How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Munstead Lavender

'Munstead' lavender is a hardy perennial known for its alluring and calming fragrance. It is easy to grow and drought-tolerant once established. Its beautiful blooms will attract a host of bees and beneficial pollinators to your garden. Gardening expert Kelli Klein walks you through how to plant, grow, and care for 'Munstead' lavender.

A close-up reveals the delicate beauty of Munstead lavenders, showcasing their vibrant purple petals. Against a blurred backdrop of lush greenery, these flowers stand out, their intricate details inviting closer inspection in the serene garden setting.


‘Munstead’ lavender is grown as both an ornamental and an edible. As an ornamental, it produces beautiful spires of delicate purple flowers that attract beneficial insects. Due to its high essential oil content, it also acts as a natural pest and deer deterrent. The greenish-gray foliage is beautiful and fragrant as well. 

As an edible, it adds a delicious floral flavor with hints of mint and rosemary. This makes it perfect for baking and making homemade teas. Not to mention, essential oils have calming properties when used in aromatherapy. This stress-reducing scent can be found in many soaps, lotions, and perfumes. 

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A close-up of Munstead lavenders exhibits slender stalks adorned with clusters of lavender blooms. Each stalk bears multiple flower spikes, adding dimension and texture to the scene. Amidst the verdant foliage, these lavender stalks create a visual symphony of color and form.
Plant Type Herb
Family Lamiaceae
Genus Lavandula
Species L. angustifolia
Native Area Mediterranean
Exposure Full sun
Height 12-24 inches
Watering Requirements Moderate
Pests and Diseases Spittlebugs, whiteflies, root rot, Septoria leaf spot
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Light, sandy, well-drained
Hardiness Zones 5 to 9

What Is It?

Lavender is an ornamental that is also used as an edible. It can be grown for its ornamental qualities consisting of its unique silver-green foliage that remains evergreen throughout the year. Not to mention the delicate spires of small purple flowers that appear in the summer. This plant is known widely for its fragrance and while the flowers contain most of it, the foliage gives off a scent as well. Plus, it’s edible and can be used in the kitchen in a variety of ways

Lavender has been studied for its calming effects on the nervous system. The fragrance of lavender has been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety, such as restlessness and disturbed sleep. This is true for both inhaled lavender fragrance and orally administered lavender oil. This, in part, is why lavender has gained such popularity in aromatherapy. 

Native Area

A cluster of Munstead lavenders showcases delicate violet petals, gently unfurling towards the sun. The stalks, sturdy yet graceful, bear the weight of the blossoms with elegant poise. Their vibrant green leaves, tinged with silver, shimmer softly in the light against a blurred backdrop of a brick-style house.
This plant is perplexing due to its association with Munstead Woods in England.

‘Munstead’ lavender is native to the Mediterranean basin, which includes areas in Spain, France, Italy, and Croatia. It is also known by another common name, English lavender, though it is not native to England.

The name Munstead comes from Munstead Woods in England. Other common names include garden lavender, common lavender, and narrow-leafed lavender. The species name, angustifolia, is Latin for “narrow leaf.”  


Munstead lavenders form tight clusters of petite flowers, each one a miniature masterpiece of nature's design. Their subtle hues of lavender and lilac interplay delicately, creating a mesmerizing display of color and texture. Amidst the foliage, tiny buds promise the bloom of more beauty to come.
These fragrant flowers and foliage evoke summer, even in winter.

‘Munstead’ lavender has woody branches that are covered in narrow, gray-green leaves. Spires of delicate purple flowers shoot up from the plant in the summer. Lavender has a very distinct smell that is floral, sweet, and slightly herbaceous.

Most of the oils are contained in the flowers, but the foliage contains some scent as well. During the long winter months, I often run my hands through the foliage and it smells like summer. 


‘Munstead’ lavender can be propagated easily by seed. If you already have established plants then you can even save your seeds! It can also be propagated by cuttings, but this method is technical and a bit more involved. 


A close-up of a hand's tip, showcasing a small black seed. Below, a small cup holds brown soil, nurturing a budding seedling. The scene captures the promise of growth and the beauty of beginnings.
Surface-sow tiny seeds for light germination.

‘Munstead’ lavender is easy to start from seed and can be started either indoors or outside. It’s important, however, to get the timing right. When starting seeds inside, be sure to start them 10-12 weeks before your average last frost date.

Starting seeds indoors is recommended for lavender since it can take anywhere from 15-90 days for seeds to germinate! Starting them indoors ensures their ideal growing conditions are being met and you’ll have a higher success rate with germination. Cold stratify them in a plastic bag in moist media in the refrigerator for one to two months. Otherwise, you will have to wait until four to six weeks before your average last frost date to sow seeds outdoors.

