Loomis Flower Farm Shop


trimming and pruning lavender

How to Prune Your Lavender

Pruning Your Lavender Bush to Ignite Growth

Pruning your lavender is critical to plant health and the longevity of the plant. When proper care is applied to your plants, lavender can last upwards of 20 years! Pruning is required, and there is definitely a technique you must follow. Without this annual care, your lavender will grow long and lanky, and typically split. Here are the steps:

Steps for Pruning Lavender Varieties

  1. Look for the woody growth. Old growth turns brown and woody, and this is your key reference point for the pruning. Typically, plants in year two of growth will have this established growth.
  2. Prune the soft growth. Measure up about 3 inches from the woody growth you have identified on your lavender, and this soft growth area will be your target pruning point.
  3. Get the shape right. The result of pruning your lavender should be a dome or mound looking bush.
  4. Deadhead during growing season. For certain varieties, a quick deadhead prune can urge a second flowering and bloom.

How Not To Prune Your Lavender

Pruning your lavender is quite simple once you know the technique. But there are certain things you should not do.

Don’t cut into the woody stems at the heart of your plant. This old growth grows slow, and may not grow new stems at all.

Don’t prune in fall. New growth will die quickly in the cold of Fall and Winter, and stress your lavender plants. Finish up pruning by end of August.

Don’t take off too much. A good rule of thumb is to only remove the top 1/3rd of the plant. Too much more and you risk the health of your lavender.

A quick guide for you to keep your plants healthy, and enjoy the bloom season after season.

Propagating and Growing Dahlia From Seed

Growing Beautiful Dahlias from Seed – A Guide

Christmas in the Spring – Dahlias From Seed

Last year was the first year we grew dahlias from seed and I am hooked! This method of dahlia propagation is simple, and creates a great surprise in spring. Why? Dahlia seeds are not true to the mother plant, so every seed is a new and unique variation. You never know what kind you will get! The only way to get a true replica of your mother plant is to divide the tuber, or take cuttings (Dahlia Propagation Through Cuttings article). You get such a broad and wide range of dahlia flowers from planting seed, it is truly amazing, and you can keep the variations you like, dig up that dahlia tuber, and propagate for more.

The Steps – Growing Dahlias with Seed

The dahlia from seed method is simple, and the dahlia seeds grow fast. Here is how to propagate dahlias from seed:

  1. Find a pot or seed tray and fill it with a seedling mix or a mix of soil and vermiculite.
  2. Wet the medium and pock holes with a seed planter/dibber that are about 1/2″ deep, and about an inch or so apart.
  3. Place your seeds in the holes and cover with soil mix.
  4. The seeds will germinate in about 2 weeks, but if you apply bottom heat with a seed mat, it will speed up the process (This season mine popped in 7 days).
  5. Water daily, and provide plenty of light, either with a grow light or place in a south facing window.
  6. Soon you will have a whole set of seedlings.
  7. Once they are about 2-3 inches or their leaves are touching, you can move them to small pots (3 inches) and continue to grow.
  8. Before you move the little propagated dahlias to the garden, “harden them off” by exposing them to the outdoors, gradually over a week more and more.
  9. Pro Tip – When the dahlias you grow from seed are 12-18″ tall, snip the center growth bud. This will encourage branching and give you a bush with more flowers!
  10. Wait for the fun!

These dahlias from seed will grow an amazing tuber you can lift if you like the variety you have produced. This tuber will produce the exact flower, and you can then use tuber division to multiply you bounty.

How to grow snapdragons

Growing Snapdragons

How to start and grow Snapdragons

Ah, the beautiful Snapdragon. We have grown them for a few seasons, and have learned a thing or two on how to produce this beautiful, constant blooming flower. We will outline how to grow Snapdragons through a tried and true method. First off, for best success, you have to start them indoors. So find a nice south facing window, or get a grow light and heat mat to get started. Here are some steps.

Growing snapdragons from seed

Growing snapdragon seedlings.

  • Sow your snapdragon seeds indoors 8-12 weeks before the last frost using seeds procured from a reputable seed provider (Johnny’s is my preferred seed provider).
  • Sow the seeds thinly and press them into the top of the soil (they need light to germinate)
  • Keep the soil moist and at around 65 degrees F
  • The seedlings will pop in one or two weeks.
  • The seedlings need plenty of light at this stage to grow, so insure a nice window setting or a grow light. Note: they need rest, so don’t leave your light on 24 hours a day. 16 hours is fine.
  • Once they have 2 set of leaves, thin them out to one plant per cell in your growing tray or pots.
  • To encourage better branching and more flowers, pinch the tops off when the seedlings reach 3-4 inches tall.
  • Feed them some fertilizer at 3-4 weeks.
  • Harden off your seedlings by slowly exposing them to the outdoors over a week.
  • Transplant the hardened-off plants to the garden after the last heavy frost. Snapdragons can tolerate light frost.

