Commercial lavender farming is a very old and popular business in many areas around the world. It’s very easy to start lavender production and it’s a highly profitable business for making money.
Lavender is actually a beautiful herb and it is relatively easy to grow in right growing conditions. You can make good amount of money from commercial lavender farming.
Lavandula is a genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to the Old World and is found in Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, and from Europe across to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, Southwest Asia to India.
Many members of the Lavandula genus are cultivated extensively in temperate climates as ornamental plants for garden and landscape use. And also used as culinary herbs, and also commercially for the extraction of essential oils.
The most widely cultivated species is Lavandula angustifolis which is often referred to as lavender, and there is a color named for the shade of the flowers of this species.
However, lavender has been used over centuries in traditional medicine and cosmetics. And a limited clinical trials support therapeutic use of lavender for pain, hot flushes and postnatal pereneal discomfort.
However, commercial lavender farming can be a good business for making money. You can sell fresh or dried lavender or create fragrant sachets, lotions, teas, soaps, medicines, essential oils, flavorings and many more products. Here we are trying to describe more about this business.
Uses of Lavender
Lavender is a multipurpose plant and it is used for many different purposes. People use lavender in many different ways to promote good health and well-being. Common uses of lavender includes:
- Many parts and products as medicine
- Fresh flowers
- Dried flowers
- Essential oil
- Topical oil
- Many beauty products
Health Benefits of Lavender
Lavender has been used as a very helpful and medicinal herb since ancient times. It has been used for reducing symptoms and provide support for multiple conditions.
Modern medical science has confirmed many of the health benefits of lavender, while some are still under investigation. However, here we are trying to describe the top health benefits of lavender.
- Lavender is useful for the people who are suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders. Once upon a time, people stuffed their pillows with lavender flowers to help them fall asleep and get a better night’s rest. And today, research suggests that breathing in lavender’s aroma could improve sleep quality.
- Lavender may help people to provide support for people with anxiety.
- General use of lavender oil may help to treat a disease called alopecia aerata, which causes a person’s hair to fall out in patches.
- Lavender has calming effects, and this calming effects may be enough to soothe away headache or migraine.
- Lavender’s effects on depression aren’t as well documented as those on anxiety, but research is promising.
- According to the National Cancer Institute, aromatherapy can help people with cancer manage the side effects of their treatment. And lavender aromatherapy may help lower anxiety about cancer treatment procedures.
- Lavender’s soothing powers might extend to healing wounded skin.
- Lavender oil has the ability to kill bacteria, so it can be a gentle way for treating acne.
- Lavender has long been used as a traditional remedy for burns, and some older research Trusted Source has suggested there’s scientific data to confirm this use.
- Lavender contains two inflammation-fighting compounds called linalol and linalyl acetate. And for these compounds, lavender products can help you in treating many skin issues such as dermatitis, eczema, itchinng, psoriasis and rashes.
Advantages of Lavender Farming Business
Commercial lavender farming business has numerous advantages/benefits. It’s a very easy and simple business. And it’s highly profitable also.
Commercial or large scale lavender farming is very popular in many countries. Here we are trying to list the top advantages of commercial lavender farming business.
- Growing the lavender plants is very easy and simple, even the beginners can also start growing them.
- Commercial lavender farming is a traditional business in some countries around the world.
- Many people are already doing this business commercially for making profits. So, you don’t have to worry much about starting and operating this business.
- Commercial lavender farming is very profitable. So, you will be able to make good profits from this business.
- It’s very easy to grow the lavender plants, and the beginners can also start this business. Although, we recommend learning more about this business practically from existing farmers.
- Capital requirements are relatively low as compared to other crop farming business, but the returns are good.
- Both demand and value of lavender products are high in the market. So, you don’t have to worry much about marketing your products.
- Caring the lavender plants is very easy and simple.
- Commercial production of lavender is very profitable. So it can be a great employment source for the people, especially for the educated unemployed people.
- Lavender is a medicinal herb, and it has numerous health benefits. You can take the advantages of it’s health benefits if you start your own production.
How to Start Lavender Farming Business
Starting commercial lavender farming business is very easy and simple. You can start this business easily and make profits, even if you are a beginner.
Although, we recommend having practical training from existing farmers if you are a beginner.
However, here we are trying to describe more information about starting and operating successful lavender farming business from planting, caring to harvesting and marketing.
Light well-aerated dry and calcareous soils with slopes rich in organic matter are considered best for lavender farming business. Lavender plants are very sensitive to waterlogging.
The ideal soil pH for getting higher essential oil ranges from 7 to 8.3. The best thing about lavender is, it can be cultivated even on poor soils and eroded soils.
