Lavender is one of my favorite plants thanks to its wonderful fragrance and low maintenance requirements. However, lavender plants have several other uses and benefits, such as attracting pollinators or being used to make essential oils. In this article, I’ll discuss 15 amazing uses and benefits of lavender plants.
- 1) Lavender is a Beautiful, Fragrant Ornamental Plant
- 2) Lavender is Easy to Grow
- 3) Lavender Plants Can Be Grown in Pots
- 4) Lavender is Used to Make Essential Oil
- 5) Dried Lavender Has Several Uses
- 6) Lavender Plants Can Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety
- 7) Lavender May Help Improve Your Sleep
- 8) Lavender Plants Could Help Boost Productivity
- 9) Lavender May Have Medicinal Benefits
- 10) Lavender Has Several Culinary Uses
- 11) Lavender Bushes Are Deer-Resistant
- 12) Lavender Plants Attract Pollinators
- 13) Lavender Can Help Repel Annoying Insects
- 14) Lavender Tolerates Poor, Dry Soils
- 15) Lavender Plants Are Packed With Symbolism
- Lavender Uses and Benefits FAQs
1) Lavender is a Beautiful, Fragrant Ornamental Plant
Lavender bushes are some of my favorite ornamental plants to grow. These fragrant plants usually grow in rounded or sprawling clumps of aromatic grayish-green leaves. Lavender bushes are at their best in the summer, with their flower spikes in full bloom.
Lavandula plants are an excellent choice for Mediterranean or kitchen gardens. Lavender bushes come in several colors and cultivars, including Lavandula angustifolia ‘Betty’s Blue’ or Lavandula stoechas ‘Winter Bee’.
2) Lavender is Easy to Grow
One great benefit of lavender plants is that they are incredibly easy to grow, making them a joy to add to your houseplant or garden collections. These plants thrive in plenty of light, so plant them in spots that provide full sun. Lavender bushes also need loose, well-draining soils and hate dense or moist soils.
Water lavender bushes fortnightly or whenever the top few inches of soil feel dry and prune after flowering finishes. This helps stop the stems from becoming too woody.
3) Lavender Plants Can Be Grown in Pots
Lavender plants can also be grown in pots, making them ideal for almost any outdoor space. Terracotta pots are ideal because these pots are porous, which prevents the soil from becoming waterlogged.
You may have to water lavenders growing in pots more frequently as they use moisture more quickly. Growing lavenders in containers is ideal in areas colder than Zone 5 because you can bring them indoors during the winter.
4) Lavender is Used to Make Essential Oil
Another lovely benefit of lavender flowers is that they can be distilled to produce fragrant essential oil. Lavender oil reportedly has several health benefits. Using lavender essential oil can also help reduce stress and anxiety.
Unlike many essential oils, lavender oil can be safely applied to your skin. As such, lavender oil can help soothe insect bites or skin conditions like eczema. Applying a few drops of lavender oil to the underside of your pillow could also help you sleep better.
5) Dried Lavender Has Several Uses
Dried lavender has several amazing uses, especially when used to make potpourri. This spreads that beautiful fragrance throughout your home. Mix some dried lavender with Epsom salts to make some relaxing bath salts.
Dried lavender can also be bagged up and used to deter annoying insects like mosquitoes. You can also place sachets of dried lavender in your wardrobe or dryer to help your laundry smell nice.
6) Can Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety
The sight and smell of lavender provide a welcome boost to our mental health. Numerous studies have shown that being around plants can help us feel less stressed and anxious. Some studies even indicate that interacting with plants like lavender can reduce our blood pressure.
Lavender is especially effective at reducing anxiety and stress due to its soothing scent. Studies have shown that lavender essential oil also reduces agitation and restlessness.
7) May Help Improve Your Sleep
One of lavender’s other superpowers is that it can improve our sleep. I’ve found that applying some lavender oil to the underside of my pillow helps me sleep better. This can be backed up by numerous studies.
