Phenomenal Lavender in the fieldPhenomenal Lavender in the field

Best Lavenders for Drying, Cooking, and Essential Oil

We all need to stop and smell the Lavender sometimes! In addition to their ornamental use in waterwise landscapes, Lavender plants can be harvested to take advantage of their amazing aromatherapeutic properties. Lavender's innumerable uses range from culinary to crafts. Imagine making flavored vinegars, jellies, baked goods and beverages. Craft fragrant and relaxing sachets, potpourri, candles, soaps, and cleaning supplies. Or, create a spa-like experience at home with essential oils of Lavender. Dried Lavender flowers can be used for sachets, wreaths, and wands. The possibilies are endless! 

Records show Lavender has been in use for over 2,500 years, for bathing, medicine, cleansing, and even romance charms. Interested in the story of lovely Lavender's use over time? Learn More: A History Of Lavender

 

Best Lavender Cultivars For Lavender Oil

These recommendations are based on the weight yield of flowers per plant, fragrance, and oil content of flowers.

Best English Lavender for Essential Oil:

Best French Hybrid Lavender for Essential Oil:

Best Lavender Cultivars For Drying

Best English Lavender for Dried Flowers:

Best French Hybrid Lavender for Dried Flowers:

High Country Gardens customer Lenda F. harvesting Lavender!High Country Gardens customer Lenda F. harvesting Lavender!
High Country Gardens customer Lenda F. harvesting Lavender!

Best Lavender Cultivars For Cooking

This is a very subjective recommendation as different cooks will have different opinions as to what tastes best. Many French hybrids have an overabundance of camphor-like scent to their oil which can be overpowering in a recipe. English varieties are typically favored for culinary use.

Best English Lavenders For Cooking:

Best French Hybrid cultivars:

  • 'Gros Bleu' (the most like English, with a sweet, low-camphor component)
English Lavender is often the favorite for chefs or casual cooks, but taste preference is highly subjective.English Lavender is often the favorite for chefs or casual cooks, but taste preference is highly subjective.
English Lavender is often the favorite for chefs or casual cooks, but taste preference is highly subjective.

Resources For Growing Lavender

Curious about choosing English, French Hybrid, and Spanish Lavender varieties? Learn More: Lavender Bliss - Exploring Lavender Varieties

Excited to plant your own Lavender plants? Watch and learn from our chief horticulturist, David Salman, in our helpful guide to growing Lavender. Learn More: How To Grow & Care For Lavender Plants

by High Country Gardens

 Western Swallowtail Butterfly Visits Miss Katherine Lavender.
A Western Swallowtail Butterfly Visits Miss Katherine Lavender, which is another benefit of this lavender in addition to being an ideal variety for drying lavender.

Best Lavender Varieties For Special Uses

In addition to their ornamental use in water-wise (xeric) landscapes, lavender plants are also used for other purposes such as lavender oil production, for dried flower products (such as sachets, wreaths, and wands) and as a culinary spice.

In this respect, not all varieties are the same.

Here are my recommendations for these different categories selected from the cultivars grown by High Country Gardens.

Best Lavender Cultivars For Lavender Oil Production

Lavandula intermedia Grosso is good for Oil Production
Lavender 'Grosso' is becoming increasingly popular due to it's lovely fragrance and use in essential oils, and for being a perfect variety for oil production.

This is of primary concern to commercial growers who grow lavender flowers from which to distill lavender oil, based on the weight yield of flowers per plant and oil content of flowers.

Best English cultivars:

Lavender Phenomenal Field
Lavender Phenomenal is one of the most cold-hardy varieties of lavender, and has excellent tolerance of heat and humidity.

Best Lavender Cultivars For Drying

Best English Lavender cultivars for Dried Flowers:

Culinary Use

English Lavender
English Lavender is often the favorite for chefs or casual cooks, but taste preference is highly subjective.

This is a very subjective recommendation as different cooks will have different opinions as to what tastes best. Many French hybrids have an overabundance of camphor-like scent to their oil which can be overpowering in a recipe.

