Lavender plant zone 7

Contents

Planting & Care

How to Plant Lavender

SOIL

  • Use well-drained soils or raised beds and containers (outdoors only).
  • Soil should be well draining. There is no need for a special soil, just one that is not compact. If gardening in clay soil, the soil must be amended. Use 50/50 1″ rounded stone or pebbles to native soil.
  • Soil should have low fertility.
  • Lavender prefers alkaline soil. pH should be 6.5 or higher and is easily measured with a simple soil test (a soil test is not absolutely necessary since typical southern clay benefits from the addition of lime – and a lot of it – to boost and retain an increase in the pH level.)

Lavender is a perennial herb. If you are concerned about winter survival, protect the plants by covering with a straw mulch until the danger of extremely cold temperatures has passed. Be mindful that lavender does not like moist conditions, so planting with sharp drainage is especially crucial if planting lavender in areas that are not appropriate for the growing zone.

If lavender plants are in pots, it will be 15 degrees colder in the pot than if it were planted in the garden. Bring the pot indoors, drag it to a warm side of the house with protection from the winter wind, cover the pot, sink it in the ground and/or wrap the pot. Lavender prefers to be an outdoor plant, with maximum access to sunlight and warmth. Remember that this herb is native to the Mediterranean. Lavender is not a house plant.

SOIL PREP

  1. Create an 18″ – 24″ mound with well cultivated soil and 2 heaping shovelfuls of 1″ round stone worked into the mound. Err on the side of too much stone. May create a French drain by placing fist sized rocks in mound base.
  2. Using a trowel, dig a hole just deep enough for the plant.
  3. Blend together equal parts of bone meal, lime and well composted manure. Add ½ cup in the bottom of hole and mix well. The stone will allow the soil to drain, the lime will improve the pH, bone meal and compost for a healthy start.(Remember that lavender prefers arid conditions, both beneath and above the soil. The humidity in the south will benefit from a light colored, reflective mulch, Since hardwood mulch holds in the moisture, one that encourages excellent drainage and light reflection to keep the plant dry is highly recommended.)

PLANTING & TRANSPLANTING

As long as the soil can be cultivated, plant lavender. You may wish to avoid planting in July, August, December and January. (July and August will require more attention and watering as they establish their root systems and December and January will require tamping down the plants due to soil heaving, exposing the roots to the air leaving them vulnerable to freezing temperatures.) Lots of lavender goes into French lavender fields in February!

LAVENDER IN POTS

Please follow the same instructions for planting lavender in containers. Be sure to know the mature diameter of the lavender and choose an appropriate container. Remember that lavender is shallow rooted, so the pot does not need to be a tall one. Average depth and spread of the root system is 8-10 inches. Excellent drainage is key to success with lavender be it in the ground or in a pot. The pot will need to be watered more frequently in the heat of the summer as they dry out quickly. This could mean nearly every day in July. Keep in mind that lavender prefers to live in the garden or in a pot outdoors. Requiring significant sunlight, it is nearly impossible for them to thrive as a houseplant. So, it is best to find a sunny, well-draining location in the garden, or a pot, for your lavender.

Potted lavender will need to be protected over the winter since it is 15 degrees colder in a pot than in the ground. Please do the following …

1. Drag the pot to a warm side of the house to protect it from winter wind.
2. Wrap the pot with a layer of bubble wrap and burlap or similar.
3. On really cold nights, below 32 degrees, toss an old blanket over it.
4. Or, sink the pot in your compost heap.
5. Or, plant your lavender in the garden!

  • Water your lavender well in its nursery pot every day. Soak it deeply in the evenings, daily until planted, then water again for about an hour before planting, and of course, after as well.
  • Prune the top of the plant to ensure a productive plant.
  • Loosen the roots from the potting soil by working the trowel teeth into the soil block.
  • Place plant just above the blend of stone/ lime / bonemeal / compost, not allowing the roots to touch the blend and gather soil around base of plant. Water deeply.
  • Space largest plants 5 – 6 feet from one another for good air circulation.
  • Lavender blooms at its peak in its third year producing about 1000 stems


In June, gardeners and beekeepers appreciate the nearly “drunk” pollinators in the soothing lavender. Pictured here is Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’.

Lavender is one of the most popular fragrances in the world, and many people long to enjoy it in the garden. Whether along a sidewalk, by a mailbox or in a sunny garden, you can learn how to properly plant it for years of enjoyment.
Lavender is very drought tolerant once established, and spring is a perfect time to plant this lovely and oh-so-fragrant herb. There are hundreds of varieties of lavender that grow throughout the world.
In my experiences growing lavender, I have faced many challenges. Clay soil, humid conditions, drought, long periods of rain, clouds, wind, hail … the list goes on! I have also answered many questions from gardeners throughout the United States. The questions go something like this: “I have attempted to grow lavender many times and it either dies soon after planting or it lives for a while and eventually dies out. What does lavender need that I am not providing?”
The basic answer is lavender needs properly prepared soil, adequate space and proper trimming so it will have abundant blooms for many years.
In much of the Southeast, our native clay soil and humid conditions are a challenge for lavender. Select a garden location with full sun (at least six hours) and take the following steps to help you successfully grow this delightful herb.


Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ in full bloom

The Right Variety
There are many lavender varieties that grow well in our area. Typically those offered in local garden centers thrive when planted and cared for properly. Just look at the tag to make sure the lavender you have chosen is hardy in your USDA Hardiness Zone. The Lavandula x intermedia varieties are good choices — ‘Grosso’ and ‘Provence’. So are ‘Dutch’, ‘Hidcote’ (Lavandula angustifolia) and some Spanish (Stoechas) lavenders. If in doubt, ask your favorite nursery which varieties grow well for them.
Soil
Lavender requires well-drained, lean soils. You can achieve this by amending with stone or gravel. Raised beds, banks, slopes and containers work well, too. Too much fertilizer will cause the foliage to grow lush, however, the lavender may never bloom. Soil pH should be 6.5 to 7.5
If lavender is container grown, the temperature will be 15 degrees colder than when planted in the ground. With this in mind, winter protection is needed. It is best outdoors in a buried pot, covering the pot with burlap, straw or some other protective covering. Tucking it close to a building will also allow it to stay warm. A corner is a good spot so that it is protected from winter winds. Lavender does not enjoy being an indoor plant since it can rarely get enough sun to satisfy it.
Soil Preparation
Remember the saying, “Dig a $10 hole for a $5 plant”? This holds true more than ever for lavender.
Visualize mature lavender that has a root system of about 1 foot in diameter to the plant, which can reach 4 to 5 feet for some varieties. Dig about 12 to 18 inches deep and aerate the soil well. Mix in a shovel full of well-composted manure. Place in the bottom of the hole either a layer of gravel or any rocks or stones discovered on your property. Five to seven fist-sized rocks serve well as a drainage system for the lavender roots.


Annie teaches how to properly plant lavender.

Then fill the hole and mound the soil 18 to 24 inches high above the soil line, amending the soil first with a mixture of 50 percent 1-inch rounded stone to 50 percent native soil. Blend into that stone/soil mix 1/2 cup total of equal parts of bone meal, lime and well-composted manure. The stone will allow the soil to drain well, the lime will improve the pH, and the bone meal and compost will give it a healthy start.
Planting
Using a trowel, dig a hole just deep enough for the plant in the top of the mound. The mound will settle to 6 to 8 inches over time. It will look volcanic at first, but when planted properly you will see nearly instant results as lavender grows very fast.
Water your lavender well in its nursery pot and let it sit for an hour before planting, or overnight is even better. If the young plant is uneven or leggy, trim the top of the plant to even it up and encourage a nice, bushy, productive plant.
Remove most of the planting material from the root, loosening the root system, so that the plant will be placed in the ground nearly bare root. Lavender likes getting down into the native soil.
Toss a bit of un-amended soil in the very bottom of the hole. Place the plant in the hole, preventing the roots from touching the lime/bone meal/compost blend and pull the soil up around the base of the plant.
Depending on the lavender variety, space plants 4 to 6 feet from one another for good air circulation, since they will grow quickly and fill in the space. It is fine for the blooms to touch, just prevent the foliage from touching since the lavender will kill one another out over time when crowded. Leave a minimum of 8 to 12 inches between plants.
Lavender sleeps its first year, creeps the second and blooms at its peak in its third year, producing about 1,000 stems.


Gardeners gather in the field to learn about lavender’s benefits and the different types of lavender grown.

Care
Herbs thrive on neglect once established. Care for young lavender as you would any new perennial, watering deeply (rainfall counts) for the first month every five days, or more often if temperatures are above 80 F. Deeply water every 7 to 10 days after that if 1 inch of rainfall does not occur. Lavender prefers infrequent, deep watering versus frequent shallow drinks.
When well rooted, lavender is tolerant of heat and dry spells. Water if there is a drought. Overwatering leads to root rot, which will cause lavender to die. If the lavender has been planted properly with the drainage system in place, then root rot is much less of an issue.
Prevent weeds by mulching with light-colored mulch such as coarse sand, gravel or shells. Do not use hardwood mulch since wood shavings hold moisture in the soil and lavender prefers to be high and dry. The sun will reflect light, keeping the plants dry (which is critical in the humidity), and help deter disease and enhance bloom and fragrance.
Pruning
In our region, pruning can happen in a number of ways, and this is good since it is sometimes a challenge to remember what every plant requires in the garden. You may wish to trim the lavender when you cut the blooms to enjoy indoors in June. As you are cutting the blossoms, just give the lavender a good shaping, trimming away stragglers running along the ground and dead limbs. Leave about 1 to 2 inches of foliage all the way around.
I have been taught to prune in late fall as well, and this is fine if you are in tune with your garden and the microclimate of your planting zone. Clearly, when our summers are especially hot and dry, trimming the lavender in late fall can shock the plants, so you will want to wait until late winter, after the garden has experienced regular moisture and is dormant. Around Valentine’s Day, or at least in the month of February, after the coldest part of the winter is behind the garden, trim away 1/3 of the foliage. Remember the rule of thumb and leave 1 to 2 inches of foliage all the way around.
It is critical to prune lavender annually to provide the best scenario for a long, happy life in the garden. If the lavender is not trimmed every year, the plant will open up from its center weighed down by the foliage. The heaviness of the branches will cause the main center stem to split and/or break and moisture to enter, resulting in stress and disease, and unfortunately the lavender will not be long for that great compost heap in the sky.
When pruning annually, toss a handful of the bone meal/lime/compost blend around the base of the plant just before rain, or water afterwards. This is the only feeding needed. Remember, that lavender prefers lean soil.


Once sited, planted and established, gardeners appreciate that lavender thrives on neglect. This “grandmother” lavender is nearly ten years old

Photos by Annie Greer Baggett.

How to choose the right Lavender?

Lavender is a wonderful and very appealing plant: attractive, fragrant, easy to grow, drought and deer tolerant. It enjoys a long flowering season and is also highly versatile as it can be used in a myriad of ways: edging, hedging, accent plant, containers, not to mention its culinary or medicinal uses. Lavender does not generally suffer from any pest or disease attack and its only requirements are a site with good drainage and an open sunny situation.

