Lavender in Thailand for Agro-tourism
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Alan Su
Posted on: September 11, 2004

I want to try growing lavender in the northern part of Thailand for agro-tourism. The average temperature is 77, high 82 and low 67. From reading many of your Q&As, I guess Lady is the best bet. Can you suggest other varieties for my experiment?

There is really no winter over here. What will happen to lavender when there is no winter rest?

If I treat the ‘Lady’ as annuals, what is its growing cycle period? Because I want to find out if two cycles per year is possible. Anything I need to pay attention for growing lavender as annuals?

The lack of a winter rest season is a problem for lavender. The lavenders with the best flowers and highest oil content all need a dormant rest period. The winters do not have to be freezing, but temperatures should drop to below 10 degrees for an extended period to cause lavender to enter into a slow growth mode.

The other problem with your location is humidity and rainfall. The best lavenders require relatively dry conditions. They do not tolerate long periods of high humidity or excessive moisture around the roots. In these conditions diseases will set in and destroy your crop quickly. It is important to make sure that the water drainage is excellent. Raising the beds 15-20 cm will help. Adding sand or small pieces of gravel will help also.

Your idea of growing ‘Lady’ lavender as an annual may be your best option. The ‘Lady’ variety is the quickest to flower from seeds, usually producing a good display of flowers in the first season. If you time the planting well, you may get a good show of flowers before the rainy season arrives. ‘Lady’ has fragrant flowers, but the oil profile is not usually considered good enough for commercial field production. ‘Lady’ lavender is popular in North America, but only as a garden plant, not as a field production crop.

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