Mention lavender and one of the first things that comes to mind might be an English garden. While the British do indeed have a fondness for lavender, this aromatic herb grows best not in a cool and damp climate, but in a warm and dry one. Think Mediterranean (or Provence in France) and you’ve got the idea. So Florida’s hot and humid climate isn’t the first choice for growing lavender.

However, there are some lavender varieties that can be successfully grown in the Sunshine State. French lavender and even some of the Spanish lavender varieties might work in your area, and an even better choice is fern leaf lavender. Though not quite as aromatic as other varieties, fern leaf has beautiful blooms and delicate, silvery-green foliage. It is easy to grow this perennial herb from seed if you are not able to find seedling plants. (Renee’s Garden Seeds: reneesgarden.com has seeds).

Start with a good-quality seed starting mix and plant lavender seeds according to seed packet instructions, covering seeds lightly. Like all lavenders, fern leaf prefers an alkaline soil. When plants are three to five inches tall, cover soil around plants with crushed shell (or crushed egg shells), mixing some into planting medium when planting, situating plants in full sun and provide good drainage.

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