There are over 450 Lavender varieties and finding the best Lavender plant for your needs might be a daunting task. To assist you in selecting the right plant, we have prepared this guide, which we hope will be helpful to you.

Main Lavender Types

  • Lavandula angustifolia, also called True Lavender or Common Lavender has long been cultivated for its high quality lavender oil. Cultivars of this species tend to be compact in habit and have grayish green narrow leaves and relatively short compact flower spikes. This Lavender type is great for formal or informal edging along walkways, raised wall beds, rock gardens, herb gardens and in mass plantings. Flowering typically occurs from late spring to mid summer.

‘Nana Alba’

‘Hidcote’

‘Little Lottie’

  • Lavandula x intermedia, also called Lavandin, is a hybrid cross between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. Cultivars are slightly less hardy than L. angustifolia, and are taller with mounds of gray foliage and long loose spikes. They tolerate hot (dry) weather better than English Lavenders. Cultivars are commercially grown for their high yield of oil which, however, is inferior in quality to L. angustifolia’s oil. This Lavender type is great for hedges, rock gardens, as an accent plant and is also popular in potpourris or as a culinary herb. Flowering typically occurs from mid to late summer (generally 1 month later than the angustifolias).

‘Provence’

‘Phenomenal’

‘Grosso’

  • Lavandula stoechas also called French Lavender, Spanish Lavender or Butterfly Lavender is recognizable by the conspicuous sterile bracts resembling extravagant ears, on top of the short dense inflorescence. Grown for its silvery aromatic leaves, it is used extensively for essential oils or potpourris. The very distinctive flowers, however, steal the show with their distinctive “ears” sprouting from each flower head. This Lavender loves hot weather, but is more tender (Hardiness 8-9) than other Lavenders. A beautiful selection for mass plantings or containers. Flowering typically occurs from mid spring to late summer.

‘Royal Splendour’

‘Ballerina’

pedunculata subs. pedunculata

  • Lavandula dentata also called Fringed Lavender or French Lavender, this evergreen shrub is native to Eastern and Southern Spain and derives its name from the toothed (dentate) leaves which have a richly aromatic lavender-rosemary scent. Not as fragrant as other lavenders but the spikes are very colorful and the foliage particularly attractive. This Lavender is hardy to zones 8-9 and generally grows up to 3 ft. (90 cm). Nonstop flowering typically from early summer to fall and nearly all year if given enough light and warmth.

Elements to consider when selecting a Lavender variety

  • Hardiness & Humidity
    Most Lavenders are hardy to zones 5-8 but some varieties are tender and will grow only in warmer areas (zones 9-10). With adequate protection, Lavender can even be grown with success in zones 3-4. Lavenders love hot weather, but they do not like humidity and might be affected by fungal disease and rot.
  • Height
    Lavenders range in height from very compact plants that do not grow more than 12 in. (30 cm) to varieties that easily reach 3 ft. high. The dwarf varieties are ideal for containers while the taller ones are great candidates for hedges.
  • Foliage
    The Lavender foliage, which is evergreen in warm areas, will be on display for a longer period than the blossoms, therefore it shouldn’t be overlooked in your selection decision. Very attractive, it ranges from various shades of green to gray-green or silver. Leaves may be narrow (Lavender angustifolia) or toothed (Lavender dentata).
  • Flower
    Lavender flowers vary in size, shape and color. If you want to use the flower spikes for drying, the calyx color (bud) is important, not the corolla (petals) as they turn brown and fall off. The darker the calyx, the most stunning the dried flower. In the garden, the color selection will be a matter of taste. Many people do not realize that Lavender comes in colors other than purple. There are many blue, pink or white varieties. Surprise yourself or the onlookers with them! Lavandula stoechas is another great variety that will steal the show with its petals sprouting from each flower head and looking like butterfly wings.
  • Blooming Season
    Lavenders are summer blooming perennials with blooming seasons varying between varieties and cultivars. Generally speaking, Lavender angustifolia blooms about 1 month earlier than Lavandula x intermedia. Some enjoy a second flush of blooms in the fall. Others, like Lavandula stoechas, may be in bloom all year around under favorable conditions.

Zone 8 Lavender Plants: Is Lavender Hardy To Zone 8

If you’ve ever walked past a border of blooming lavender, you probably instantly noticed the calming effect of its scent. Visually, lavender plants can have that same soothing affect, with their soft silvery-blue colored foliage and light purple flowers. Lavender plants, especially when grouped together, can be reminiscent of a quaint, peaceful English countryside. With careful selection, gardeners from zones 4 through 10 can enjoy the charm of these plants. This article will specifically discuss lavender plants for zone 8.

Can You Grow Lavender in Zone 8?

For thousands of years, lavender has been a valued for its medicinal, culinary, aromatic and cosmetic properties. It has also always been regarded as a beautiful ornamental plant. Native to the Mediterranean, most varieties of lavender are hardy in zones 5-9. A few varieties are known to hold up in the cold of zone 4 or the heat of zone 10.

In warmer climates like zone 8, lavender has an evergreen, sub-shrub habit and may bloom throughout the year. When growing lavender in zone 8, it may be necessary to cut it back every year or two to prevent it from becoming too woody with age. Cutting and pinching lavender plants promotes more blooms and tender new growth, which contain higher concentrates of the plant’s natural essential oils.

