Planting zone: Hardy in zones 7 to 9.
Size: Up to 3 feet in height and width.
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Bloom season: Spring to fall.
Exposure: Full sun.
Pruning needs: Deadheading spent blooms prolongs blooming season. Annual pruning of new growth encourages thick, dense growth.
Water needs: Drought tolerant, needs little supplemental watering once established.
Snapshot: Of all the drought-tolerant, deer-resistant Mediterranean plants that thrive on the Central Coast, lavender is one of the most popular.
Its fragrant blossoms, which come in shades of blue, mauve, violet and purple, attract bees and can be used for potpourri and other products.
Featuring more than 30 species of dwarf woody shrubs, lavender is evergreen, perennial and in the same plant family as mints, sages, and thymes.
The most common species of lavender are English (Lavandula augustifolia), French (Lavandula dentate) and Spanish (Lavandula stoechas).
Spanish lavender is colorful and blooms along the coast nearly year-round.
It matures into a thick bushy shrub that’s often planted along paths to scent the air. It is easy to care for and resists insect pests and diseases.
Ideal conditions for lavender include well-drained loamy soil and a dry, sunny location. Lavenders are susceptible to root-rot caused by overwatering, so keep the soil moist only until established.
Fertilize lightly in the spring with fish emulsion or a time-release fertilizer.
With the proper care and environment, Spanish lavender can live for seven to eight years before becoming woody and requiring replacement.