    Best English Lavenders For Cooking:

  • 'Vera' and most other English types.
  • Best French Hybrid cultivars:

  • 'Gros Bleu' (most like English with a sweet, low camphor component)

Long Blooming and Twice Blooming Lavender

Buena Vista Lavender Twice Blooming
Buena Vista Lavender is a sweetly frangant, and twice blooming variety with deep blue bi-color blooms. To ensure double-bloom, deadhead promptly after first round of blooms.

These are cultivars (varieties) that provide an extended season of flowering in the water-wise (xeric) landscapes.

The English cultivars will bloom in early summer and again in September (when promptly deadheaded after the first summer flush of flowers).

 
  1. Blue and Purple Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet, Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet, Royal Velvet English Lavender

    ‘Royal Velvet’ English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet) is very showy in bloom. It is covered with long stemmed, dark navy blue and lavender flower spikes. The 3 to...

    Learn More
    Royal Velvet English Lavender Royal Velvet English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $11.99 Sale $11.39
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    ‘Royal Velvet’ English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet) is very showy in bloom. It is covered with long stemmed, dark navy blue and lavender flower spikes. The 3 to 4-inch long flower spikes, which are much longer than ‘Hidcote’, hold their dark color superbly as a dried flower.
    Learn More
  2. Lavandula angustifolia WWG002 FlowerKisser™ After Midnight

    FlowerKisser™ After Midnight English Lavender has stunning, dark colored flower spikes with deep indigo-blue calyxes and large violet-purple flowers on a medium sized plant wit...

    Learn More
    FlowerKisser™ After Midnight English Lavender FlowerKisser™ After Midnight English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia 'WWG002'
    As low as $12.99 Sale $12.34
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    FlowerKisser™ After Midnight English Lavender has stunning, dark colored flower spikes with deep indigo-blue calyxes and large violet-purple flowers on a medium sized plant with gray-green foliage.
    Learn More
  3. Sharon Roberts Lavender Photo Courtesy of Emmis Oure

    Lavandula angustifolia Sharon Roberts is an outstanding twice blooming English Lavender with spikes of bicolored lavender-blue and gray-green foliage....

    Learn More
    Sharon Roberts English Lavender Sharon Roberts English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Sharon Roberts
    As low as $10.99 Sale $10.44
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Lavandula angustifolia Sharon Roberts is an outstanding twice blooming English Lavender with spikes of bicolored lavender-blue and gray-green foliage.
    Learn More
  4. Lavandula angustifolia Thumbelina Leigh

    Thumbelina Leigh is a robust dwarf growing English variety with plump, deep lavender-blue flower spikes, and a strong, sweet fragrance. Maturing to a height of about 15 inches, it is...

    Learn More
    Thumbelina Leigh Dwarf English Lavender Thumbelina Leigh Dwarf English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Thumbelina Leigh
    As low as $12.49 Sale $11.87
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Thumbelina Leigh is a robust dwarf growing English variety with plump, deep lavender-blue flower spikes, and a strong, sweet fragrance. Maturing to a height of about 15 inches, it is one of the most compact cultivars in cultivation.
    Learn More
  5. Purple Lavandula stoechas Purple Ribbon, Lavandula stoechas Purple Ribbon, Purple Ribbon Spanish Lavender

    Purple Ribbon is a Spanish Lavender with excellent vigor, dark purple flowers and a strong sweet scent to the flowers and foliage....

    Learn More
    Purple Ribbon Spanish Lavender Purple Ribbon Spanish Lavender Lavandula stoechas Purple Ribbon
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $10.99 Sale $10.44
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Purple Ribbon is a Spanish Lavender with excellent vigor, dark purple flowers and a strong sweet scent to the flowers and foliage.
    Learn More
  6. Purple Lavandula angustifolia Pastor's Pride, Lavandula angustifolia Pastor's Pride, Pastor's Pride English Lavender

    Pastor's Pride is a twice blooming English lavender that has thrived in the Mid-West with excellent cold hardiness and moisture tolerance. This variety has nice chubby mid-blue flowe...

