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Growing And Using Lavender In Design And Medicine
Growing And Using Lavender In Design And Medicine

Video: Growing And Using Lavender In Design And Medicine

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Video: 5 Tips to Growing Lavender Perfectly No Matter Where You Live 2023, February
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Grow lavender - a beautiful spice and medicinal plant

narrow-leaved lavender
narrow-leaved lavender

The genus lavender belongs to the labiate family and consists of about 20 species. Some of them have been used for aromatization as far back as Ancient Greece and Rome. Some lavenders were introduced into the culture in France at the end of the 16th century.

The most famous of them are spikelet lavender, real or French (Lavandula spicata L.) and broadleaf lavender, Italian, or fragrant spike (Lavandula latifolia Vill.) And some others. Most lavender species are very thermophilic.

For example, the first of the listed lavenders, that is, spikelet lavender, grows in our country only on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, moreover, its essential oil is far from the most valuable.

The second - broad-leaved lavender - is even less winter-hardy, therefore, it is almost not cultivated here.

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Narrow-leaved lavender

narrow-leaved lavender
narrow-leaved lavender

In Russia, of the entire genus of lavenders, only the most cold-resistant is usually grown - narrow-leaved lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Mill.), Which, moreover, can be successfully cultivated as an indoor culture. This is a perennial shrub that does not have a central stem and consists of numerous, up to 400 pieces of shoots. Its height is about 60 cm. The root system is lignified, branched, fibrous, superficial, lies at a depth of 30–40 cm.

Leaves are opposite, petiolate, oblong-linear, obtuse, curled around the edges. They are up to 6 cm long and up to 0.6 cm wide, young leaves are tomentose, last 1–2 years. Narrow-leaved lavender flowers are small, very numerous, on short stalks, usually blue or bluish-violet, less often - white, pink and even purple; collected in spike-shaped inflorescences that appear on annually appearing and dying tetrahedral shoots. This species blooms from June to August.

In nature, narrow-leaved lavender grows on dry mountain slopes. Her homeland is the Mediterranean. In our country, in nature, it is found in the Kuban. The life span of this lavender is 20-30 years.

It should be noted that narrow-leaved lavender is one of the best spicy aromatic plants. Its aerial part contains a very fragrant essential oil (its flowers contain 0.8-1.2%). In Russia, it was first planted in culture in 1752, near Astrakhan, but it began to be widely cultivated only from the second half of the 19th century, and industrially only from 1928, in the Crimea and Krasnodar Territory. It is now one of the leading essential oil crops in the country. In recent decades, the area of ​​its cultivation has been noticeably advanced to the north, right up to the Moscow region, and some amateur gardeners, with shelter for the winter, are already growing narrow-leaved lavender in the North-West of Russia.

Lavender in landscape design

This type of lavender is very decorative, in floriculture it is especially suitable for landscaping dry rocky places, alpine hills. Narrow-leaved lavender is also good in borders, but they must be trimmed annually. This lavender is also used to consolidate eroded soils, create biogroups and tapeworms. It goes well with roses. Narrow-leaved lavender is a very good honey plant, from one flower bees can collect 1.6 mg of honey, and from one plant - up to 300 g!

The honey from the nectar of this lavender is curative and has a delicate and refined aroma. And its dried shoots with flowers retain their decorative appearance and aroma for a long time, which well scares away harmful insects. A bag with dried flowers, placed in the closet, protects woolen items from moths, and gives a pleasant delicate smell to linen and clothes.

Lavender application

Lavender essential oil is obtained from narrow-leaved lavender. It is a transparent, mobile, yellowish liquid with a strong, delicate and pleasant resinous-floral-fruity aroma, slightly reminiscent of the smell of orange (synonyms for the name - bigardia, bitter orange, bergamot). Lavender essential oil is used in cosmetics and perfumery for making perfumes, cologne, soaps, shampoos, creams, ointments, deodorants …

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Lavender in medicine

lavender
lavender

In medicine, the aerial part of the plant cut during flowering and dried is used. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It is used as a means of stimulating the healing of wounds, including purulent ones, and especially chemical burns. In folk medicine, this lavender is used in the treatment of neurasthenia, cardiovascular diseases, migraines, rheumatism, urolithiasis, pyelonephritis, as well as gastrointestinal diseases with low acidity, it helps to increase appetite.

It is also used as a choleretic and blood pressure lowering agent. The infusion is prepared from it as follows: 3 teaspoons of flowers are poured with two glasses of boiling water, infused for 10 minutes, filtered, drunk in equal shares throughout the day. Lavender baths help with joint inflammation, skin diseases, neuralgia, bruises, dislocations, paralysis.