Choosing Lavender Plants for Zone 8

English lavender (Lavendula augustifolia) is one of the most commonly grown varieties of lavender and is hardy in zones 4-8. In zone 8, English lavender can struggle with the heat. Lightly shading English lavender from afternoon sun can help it grow better. Common varieties of English lavender hardy to zone 8 are:

  • Munstead
  • Hidcote
  • Jean Davis
  • Miss Katherine
  • Vera
  • Sachet

French lavender (Lavendula dentata) is hardy in zones 7-9 and handles the heat of zone 8 better. Popular French lavender varieties for zone 8 are:

  • Alladari
  • Provence
  • Goodwin Creek Gray

Spanish lavender (Lavendula stoechas) is hardy in zones 8-11. The most common Spanish lavender varieties for zone 8 are:

  • Kew Red
  • Larkman Hazel
  • Purple Ribbon

English lavender and Portuguese lavender have been cross bred to produce hardier varieties of lavenders that are commonly called Lavandins (Lavendula x intermedia). These varieties are hardy in zones 5-9. Lavandins grow well in zone 8 climates. Popular varieties of lavandins are:

  • Grosso
  • Edelweiss
  • Dutch Mill
  • Seal

Wooly lavender (Lavendula lanata boiss) is another lavender hardy to zone 8. It prefers hot, dry climates.

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For more: southernlivingplants.com

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowcicle’ PPAF

A selection from our friend Richard Davis, this new double flowered oakleaf hydrangea has 12-14″, sturdy panicles of flowers that age from creamy white to a stunning combination of rose-red, olive green and cream. Each panicle is held up by a super sturdy stem. The plant grows 4-6 feet tall and shows off each fall with amazing fall colors in deep wine and burnt orange. Compared to Snowflake and other double flowered selections, Snowcicle has much larger panicles, improved vigor and sturdier branches.

For more: plantsnouveau.com

Iberis hybrid PPAF ‘Summer Snowdrift’

This summer-flowering Iberis has pure white blooms with an extremely long flowering window, and it reliably flowers in the first year. With a high heat tolerance and hardiness in Zones 6b-9a, Summer Snowdrift extends the Iberis selling window in the South and is a great annual in the North. It is also used as an alternative to lobularia in mixed containers. This Summer Candytuft will bloom from mid-Spring until late-Summer, and makes a beautiful, low-maintenance accent plant.

For more: darwinperennials.com

Leucothoe keiskei ‘Opstal 50’ PP#27132 Burning Love™

What’s most lovable about Burning Love™ Leucothoe? Growers will love this cold-hardy evergreen shrub for its year-round salability, with new red growth maturing to green in summer than maroon-purple in fall through winter. Consumers will be thrilled by Burning Love’s versatility: compact and rounded, this cold-hardy plant grows well in the landscape or containers with little to no pruning needed. Maintenance free and disease tolerant, Burning Love enjoys part sun to part shade and grows to 2.5 feet tall and wide. Winner, Bronze Medal, Plantarium 2013. Photo courtesy: Plantipp

For more: southernlivingplants.com

Nepeta grandiflora ‘Summer Magic’ PP#27090

Nepeta ‘Summer Magic’ is an outstanding selection that blooms and blooms all summer. The upright, deep lavender blooms are held high above the grass green foliage and never flop. This plant always looks great in a container. We are proud to be representing this new catmint in partnership with our friends at Plants For Europe in the United Kingdom. ‘Summer Magic’ is a new, extremely free-flowering variety from the UK that blooms continuously from May to September. It’s compact and sturdy and never flops, even in the worst rain storms. You won’t attract cats with this selection either. Compared to ‘Walker’s Low’ and ‘Six Hills Giant’, ‘Summer Magic’ has a much sturdier habit and never goes through that ugly mid-summer phase.

For more: plantsnouveau.com

Panicum ‘Bad Hair Day’ PP#29,313

An intermediate to large-sized switchgrass, growing to 71 inches tall by 88 inches wide in full inflorescence. Stems are strongly upright, but the foliage is pendulous. The uniquely-weeping inflorescences sway in the wind, creating a whimsical mophead that gave it its “bad hair day” name. A hybrid of the bitter (Panicum amarum) and common (Panicum virgatum) switchgrass. Not only heat and cold tolerant, but may be more drought and salt tolerant. Zones 4-8.

For more: chicagolandgrows.org

Penstemon pinifolius SteppeSuns™ Sunset Glow penstemon

Pineleaf penstemon is a staple of the dry garden. This selection is more than 20 years in the making with each clone and generation an improvement in color and plant size. SteppeSuns™ Sunset Glow is a warming orange color that blooms for a very long season. Reminiscent of Colorado summer sunsets this long-lived penstemon will attract pollinators and hummingbirds to your dry loving garden. This shade of orange compliments blue, pink, and yellow flowers and is lovely next to blue and silver leaved plants as well. Glossy green foliage is attractive, and the plants natural mounding habit make this selection versatile in multiple styles of garden design.

For more: plantselect.org

Phlox ‘Strawberries and Cream’ PP#28,762

Selected for flowers that darken in color with age, yet are attractive in all color phases. The ¾-inch wide flowers are nearly white with a light violet-pink blush upon opening, aging to medium and even dark pink-violet. The broad petals make for fuller flowers, adding to the display. Blooms for four weeks. A hybrid of Phlox subulata and Phlox kelseyi, grow well drained and sunny as you would grow moss phlox. Zones 4-8.

For more: chicagolandgrows.org

Physocarpus opulifolius First Editions® Fireside™ Ninebark

We selected Fireside™ Ninebark because of the stunning foliage. Reddish new growth matures to deep red-purple foliage that holds its color reliably all summer whereas others take on brownish tones later in the season. Even in our Georgia trials the summer color did not brown out. Add to that, Fireside™ didn’t show any signs of powdery mildew in field and production trials in multiple sites 2015-2018. The leaf size is intermediate; bigger than Little Devil™ but smaller than Diabolo®. Pinkish-white flowers bloom in spring and foliage turns deep purple in fall. The plant habit is tidier than other Physocarpus with a rounded, upright shape.

