Lavender hedge

The origin and main characteristics of the Lavendula genus

The Lavadula genus, belonging to the Labiatae family, includes about 40 species of aromatic evergreen shrub plants originating from the Mediterranean basin. The scientific name Lavender, from which the name with which it is commonly called, derives, goes back to the Latin Lavender, probably referring to the use that the ancients had to use it to cleanse themselves, as well as for medicinal purposes. In Italy, lavender also grows spontaneously on arid and stony soils, but is cultivated both for ornamental purposes and for its aromatic and therapeutic properties. From its very fragrant flowers, a highly sought-after essential oil and essences used for the production of soaps and perfumes are extracted. Due to its characteristics, lavender is also ideal for creating rustic, very thick and fragrant hedges and borders,

The lavender species most suitable for forming hedges

The most widespread species of lavender, also suitable for forming hedges, is Lavandula angustifolia, simply called lavender, also present in Italy in its spontaneous state. The height varies from 40 cm to one meter, it usually blooms from June to early winter. The leaves are narrow, lanceolate, of a greyish green color. The characteristic flowers, gathered in spikes up to 8 cm long, have a color between blue and lilac and are intensely scented. Other species suitable for mild climates are the pinnata, the moroccan and the multifida. The pinnate lavender is delicate, it does not tolerate temperatures below zero, its flowers are light blue gathered in 9 cm long spikes. The Moroccan has an untidy bearing, but beautiful flowers between violet and dark blue. The multifida has a sprawling and irregular posture.

Lavender is a Mediterranean plant, therefore it prefers a dry climate and high temperatures, it can be exposed to direct sun, it resists heat and short periods of drought, but it is also a rustic plant and generally tolerates the cold quite well. It has no particular needs in terms of soil, but it does not like acidic ones, the important thing is that it is well drained. To form the hedge, the seedlings should be planted at a distance of about 30 cm from each other. Watering should not be abundant or frequent, it is generally correct to wait for the soil to dry before proceeding with a new irrigation. In fact, lavender fears water stagnation, which can cause root rot, compromising the entire plant. Reproduction occurs by cuttings in spring or late summer,

Lavender does not require great attention, however, in order to have beautiful and lush hedges it is advisable to carry out periodic maintenance interventions. It is useful to remove the flowers as they wither, both for aesthetic reasons and to prolong flowering. Generally, the lavender hedge does not need to be fertilized, however it can be given fertilizer for flowering plants at the beginning of the vegetative season, in spring. At the end of flowering it is necessary to prune the hedges by trimming and shortening the stems, so that new branches can be produced, improving the appearance of the hedge. If the plant is not healthy or begins to dry up, a more drastic pruning can be carried out. The lavender hedge can be attacked by insects and parasites, especially larvae, when the disease occurs it is necessary to resort to specific products. If it is kept in a too humid environment it is easily prey to fungi, avoiding watering too much or too often and checking that the soil is well drained, the problem should not arise.

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