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Growing Lavender

Course CodeBHT228
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to Grow & Harvest Lavender and how to Make Lavender Products

This course provides an array of information about lavender plant culture, varieties and harvesting practices. It is suited to people living in all sorts of climates since lavender is a hardy plant. Find out how to make use of this versatile plant whether for business or pleasure.  

  • Learn how to Grow and Use Lavender Plants
  • Correspondence course for the enthusiast or commercial grower
  • Start a Business, Work in a Nursery or Lavender Farm, or pursue a passion

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Classification and identification of lavender
    • general characteristics of Lanendula
    • resources, contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs, etc.)
  2. Soils, Fertilisers and Nutrition for Lavender
    • Soil structure
    • pH
    • organic matter
    • ameliorants
    • organic growing.
  3. Cultural Techniques for Lavender Growing
    • Pruning
    • water management (mulching, irrigation, drainage, etc.)
    • planting and establishment methods
    • crop scheduling
    • no dig gardening.
  4. Lavender Propagation
    • Propagation from cuttings
    • propagation growth media
    • other propagation methods,
  5. Commercial Alternatives
    • Managing a Market Garden
    • standards
    • mulches
    • problems and their control
    • weed control without chemicals
    • economic outlook for herbs.
  6. Plant Variety Selection and Breeding
    • Breeding and selecting new varieties
    • lavender clone selection for essential oils in Tasmania.
  7. Building Plant Knowledge
    • Lavender types and other varieties
    • advantages and disadvantages of different varieties.
  8. Harvesting, Postharvest Treatment and Storage
    • Harvesting
    • distillation and oils
    • post harvest preservation of fresh product
    • drying lavender.
  9. Processing and Making Lavender Products
    • Lavender crafts
    • using herbs in cooking
    • selling herb products.
  10. Marketing Lavender Produce
    • how to market your produce
    • considering your market
    • market research
    • selling successfully.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Describe the plant naming system and classification of plants
  • Discuss the nature and scope of the Lavender genus.
  • Describe the nutritional requirements of the lavender species.
  • Explain the cultural requirements of the lavender species.
  • Explain propagating techniques specific to lavender
  • Describe commercial lavender growing operations.
  • Select species appropriate to the climatic and soil conditions of a chosen locality.
  • Describe of a variety of lavender species and cultivars.
  • Describe the production processes on a lavender farm.
  • Describe various lavender products and discuss the way in which they are processed.
  • Explain the processes used in the marketing of lavender products.

What You Will Do

  • Prepare a collection of 20 different types of lavender in the form of pressed, dried, labelled specimens
  • Compile a resource file of contacts relevant to lavender and lavender growing
  • Contact a number of lavender related organisations for information on their activities in the industry
  • Collect and test at least three different soil samples
  • Identify and (optional) manufacture a potting mix suitable for lavender growing
  • Collect information on organic and inorganic fertilisers from fertiliser companies
  • Research information on machinery used in horticulture by contacting the companies that produce it
  • Produce a no dig garden or an organic garden
  • Manufacture a propagating mix for lavender cuttings
  • Take lavender cuttings for propagation
  • Contact a herb nursery to observe their operation
  • Research irrigation equipment by contacting irrigation suppliers
  • Cross pollinate lavender and grow the resulting seed
  • Compare various types of lavender
  • Harvest a number of different types of lavender
  • Produce a small quantity of lavender oil
  • Produce two non edible and one edible product containing lavender
  • Visit a shop selling lavender products to observe marketing procedures

Lavender Can Be Grown and Used in Many Different Ways

Tips For Using Lavender

  • A bag made from an open weave cloth and filled with lavender seeds will deter moths and other insects from your clothing and linen.
  • In cooking, use the flowers to flavour bread, cheese, honey, and mustards.
  • In the past, lavender oil was used as an antiseptic. Nowadays, it’s favoured medicinal use is to treat insomnia and relieve headaches and nervous tension, and also to soothe tired or strained muscles. While some herbs can cause allergic reactions in some people and can even be dangerous, most health professionals argue that lavender is safe to use, even during pregnancy. However, always seek professional advice before use.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of oil over the pillow to promote sleep, or rub the oil directly onto the skin to soothe muscular tension.
  • Lavender essential oil can be added to the bath or used in oil burners.
  • Lavender water is made by adding lavender to alcohol. The mixture is then distilled and the preparation used for hair and scalp problems and as a treatment for rheumatism.
  • Make Lavender a feature plant -as a topiary or standard


Growing Lavender as a Standard
If you like the idea of standard lavender plants (lavenders trained to grow as a ball on a stick), but you don’t want to buy an expensive one at the nursery, you can grow one yourself.

  • Buy a small plant at the nursery, preferably in a 5 cm (tube) or 7.5 cm pot. Make sure the main growing tip is undamaged.
  • Plant it in a larger pot and tie it to a strong cane to keep the stem straight.
  • Pinch back the side-shoots as they appear, to encourage a single strong shoot.
  • Repot, fertilise, etc. until the plant has reached the desired height. This may take a couple of years.
  • Allow the leading shoot to produce several pairs of leaves, then pinch out the growing tip.
  • Pinch out the tips of the new shoots that grow when they reach about 15 cm in length to encourage a bushy head to form.
  • Keep pinching out the tips to maintain a dense, well-shaped ball, and rub out any shoots that appear lower down on the main stem.


Meet some of our academics

Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
Yvonne SharpeRHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. Over 30 years experience in business, education, management and horticulture. Former department head at a UK government vocational college. Yvonne has traveled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Check out our eBooks

Getting Work in HorticultureFind out what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse the industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
HerbsHerbs are fascinating plants, mystical and romantic. They have a rich history dating back centuries. Used by monks, apothecaries and ‘witches’ in the past, herbs are undergoing a revival in interest. They are easy to grow, scented, culinary and medicinal plants. In a formal herb garden or peppered throughout the garden, herbs rarely fail! Find out how they are used as medicines, for cooking, perfumes and more. This book has nine chapters covering the following topics: an introduction to herbs, cultivation, propagation, pest and diseases, herb gardens, an A-Z plant directory, using herbs, features for herb gardens, herbs in pots - 113 colour photos 61 pages
Fruit, Vegetables and HerbsHome grown produce somehow has a special quality. Some say it tastes better, others believe it is just healthier. And there is no doubt it is cheaper! Watching plants grow from seed to harvest and knowing that the armful of vegies and herbs you have just gathered for the evening meal will be on the table within an hour or two of harvest, can be an exciting and satisfying experience.
Plant Pests & DiseasesThis is a great guide to understanding, identifying and treating problems in your garden. Discover how to systematically examine and determine what is wrong with plants. Read about all of the main types of pests, diseases, and other problems that can occur, from frost damage to viruses. 197 pages