For more: baileynurseries.com

Pieris japonica Interstella™

Whether you call it Japanese andromeda or lily of the valley shrub, Interstella™ Pieris will have you seeing stars when it bursts into bloom with thousands of lantern-like ruby-colored blooms in early spring. The long-lasting display is followed by the emergence of dramatic red new growth, and handsome evergreen foliage secures year-round presence and beauty. Thrives in the same conditions as rhododendrons. USDA Zone 5-8, Height/width 3-4′

For more: springmeadownursery.com

Prunus ‘P002S’ Sucker Punch® chokecherry

An improved red leaf chokecherry hybrid which does not sucker. This drought-tolerant medium-sized tree is adorned with beautiful dark reddish-purple foliage. In spring there are abundant white small fragrant blooms. The leaves emerge green in spring and gradually change to purple. The small fruits ripen to deep purple in late July and can be used for making jams and jellies or left on the tree to provide a favorite food for songbirds.

For more: plantselect.org

Punica granatum Peppy Le Pom™

Winner of the DGA 2019 Green Thumb Award, Peppy Le Pom™ ornamental pomegranate blooms early and all summer long, peppered with jaw-droppingly bright orange blooms that give way to small ornamental fruits. Ideal for use as a container plant, it can be brought indoors for winter and grown as a houseplant. Warm climates can enjoy it as a dwarf shrub with a wide range of applications. USDA Zone 7-10, Height 3-4’, Width 3’.

For more: springmeadownursery.com

Quercus robur x alba ‘JFS-KW1QX’ Streetspire® Oak

This oak stands tall and slender in the narrowest of streetscapes. Dark green, mildew resistant leaves weather summer heat with style before turning rusty red in autumn. Leaves fall cleanly in autumn to reveal short, stiffly upright branches with wide crotch angles that form a storm-resistant structure. Zone 4 hardiness and a height of 45 feet and spread of 14 feet assure a slender, cold hardy and winter-tough tree for urban landscapes.

For more: jfschmidt.com

Rosa First Editions® Lotty’s Love®

This ever-blooming, heavy blooming, rugosa rose bred by Chuck Bock won a gold medal from the American Rose Society in 2009 with one of the highest ratings ever. Lotty’s Love®, named after Chuck’s wife Charlotte, has clusters of semi-double cup-shaped blooms of beetroot purple suffused with magenta. The 3-4” diameter flowers have gold stamens and emit a strong cinnamon fragrance. Lotty’s Love® has the cold hardiness and salt tolerance that makes this species such a landscape favorite. Red hips, 1/2 inch in diameter, form in the fall. The dark green glossy foliage is resistant to major fungal diseases. The habit is more refined than the species.

For more: baileynurseries.com

Rosa Oso Easy Pleasy™

Winner of the American Rose Society Award of Excellence in the No Spray division, Oso Easy Pleasy™ rose sends out continuous sprays of doubled blooms, each with the vivid, tropical hue of dragon fruit. Produces flowers continuously without deadheading, and as its award from the prestigious ARS attests, it exhibits outstanding disease resistance. USDA Zone 4-9, Height/width 2.5-3.5′.

For more: springmeadownursery.com

Rosa Ringo™

Already decorated with six awards from around the world, Ringo™ rose is finally available in North America. The blooms of this colorful, appealing R. hulthemia hybrid open a bright golden yellow with a blazing red center. They mellow to a soft yellow, before finally turning white with a distinct pink center. The effect is three colors blooming at once. Trialed and tested for superior disease resistance and strong reblooming. USDA Zone 4-8, Height/width 3-4′.

For more: springmeadownursery.com

Salvia hybrida PPAF ‘Blue by You’

Hardy in Zones 4b-9a, this Salvia nemorosa and Salvia pratensis hybrid has excellent winter hardiness and heat tolerance. With repeat blooming throughout spring and summer, ‘Blue by You’ is a sterile hybrid for longer shelf life and reflushes very easily. Plus, its long, bright blue flower spikes make for a head-turning display in containers and the landscape.

For more: darwinperennials.com

Salvia microphylla x greggii Heatwave Blast

Blast produces mass displays of salmon colored large flowers shown off against green foliage throughout the warm months. Can be marketed as the Pantone color of the year “Living Coral.” An aromatic evergreen compact shrub, so easy to grow, very long bloom period, and very tolerant of dry hot conditions. The Heatwave Salvias are a cross of S. microphylla x S. greggii, eliminating the variable range of habits and lack of garden hardiness associated with so many of the straight Salvia greggii forms in the market. The plants are very tight habit in appearance. Hardy in USDA Zones 6-10.

For more: prideofplaceplants.com

Sedum ‘Peach Pearls’

This sedum is loved for its burgundy leaves, rose-gold flowers, multiple crowns the first year and an excellent habit. You’ll love it even more for attracting pollinators, minimal water use and the unique color splash! Excels in full sun; blooms in August and September in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9. Reaches 14 inches high and two feet wide.

For more: terranovanurseries.com

Senecio ficoides ‘Mount Everest’ PP22188 Skyscraper™

A fabulous new structural component for succulent gardens, Senecio Skyscraper is a strong, upright grower, reaching 3-4 feet tall in one growing season. No staking or support necessary. In colder climates, Senecio can be grown indoors as a houseplant in a bright location. Growing well in full sun to part shade, Senecio is hardy to USDA Zones 10-11.