These seeds are tiny and will need to be surface-sown since they require light to germinate. Scatter them lightly across the surface of the soil and gently press them into the soil with your hand. Next, you’ll want to mist them with a spray bottle, keeping the soil surface evenly moist until they germinate. Using a heat mat and humidity dome to create a consistently warm and moist environment will also help speed germination. Once the seeds sprout, remove the humidity dome and heat mat. 


A woman's hand delicately wields pruning shears to trim thin lavender stems. The vibrant green leaves complement the scene with their lushness and vitality. Sprouting from them, delicate lavender flowers add a splash of purple elegance to the composition.
Dip cuttings in rooting hormone for better growth.

You can also propagate lavender by taking cuttings. The best time of year to do this is mid to late summer during the active growing season. If cuttings are taken too late in the fall while the plant is already going into winter dormancy, they likely will not root. Take cuttings with clean, sharp pruning sheers and cut a four to six-inch section of a non-flowering side shoot. Remove foliage from the lower third of the cutting. 

Then, take the cutting and dip it into rooting hormone powder or gel. This step is optional but will increase your chances of success. Plant into a small pot filled with potting soil and keep well watered until you see new growth.

Although mature lavender plants prefer a full sun location, it’s best to keep these cuttings in partial shade and out of extreme heat while they become established. After a few weeks, you can move your cuttings into their final location, either directly in the ground or in another container.  


Now that you’ve propagated your lavender, either by seed or by cuttings, it’s time to plant it! Lavender can be planted any time during the spring through the fall. If you live in an area with extreme heat in the summer, get your plants established in the fall so they have time to adjust before the high temperatures roll in. 


A close-up reveals small cups filled with rich brown soil, each nurturing green seedlings of lavender, delicate and promising. The verdant leaves display tiny serrations, glistening with vitality under soft light. Positioned meticulously, the cups find solace on the sun-kissed windowsill, embracing their journey to bloom.
Begin hardening off seedlings gradually, increasing outdoor exposure daily.

To prepare your seedlings for transplant you will want to put them through a period of hardening off. Hardening off seedlings involves slow and incremental exposure to outdoor temperatures for about a week before planting them into the ground. This adjustment phase prepares the seedlings for a life in the outdoor elements after spending their early days in the temperature-controlled indoors.

On the first day of hardening off, place your seedlings outside in dappled sunlight for an hour and then bring them back inside. Increase this time by an hour daily, slowly moving them into more direct sunlight. On the final day, your plants should be spending at least eight hours outdoors in direct sunlight. This process can take a week to two weeks.

Do not begin the hardening-off process until your last frost date has passed and overnight low temperatures are at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). Eventually, in their mature state, they will be able to survive a frost, but the tender young seedlings can be damaged or killed by a sudden frost. Only begin the hardening-off process once your seedlings have at least two sets of true leaves. 


A gardener, donning bright yellow gloves, delicately places small green lavender seedlings into a carefully dug hole within the earthy brown soil. Each seedling, vibrant and tender, holds the promise of fragrant blossoms. Adjacent, a black pot stands as a testament to the transplanted plant's former abode, witnessing its growth.
Munstead lavender thrives in sunny spots with well-draining soil.

Once your seedlings have been hardened off, then you are ready to transplant them outdoors. ‘Munstead’ lavender seedlings should be planted at least 18-24 inches apart to account for their mature size.

Choose a planting site with full sun and well-draining soil. Dig a hole at least twice the width of its original pot and the same depth. Even though your lavender will eventually be drought-tolerant, you’ll want to water newly planted seedlings at least once a week until they are established. In their second year of growth, you can water them once every two weeks, or you may not need to water them at all if you receive enough regular rainfall. 

How to Grow

‘Munstead’ lavender is very easy to grow. It is low-maintenance and drought-tolerant. If you provide lavender with its ideal growing conditions, then you’ll be rewarded with its highly sought-after fragrant flowers for years to come. 


A close-up reveals Munstead lavenders' delicate purple petals, each bearing tiny, fragrant blossoms. Their slender stems support clusters of blooms, creating a mesmerizing sight. Surrounding these blooms are vibrant green leaves, basking in the sun's warm embrace.
Consider winter sun position for perennial plants to ensure adequate sunlight daily.

Lavender prefers full sun, which means you’ll need to select a planting location that receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. The hours of sunlight do not need to be consecutive, meaning that it may receive full sun in the morning, partial shade in the afternoon, and then full sun again in the evening. 

