What goes well with Lavender?

harmonyfarmsAugust 31, 2007

I have a lavender plant that is doing really well. It's in it's 2nd year and even with this drought it's full and lush. Knowing that this does well, what else should do well? (I do not know the exact kind of lavender.)

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Here are a few that should work well
with your Lavender,

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 9:38AM
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To contrast the feathery texture of the lavender, i'd try various kalanchoes, like felt bush (tender). Sedums (trailing) or the bigger leaf upright climps) would do well, too. Have any agaves?

Or, as already mentioned, salvias would give you more colors, the Salvia greggii can handle a lot of soil conditions and flowers in red.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 12:32PM
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I use lamb's ear, nepeta, dianthus, coreopsis, roses. My favorite "bloom" colors are pink, red, magenta, fushia with the grey foliage.

I do have one unusual spot where I actually have amber waves heuchera, daylilies, iris and scabiosa with the lavender. That's not going to work without sufficient shade and watering (it's a slope) the right way.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 2:22PM
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i posted this question once last week, but being new to gardenweb, i cannot for the life of me remember where i asked it, so im not finding the answer.
i plant lavender every year. i love it. it does well for that season, but doesnt return the following spring. i have tried several different types of lavender, any thoughts on what i am doing wrong? i live in central ohio, and know people in the area with lavender plants as big as bushes.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 9:47AM
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My lavender success (3 varieties) comes from doing the following:

1 plant HIGH in the ground for good drainage
2 full sun
3 don't water it with a sprinkler -- I have no irrigation on mine as I just water it at the roots when I first plant it and then let nature take care of watering.
4 don't put mulch too close to the roots. You can even mulch with rocks, pebbles if you like. I do use triple ground hardwood mulch (and pull it back off the lavender after my DH has been mulching!)
5 trim it once or twice a year to keep it lush instead of woody. I use a cordless hedge trimmer in late winter here. And trim again after the first bloom is finished. Cut stems to take inside when it is in bloom. You don't have to put them in water -- dried lavender is nice.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 10:50AM
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Santolina is nice with lavender too.

Cameron your pics are really lovely.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 10:24PM
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jeane(7b Garner NC)

Your photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them with us.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 10:57PM
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so, cameron, it sounds like i might be giving it too much water? i started with it in my herb garden, which goes from too dry, to over watered. it was planted with russian sage, which has gone wild, and several mints, and some echinacia. the other herbs have had to be replaced annually, too, but i expected that. after having them not return 2 springs, i moved them to my back "sun jungle" where i concentrate on butterflies and hummingbirds. this is where i have my hibiscus, hydrangea, hummingbird bush, a couple roses, more echanacea, and whatever annuals i throw in. the butterfly bushes, canna, and roses need a lot of water, so is this not the best place for them? this year's variety is a munstead, and is doing beautiful, for now. i would love for it to come back next spring

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 7:49AM
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Well, you can't argue with Cameron's pictures, can you? Beautiful!

Kimber, I've had a very hard time getting lavender to grow in my garden. I thought it would be easy in my sand but the only one I've had any success with so far is Spanish lavender. It is perennial and is gradually becoming right impressive. I have plans to add more in spring.

I was charmed by the combination of that lavender with oxeye daisies last spring. Please don't compare my somewhat spindly specimen to Cameron's...hers are clearly the winners! LOL

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 8:45AM
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Original poster here:
My lavender has never bloomed. It's foliage is beautiful but no blooms. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 9:32AM
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I love chatting about lavender! :-)

To get lavender to bloom, you must trim it periodically. I trim mine about the time I cut back buddleia and grasses. Then, I cut it again after the first bloom has finished. I get thousands of blooms on my 2 year old Spanish Lavender. My Provence and Munstead are new this year, but I expect similar results next year.

I use the lightweight cordless Black & Decker Hedge Hog trimmer. I shape the lavender to make it rounded -- no flat tops.

Over-watering is the biggest enemy, so this is a perfect plant for drought-tolerant, deer-tolerant, butterfly gardens. If my husband had his way, our entire garden would consist of lavender, nepeta and buddleia! Lately, he's decided to add 'Miss Huff' lantana to that list. My caryopteris are doing great for the same reasons.

I am probably going to try Goodwin Creek next. My Spanish lavender makes a big show when my dianthus blooms, then the Provence Lavender and now the Munstead. I just have a few of the latter, and if they overwinter well, I'll increase the count.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 10:34AM
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Forgot to say when I posted that photo along the path with the roses. The KO roses are on drip irrigation. However, the lavender planted alongside is planted on MOUNDS to raise them up out of the water zone. That path will also get puddles, so they are higher than the path, too.

Hope this helps. I'd be happy to have you come by next spring when the Spanish lavender is in full glory.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 10:38AM
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Cameron, do you amend the soil when planting the lavander in the little hills. I have sand for soil and have had no luck growing them. Would you still suggest hills for the sand and what about adding any amendments. Thanks so much for you help. Adele

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 9:21PM
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I don't mean to butt in but if your sand Adele is really acidic (lower than 5.5- 6) the lavender won't like that. They prefer more neutral to basic soils.

Another 2 good companions for lavender are Ornamental Oregano and Euphorbia corollata.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 10:35AM
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the pictures are terrific, thanks so much for sharing. i heard once that you must have 3 of a lavender for it to do any good, is that true?
im getting a lot of good information here, and appreciate every bit. it keeps coming back to the water! so, if i re-plant my lavander, in mounds, it should be happier. does this effect the over wintering too? this next question might sound a bit simple, but are there tips for mounding? how do i keep the mounds raised?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 11:05AM
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andreap(z7 NC)

I keep mounds raised by creating a boundary of rocks, collected from the back yard, and filling in with native soil, sometimes mixed with purshased 'garden soil.' But I use that for fancy hostas under trees.
As for lavendars, I too am at a loss. I have some surviving for 7 years that I planted from seed, in part shade as well as sun. The ones I bought as plants (including Spanish lavender) and I had in full sun and more sandy soil always die in their second year. Maybe the '3 of a lavender' is the key, never of of it before, but the ones I planted from seed near each other last year AND have been trying to give an inch of water a week are still alive. They even bloomed this year. Try them from seed. Very easy with winter sowing.
I agree that pruning, or at least deadheading, after bloom is important.
I think purple heart / setcreasea pallida may be a good compaion plant. Never seems to need much water, and fills in nicely with a beautiful violet color by the end of summer.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 12:45PM
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Here is a link to a local lavender growing. Annie explains how to plant lavender with good photos. You may need to use lime for your soil. If you scroll down below the photos, there is an excellent description. This is where I learned about lavender. I can't say it any better. Although her instructions say to prune in the fall, in her newsletter she said it was okay to prune in late winter, which is what I did this year.


Here is a link that might be useful: planting lavender

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 9:37PM
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Thanks Cameron. That was very helpful. A question regarding the pruning in fall or winter -- Should you trim back a new plant the first year (a 1 ft tall transplant)? It's a Spanish lavendar that I got at the farmer's market a week ago. Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 11:37AM
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You can take the tips off, about 1/3 of the stem or you can leave it alone. You can trim it after the first bloom next spring. Those that I have planted in the fall, I have waited until I trim buddleias and grasses.

You'll love the Spanish lavender! Post photos when it blooms next year.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 8:13PM
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