Can I grow lavender in a container on the wall of my balcony?

(Question)

Can I grow lavender in a container on the wall of my balcony?  If so, what type of soil should I use?

(Answer)

You can certainly grow lavender in a container but it has a large root system so an oversize container is necessary and this may preclude hanging it on your balcony wall.  A single plant can spread 24 inches and grow up to 2 feet.  As it’s a Mediterranean plant it wants lots of sun – at least 4 hours of direct sun a day.  If you can provide this on your balcony it should do just fine.  Ensure your pot has a good drainage hole at the bottom and use a commercial soil mix designed for containers to ensure good drainage.  It should be allowed to dry completely between waterings and will tolerate some drought – another factor making it balcony-friendly.  Best watered in the morning so the sun can dry it’s leaves.  If you are able to winter it over,  cut it back to about 8 inches in the spring.  After 2-3 years, lavender becomes quite scrubby and will need to be replaced.   Hidcote and Munstead are the varieties recommended for the Toronto area.