For more: sunsetwesterngardencollection.com

Sporobolus heterolepis ‘Morning Mist’ PP#14344

An Emerald Coast Growers exclusive, ‘Morning Mist’ features prolific blooms on sturdy red stems consistently displayed over arched masses of fine medium-green foliage. ‘Morning Mist’ turns a rich gold hue for fall. It’s height and habit are more consistent than the species. This clumping prairie dropseed reaches up to 4 feet high in full sun. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

For more: ecgrowers.com

Syringa hyacinthiflora Scentara Pura™

A standout in field and container trials, this well-branched, semi-dwarf, compact lilac blooms heavily each spring. The flower buds emerge a mulberry-violet and open to clear jacaranda purple. Developed from low-chill bloodlines for improved warm climate performance and resistant to powdery mildew. USDA Zone 2-8, Height/width 4-6′.

For more: springmeadownursery.com

Tilia americana ‘Kromm’ PPAF Sweet Street™

This new basswood selections has a tight, pyramidal head with lustrous, dark green leaves that persist late into the season. We are confident Sweet Street will make a useful street tree, and due to its narrow habit can be used in more space restricted spaces than other lindens. This new selection was discovered by Darrell Kromm of Reeseville Ridge Nursery in Wisconsin. It is incredibly hardy and appears to be resistant to Japanese beetles. Reaching 30′ tall and 15′ wide, this may just be the perfect native street tree selection.

For more: plantsnouveau.com

Vernonia ‘Summer’s Surrender’ PP#28475

Matures into a robust yet uniform and dense broad mound. Three-year-old plants were 48 inches tall and 83 inches wide. Combines the bushy habit of V. lettermannii and the more robust plant size and larger capitula of V. arkansana. Excellent resistance to powdery mildew and rust. Dark purple florets are packed into nearly 1-inch-wide flower heads, borne from early September to early October in northern Illinois. Attracts a diversity of pollinators. Zones 4-8.

For more: chicagolandgrows.org

Vernonia ‘Summer’s Swan Song’ PP#28,556

Similar to Vernonia lettermannii ‘Iron Butterfly’, but grows somewhat larger and never lodges due to the interlocking inflorescence branches. Three-year-old plants were 28 inches tall by 35 inches wide. Takes on a dark red cast in full sunlight. 1/3-inch wide capitula with dark purple florets are produced for five to six weeks starting in early September in northern Illinois. Excellent resistance to rust and powdery mildew. Attracts a diversity of pollinators. Zones 4-8.

For more: chicagolandgrows.org

Veronica Aspire™ Blue

Great garden performance! This very hardy cultivar features lovely blue flowers that bloom and bloom! Plant with our pink cultivar ‘Aspire’ to touch up a sunny corner. Best as an edging plant in sun-drenched garden beds and borders. Full sun, grows to 9 inches high, spreads to 11 inches wide and blooms from May to July in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8.

For more: terranovanurseries.com

Veronica ‘Blue Sprite’ PP#29581

This diminutive yet durable speedwell blooms from early or mid-June until mid-July in northern Illinois, packing its violet flowers on dense flower stems only 6 inches tall. The plants are equally dense with fine, olive-green foliage on creeping rhizomes. Two-year-old trial plants measured 10 inches wide by 1 inch tall. Equally tough as it is attractive, ‘Blue Sprite’ is highly disease-resistant, drought-tolerant, and hardy to USDA Zone 4. For full sun and well-drained soils.

For more: chicagolandgrows.org

Viburnum odoratissimum ‘Brant 01’ PPAF Sweet Viburnum Coppertop™

A great viburnum addition, Coppertop™ sweet viburnum features brilliant, dark maroon to copper new growth that reappears after each pruning—giving this plant season-long appeal. This upright evergreen blooms white flower clusters in early spring and is hardy to USDA Zones 8-10. An ideal replacement for traditional sweet viburnum and for redtip photinia, Coppertop grows 8-10 feet high by 5-6 feet wide.

For more: southernlivingplants.com

Vitex First Editions® Flip Side™

This beauty is a seedling selection from Vitex trifolia ‘Purpurea’ x V. agnus-castus that combines the best of both parents. Flip Side™ is cloaked in 8-inch panicles of fragrant, deep purple flowers that attract a nonstop parade of pollinators. It’s also a strong rebloomer. Flip Side™ got its name because the greyish olive-green leaves are dusky purple on the lower surface. While V. trifolia ‘Purpurea’ is only hardy to Zone 9, Flip Side™ has been hardy in Athens, Georgia for a number of years, surviving a Zone 7 winter. Flip Side™ is much more compact than either parent. This is a very cool plant for warmer regions.

For more: baileynurseries.com

Vitex ‘Helen Froehlich’ PPAF Summertime Blues™

This new hybrid vitex breaks all of the rules! Selected from a batch of vitex crosses made by former V.P. of Horticulture, Kris Jarantoski of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Summertime Blues has a rounded habit with exceptionally large individual flowers held on black stems. Just imagine a vitex with improved hardiness, that flowers most of the summer and can be used as a shrub…and you have Summertime Blues! Undisputedly an improved selection, Summertime Blues offers multi-season interest for gardens from California to Chicago and even in the deep south. Extreme drought tolerance, a more manageable size, and sterile flowers make the perfect combination for this work horse, easy-to-care-for shrub.

For more: plantsnouveau.com

Weigela My Monet Purple Effect™

Hues of cream, green, and pink, layered with a cast of purple make My Monet Purple Effect™ weigela a noteworthy selection. It shares the same dwarf habit and variegated foliage of the original My Monet® weigela but is exceptionally strong flowering. A bit faster growing and has proven more heat tolerant in trials. The foliage looks good right up until frost, giving new energy to this long-time favorite. USDA Zone 4-6, Height/width 1.5-2.5′.