Preparing the land perfectly is very important for commercial lavender farming business. Prepare the land by giving 2-3 deep ploughings for removing any weeds, plants and also for bringing the soil to the fine tilth stage.
Add as much organic fertilizers as you can while preparing the land. You can add well-decomposed farmyard manure to enrich soil fertility.
The ideal climatic conditions for lavender farming are cool winters and cool summers. Lavender is a temperate plant and can tolerate drought and frost conditions.
You can expect more yields when cultivated at higher altitudes. The lavender crop require good sunlight. And in case of poor lighting conditions, you can observe less yield of flowers and reduced essential oil content.
There are numerous varieties available for commercial production of lavender. Most of these varieties have the signature purple buds, but there is also pink lavender, red lavender and white lavender.
Some popular and common varieties for commercial production are Lavandin, English Lavender, French Lavender, Spanish Lavender, Spike Lavender and Wooly Lavender.
You can consult with the existing farmers in your area for having better recommendation while choosing the right variety for your production.
Propagation of lavender can be done in many different ways. But remember, lavender is difficult to grow from seeds. Because the seeds generally require 5 weeks of cold stratification before planting. And require around 6 months before the seedling grows to transplant size.
So, the easiest ways for lavender propagation are purchasing lavender seedlings or taking cuttings from existing plants.
Colorado State University Extension suggests taking cuttings from stems with no flower buds on them just after the lavender plant has bloomed. Remove leaves from the bottom half, and put the lavender cutting into well-draining sterile potting soil or vermiculite.
Keep the cuttings watered, and they should root in about three weeks. Transplant these rooted lavender cuttings into 2- to 4-inch pots. Once they have developed strong roots, plant the lavender seedlings in the garden.
Lavender plants like space to grow. So, depending on the size of the lavender variety, space them 2 to 3 feet apart within the row with 3 to 6 feet between the rows. And you must have to plant the seedlings in full sun.
The plant density of 20,000 per hectare produces the highest yield. Earthing up of soil should be carried out around the seedlings for the root establishment.
The lavender plants generally grow easily without much caring. Although, taking additional caring will help the plants to grow well and produce more. Here we are trying to describe the common caring process.
The lavender crop generally responds very well to fertilizers. The recommended N, P and K are 100kg, 40kg, and 40kg per hectare.
Use 20kg of N, full dose of P and K 20kg as a basal application. The remaining 80kg of N should be applied in four splits 2 doses during each year.
For commercial lavender farming, providing adequate watering or irrigation is very important. In commercial production, irrigation should be provided for the first 2 years until the crop has been established.
Irrigation should be provided at crucial stages of plant growth in the case of lighter soils and low rainfall regions.
You must ensure proper irrigation during the flower initiation. Try to avoid overhead irrigation (such as sprinkler irrigation) as it can increase disease problems. Try to adopt drip irrigation instead, because this system can save water and control weed growth.
Having been developed along the Mediterranean Sea, lavender is not accustomed to cold weather and snow. If you have difficult winters, protect your lavender plants with heavy mulch, fabric row covers and wind blocks.
Typical organic mulches are not good for lavender, because of the plant’s susceptibility to mold and fungus. Black landscape febric is a smart weed barrier for growing lavender plants.
Mulching lavender with white sand or white stones may increase the plant’s production of oils and flowers while keeping down weeds and reducing fungus infections.
Controlling weeds is very important in commercial lavender farming business. Because weeds consume nutrients from the soil and the lavender plants will suffer.
Frequent weeding and hoeing are required to keep the field weed free. 1-2 hoeing are required after 30-50 days of sowing to control the weeds. Mulching is also an effective way to reduce soil temperature along with weed control.
Intercultural Operations in Lavender Farming
Flower buds of lavender plants should be pruned off during the first two years period to help the plants to develop a strong framework.
Pests & Diseases
Very few pests occur on lavender and no serious diseases reported in lavender farming business. Although, you can consult with an expert in your area if you notice any problem.
Generally, the lavender plants start flowering earlier in warmer and low altitude regions and flowering starts late in high slopes. As a part of harvesting, flowers should be cut with a stem length of 10cm.
Use scissors for harvesting lavender by the stem (just under the first set of leaves) in the morning, when the oils are the most concentrated. Lavender is best harvested when approximately half of the flower buds have opened.
Preserving, Storing and Drying Lavender
There are several ways you may choose to package or preserver your lavender if you’re planning to sell it at the farmers market or via wholesale. Perhaps the easiest method is dried lavender.
Lavender dries well in bundles of 50 to 100 stems secured with rubber bands. Hang the lavender bundles in a cool, dark place with good air circulation for seven to 14 days.
