Your homegrown lavender is good for more than just curb appeal.

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While Southerners love lavender, lavender doesn't always love Southern gardens. The hot and humid climate with heavy soil has had trouble supporting lavender plants. That's is until the introduction of 'Phenomenal' lavender, a disease-resistant, heat and humidity tolerant, and deer-proof hybrid. 

'Phenomenal' lavender produces purple blooms that are fragrant, making them suitable for a variety of uses and a hot commodity in the South. Lavender plants tend to last about ten years on average, but knowing how to care for them can keep them healthy for as longs possible. Lavender sales have also been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with more people looking for sleep aids, aromatherapy, and novel ways to spruce up their home. If you're looking to dedicate some time to growing your own lavender, here are a few ideas of how to put this aromatic plant to good use. 

Lavender
Credit: Jean Brooks/robertharding/Getty Images

Curb Appeal

When dressing up your mailbox, it's often important to consider what plants can survive the conditions close to the road and require little maintenance. Lavender is perfect for a mailbox in direct sunlight. It will add a pop of purple and a pretty fragrance while withstanding gravel, salt, and other harsh roadside conditions. Pull from this plant for any other lavender uses you may want. 

In the Kitchen

'Phenomenal' lavender has a high oil content, making it the perfect ingredient for baking and cocktails. The scent we all love pairs nicely with sweet treats and cuts the edge on drinks. Try fresh lavender in recipes like our Lemon-Vanilla Pound Cake with Lavender Glaze and our Lavender-Plum Shrub cocktail. 

Bath & Beauty

Lavender has been known to have a calming effect, often good for aiding sleep and relaxation, and is commonly found as an essential oil. It's no surprise that lavender's calming scent makes for great bath soaps and salts as well. For a DIY project, try using fresh lavender in a homemade lotion that's sure to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated during even the driest winter months. Just combine fresh flowers with coconut oil, beeswax, and Shea butter, and place in a mold to set. 

Natural Bug Repellant

In the warmer summer months, it can be difficult to hold bugs at bay, especially pesky mosquitos. Lavender in its plant form has a smell that naturally deters mosquitoes. Lavender essential oil can also be used if you don't have plants growing in your garden. In addition to a natural deterrent, lavender oil can also be used to treat bites, aiding in the healing process due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities. 

Drying Lavender

To dry lavender at home, simply tie fresh bundles together and hang them upside down. A dark, cool room will help the buds retain their color. Their aroma will fill your space as it dries.