For more: springmeadownursery.com

Growing Lavender Plants (Lavandula)

How to Grow Your Lavender Plant

Latin Name Pronunciation: lav-an’dew-luh

These aromatic subshrubs are popular in herb gardens as well as in the perennial border. The intensely perfumed blue-violet, mauve, pink, or white flowers are treasured for drying and making potpourri. The foliage of Lavender is a standout in the garden where its silvery or gray-green hues contrast nicely with its neighbors. Lavenders thrive in the arid West, but are best grown as annuals or container plants in the South, as they do not thrive in areas of high humidity (with the exception of Lavandula dentata and L. stoechas). Most are hardy from Zones 5 to 9; Spanish Lavender (L. stoechas) is only hardy in Zones 7 to 9.

By entering your email you will receive a link via email to download our free eBook “Which Lavender is Right for You?” You will also be subscribed to receive email from White Flower Farm.

Light/Watering:

  • Lavenders demand full sun, although afternoon shade may be appreciated in the hottest climates.
  • Plants are very drought resistant once established, but will flower better if not allowed to dry out.

Fertilizer/Soil and pH:

  • Lavender thrives in soil that is not fertile
  • Supplemental feeding is not necessary although plants may benefit from occasional side dressing of compost.
  • Perfect drainage is a must, especially through the winter; plants will die in wet soils.
  • A pH close to or slightly above neutral is best, so add lime if your soil has a pH below 7.0.
  • Gravel mulch is beneficial and helps to keep the crowns of the plants away from excess moisture.

Pests/Diseases:

  • Both the leaves and flowers of Lavender contain strong essential oils that are not appreciated by foraging deer or insect pests.
  • In humid climates, fungal problems may arise, but can be avoided by providing excellent drainage and good air circulation around your plants.

Companions: Lavenders are lovely as an edging plant in the garden where they complement many other perennials, including Roses, Hardy Geraniums, Catmints (Calamintha), and Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum x superba).

By entering your email you will receive a link via email to download our free eBook “Which Lavender is Right for You?” You will also be subscribed to receive email from White Flower Farm.

Pruning: Lavender is a woody subshrub, and pruning techniques should reflect this.

  • Prune in spring after new growth appears
  • Plants may be sheared back and shaped after flowering, but do not cut low into old wood.
  • Leave plants alone for the winter.
  • If older plants become unsightly, cut back by a third every three years.

Harvesting and Using Lavender: Flower spikes have the strongest scent just as the pretty little flowers begin to open.

  • Cut long stems and gather in bunches to dry out of the sun – this will take four to five days in warm weather.
  • Spread stems on a screen or sheet so air circulates easily.
  • Use the stems of fresh or dried flower spikes in arrangements or remove the flowers for sachets and potpourri mixtures.

Reflowering: If old flower spikes are sheared off after the first bloom period, a second flush of flowers may occur later in the season.

Dividing/Transplanting:

  • Younger plants handle division better than older, woody specimens.
  • Plants may be moved in early spring, but keep plenty of soil around their roots when you dig them up.

Watch our Video on How to Grow Lavender Inside

Calendar of Care

Early Spring:

  • Wait until new growth breaks from the woody stems before pruning.
  • Remove deadwood, and shape plants.
  • Divide or transplant if needed.
  • Side dress plants with compost, keeping it away from the crowns of the plants.
  • Check soil pH; if your soil is acidic, correct to a pH between 6.5 and 7.5.

Midspring:

  • As the soil warms, mulch around plants with gravel.

Late Spring:

  • Shear plants back after flowering is finished.
  • Supplement natural rainfall if weather is very dry.

Summer:

  • Watch for fungal problems in areas of high humidity and treat as necessary.

Fall:

  • Do not cut back stems.
  • In severe climates, cover plants lightly with evergreen boughs to buffer drying winter winds.