The oil quality and yield depend on variety, soil, agro-climatic conditions, and the process of distillation. Under optimal medicinal/herbal cultivation practice, you can obtain a yield of 15kg per hectare with an oil content range of 1.2% to 1.5%.
Marketing lavender products is very easy and simple. Lavender products have huge demand and value in the market. So you will be able to sell your products easily. Although, we recommend determining your marketing strategies first before starting this business.
These are the common steps and ways for starting and operating a successful lavender farming business. Hope this guide has helped you! Good luck and may God bless you!
Frequently Asked Questions
People ask many questions about lavender farming. Here we are listing most common questions about this profitable business, and trying to answer them. Hope you will find your answer. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.
Is commercial lavender farming profitable?
Yes, growing lavender commercially is a very profitable business. You can start this business for making money. Although, you should determine the market demand and value of your product before starting commercial production.
How to start lavender farming business?
Starting commercial lavender farming business is a very easy and simple business. You can start this business easily, even if you are a beginner. First of all you have to select a very good location for starting your business, then prepare the soil by ploughing and adding fertilizer, after that sow seeds, and take good care of the plants.
How much money can you make off an acre of lavender?
Depends on numerous factors, and exact amount of profits can vary from place to place. But some farmers can earn up to $100000 per acre.
Is it hard to farm lavender?
No, it’s relatively easy to grow lavender. If you have a space and the right growing conditions then you can grow this beautiful herb easily.
Is there money in growing lavender?
Yes, growing lavender is profitable and you can make good amount of money from this business.
How many years do lavender plants last?
Generally, lavenders should live for 5-7 years when sited correctly and pruned judiciously.
What is the secret to growing lavender?
Lavender needs full sun and good drainage. These plants generally die from excess moisture. Ensure availability of good drainage system before starting commercial production.
Does lavender come back every year?
Yes, it is likely that they will return year after year for a decade or two.
Is there a market for lavender?
Yes, sure! But depends on your location. Generally lavender can sell for between $3 and $6 per bunch, depending on the area.
How much is a pound of lavender worth?
The price is the same at $25 per pound for English lavender. There are about 450-600 stems per pound of fresh English lavender. Although, exact price can vary from place to place.
How long does lavender take to grow?
Lavender is a slow grower and may take one to three months to reach transplanting size.
What is the best month to plant lavender?
April to May is the best time for planting lavender.
Where does lavender grow best?
Lavenders thrive in the arid West, but are best grown as annuals or container plants in the South, as they do not thrive in areas of high humidity (with the exception of Lavandula dentata and L. stoechas).
Does lavender need a lot of water?
No, lavender need very less amount of water. You can water once or twice a week after planting until plants are established.
Will lavender rebloom if cut back?
If plants are cut back or pruned after their summer flowering, this can encourage lavender to bloom once again during the moderate weather of early fall.
What soil does lavender like?
Generally, the lavender plants prefers poor, dry or moderately fertile soil (including chalky and alkaline soils).
Which soil is not good for lavender?
Lavender will not thrive in heavy clay soil or any soil that becomes waterlogged over winter.
Can you eat lavender straight from the plant?
Yes, both the flowers and leaves can be eaten and they have a pleasant yet slightly bitter flavor.
Does lavender attract bees?
Yes, these plants are more popular among bumblebees. While both bumblebees (Bombus spp) and honey bees (Apis mellifera) are attracted to lavender.
Are lavender plants toxic to dogs?
Yes, lavender plants can be toxic to some animals like dogs and cats.
What happens if you don’t prune lavender?
If you don’t prune lavender then it will look bad and also shortens the plant’s lifespan.
What country is the largest producer of lavender?
Bulgaria is the largest producer of organic lavender.
What is the most valuable type of lavender?
The Lavandula Angustifolia lavender species is the most recommended and valued of all lavenders because of the high quality oil produced by the plants.
Should you harvest lavender the first year?
Leaving the plants alone allows them to grow and develop more. Although, you can start picking some in the first year or two.
What month does lavender bloom?
The peak bloom of lavender is in the summer months from July to August.
Do you water lavender every day?
No, you should not water lavender every day. You can water the plants once or twice a week.
Should you trim off dead lavender?
Yes, lavender plants benefit greatly from being pruned in mid-spring and deadheaded in the summer.
How many lavender plants per acre?
You can plant 80 plants in an acre of land.
Is lavender poisonous to touch?
No, but lavender oil is toxic if taken orally.
What should not be planted near lavender?
Lavender plant doesn’t do well with perennials or annuals that prefer shade, because it loves full sun and dry conditions. Plants such as some types of impatiens, hosta, camellias and fuschia are not as drought-resistant, so their need for water may drown out lavender.