When Is Lavender In Season

A perennial flowering herb known for its beautiful flowers and delightful fragrance, lavender is a popular plant in the garden and in landscaping (and is even grown as a cash crop in some parts of the world on account of its various floral, fragrant, medicinal and culinary use).

It’s a beautiful sight and a wonderful fragrance to see lavender in bloom. It’s such a wonderful thing that vacations are sometimes planned around the season.

Lavandin produces more flowers that yield more oil but oil from English lavender varieites produce higher quality oil.

In this article we will discuss some important information about when lavender is in season, specifically what month does lavender bloom, whether or not lavender grows all-year round, and when lavender is in season in California.

What Month Does Lavender Bloom?

The first thing to understand about lavender and when it blooms is that there are several different species and that each type of lavender possesses unique characters and qualities.

These differences extend to when the plants bloom as well, with different species blooming at slightly different times of the year.

That being said, most varieties of lavender can generally be grouped into four categories: English, French, Spanish, and Lavandins (a sterile variety that is a cross between English lavender and Portuguese spike lavender).

Lavandins may produce seeds or may not but the best way to propagate this species is through cuttings.

As mentioned a moment ago, there are some slight variances in blooming season when it comes to these different types of lavender, the specifics of which we will now discuss.

French lavender is often considered to be the longest blooming type of lavender, with flowers appearing in early spring and continuing on almost indefinitely throughout the entire warm season.

This means that French lavender will generally begin blooming as early as March and will continue to produce flowers as long as the weather is warm enough. It’s recommended that faded flower spikes be removed in order to stimulate additional flowering.

English lavender typically begins flowering in late spring to mid-summer, and will often bloom twice during the season; this means that English lavender can have its first bloom as early as May and as late as July, with the second bloom occurring randomly after that.

Spanish lavender is known for its vibrant coloring and generally blooms in early to mid-spring, with additional flowering occurring sporadically throughout early summer; this means that flowering can begin as early as March and continue as late as June.

Lavandins, in contrast to most other types of lavender, bloom only once, later in the summer. For most regions, lavandins will flower in the month of August.


So, lavender can bloom at any point from May to August. The exact month this beautiful plant may bloom depends largely on the type of lavender. For example, Lavandula stoechas (Butterfly Lavender) blooms in early May, but Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender) blooms in the summer, typically in June or July. Lavandins, Lavandula x intermedia (Hybrid Lavender), can bloom as late as August.

Fun Fact: Lavender blooms are not exclusively in the beautiful shades of purple we typically see but can range from white to blue – or even yellow. The color depends on the variety of plants and does not have a direct known correlation to bloom periods.

The differences in plant type have a significant impact on blooming patterns, this holds true especially for lavender. Early blooming lavender such as Lavandula stoechas initially blooms once in May with new blooms occurring in June and potentially once again in August. The size, color, and shape of these blooms also depend on the variety.

Butterfly lavender has a more fragile bloom with spike-like petals appearing on top of leafless stems. Hybrid lavender, on the other hand, is much larger and hardier than Butterfly.

The flower being bigger allows them to bloom later in the summer season, as they can withstand the cooler weather from the months following in the Fall.

In certain regions of the United States, lavender can remain in bloom continuously throughout the spring and summer months. If the weather allows it, even the more delicate varieties like Lavandula stoechas can maintain their bloom for a few months.

These variants of lavender prefer hot arid weather, but sudden shifts in temperature, such as a surprise late spring frost, can irreparably damage their blooms.

Consequently, geography and temperature can cause annual differences in blooming months. If a particular year has its spring temperatures arrive later the lavender plants that bloom in May may wait until the beginning of June to blossom.

You might also like “Lavender Plant FAQ’s“.

Does Lavender Grow All-Year Round?

Whether or not lavender grows all-year round depends not only on the species of lavender but also where the lavender is growing.

Lavender is a woody perennial plant that can grow all year round. Depending on the climate and care it receives lavender can continue to grow and produce blooms throughout most of the year. However, that is limited to plants in hot arid regions where lavender thrives.

Native to the Mediterranean, lavender in general is a plant accustomed to hot sunny weather with relatively low humidity and grows best when in those conditions, although its versatility and adaptability means it can thrive in a wide variety of locations as long as it is cared for properly.

That being said, some varieties of lavender (such as French lavender and Spanish lavender) are not cold hardy, meaning that they will have considerable difficulty growing all-year round in regions that experience cold autumn and winter months.