That’s it! A quick to guid to growing snapdragons, one of our favorites. Enjoy your flowers in a bed or for cutting throughout the growing season.

Lavender Farm in Loomis and Sacramento

Lavender Farm

Welcome To Our Lavender Farm in Loomis, CA

Last year we were looking to fill in our lower field on the property, and decided we would start to grow a plant we have know and loved for sometime: Lavender. We imagined rolling rows of scented bushes, and planted hundreds of plants. We started out with two varieties: Grosso and Provence. These varieties are known for their high oil content, strong scent and beautiful, long spikes adorned with lavender flowers. During the harvest season, you can buy our lavender wands, spikes, buds and other products in our store.

Lavender Oil Uses

Lavender Oil Uses

Essential Lavender Oil for Health

As we continue to grow and extend our farm, I am really digging into the uses and background of everything we grow.  Lately in the “lab”, I have been experimenting with Lavender Oil in sprays and salves.   The essential oil that is distilled from many of the different lavender varieties is most commonly know for its relaxing and calming effects on the body, both physically and Healing with Lavenderemotionally.  It is also highly known for its skin uses, and can be used to cleanse cuts and scrapes, reduce irritations and can be applied for overall skin health.  Here are 10 ways to use essential lavender oil in your day to day life:
  1. Relaxation – take a few drops of lavender oil and rub it on your palms, wrists, feet or anywhere else on the body.  Deeply inhale several times to draw the calming scent.
  2. Sleep Aid – Lavender’s scent is known to aid sleep, and soothe nerves.  Use a Lavender spray that is part oil, part witch hazel and part water to spray linens and pillows to drift off.
  3. Burns – putting a few drops of oil, or a Lavender Calendula salve on a burn will reduce pain and redness and help in the healing process.
  4. Cuts and Scrapes – Lavender oil and salves can provide a soothing, healing effect.
  5. Laundry – spray your freshly washed towels and clothes to make them fresh throughout the day.
  6. Insect bites – Lavender salves can take away the sting and itch for mosquito bites and bee stings.
  7. Chapped/Dry lips – using oil or salves on dry chapped lips will help them deal and add moisture.
  8. Headaches and Migranes – Lavenders aromatic powers can help alleviate a headache.
  9. Acne – oil and salves of lavender can help reduce acne, and the redness of blemishes.
  10. Slow Aging – there is some dispute, but many experts agree that the antioxidants found in Lavender slow the aging process.
Just a few uses for this amazing plant!
Calendula Flower Facts and Information

Calendula FAQ

Information about Calendula

Below are some commonly asked questions about the calendula flower, and its usage and history.

Where does Calendula grow?

Where does Calendula grow?

Calendula is native to southwestern Asia, western Europe, Macaronesia, and the Mediterranean. Calendula can be grown as an perennial in zones 9 and higher, and can be grown as an annual in just about any zone.

Can you eat Calendula?

Can you eat Calendula?

The Calendula petals have been used throughout history as an edible herb, and today it is mostly used to adorn dishes, or the calendula petals can be placed in a salad. The flowers can also be used as a yellow food dye, and has been used as a saffron substitute and to color cheeses, custards, butters, sauces, etc.

How do you pronounce Calendula?

How do you pronounce Calendula?

Calendula is pronounced [kuh-len-juh-luh], and you can hear the pronunciation at Dictionary.com: Calendula Definition and Pronunciation

How many types of Calendula exist?

How many types of Calendula exist?

There are over 150 scientific plant names in the genus Calendula. The most common is Calendula Officinalis. There is a broad range of types of calendula, and you can see a full list here: Calendula Plant and Flowers

What are the uses for Calendula oil?

What are the uses for Calendula oil?

Calendlula oil has been known throughout the ages for a variety of medicinal uses. It has anti-iflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities. The most common use is to help with skin irritations and conditions as calendula cream, salve or ointment. You can read a broader variety of Calendula uses here:

A List of Calendula Oil Uses

Are Calendula plants hard to grow?

Are Calendula plants hard to grow?

Calendula plants are easy to grow, and go from seed to flower quite fast. It is a forgiving plant that will produce beautiful calendula flowers and petals all year long. You can read more on growing calendula here:

Growing Calendula Plants and Flowers

What are the uses for Calendula tea?

What are the uses for Calendula tea?

