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|Written by Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm|
The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm knows their stuff when it comes to growing lavender. Located in the cool hills of Kula in Maui’s Upcountry area, the farm has approximately 55,000 lavender plants in 45 different varieties. Here are some of their tips on growing lavender.
Lavender requires few things to grow well. It likes full sun, needs very little water and is drought tolerant. Lavender likes porous soil preferably on a slope so that the roots do not sit in water.
Lavender likes to be planted facing south - west. Lavender does not require a lot of fertilizer. During the summer, when the temperature goes up and rainfall is less, plants are watered by hand. When growing for maximum essential oil content, the lavender must be given a warm sunny position. Mixing sand with the soil also improves the quality of the plant growth, due to the increased drainage potential.
When using lavender for cooking, Ali’i Kula Lavender’s Lani Medina Weigert advises that “Cooking lavender depends on the variety that is grown. There are over 200 varieties of lavender, and since some varieties can be very camphorous, the more milder tasting varieties are chosen for cooking. It's simply personal preference. We grow many different varieties and use the "french" lavender in our scones, lemonade and ice tea. People could definitely use the lavender they've grown in their own gardens for cooking.”