April-May The first lavenders to bloom are (Lavandula stoechas) cultivars, sometimes called Spanish lavender. They begin blooming in late April and May. This lavender is primarily used as a drought tolerant landscape plant. They can be seen blooming at various times in the spring and summer where they are planted in pots and in gardens at many nurseries, farms, homes and businesses.

June In mid-June, the largest group of lavenders, (Lavandula angustifolia) cultivars, begin blooming. This group offers a wide range of colors, from white and pink, to the whole spectrum of light violet to dark purple. (Lavandula angustifolia) cultivars are some of the most popular dark flowering lavenders and make beautiful fresh and dried bouquets that are enjoyed for their sweet floral scents. The buds and essential oils from some of these plants are used to flavor culinary delights and scent many lavender products. There are over 100 cultivars that are available, such as ‘Buena Vista’ and ‘Royal Velvet’ in this group of lavenders alone!

July-August The (Lavandula x intermedia) cultivars, also called lavandins, such as ‘Grosso’, ‘Provence’ and ‘Super’, normally start blooming in late June or early July. Lavandins are generally larger plants with very long, straight stems. They are used for fresh floral bouquets and in crafts, such as lavender wands. The dried buds are used to make fragrant sachets and to flavor savory dishes. The essential oils from this group of lavenders have a strong, herbal scent and are used in soaps and other products.

Regional Considerations To see lavender blooming at its peak in the Pacific Northwest, keep in mind where each lavender destination is located and how the changing environment in each region will affect their bloom time. No matter what species and cultivar of lavender is planted, the bloom time will be influenced by the climate, the location and the elevation where the plants are grown. For example, a wet cold spring can delay the bloom time, while a warm spring and heat earlier in the summer will speed up the blooming process. The higher the elevation is, the later the lavender will bloom. For example, in Southern Oregon, lavender begins blooming earlier because of the warmer spring and summer weather. In the Willamette Valley, lavenders begin blooming in late June, followed by lavandins in July. In Central Oregon, due to a later spring, some of the lavenders will not start blooming until July, and the lavandins bloom even later, into August and September. Lavender farms that grow more (L. angustifolia) will usually have their peak bloom in late June and may harvest their lavender flowers earlier in the season. Some lavenders in the (L. angustifolia) group bloom again in early fall. Call ahead for fresh and dried bouquets and buds.

Author: OLA