Will Lavender be hardy here? I am on the border of zones 4-5. I bought plants at Home Depot that came from Canada. All they say on them is Lavendula Augustfolia.
If so, will lavender like a dry sunny location?
Lavender likes a dry sunny spot or a damper spot with good drainage. If you can put it in a very protected spot, it might overwinter for you, but it isn't rated for such cold winters. Some lavenders do ok in Zone 5 - 4 is pretty cold.
Gardening and remodeling in Zone 6, MD
I am zone 4-5 in SE Wis. With our mild winter I'm happy to see my lavenders pulling through. I do have some on the south side of the house that has been there for 8 years. I love harvesting the long flowers. But I'm really delighted that the stuff in my herb garden is there--that's like a bonus. Plant it and enjoy--if it survives an extra year you score!
I'll stick with the south side of the house...protected...sunny...dry... Hmmmm... I don't think I have that... :)
Oh well...each new year will be a bonus. I'll try covering it with something for the winter.
Gee, I never realized how close I was to the edge of the lavendar hardiness zone. I am in 5a. It's the Hidcote version I have had here, and it reappeared every year so reliably that I was not aware that there might be a hardiness issue nearby. It thrived with neglect here in a dry well drained sandy/gravelly spot. It only disappeared when the Ivy moved in.
Ed, my guess is the excellent drainage made the difference.
Ruth L., Forum Moderator, gardening in coastal Connecticut, zone 6b
The lavender you purchased, Lavendula augustfolia, is hardy to zone 5. I've had it for years and we get winters -20, sometimes -30's. The important thing, as someone already mentioned, is that the soil has good drainage.
Barbara, Zone 5, Terra Alta, WV
I am searching over the interenet to find plants that can survive windy winter (north winds) with this kind of temperature and over a meter of snow :))) Unfortunately, most of gardening sites are oriented to "optimal" condidtions: 500 to 700 over the sea level, warmer winters with no so much snow, etc. SInce you have similar conditions (at least it seaams like) i would appreciate some help. Can you reccomend any site with plant information for high mountains??
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in your sense, zone 3
oh, by the way, ther is Lavandula Sibirica - I hope I will get one for my garden :))))
I Put lavender in a few years back at my old place, and found the challenge was getting it to slow down rather than getting it to grow. It was in a planter box alongside the driveway, had snow dumped on it throughout the winter, was never fertilized, and was left to neglect. In 2 seasons it completely took over the 3ft square box (This starting from four 2" plants), and finally had to be cut out. I am in 5b (Southern Ontario, Canada), and the plant was in a sun drenched spot, snuggled into the corner where a brick wall met my front steps.
And When I must Leave the Great River, Oh Bury Me Close to its wave,And Let My Canoe and My Paddle, Be the only Mark over my Grave
We have not wings, we cannot soar; But we have feet to scale and climbBy slow degrees, by more and more, The cloudy summits of our time.
Zone 5b Brantford Ontario, Canada
You're in southern Ontario, right? I had exactly the same experience with some lavender I planted back when I lived out there too.
Thats right Cookie, Southern Ontario
We are in Z4 and find that Munstead is the most hardy lavender here. I started plants from seed last summer, planted them out before fall, and covered them with pine straw for the winter (covering with leaves is not good as they seem to hold moisture in and can cause rot). Another trick I've learned is to have a gritty soil (I incorporate turkey grit) so that drainage is excellent. Lavender is a Mediterranean plant, so likes as much sun as possible. Good luck.
I just visited my sister in Virginia and her lavender is just starting to bloom. It smells so good!
I still have it in the little pots. It's been so cold..many of my spring purchases are still hiding under the tables out on the deck!
We live in NW Montana, near Glacier Park (zone 4). When we moved here, I was told that lavenders probably wouldn't do well in our location. Never one to back down from a challenge, I decided that I would see if I could grow them. I now have 40 varieties and would have a few more but I am running out of room. They have been there for almost 5 years.
I echo the advice of those who advocate good drainage and warm sunny locations. The lavenders are in the part of the bed where the snow melts first--HOWEVER, I also make it a point to get out as soon as the snow starts melting and remove as much snow from the bed as I can. The lavenders would rather be cold and dry than cold and wet, and being under 2 feet of heavy, wet, melting snow which melts and refreezes every night does more damage than cold temperatures.
Some of the varieties, of course, do better than others. Munstead and Hidcote are the usual standards, but Lady, Royal Velvet, Jean Davis, and Croxton's Wild Blue have also done really well. This spring I have had to transplant over a dozen little baby lavenders which have sprung up in the gravel walkways between my beds.
