cut and dry flowers, sachet, crafting, and as a culinary delight.
Typical Uses For Lavender
- Aromatherapy: simply stated, this is the practice of using herbs, flowers, and essential oils extracted from them for healing, relaxing, and balancing the mind, spirit, and body. The flowers, leaves, and stems are steamed, releasing the fragrant oils.
- To scent bath water: add a few drops to the bath to enjoy the relaxing and soothing aromas of this wonderful flower, and delicately scent the skin.
- To soothe skin irritations: such as sunburn, insect bites, eczema, minor cuts and scrapes.
- To ease headache and tension: apply a few drops to your temples and rest quietly. Lavender eye pillows are also helpful for this purpose.
- Lavender sachets: fill your drawers and closets with a fresh clean fragrance. Use lavender as a natural air freshener instead of the chemical-filled products saturating the market today. Sit back and place a lavender eye pillow over your eyes. Pamper yourself by sleeping with a lavender-filled pillow.
- Lavender aromatherapy: to help reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia and mild depression. It is often referred to as a mood balancing herb that possesses a sedative and calming effect. It can also have an uplifting, refreshing and rejuvenating effect on the psyche.
How To Plant Lavender
Lavender can be planted in a variety of containers; old tin cans, wooden boxes, crockery, bowls as well as pottery. Sufficient drainage should be provided to ensure that the soil does not become waterlogged.
How To Care For Lavender
Lavender very easy to care for. Their needs are minimal. Most scented herbs do not have insect problems due to their strong odors.
- Light & Air – Find a sunny window, a south or west exposure is best. Most herbs like plenty of light and should be turned from time to time.
- Temperature – Normal indoor temperatures are sufficient for growing herbs. Warmer temperatures will require more frequent waterings than cooler.
- Water & Fertilize – To decide if your plant needs water, stick your finger about 1/2″ into the soil. If the soil feels dry, it is time to water. If it is still wet, don’t. Herbs should not be over fertilized. This leads to excessive leaf growth and a reduced level of aromatic oils in the plant. If you wish to fertilize, do so only once a month using a half dilution of the recommended rate.
- Pruning – During the winter months, Lavender grows much slower due to lower light levels and shorter days. Only the top growth of the plant should be removed at any one time to prevent shock and setting back the plant, as they are slower to respond in the winter months.
- Insects & Diseases – It is advisable to use an insecticidal soap or other safe, organic methods of pest control such as neem insecticide, according to directions on the label.
Warning: Herbs may interact with certain medications. Talk with your doctor prior to taking medicinal herbs to prevent any interactions with medications or health conditions.