Lavandula buchii

Fernleaf Lavender
Ferny leaves are lush and green in spring, turning silver with summer sun. Leaves and violet flowers have a mild camphor-ish scent.
synonyms Lavandula pinnata var. buchii
height 2–3ft
width 2–4ft
tolerates Drought, Heat, Pots, Rooftops, Neglect, Wind
Since lavender is native to the Mediterranean it adapts effortlessly to the winter rains of California, being one of the easiest and most durable plants we can grow. Water this plant infrequently, when the top two inches or so of soil feel dry. Usually this will mean every week or two in dry weather. If you establish this pattern over several years, then you can cut back to watering every four to six weeks in dry weather. Closer to the coast lavender often thrives without additional irrigation once it has put down a healthy root system.

Lavender is intolerant of consistently wet soil in summer and should not be planted with other plants that will require more than moderate levels of water.

Use drippers, emitters, or a slow stream of water so that it doesn’t run off; allow the water to trickle all the way down through the deepest layers of soil. In a pot slowly water the entire surface until water comes out of the bottom of your pot.
exposure Part Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Planting Mix, In Pots: Potting Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin Mediterranean
16, 17, 19–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Spring and fall blooming.
Sheer your plant once or twice a year (cutting back by anywhere from one third to two thirds) just after the blooms finish. This keeps your plants dense and tidy; just as important it also removes the persistent dried flower spikes.
Lavender does not want to be in the shade, where it will survive, but look listless and floppy. This is especially true near the coast.
While it is marginally adaptable to clay soil, lavender prefers rich well drained soils.
This plant does not tolerate hot humid summers.
Mass plant lavender using informal hedges to capture that iconic Mediterranean villa look. Mix with olives, grasses and rosemary.

Special Interest

This lavender is not edible.

The identification of this plant is complex. We’ve decided on Lavandula buchii after consulting with Randy Baldwin of San Marcos Growers, who has himself done extensive research on the provenance of this plant. It is sometimes also confused with L. multifida and L. pinnata and Lavandula pinnata var. buchii.