Since this is a perennial plant, you should also consider where the sun will be during the winter when it is at its lowest point in the sky. It is important to make sure it will not be shaded out by taller plants or other structures during the winter. 


A watering can gently splashes water onto tender lavender seedlings, nurturing their growth. Their lush green leaves shimmer with droplets of moisture, reflecting the sunlight. In the blurred background, verdant grasses sway gently in the garden breeze, completing the scene of natural abundance.
Keep newly transplanted seedlings moist for root establishment.

This herb is drought-tolerant and does not mind drying out between waterings. Established plants will rarely require additional water outside of natural rainfall unless there is an extreme period of drought and heat. A general rule of thumb is to make sure your plants are getting water at least once every nine days. 

Of course, this is only true for established plants. For newly transplanted seedlings, you will want to keep them evenly moist until their root system is established and they are settled into their new home. Give them an entire growing season of consistent watering before you consider them to be established. In any case, it is always best to err on the side of under-watering rather than over-watering. Too much water can lead to fungal issues and rot. 


A close-up of rich, brown soil, teeming with life. Its fertile texture promises abundant growth, ready to nurture seeds. This sandy earth holds the promise of a bountiful harvest, a canvas awaiting the strokes of a gardener's hand.
Avoid low-lying areas prone to water pooling, especially near downspouts.

‘Munstead’ lavender is not picky when it comes to soil conditions and will thrive in light, sandy, and lean soils. Lavender prefers alkaline soils. The most important factor here is that the soil is well-draining. As mentioned above, standing water or overly wet conditions can lead to fungal issues and rot. 

Heavy clay soils will need to be amended before planting. A combination of small, ¼ inch bark mulch and compost works well as a soil amendment for this purpose. You should also avoid planting in a low-lying area of your yard or garden where water can pool after heavy rains. For this reason, it is important to also avoid areas where a downspout drains. 

Temperature and Humidity

A close-up reveals Munstead lavenders in full bloom, their delicate petals exuding a soothing fragrance. Amidst them, pink and yellow blossoms dance, adding vibrant hues to the garden tapestry. Each flower, a testament to nature's artistry, paints a picture of serenity and beauty.
Rooted lavenders can rebound in spring but may perish in severe cold.

‘Munstead’ lavender prefers dry heat and does not do well in high humidity. High humidity conditions can cause fungal issues, especially in combination with consistently wet soil. The ideal temperature range during the growing season is between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit (16-29 degrees Celsius). In areas that receive regular temperatures above 85 degrees in the summer, your lavender will likely benefit from afternoon shade.

You can grow lavender in USDA zones five through nine. USDA zone five can see average low temperatures of -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees Celsius). Temperatures below -10 Fahrenheit (-23 Celsius) for prolonged periods may cause your lavender plant to struggle or even die back to the ground, though if the root system is established, it should come back in the spring. Even so, they can still sometimes die from extreme cold. 

In its native area in the Mediterranean basin, lavender enjoys full sun, dry heat, and low humidity. If you live in an area that receives regular rainfall and has higher humidity, be sure to provide your lavender with well-draining soil. You might even want to grow it in a pot so that you can move it to a sheltered area if it begins to receive too much water. 


A close-up reveals rich soil teeming with life, dark and crumbly, abundant with organic matter nourishing plants. Tiny earthworms wriggle within, enhancing soil structure and fertility. This soil promises lush growth and bountiful harvests.
‘Munstead’ lavender thrives in lean soils.

Fertilizing is optional, not optimal. ‘Munstead’ lavender is a hardy plant that almost thrives on neglect. It can survive in lean or nutrient-poor soils, meaning it does not need a lot of organic matter to survive.

For this reason, fertilizing your lavender can cause more harm than good. Too much nitrogen in the soil can cause a lot of foliage growth but will also result in a lack of flowers. 


Delicate lavender blooms sway gracefully as a woman deftly trims them with pruning shears. Each flower boasts slender petals of purple hues. The meticulous pruning ensures the bushes maintain their vibrant beauty and health.
Harvest flowers after flowering in summer.

Left unchecked, lavender plants can become woody. Perform regular maintenance to prevent this from happening. This is also the perfect time to provide an overall shape to your plant. The best time to prune your lavender is in the spring, just as new green growth appears. Cut back old growth to a third of its original height. Harvest flowers annually, in the summer just after the plants have finished flowering. 


Lavender flowers form on new growth, so regular harvesting will promote more new growth and, thus, more flowers! Harvesting flowers in the morning will ensure the highest concentration of oil in the buds.