A Shopper’s Guide to Lavender

You want to grow fragrant, beautiful lavender in your yard, right? (I hope so and that’s why you’re reading this!) Good news: Lavender is easy to grow in your garden, or on your deck, patio, or balcony. Just choose the right kind, give it the right conditions, and watch it thrive. If you’re not sure which lavender is best or what conditions it needs to do well in your space, read on! I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to enjoy beautiful lavender with this guide.
English Lavender
English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and varieties of it are native to the Mediterranean. As such, they are great choices if you have a warm, sunny spot with good soil drainage and you live in a cool-winter climate. English lavender doesn’t like a spot that stays wet all the time (good news for those of us who don’t like to water our gardens a lot). Because it comes from hot, dry areas, English lavender can be a bit temperamental if you live in an area with high humidity levels over the summer. It typically grows and blooms best in Zones 5-8. I’ve found English lavender grows as an evergreen in Zones 9-11, but doesn’t bloom in these areas. It needs more winter cold to flower.
Most English lavender varieties bloom in late spring or early summer and continue on and off through midsummer, especially if you take the time to remove faded flowers. You typically see the blooms appear in a violet-purple color, but white- and pink-flowering types are available, too.
English Lavender Varieties
Some popular varieties of English lavender include:
> Blue Scent: An award winner, Blue Scent English lavender features deep blue-purple flowers and is quite tidy. It grows only 12 inches tall and wide.
> Ellangance Pink: Ellagance Pink English lavender shows off light pink flowers and has an extended flowering time. It bears good disease resistance in wet and humid areas and grows 16 inches tall and wide.
> Hidcote: Hidcote English Lavender is a classic variety that features deep purple-blue flowers and silvery-gray foliage. It grows about 18 inches tall and wide.
> Lavance Deep Purple: Showing off deep purple flowers, it grows only 12 inches tall and wide. The flowers are some of the darkest around on an English lavender.
> Munstead: Munstead English lavender is an heirloom variety that’s still popular today because of its profusion of lavender-blue flowers. It grows 18 inches tall and wide.
> Platinum Blonde: This stunner shows off gray-green leaves edged in golden yellow when they first emerge. As the leaves mature, they fade to an even gray-green color. It shows off violet-blue flowers. It’s been a top performer in our Trial Gardens. It grows about 2 feet tall and wide.
> SuperBlue: A patented variety, SuperBlue English lavender offers excellent heat, humidity, and cold tolerance. It shows off deep violet-blue flowers and green foliage. It grows 12 inches tall and side.
Spanish Lavender
Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) and its varieties are less hardy than their English cousins. They are usually grown as annuals in the North and perennials in warmer-winter areas. (They are hardy in Zones 7-9.) Spanish lavender prefers a hot, dry spot in full sun (at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sun a day). It’s a favorite plant for low-water landscapes because of its drought tolerance. Like many other types of lavender, it struggles in wet soil. It’s a good choice if you live in the Deep South.
Spanish lavender has a distinct look. Its bloom clusters are topped by attractive, colorful bracts — giving them a similar look to the leaves on top of a pineapple. Spanish lavender varieties typically appear in shades of purple, lavender, pink, and white. Most varieties begin to bloom in late spring and continue through the summer. They produce more flowers if you remove old blooms as they fade.
Spanish Lavender Varieties
> Anouk: An extra-hardy strain, Anouk Spanish lavender offers gray-green leaves and dark purple blooms topped by violet-purple bracts. It grows 18 inches tall and wide. Zones 6-9
> Bandera Purple: We love Bandera Purple Spanish lavender because it’s adorable and easy to grow. It gets about 10 inches tall and wide. Bandera Purple features dark purple flowers topped by lavender-purple bracts. It’s hardy in Zones 7-10.
> Javelin Forte Deep Rose: If you like big flowers, check out Javelin Forte Deep Rose Spanish lavender. It offers extra-large rosy-pink bracts and deep pinkish-purple flowers. It grows 20 inches tall and wide. Zones 7-9
> Silver Anouk: Bearing bright silvery-gray foliage, Silver Anouk Spanish lavender is delightful even when it’s not in bloom. Those light leaves contrast beautifully with the purple blooms and rich purple bracts. It grows 24 inches tall and wide. Zones 6-9
Lavandin
Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia) is a series of hybrids that look similar to English lavender, but are typically a little larger, a little less hardy, and a bit better in hot climates. Many people find lavandins are more strongly fragrant than English and Spanish lavender varieties. Like most other types, they’re excellent choices for hot, dry sites and they tolerate drought quite well. Lavandins do well in sandy soil (especially during the winter). Most varieties do best in Zones 6-8.
Lavandin Lavender Varieties
> Grosso: This is one of the standard lavandin varieties. It brings especially fragrant lavender-purple flowers and silver-green foliage to garden beds, borders, and containers. It grows 30 inches tall and wide. Zones 5-8
> Phenomenal: Phenomenal is a patented variety that offers improved hardiness and heat/humidity tolerance. It features lavender-purple blooms and silver foliage. It’s hardy in Zones 5-10.
> Provence: A big, bold variety, Provence lavandin can reach 36 inches (or more) tall or wide. It shows off strongly scented spikes of light purple flowers throughout the summer. It’s often used by growers in the perfume industry. Zones 6-8
Fernleaf Lavender
Fernleaf lavender (Lavandula multifida) is one of the best choices for gardeners in Central and South Florida or other regions that rarely dip below freezing and host high humidity levels. If you don’t live in a frost-free region, don’t worry – you can still enjoy fernleaf lavender as a beautiful annual that flowers nonstop from spring to fall. While it’s delightfully drought tolerant, it also grows in average-moisture soils, too, where other lavender varieties may suffer disease or rot. It’s hardy in Zones 8-11.
This plant gets its name because the gray-green leaves are finely divided and almost ferny in appearance. It’s topped almost all year long by spikes of lavender-purple flowers on tall, wiry spikes. It can reach 24 inches tall and wide or more when grown as a perennial. One other thing that sets fernleaf lavender apart is its fragrance; it smells more like pine or oregano than it does the traditional lavender fragrance.
Picking the Best Lavender
Once you’ve selected the best type and variety of lavender for your space, you’ll want to pick the best plants at your local garden center. Start off by looking for varieties that have lush foliage from the top of the plant to the bottom. Be wary of plants that have a lot of yellow leaves at the base of the plant; they may have been overwatered. Likewise, a lot of dry, crispy leaves throughout the plant means that it may have dried out too much.
You can also judge the health of a lavender plant by looking at the roots. Don’t be afraid to slip a lavender plant out of its pot. The roots should be firm and light in color. If they seem mushy and brown or yellowish, they may be starting to rot.
Because lavenders are technically shrubs, rather than perennials, you’ll also want to look for plants that don’t have a lot of broken stems. If lavender is broken off or cut back too far down the plant, it can have a hard time pushing out new growth.
I know that lavender plants in bloom are the most attractive. But, you’ll find your plants get established in your garden or containers more quickly if you buy them without flowers. (That’s because they can put their energy into settling into their new home, rather than splitting energy between pushing out blooms and adapting to being planted in a new environment.)
Get more shopping tips for perennials.
Keeping Lavender Healthy
A bright spot — either potted or in the ground — is key to growing lavender. Once established, most types need minimal watering, even during drought. But because they like to keep their feet dry, avoid growing lavender in areas where sprinklers frequently run. If you have clay soil, it’s especially helpful to grow lavender in container gardens or raised beds to help improve the soil drainage.
While lavender is often sold as a perennial, it’s actually a small woody shrub. As such, you don’t want to prune it back too hard in early spring. In fact, only prune off any areas that don’t show new growth.

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