I didn't know there were 40 varieties of lavender!
Am I ambivalent? Well, yes and no.
Maybe cultivars is a better word. :-)
LOL. Didn't know that either.
Do you mulch your lavender at all? I'm just a tad north of you (other side of the park), and tried plating some last year. It grew beautifully over the summer, but alas, the winter killed it off. It's very dry here, so it couldn't be the snow that got it. I'd love to be able to grow it. Lavender is one of my favorite plants. Of course, I'm technically in zone 3. Maybe it's just too chilly.
The only mulch I use is a mound of white sand around the base of each plant. I had a bad vole infestation a few years ago and lost a lot of plants, so I don't mulch with anything that could possibly give them cover. The sand also helps keep the plant from coming up due to frost heaving, which will expose the roots and kill the plant.
Do your plants get any snow cover at all? Mine are usually under 3-4 feet of snow from November until March, and snow is a wonderful insulating blanket.
I have a friend in Wisconsin who is also in Zone 4, but she just can't get her lavender to overwinter, either. It may be that I have a small microclimate here in my yard that makes it more like Zone 5 than Zone 4. And you're right, Zone 3 may just be too chilly.
Our local herb grower has gotten rosemary to overwinter by covering it with a rose cone; you might try that with your lavender.
Hope that helps!
Thanks for the info. We get very little snow cover - so maybe if I cover and mulch them really well they'll make it. It certainly won't hurt to try!
Edited 5/20/2002 10:22:54 AM ET by COOKIM0NSTER
I'm intrigued with the sand mulch. I too have a bad critter problem. I use shredded leaves to try and keep the weeds at bay. But I still have a bad weed problem. So, how much sand to you use and how high do you surround the plants with sand?
Gardening in N.VA-Zone 6b
I use 1-2 cups of sand per plant and mound it around the base of each plant--it's probably 1-2" deep at the base. Each spring, the previous year's sand mulch gets dug into the soil around the plant.
You could probably (this is just an idea) use a 1" deep layer of sand on top of the entire bed--that might help to keep the weeds down.
Hope that helps--good luck!
Thanks! Quite interesting.
Another trick I forgot to mention: I read somewhere that you should pinch off the blooms of very young plants the minute you see them. It forces the plant to put energy into creating roots instead of flowers. I routinely do this with new transplants for the first year (at least) or even two.
Kath, I've read that you should mulch lavender with white grit or gravel to reflect more light into the plant. I've never tried it, but might throw some grani-grit in there this year as a test. I had trouble with sand mulch last winter because it was too fine and ended up keeping the crowns too moist rather than draining freely as I had intended.
CookiMonster, have you ever seen this garden web site? http://www.em.ca/garden/ It's from a couple that garden in zone 2/3 and have some experience trying to grow less hardy perennials. By the way Jeana, he shows both a yellow and a purple Iris pumila. I think that's the one I was asking you about.
BTW CookiMonster, we never did get very many violets this year. Maybe it was too dry, anyway I'm sorry I never got to take a stab at the simple syrup for you. Did you ever get enough to play with?
Thanks for the link.
Not yet, but the lilacs have started blooming so I'm practicing on those.
Exaclty .... ask the resident of Mediteranian area (like me) :)))) but we have a weekend hous up in high mountains (about 1100 over the see level) .... mediteranean types of lavandula JUST ARE NOT POSSIBLE to gow there ..........only lavandula sibirica .... I presume that was the type of lavandula this gentleman and lady had ih southern ontario ........it was too warm for that type that is why it spred so much and so quickly :))))
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in your sense, zone 3
Lagason- I have 6 lavender angustifolia growing in my zone 5 garden now. All happy as clams- Be sure they have good drainage. I lost one that I planted at the bottom of a hill-too wet. All the others are either at the top or midway down so they drain well. If you're more zone 4 cheat- Mulch, plant next to a wall in a protected spot. Dont cut back till spring.
I don't think that anyone has mentioned that lavender likes soil more on the alkaline side. I planted mine on a sunny slope, where it grew very well for several years until a pine tree grew tall and started to shed pine needles all over the bed. I think the bed still gets plenty of sun, but the pine needles and drifting oak leaves have been deadly. Probably partly that the soil is getting more acid and partly that it is so hard to keep the crowns of the plants free of the debris. Keeping the crown of the plants dry is crucial to their survival.
Southeastern West Virginia, Zone 5b/6a
San Francisco, CA, Zone 10
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