(Lavandula angustifolia) Lavender flowers possess the most intoxicating fragrance, making them a highly sought-after plant. Native to the Mediterranean, India and the Middle East, it is widely cultivated as an ornamental addition to gardens and landscapes. Useful as a culinary herb, the delicate foliage and colorful flower spikes of lavender provide sweeping drifts of color from early summer into fall. Lavender seed is famously difficult to germinate, and many people propagate lavender from cuttings. However, if you are up for a challenge, this aromatic is well worth the effort. Start indoors 8-10 weeks before last frost date. Ideal germination temperature is 68-75F. Seeds germinate in 14-28 days. Seed will germinate best in a warm location when planted in a light, well-draining medium. They require light in order to germinate, so press seeds into soil, no deeper than 1/8 inch deep. Once the young seedlings have developed a few sets of leaves, they are ready to be transplanted. Lavender plants prefer full sun and, once established, are very low maintenance and require minimal watering. Space plants 18-24 inches apart.
(Lavandula multifida) Perennial in USDA zones 8-10 and annual in cooler zones. Silvery, oregano-scented foliage as delicate as fine French lace, makes this is a truly unique member of the lavender family! This first-season blooming perennial is native to the southern Mediterranean and is not cold hardy like other lavenders; it will need to be brought indoors or protected in zones 7 and cooler. Many northern gardeners treat the plants as annuals because they are easy to start from seed and will bloom in 15 weeks from sowing, then hold blooms all season long from there. Plants stand 1.5-2 feet tall and about as wide. It is beloved as a container and bedding ornamental for its frosty-filagreed foliage and its brilliant purple flower spikes. A better lavender for the south, where English lavender typically struggles in the heat and humidity.