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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn how to grow Lavender

  • Learn from industry experts - our tutors!
  • Study in your own time and at your own pace.
  • Designed for the Lavender enthusiast who is interested in the basics of Horticulture.
  • A great course for anyone interested in growing lavender for personal and commercial reasons.

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Learn to Grow and Use Lavender
Lavender products can be more diverse and valuable than what you might imagine. The best quality lavender oils are used in perfumery and can be more valuable than gold. Lavender can be grown and sold as potted plants, cut flowers (fresh or dried), or processed into any number of products from edible foods to soaps and massage oils.
Where is Lavender Grown?
Lavender is perhaps the most widely grown herb.
  • In gardens as a landscape plant. It flowers for months on end. In warm temperate climates, some varieties can flower most of the year
  • Grown commercially, harvested and processed to give lavender oil, used in perfumes, massage oils, soaps, etc
  • Harvested and dried to use in crafts (eg. Lavender pilloes)
  • Harvested and used fresh as a cut flower
  • It's even used as a culinary herb
“Everyone loves lavender! This course is aimed at those you are looking to start their own lavender farm –but equally interesting to the enthusiast. Detailed throughout you should be well equipped to start that new venture by the time you have completed this course.” - Gavin Cole B.Sc., Psych.Cert., Cert.Garden Design, MACA, ACS Tutor


This 100-hour course is designed for the Lavender enthusiast who is interested in the basics of all good Horticulture. Learn about soils and plant nutrition, growing new varieties of Lavender, methods for commercial production and marketing your products. There are Ten lessons for anyone interested in starting commercial lavender production or for learning more for a hobby in making use of the wonderful fragrance from Lavender.


The course is divided into 10 lessons as follows:

1. Introduction: Classification and identification of lavender, general characteristics of the group, contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs, etc.)

2. Understand the basis of all good Horticulture with Soils, Fertilisers and Nutrition for Lavender: Soil structure, pH, organic matter, ameliorants and organic growing.

3. look at the Cultural Techniques for Lavender Growing: Pruning, water management (mulching, irrigation, drainage, etc.), planting and establishment methods, crop scheduling, no dig gardening.

4.  Learn how to have your own Lavender Propagation: Propagation from cuttings, propagation growth media, other propagation methods,

5.  Commercial Alternatives for your Lavender: Managing a Market Garden, standards, mulches, problems and their control, weed control without chemicals, economic outlook for herbs.

6.  Look at the various Selection and Breeding of Lavenders: Breeding and selecting new varieties, lavender clone selection for essential oils in Tasmania.

7.  Try Building Plant Knowledge: Lavender types and other varieties, advantages and disadvantages of different varieties.

8.  An overview of Harvesting, Postharvest Treatment and Storage: Harvesting, distillation and oils, post harvest preservation of fresh herbs, drying lavender.

9.  Think about the Processing and Making Lavender Products: Lavender crafts, using herbs in cooking, selling herb products.

10. Learn how to Market Lavender Produce: How to market your produce, considering your market, market research, selling successfully.



There are a number of practical tasks students will carry out in this course.  If students have problems accessing facilities or resources for practical tasks, alternative tasks can be set.  Practical tasks include:

  • Prepare a collection of 20 different types of lavender in the form of pressed, dried, labelled specimens
  • Compile a resource file of contacts relevant to lavender and lavender growing
  • Contact a number of lavender related organisations for information on their activities in the industry
  • Collect and test at least three different soil samples
  • Identify and (optional) manufacture a potting mix suitable for lavender growing
  • Collect information on organic and inorganic fertilisers from fertiliser companies
  • Research information on machinery used in horticulture by contacting the companies that produce it
  • Produce a no dig garden or an organic garden
  • Manufacture a propagating mix for lavender cuttings
  • Take lavender cuttings for propagation
  • Contact a herb nursery to observe their operation
  • Research irrigation equipment by contacting irrigation suppliers
  • Cross pollinate lavender and grow the resulting seed
  • Compare various types of lavender
  • Harvest a number of different types of lavender
  • Produce a small quantity of lavender oil
  • Produce two non edible and one edible product containing lavender
  • Visit a shop selling lavender products to observe marketing procedures