A Chinese study conducted on astronauts found that seeing or smelling plants helped participants sleep more soundly. The astronauts also demonstrated lower levels of cortisol, a common stress hormone that can contribute to insomnia.
8) Could Help Boost Productivity
Being able to see or smell lavender plants could also help boost your productivity. A study conducted in offices in the UK and the Netherlands measured whether productivity improved when plants were present.
The results showed that participants were 15% more productive with plants nearby. The participants also reported feeling more engaged and less stressed. So, being able to see plants like lavender from your home office could improve your productivity.
9) May Have Medicinal Benefits
Lavender oil may also have several medicinal benefits. A few drops of lavender oil can help soothe insect bites, burns, and skin conditions like eczema. Lavender is also thought to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties.
Lavender oil is used extensively in aromatherapy. This fragrant oil is used to alleviate headaches and other pains. Drinking some lavender tea may also soothe stomach issues such as diarrhea or vomiting.
10) Lavender Has Several Culinary Uses
I love that Lavender flowers can also be used in various dishes or drinks. It is most commonly used in baking to add some flavor to biscuits, cakes, or cookies. Lavender can also be used to infuse honey.
Dried lavender flowers can be used to make lavender tea, which may have medicinal benefits. Simply add some dried lavender to a sachet and use it to infuse some boiling water. Lavender syrup can also be added to cocktails.
11) Are Deer-Resistant
As if lavender bushes weren’t amazing enough, one particularly appealing benefit is that they’re also deer-resistant. Like many deer-resistant flowers, lavender bushes have aromatic leaves. The pungent smell of lavender foliage is off-putting to grazing deer.
Lavender bushes also have woody stems that are unpalatable to deer. Planting lavender bushes in front of more vulnerable plants helps stop foraging deer from ruining your garden display. As such, lavender bushes make excellent companion plants for other flowers.
12) Attract Pollinators
Few things give me more joy than the sight of my lavender bushes crawling with busy bees and butterflies. Lavender bushes are extremely popular with pollinators thanks to their nectar-rich flowers, which are at their best during the summer.
Lavender bushes bloom for several weeks, providing a long-term source of nectar and pollen for insects. In fact, some beekeepers produce lavender honey by planting lavender bushes near their beehives.
13) Can Help Repel Annoying Insects
The pungent smell of lavender leaves can also repel annoying insects like flies or mosquitoes. Lavender bushes can also deter ticks and fleas. As such, lavender is a great plant for gardeners who have pets.
You can also take advantage of lavender’s insect-repellent properties indoors. Hanging a pouch of dried lavender near windows or vents could help keep mosquitoes and flies out of your home.
14) Lavender Tolerates Poor, Dry Soils
Lavender bushes are native to parts of Mediterranean Europe and North Africa. As such, one of the great benefits of lavender bushes is that they thrive in dry, nutrient-poor soils. These soils are often chalky or sandy, offering excellent drainage.
Lavender bushes cannot tolerate dense, waterlogged soils as they are susceptible to root rot. That’s why providing adequate drainage is essential when growing lavender plants. Use coarse sand or fine grit to add more drainage to the soil.
15) Lavender Plants Are Packed With Symbolism
Lavender plants have been cultivated for centuries, so it’s no surprise that these plants are packed with symbolism. Lavender plants symbolize qualities like purity, calmness, grace, and trust.
In Ancient Greece, lavender plants were believed to be sacred. As such, lavender was often used as a fragrant herb in temples. In the Middle Ages, lavender flowers were associated with both love and the Virgin Mary. The Victorians associated lavender with devotion.
Lavender Uses and Benefits – Wrapping Up
Lavender bushes are popular perennials with a beautiful fragrance in addition to a host of uses and benefits. What’s more, lavender bushes are easy to grow and can tolerate poor or dry soils. Plus, they can also be dried or used to make essential oils that may have medicinal benefits. Lavender plants may also help improve our sleep or reduce stress.