A French Lavender hedge (Lavandula stoechas ‘Papillon’, sometimes called Spanish Lavender) makes for a rather more unusual and particularly beautiful flowering hedge feature. These early flowering Lavender shrubs often start to show their colour in late Spring, well before the more traditional varieties of English Lavender. If your French Lavender hedge is deadheaded after the main flush of Spring flowers has faded, it will often continue to flower intermittently right through until Autumn.
Lavender ‘Papillon’ produces a generous quantity of purple flower heads on top of which sit the delicate rose-purple flower bracts, almost as if they are balancing there like a ballerina or a butterfly. The flowers are borne on strong wiry stems that hold the flowers well above the aromatic grey-green filigree foliage, French Lavender shrubs and hedges will be visited by many pollinating insects when in flower, they are especially popular with bees.
A French Lavender hedge will attain a size of around 60cm or so in flower.
Like all types of Lavender, a French Lavender hedge requires well drained soil and a sunny site, they are suited to all soil types, but they must have good drainage. French Lavender is not quite as hardy as the English types of Lavender so do try to choose a sheltered spot away from bitterly cold Winter winds and the hardest frosts. If this isn’t possible try our other varieties of Lavender hedging as they are all hardier.
It is very important to prune French Lavender plants otherwise they can be prone to becoming tall and woody, often the stems will then flop, the bare branches this will expose tend to look unsightly and fewer flowers will be produced. Overgrown and woody French Lavenders do not take kindly to hard pruning, they tend to resist attempts at drastic rejuvenation by curling up their toes and so a regular annual prune is essential to keep them in good order.
When trimming a French Lavender hedge, it is important not to cut back too far into the old wood. Make sure there are a good number of young shoots below where you are cutting, this being the case you can confidently reduce the French Lavender hedge by between a third and a half when the flowers have finished. This should be done by mid to late summer, so the plants can make some re growth well before Winter – which may involve sacrificing some late second flush flowers. If you cannot bear to lose these Autumn flowers its better just to deadhead lightly at the end of the season and leave the main pruning operation until late Spring when the weather starts to improve. This will delay flowering but will keep the hedge or shrub in good order and will certainly prolong the longevity of your French Lavender plants.
When planting a French Lavender hedge, the site should be well prepared by digging the area over, if the soil is heavy we would recommend adding some coarse grit or horticultural sharp sand to improve drainage. Waterlogged conditions in Winter are the enemy to all Lavenders. If the addition of grit is necessary, you can further improve drainage by setting each plant on a shallow mound of soil to raise the level.
We recommend a very sparing addition of Bone Meal when planting, well mixed with the soil and Rootgrow added directly next to the roots will help the plants get off to a flying start. A new French Lavender hedge will require a careful eye kept on watering to begin with if planted during dry weather. If it is dry its important to water, but its also important not to drench the plants. A light watering once or twice a week onto the soil (avoiding the foliage which should stay dry) will be plenty. After a few weeks the plants should be sufficiently established, and watering can stop in all except the hottest conditions.
Your French Lavender hedge is one of the few species of hedging plants that does not benefit from a mulch after planting. Lavenders like it hot, sunny and dry and so there is no advantage in conserving moisture in the soil, a mulch may in fact encourage foliage diseases.
Lavender hedges need very little in the way of feeding in subsequent years, a light feed with a high potash fertiliser will improve flowering but other general fertilisers should be avoided. They will only encourage a lot of unnecessary lush, soft growth which often causes the plants to flop by the time flowering starts – rather spoiling their beauty.
A French Lavender hedge will be very unlikely to suffer from any pests and diseases, Lavender problems almost always occur when the soil conditions are too wet, if this is avoided then these aromatic plants will tend to fend off harmful insects with their beautiful scent!
All our French Lavender Hedge plants are pot grown meaning there is no root disturbance and are therefore available all year round. We pick orders directly from our growing beds and after careful packing, they are despatched to customers the same day guaranteeing you receive fresh top-quality plants.
You can order securely on our website or by phone on 01580 765600 where our friendly sales team are waiting for your call and will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.