    Something Different to Try with Lavender

    Recipe for Oranges with Lavender and Pine Nuts
    4 large thin skinned oranges
    2 tablespoon of raw sugar
    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
    1 tablespoon of snipped lavender leaves (use young pliable leaves)
    2 tablespoons of red currant jelly
    2 tablespoon of pine nuts

    1. Toast the pine nuts in a non-stick fray pan until golden (watch them carefully as they burn easily).
    2. Peel the oranges and reserve the rind of one (catch any juice for later use).
    3. Slice the oranges thinly and arrange of a suitable dish.
    4. Cut the reserved rind into thin strips.
    5. Heat the sugar in 300ml of water using moderate heat.
    6. Add the cinnamon and cloves and bring to the boil – stir constantly to dissolve the sugar.
    7. The mixture should be kept at a low boil until it resembles thick syrup.
    8. Add the lavender leaves and red currant jelly plus the reserved juice you produced when cutting the oranges. Bring to the boil. Add the reserved rind strips and boil for 3 minutes longer.
    9. Pour the syrup over the oranges and top with the toasted pine nut.
    10. Serve immediately.


    Growing Lavender is Relatively Easy, but Growing it Well is Something Else!

    Lavenders are generally hardy shrubs, whilst they tolerate a wide range of soil types and climatic conditions, being native to the Mediterranean area: they prefer warm summers and cool winters. The soils of the Mediterranean where lavenders grow naturally are generally poor in nutrition. Soil should friable (ie. loose   certainly not rock hard), moderately fertile and ideally be slightly alkaline - pH between 6.4 and 8.2. An annual rainfall of around 900mm is ideal.

    Good drainage and mulching (through mulching should be avoided in high rainfall areas) are important; keep the soil moist in the warmer months, but not saturated.  Most lavender tolerates periods of dryness, but an extended drought can kill them. Despite lavender's ability to withstand dry periods - young plants do need soil to remain moist right through the first dry season. Lack of water or excessive heat can discourage flowering.

    Lavender is grown widely as a garden plant; and it doesn't take any great amount of knowledge and expertise to be relatively successful with lavender in your home garden.  It does require a great deal more knowledge and expertise to obtain a highly productive crop of lavender though; which produces large amounts of high quality perfume.

    The best lavender crop in the world still, cannot sell itself. Quality, price, product and presentation are all aspects of a marketable product however the astute grower will also be aware of a range of marketing strategies that will help to market and sell their crops. Some marketing strategies can include advertising, special presentation, trade marking and so on. Sometimes these marketing strategies can be implemented through a co-operative to lessen the burden of cost on small growers. Each grower should develop an approach that is best suited to their situation.




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    Meet some of our academics

    Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
    Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.
    Yvonne Sharpe (Horticulturist)Started gardening in 1966, studied a series of horticulture qualifications throughout the 1980's and 90's, culminating in an RHS Master of Horticulture. Between 89 and 1994, she worked teaching in horticultural therapy. Founded the West Herts Garden Association in 1990 and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show in 1991. In 1994, Yvonne joined the staff at Oaklands College, and between 1996 and 2000 was coordinator for all Amenity Horticulture courses at that college. Since leaving Oakland she has been active as a horticultural consultant, retail garden centre proprietor and sessional lecturer (across many colleges in southern England). In 2000, she also completed a Diploma in Management.

    Check out our eBooks

    Growing & Knowing LavenderThe Growing and Knowing Lavender ebook is full (117 pages) of wonderful information, stunning pictures and great facts on lavenders. The ebook covers ideal growing conditions, propagation and a guide to the different Lavender species and cultivars.
    Scented PlantsScented plants can be either a delight or a curse. For many people, there is nothing more pleasing than a garden filled with fragrance, but for others who suffer allergies, certain plants can make them physically ill; sometimes very seriously.
    HerbsLearn to identify and grow dozens of commonly grown herbs. Explore how to use them. Herbs have a rich history dating back centuries. Used by monks, apothecaries and ‘witches’ in the past, herbs are undergoing a revival in interest. They are easy to grow, scented, culinary and medicinal plants. In a formal herb garden or peppered throughout the garden, herbs rarely fail! Find out how they are used as medicines, for cooking, perfumes and more.
    Plant Pests & DiseasesAre you one of those people that kill every plant you touch? Perhaps it's not you. Perhaps it's a pest or disease. A little bit of reading might just turn your garden into an oasis. Learn how to identify pests and diseases and bring the spring back into your plant...visit the bookshop to find out more...