You’ll know it’s time to harvest when at least 50% of the flowers have opened. Cut the stems as long as possible and bundle them with a rubber band. You can then hand them in a well-ventilated area to air dry. Once they have dried completely, they can be stored in an airtight container for long-term storage. 


A dropper delicately releases lavender essential oil into a brown bottle, capturing the essence of nature's tranquility. In the blurred backdrop, lavender flowers sway, embodying the serenity of a fragrant garden in bloom, inviting peaceful moments of relaxation.
Lavender adds a calming scent to lotions, soaps, and bouquets.

Lavender is well known as a fragrance used in oils, perfumes, and soaps, but it can also add a delightful floral flavor to baked goods like cookies, cakes, and scones. It also adds great flavor to beverages like lavender lemonade and can be brewed into an herbal tea. My favorite homegrown herbal tea blend includes three culinary herbs: mint, chamomile, and lavender. 

You can also store dried lavender bundles in your bathroom. The steam from the shower will help release the oils, which results in a soothing homegrown aroma therapy. The dried bundles also make a great addition to dried flower arrangements. 

Common Problems

Lavender is an extremely hardy plant, though it does fall victim to a few pests and diseases. When you’re equipped with the knowledge of what to look for, you can tackle these issues head-on before they get out of hand and potentially kill your plants. We’ll discuss the most common problems here.  


Companion planting with lavender attracts beneficial insects.

Spittlebugs are white or black and orange striped. Their names come from their spit-like encasing. They leave behind a foamy white substance that looks like spit on plants. This will usually appear in the spring. Spittlebugs rarely affect the overall health of the plant, with damage being mostly cosmetic, but heavily infested stems may die back. The easiest way to get rid of spittlebugs is by hand or with a harsh blast from the hose

Whiteflies are soft-bodied sap-sucking insects that resemble aphids. They are tiny, white, triangular, and powdery. They tend to hide on the undersides of leaves in large clusters. Infested leaves will shrivel up and die. Reflective mulch can deter these pests along with aphids.

You can also employ companion planting techniques by interplanting your lavender with dill, alyssum, chamomile, or calendula. These flowers attract predatory insects. Ladybugs in particular, will feast on whiteflies. Removal by hand or a harsh blast from the hose will work to help knock back their populations as well. 


A hand deftly wields pruning shears to trim lavender plants in a brown pot, nurturing their growth with care and precision. Each lavender sprout, delicate and verdant, symbolizes the promise of new beginnings against the backdrop of a pristine white house wall.
Use well-draining soil to prevent fungal growth from excess moisture.

Root rot is the number one disease when it comes to lavender. It occurs in overly wet or waterlogged soils. The first signs of root rot are witling, accompanied by yellow or brown leaves. The entire plant will appear droopy despite having plenty of water. This is because the rotting roots are no longer able to take up water and nutrients, which can lead to the death of your plant. 

If you remove soil from around the root zone, you may discover mushy or discolored roots that are blackened or smelly. The most common cause of this issue is over-watering. If your lavender is in a pot, you can repot it into dry soil which might be able to save it if enough healthy white roots remain. The easiest way to avoid this issue is to provide your plants with well-draining soil. That way, even in instances of heavy rain, the soil will be able to dry out instead of creating a hospitable environment for this fungus. 

Septoria leaf spot, or Septoria lavandulae, is a fungus that thrives in high-humidity environments. This species specifically attacks lavender plants. The disease will appear as tiny gray spots with purple or brown margins. The spots expand, eventually taking over and killing the leaves. 

Over time the plant can lose most of its foliage and become stunted. To prevent this fungus from taking hold, avoid wetting the foliage while watering your plants. This can be accomplished easily by using drip irrigation or bottom watering. If you live in an area that receives a lot of rain, make sure that there is plenty of airflow between your plants and prune away any diseased leaves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does ‘Munstead’ lavender come back every year? 

Yes, lavender is a perennial that can live for up to 15 years.

How fast does ‘Munstead’ lavender grow? 

It may bloom in its first year, but it can take up to three years to reach its mature size.

Will ‘Munstead’ lavender bloom twice? 

If you live in an area with a long enough growing season, then yes, it can bloom twice.

Final Thoughts

Lavender makes a wonderful addition to your garden as both an ornamental and an edible herb. It adds a unique floral flavor to many dishes and drinks. Its fragrance is remarkable and has been shown to have calming properties. This hardy perennial is low-maintenance and easy to grow from seed. Give lavender a spot in your garden this year!

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