New growers purchasing starter plants for a lavender farm must first decide the use for that plant, as each lavender variety has unique qualities that make it right for some uses and wrong for others. For example, a lavender variety that is perfect for culinary use would not be the best for producing lavender oil. Likewise, a lavender variety best for cloning new lavender plants for sale may not be the best for maximum flower stem production.
Here are 3 good ways to make money from lavender farming, and the top variety for each use:
1. Live plants. Selling lavender plants to homeowners and landscapers can be very profitable. First, most sales are for several, even dozens of plants to use in hedges and other planting areas. Second, a grower can easily root cuttings from “mother” plants after they are established. As a mature lavender plant can produce hundreds of stems each year, just one plant can make a lot of new plants for sale. Most growers sell their lavender plants in 4″ pots for about $5, but many buyers want larger plants and are willing to pay more for it in a 6″ pot.
One variety that is always popular for landscaping is an English lavender named Munstead. It makes a great hedge, has lilac-colored flowers and is very fragrant. The Munstead variety is also widely used for making sachets because of it’s strong fragrance.
Essential Oil. Growers who want a lavender plant that produces an abundance of essential oil should choose the Grosso variety. Grosso is a lavandin variety (Lavendula x intermedia) which is a cross between English lavender (Lavendula augustifolia) and Lavendula latifolia, that produces large plants with more flowers and more oil – as much as five times more – than English lavenders. Grosso is a true lavender workhorse, and the most widely planted for oil production around the world, due to it’s high oil content. Grosso has purple flowers that form an almost perfect three foot dome.
Growing culinary lavender. Buena Vista is another English lavender which is great for culinary use. It’s a steady seller at the Saturday market, as customers like to keep one in their kitchen garden or in a pot. Part of it’s appeal is that Buena Vista blooms continuously in most areas. The purple flowers have a strong fragrance and 12″ stems.
These are a few of dozens of unique lavender varieties that are profitable for small growers. In my book, LAVENDER FARMING, you’ll find over twenty proven varieties, as well as wholesale sources for plants, that can produce a purple haze of profits for your new lavender business.