They are also used as a wound-healing agent, as well as for palpitations and neurasthenia. When lavender is grown in an apartment as a houseplant, or at least when a solution of its essential oil in alcohol is sprayed there, the content of pathogenic microbes is significantly reduced in the air. At the same time, people feel better, fatigue decreases, headaches disappear, and the body's resistance increases.

Lavender in cooking

Narrow-leaved lavender is good as a spice. Her taste is spicy-tart, the aroma is spicy and strong. Fresh grass, in small doses, is used in cooking, put in vegetable soups, fish soup, meat and fish dishes, vegetable stews; use it to flavor vinegar. But much more often they use powder from dried and crushed flowers, put it, as an integral part, and in various spicy mixtures.

As a spice, lavender goes well with mint, lemon balm, thyme, savory, sage. Fresh herb is put into the dish after cooking, and dried herb - one minute before cooking, 0.1–0.15 g per serving. Certain types of tea are also flavored with lavender. It is also used in alcoholic beverage production. Dried twigs, together with juniper branches, are added to alder firewood when smoked to give smoked meats a particularly refined aroma.

Reproduction of lavender

Narrow-leaved lavender is propagated by seeds and vegetatively: by cuttings and layering. During seed propagation, plants grown from seeds produce products of slightly different quality. But in this case, you can choose the most winter-hardy among the seedlings, and in the future only vegetatively propagate them.

The local climatic forms of shelter obtained in this way for the winter no longer require. Lavender seeds are small, 1000 pieces weigh only 0.8-1.2 g, but germinate well, do not need stratification. They can be sown in the spring directly into the ground, preferably in greenhouses or greenhouses. Seeds germinate at a temperature of 15 … 20? С. In the first year, low, little branching plants 10–15 cm in height grow from them.

Lavender is cut in early spring, but in heated greenhouses this can be done in autumn. The cuttings are rooted in clean coarse-grained river sand, poured with a layer of 4–5 cm on a soil mixture of turf, humus and sand. During rooting in the greenhouse, it is necessary to maintain a high humidity.

Young, still immature plants are covered for the winter. In the spring of next year, the seedlings are transplanted to the school for growing, and in the fall or next spring, they are planted in a permanent place. It should be well lit and sheltered from the northerly winds. When planting, the root collar should be buried 4–5 cm below the soil level. Lavender is propagated by green cuttings in early July, usually they take root after 30 to 40 days. Perlite or a mixture of peat, sand and leafy earth is used as a substrate.

Lavender care

narrow-leaved lavender
narrow-leaved lavender

Loosening, weeding and feeding with organic and mineral fertilizers are necessary, to which lavender is very responsive. For the winter, lavender is covered with dry leaves or spruce branches, but, as already noted, acclimatized forms need not be covered. Plants bloom in the second year after planting in a permanent place, and give the greatest yield in the 3-4th year. After 6–7 years, the bushes rejuvenate by cutting off at a height of 4–5 cm above the soil surface. Lavender is little damaged by pests and diseases. Of the diseases, the main one is septoria, and of the pests, the penny leafhopper.

Although lavender is not demanding on soil fertility, it gives good yields only on loose, permeable humus rich calcareous soils. Absolutely does not tolerate heavy acidic clay soils. It does not tolerate a high occurrence of groundwater, this greatly reduces its winter hardiness. Narrow-leaved lavender is quite drought-resistant, but a lack of moisture in the period from the beginning of blooming to flowering can cause a sharp decrease in the growing aboveground mass in it.

Plants wake up in late April - early May, bloom in mid-July, seeds ripen in early September. The productivity of lavender is high. As already noted, it is quite winter-hardy, withstands frosts down to -25? C, and if we select the most winter-hardy specimens among plants grown from seeds, then even lower.

For industrial planting of lavender in the south of the country, there are zoned varieties: Record, Stepnaya, V-34, Krymchanka, Rannaya, but in the Middle Lane they need to be covered. However, the collection of the State Botanical Garden in Moscow contains two especially decorative forms of lavender that are resistant to local climatic conditions. These are Soliternaya and Bordyurnaya.

The first reaches a height of 80 cm, and the second - 45 cm. A search is underway for other promising forms that are distinguished by high winter hardiness and productivity. In addition to narrow-leaved lavender, you can try to grow lavandin in the Middle lane and north of it - its hybrid with broad-leaved lavender, which has average properties between the parental species and has sufficient winter hardiness, withstanding negative temperatures down to -25 ° C. Winter hardiness of lavandin, obviously, can also be increased by selection of resistant forms.

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