We get a lot of questions about how to take care of your lavender plants, what growing conditions work best, and what types of lavender are most fragrant vs. which ones are great for culinary use. So we asked owner of Cedarbrook Lavender, Marcella Stachurski, to answer some of your questions so you can create a flourishing lavender and herb garden at home! This week, we'll be focusing on what climates work best. Have some lavender questions of your own? Ask away in the comments section!
What is the best climate to grow lavender?
Lavender grows very well in arid climates like the Mediterranean, which is why lavender flourishes in our neck of the woods, in Sequim on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula, which has very similar growing conditions. It prefers low humidity, sandy, well-drained soil, and is very drought tolerant. In climates with a lot of precipitation, lavender can still flourish in mounded flower beds or rows that allow for extra drainage. We’re a firm believer that if someone wants to grow a certain variety of lavender they will figure out a way to make it work! It may just take some extra love and care.
What type of lavender will survive cold or harsh winters?
In harsh or extreme winter climates such as the Midwest region of the U.S., we suggest you try varieties within the hardy Angustifolia lavender family. This family is commonly known as English Lavender. If you plan to plant a larger number of plants, depending on the severity of the winter, there may be some die-off that is expected each year.
Our favorite Angustifolia lavender variety is Royal Velvet, known for its velvety, bold purple flowers and rich, sweet fragrance that attracts plentiful bees and butterflies. There are several other Angustifolia varieties that would work as well such as Folgate, Cedarbrook’s premium culinary lavender, Munstead, Melissa (pink lavender), Hidcote Blue, and Mailette.
What type of lavender will survive hot climates?
For hotter climates, try planting lavender from the ornamental Lavandula Stoechas family, commonly known as Spanish Lavender. It requires full sun, low water, and is very hardy which is perfect for warmer climates. Cedarbook offers the Otto Quast variety, which seems to grow best in a variety of zones and climates. Otto Quast is fragrant, with rich, bold purple flower spikes that rise above its dense, green foliage providing months of seasonal color. It's a rugged variety that can take the summer heat and drought and is an excellent choice for accenting garden borders and rock gardens.
How much sunlight does lavender require?
Lavender prefers full-sun however; six hours of filtered sun should be plenty. What is most important for lavender plants is that they’re planted in well-drained soil and doesn’t get over watered. If you are in a climate that is very dry, the plants will require some watering but they’re also still very drought tolerant.