Lavender is a common herb with numerous uses. Lavandula officinalis is the botanical name for this perennial medicinal herb recorded as far back as 2,500 years ago. Lavender thrives in sunny climates with well-drained soils. When choosing companion plants to grow next to lavender, select those that tolerate similar conditions and serve to enhance the beauty of this fragrant herb.
Lavender grows well with other herbs and enhances the aroma and beauty of an herbal garden. Several herbs share lavender's requirement for a sunny, well-drained area of the landscape. Perennial herbs to plant next to lavender include lemon thyme, sage, oregano and rosemary. These plants enjoy the slightly sandy soil favored by lavender and also grow as perennials, allowing you to leave the lavender undisturbed each year.
Planting certain members of the cabbage family alongside lavender helps protect these edible plants from pests. Grow cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli next to the lavender to minimize the risk of slugs and cabbage beetles that can destroy the leaves and reduce the harvest.
Many types of ornamental grasses grow well alongside lavender and help offset the color of the purple blossoms with backdrops or borders of varying shades of green. Like lavender, certain types of grasses thrive and flourish in sandy, sunny areas of the yard. Pink ruby grass produces pale pink blossoms and forms a clump around 12 inches wide. Blue fescue grass is a hardy variety of ornamental grass that produces foliage tinged with blue. It has a fine texture that sways in the wind, adding movement to the area around the sturdy lavender stalks.
Butterfly Garden Plants
Like lavender, certain blossoms attract bees and butterflies. Create a butterfly garden around the lavender plants by growing bright, scented flowers or shrubs that draw these airborne visitors into your landscape. Lovage, bee balm, purple coneflower, plantain, Queen Anne's lace, hyssop and yarrow are all suitable additions to a butterfly garden. Most sage and mint plants also grow well next to lavender and help draw butterflies.
- University of California; Lavender; Debbie Notaro; Sept. 2003
- Colorado State University Extension; Ornamental Grasses; C.R. Wilson; December 2008
- "The Green World Horticulture"; Gail M. Lang, Ph.D.; 2007
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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