Calendula petals, both dried and recently cut, can be used to brew a healing tea for mouth and gum sores, sore throats and general use.

How do you harvest/collect Calendula seed?

How do you harvest/collect Calendula seed?

Calendula produces a large number of seed heads. The seeds are easy to harvest once the heads dry, and you can tell when they are ready by running your thumb over the top. If the calendula seeds come loose easily just collect them in a container for planting next year.

What is Calendula salve?

What is Calendula salve?

Calendula salve is usually made of infused calendula oil (typically olive oil) and beeswax. Salves usually have additional ingredients, like other oils, to add scent and additional healing qualities.

Is Calendula a Marigold?

Is Calendula a Marigold?

There are two species of plants called Marigold, and they are very different plants. The French Marigold, Tagetes, is common in the garden, and an amarican native plant. Calendula Officinalis, or the Pot Marigold, is much different and has mdicinal qualities and many different variations.

What is the history of Calendula?

What is the history of Calendula?

The ancient Romans named the plant Calendula because it seemed to bloom every first of the month (calends). The Romans and Greeks used the calendula flowers and petals in many ceremonies and rituals, and made crowns and garlands with the calendula flowers. Its nickname, Mary’s Gold” or Marigold, refers to its use in many Catholic ceremonies and traditions. It is also used in Hindu ceremonies, and throughout South and Central America.
Calendula Uses

Calendula Uses

The Amazing Calendula Uses: The Healing Marigold

The Calendula, or Pot Marigold, is a simply beautiful flower and we grow several varieties on our farm. Typically a deep orange or vibrant yellow, the Calendula hides some amazing healing powers. In the middle ages, the “Marygold”, was know for its healing virtues, and was sometimes called magical. Calendula uses typically focus on its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.  Below are the primary Calendula Uses as medicinal or herbal therapy:

  1.  Calendula as a treatment for cuts and scrapes.   Using calendula oil, calendula salve, or calendula cream for treating injured skin is a very common use.  It provides a soothing, natural, pain relieving treatment for cuts scrapes and bruises.
  2. Calendula for bug bites.  Calendula’s soothing properties help with bee stings and mosquito bites, soothing the bite by reducing inflamation.
  3. Calendula as a treatment for thrush.  Due to its anti-fungal properties, it has been used as a treatment for thrush.
  4. Calendula for diaper rash.  Soothing a baby’s bottom is a great use for Calendula creams and salves.
  5. Calendula for chafing.  Calendula is great for athletes that chafe during long distance events.
  6. Calendula for acne.  Calendula face washes are a great help in treating acne, due to their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammation qualities.  Here is a link to some research: NIH Calendula for Acne Research.
  7. Calendula for inflamed gums, mouth sores and sore throats.  Calendula teas and petals can be used to help treat mouth and throat issues.
  8. Calendula for diabetic sores, ulcers and wounds.  There has been quite a bit of research accomplished on the benefits of calendula sales an creams to help in healing woulds associated with diabetes.  You can read more here:  Calendula Wound Treatment Research
  9. Calendula for ear infections.  Calendula has been used to reduce the pain associated with ear infections.
  10. Calendula for vericose veins.  Salves and creams have been used successfully as a topical treatment for varicose veins.
Uses for calendula

Calendula Salve is a main way to apply it to the skin, and on of the main calendula uses

Calendula is usually applied as an oil, or combined with beeswax to make a calendula salve for the skin.  As you can see there are many uses for the Calendula plant and its medicinal properties.

Here are some additional links and research on this amazing plant and its typical uses:

Calendula Facts

Botanical Name: Calendula Officinalis
Plant Type: Annual
Bloom Time: All Summer
Best Location: Full Sun
Soil: Well-drained, fertile
Diseases: Powdery mildew, leaf spot, rust
Pests: Slugs, aphids
Propagation: Seeds
Zone: 8-10

All About Calendula

Calendula is a flower that contains about 20 different variations of annual and perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family (Asteraceae) that are often known by their common name of marigold.   They are native to southwestern Asia, western Europe and the Mediterranean. Other plants are also known as marigolds, such as corn marigold, desert marigold, marsh marigold, and plants of the genus Tagetes. The genus name Calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning “little calendar”.  The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis). Popular herbal and cosmetic products named ‘calendula’ invariably derive from C. officinalis. The flower is loved for its beauty, but also for its broad medicinal use, and Calendula Oil is known for its healing properties, and is used as an anti-inflammatory, and is used for treating acne, wounds and other skin conditions.  It also has been broadly used for treating abdominal issues like cramps, bloating and constipation.  The oil is also used to make Calendula salve, Calendula cream, Calendula balm and other applications.