This means that certain types of lavender will typically not last all year in places like the Midwest or Southeast (where there is usually too much humidity) or more northern regions (which have frigid winters where temperatures drop too low for lavender).

In warmer areas however (particularly regions like California and New Mexico that have hot and arid climate conditions similar to lavender’s native environment) it is entirely possible to grow lavender all year and during all seasons.

Herbaceous perennials have soft stems that die back to the ground each winter with new stems growing back in the spring. Being a woody perennial, lavender has thicker stems that are better able to withstand the cold, allowing the stems to survive all year.

Different varieties have different levels of thickness in their stems. Hybrid and common lavender both have thicker stems than butterfly lavender, allowing them to grow more successfully in cooler regions throughout the year. Survivability in the cold depends somewhat on pruning and general care such as mulching the surrounding soil.

Furthermore, while lavender may be a hardy shrub, its lifespan is entirely subjective to the weather patterns of any given year. Sudden winter freezes, long drought or wet periods, or forest fires in a dry summer will destroy lavender plants.

It typically takes three years before a lavender plant reaches its full growth, afterwards, it may continue to live for up to 15 years.

When Is Lavender in Season in California?

California’s warm climate can host many lavender varieties with its peak bloom season ending around mid-late July. Depending on the area’s topography and weather the season will typically begin in early June.

However, California’s plant hardiness zones range from 4 to 11, as such Northern California with its cooler zones tends to see the hardier common lavender with later bloom times in July.

Lavender is a very popular addition to many gardens in California, due in large part to its many positive attributes and the fact that it is well-suited to life on the West Coast.

Not only is lavender a good choice for California due to its overall hardiness and drought-resistance (a particular boon for the southern regions where water is sometimes scarce, particularly during the hot and dry summer months) but also because it attracts bees and butterflies.

As mentioned previously, the specific blooming time for lavender depends on the species of lavender being grown; certain varieties of lavender will bloom earlier or bloom more than once a season.

That being said, in California (particularly central and southern California, where the climate is very similar to lavender’s natural environment) the summer is generally considered to be the “in season” time for lavender.

In fact, in some places in California lavender grows so well and blooms so gloriously in the months of June and July that there are entire farms dedicated to this fragrant plant; in some cities these spacious fields even serve as popular tourist attractions, drawing people from all over.

It’s said that the best time to go is between mid-May and mid-July depending upon the farm’s location and the growing conditions during the preceding spring season, since this time period is supposedly when the flowers are blooming the most.

California boasts 63 different lavender farms, each with its own mix of the different lavender types.

In Southern California, the plant hardiness zones range from 8s to 11s. Meaning, the region’s average annual extreme minimum temperature is 20 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

This temperature is the lowest the zone will see in any given year. Therefore, because Southern California has such a high minimum temperature a large variety of plants are able to successfully grow without fear of freezing.

For example, one of the largest organic lavender farms in California, 123 Farm, grows over 90 different varieties thanks to the hot arid climate outside of Los Angeles.

On the other hand, Northern California’s plant hardiness zones can go as low as zone 4, or an average annual extreme minimum temperature of -25 degrees Fahrenheit.

This limits the variants that can grow in the region and affects the overall season for lavender. For types like Lavandula stoechas whose lowest hardiness zone is 8, their ability to grow in the area is limited. This means the early spring lavender season Southern California sees is uncommon the more north you go.

Fun Fact: Did you know that California’s lavender season includes sea lavender? Sea lavender is an invasive species that grows along the coast of California. The reason why it is considered an invasive species is the plant can crowd out other native grasses and plants which are necessary to maintain biodiversity.

2021 has so far shown extreme heat and dry weather in California, which may have contributed to the blooming season this year to begin very early in June. Compared to other states such as Texas which had record temperature lows resulting in the blooming season to be delayed.

This dry heat which is ideal for lavender has allowed the state’s bloom to flourish this year, resulting in fun lavender festivals such as Lavender Daze in Santa Rosa, CA.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the important thing to remember is that the specific blooming season for lavender depends largely on what species of lavender is being grown (with each variety blooming at a slightly different time of the year), and that lavender can be successfully grown all-year round if the climate it is growing in is similar to its hot and sunny native Mediterranean environment.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful and informative for understanding more about when lavender is in season (specifically what month it blooms in) as well as whether not lavender can be grown all-year round.

Please comment below!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top