How do I know when to harvest my lavender?

I bought a lavender plant about 3 months ago. It’s doing well, vining everywhere like crazy, but I can’t figure out at what stage to harvest it.

I did a search and browsed around a few sites, which suggested to harvest when the blooms are fully open and fragrant. The thing is, mine has no blooms at all…it’s just green vines everywhere. Shouldn’t it have flowered by now? The sites I looked at showed the plants with purple blooms. I don’t even see any buds on mine.

I have noticed that the vines themselves are definitely fragrant, which confuses me further. I thought only the flowers would be fragrant.

Any lavender veterans know what’s up?

Here’s a pic of my plant. I draped some of the vines over a book so they can be seen more clearly:

I have never heard of it in a vine form. It looks like you have it inside, and it’s a bright light plant. It should be a few feet tall. The purple flowers form on the upper stem. Lavender can be picked at anytime, but most people wait for the flowers to be present. Don’t pick it after a rain, because much of the oil will have washed off. The bright strong sun is what increases the oil production, so a house grown one will have a much weaker scent. It would grow fine outside in a pot.

I wonder if that isn’t Wisteria.

I’ve never seen Lavender look like that. This is a picture of the lavender with which I’m familiar.

The little tag in the pot says Lavender (Lamiaceae Lavandula), and has directions on care. It also definitely smells like lavender, so there seems to be little doubt that it’s lavender. I haven’t kept it outside because I only have a small balcony with no shade, and any plant I’ve kept out there has gotten fried despite daily watering. It also doesn’t look like the Wisteria in Q.E.D’s link.

Looking at the picture again, there appears to be some differently colored (more sage colored than bright green) stickish looking things in the pot. Are you sure there is only one plant there? Because the sage colored stuff does sort of look like lavender, albeit stunted and sad. The vines could be some other thing, choking off the lavender.

Yep, the sage-coloured stuff is what was there originally, and the vines are growing right out of them. I should mention that the vines themselves are giving off a lavender scent, not the shorter stuff that was there when I got it.

I agree with this. The smaller plant looks very much like the lavender plant in my yard (which is just as sad). Somehow the other “viney” stuff got in there and has taken over. Not sure why it smells like lavender though… typically it is the flowers and buds that have the aroma.

Well, I’m fresh out of guesses then. I’m sorry I have failed you. Someone will be along shortly to clean up my mess. :slight_smile:

The lavender plant looks like a spindly light deprived plant. Pick it when you wish, it wont get better. Next year plant one outside, because inside won’t work for you. Buy a new plant next season.

That was my guess as well. I was thinking that might be what etiolated lavender looks like if it gets insufficient light.

Agreed. That’s very strange-looking, vining is definitely not a normal trait of lavender! Poor thing. It does need full sun to be happy, so try it outside in a pot next year. You will have to water it often, maybe daily in hot weather.

You may not have classic “lavender” there to begin with. You may have what is merely a kind of lavandula, which is a member of the family Lamiaceae. My first question would be, “How reputable is the nursery where you bought it?” Because the label “Lavender (Lamiaceae Lavandula)”, interpreted, merely means that they sold you a plant–a lavandula, which is the species name for lavender–that’s in the Lamiaceae family.

The last time Wiki looked, there were 25 to 30 species of lavandula in cultivation.

Classic lavender–the kind you harvest for sachets–is lavandula dentata.

I can’t find a reference to a specifically vining lavender, but you could have anything there, etiolated, and thus unrecognizable, due to lack of light. Where did you buy it?

I think you might be on to something there. I didn’t even get it from a nursery. I saw it at the flower shop in a Zehrs grocery store.

My friend likes to grow avocadoes & lemons & things from seeds she gets from what she eats.

She was telling me one time about her lemon vine. I told her lemons are trees.

“No! This one is a vine. You don’t know EVERYTHING about plants!”

It was a lemon seedling suffering from too much water, warmth & fertilizer and not enough light. Sometimes plants can seem vine-like, but really aren’t.

Oh, and I told my friend, “honey, if you’ve really somehow created a lemon vine, patent that thing right now. You’re going to be rich.”