    Learn More
    Pastor's Pride English Lavender Pastor's Pride English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Pastor's Pride
    As low as $11.99 Sale $11.39
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Pastor's Pride is a twice blooming English lavender that has thrived in the Mid-West with excellent cold hardiness and moisture tolerance. This variety has nice chubby mid-blue flower spikes in late spring and September.
    Learn More
  7. Old Fashioned English Lavender With Sulphur Buckwheat (Eriogonum), Purple Lavandula angustifolia Vera,

    Lavandula angustifolia Vera is an outstanding heirloom English Lavender known for its sweetly fragrant oil, dark lavender-blue flower spikes, and compact growth habit. Our selection ...

    Learn More
    Vera English Lavender Vera English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Vera
    As low as $12.99 Sale $12.34
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Lavandula angustifolia Vera is an outstanding heirloom English Lavender known for its sweetly fragrant oil, dark lavender-blue flower spikes, and compact growth habit. Our selection of 'Vera' is also the most cold hardy variety of English Lavender.
    Learn More
  8. Lavandula angustifolia 'Wee One', Photo Courtesy of Plant Select

    Lavandula angustifolia Wee One is a special dwarf English Lavender that blooms with a wonderful display of short blue flower spikes only 10" tall. It is the most compact Lavender cul...

    Learn More
    Wee One Dwarf English Lavender Wee One Dwarf English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Wee One
    As low as $9.99 Sale $9.49
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Lavandula angustifolia Wee One is a special dwarf English Lavender that blooms with a wonderful display of short blue flower spikes only 10" tall. It is the most compact Lavender cultivar in cultivation.
    Learn More

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Grow Your Own Lavender Plants!

  1. Blue and Purple Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet, Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet, Royal Velvet English Lavender

    ‘Royal Velvet’ English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet) is very showy in bloom. It is covered with long stemmed, dark navy blue and lavender flower spikes. The 3 to...

    Learn More
    Royal Velvet English Lavender Royal Velvet English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $11.99 Sale $11.39
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    ‘Royal Velvet’ English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Royal Velvet) is very showy in bloom. It is covered with long stemmed, dark navy blue and lavender flower spikes. The 3 to 4-inch long flower spikes, which are much longer than ‘Hidcote’, hold their dark color superbly as a dried flower.
    Learn More
  2. Lavandula angustifolia WWG002 FlowerKisser™ After Midnight

    FlowerKisser™ After Midnight English Lavender has stunning, dark colored flower spikes with deep indigo-blue calyxes and large violet-purple flowers on a medium sized plant wit...

    Learn More
    FlowerKisser™ After Midnight English Lavender FlowerKisser™ After Midnight English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia 'WWG002'
    As low as $12.99 Sale $12.34
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    FlowerKisser™ After Midnight English Lavender has stunning, dark colored flower spikes with deep indigo-blue calyxes and large violet-purple flowers on a medium sized plant with gray-green foliage.
    Learn More
  3. Sharon Roberts Lavender Photo Courtesy of Emmis Oure

    Lavandula angustifolia Sharon Roberts is an outstanding twice blooming English Lavender with spikes of bicolored lavender-blue and gray-green foliage....

    Learn More
    Sharon Roberts English Lavender Sharon Roberts English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Sharon Roberts
    As low as $10.99 Sale $10.44
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Lavandula angustifolia Sharon Roberts is an outstanding twice blooming English Lavender with spikes of bicolored lavender-blue and gray-green foliage.
    Learn More
  4. Lavandula angustifolia Thumbelina Leigh

    Thumbelina Leigh is a robust dwarf growing English variety with plump, deep lavender-blue flower spikes, and a strong, sweet fragrance. Maturing to a height of about 15 inches, it is...

    Learn More
    Thumbelina Leigh Dwarf English Lavender Thumbelina Leigh Dwarf English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Thumbelina Leigh
    As low as $12.49 Sale $11.87
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Thumbelina Leigh is a robust dwarf growing English variety with plump, deep lavender-blue flower spikes, and a strong, sweet fragrance. Maturing to a height of about 15 inches, it is one of the most compact cultivars in cultivation.
    Learn More