Lavender

seashore1May 18, 2009

Can it do well here in Florida? I am in zone 9b... coastal South Brevard (no salt spray though). Any type that might do well from seed or plant? Thanks much!

p.s. yay, it's raining! :)

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pawsnplants

I also live in coastal South Brevard and have some lavender growing in a pot. I is fine in winter but will die in summer. I don't know the variety. I believe it came from South Brevard Nursery on Minton Rd behind Lowes. Better wait till late fall and enjoy it until summer.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 3:38PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

I have never been able to grow "regular" English lavender here, try as I might. I've put it in the ground, in pots, watered it, let it be drier, and the heat kills it every time. The only variety I have found that does well for ME is fernleaf lavender, or lavandula multifida. (Link below). This one blooms all summer for me, and sometimes lasts a whole year. I've heard it can be cut back when it finally gets icky, but it has never come back for me when I've tried that. However, you can buy it at Home Depot for $3.00, and a year of beautiful color is worth that to me.

Marcia

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 5:49PM
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trinigemini(10 Jupiter)

I've tried and it died as almost as soon as I put it outside.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 7:39PM
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writersblock

I've tried it and it did okay in pots, but as soon as I planted it in the ground it lay right down flat and that was that. A neighbor has French lavender in really big pots and it seems to do well, and the Fernleaf is doing very well for me, but that one isn't really lavender to me (strange pungent odor, not like lavender scent at all).

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:00AM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Fernleaf lavender does have a different scent (I like it, even if it isn't the same as English lavender), but it is a true lavandula. I have heard the Spanish lavender does better here, but I had no luck with it, either. Fernleaf is the only one that grows for me. And luckily, I think it is very pretty, even when not in bloom.

Marcia

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 7:59AM
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palmcoaster

I purchased plants of Lavandula stoechas 'Anouk' from Parks in 2006 and have been growing it with great success. Many sources describe it as the best lavender for hot and humid climates. It is easy to propogate from cuttings. I never had success with other forms.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:21AM
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gatormomx2(9a)

English lavender grows in zones 5B to 8 - probably why it will not grow in most of Florida .

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 11:14AM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Yeah, that IS the reason, I know, but sometimes we can get away with pushing the limits a bit. I do know people who have grown it here, but I just can't. It's fernleaf lavender for me from now on.

Marcia

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:05PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I was told by an herb lady that the lavender to grow is the 'regular, old-fashioned'(French?) kind - I have 2 plants now, in the ground - 1 is well over 2 years old - it got huge & rooted right through the clay pot I planted it in & had lovely tall flower stalks. It died back but is still putting out new growth from the thick, woody stem.The other I bought several months ago @ a box store & planted directly in the ground - along the edge of a raised veggie bed & it's been steadily increasing in size.Both plants are in the same bed - full sun & rich soil. The leaves are smooth, not toothed.

I live on an island in Boca Ciega Bay, but not directly on the waterfront & have been adding mulch, compost & organic amendments to my sandy soil for years.I also foliar feed & soil drench w/ seaweed extract.

HTH

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:40PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

French lavender usually has a scalloped or toothed edge to the leaves, where English lavender is smoother. The Latin for French lavender is lavandula dentata, which means toothed edged, and for English lavender is lavandula angustifolia, or narrow-leaved.

There are several cultivars of each, I believe, but here are photos of the basic forms.

French lavender (you can see the scallops along the leaf edges):

And English lavender (with smooth-edged,narrow leaves):

I have tried French & English, several different cultivars of each, and have even tried Spanish. Not one of them will live for me in the ground or in a pot, either one. *sigh*
I love them all and would love to grow them, but I'm done wasting my time and money on them. Fernleaf (lavandula multifida) LIKES growing in my garden, so that's what I'm sticking with from now on.

Marcia

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 1:22PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I think what I have is 'Lavendula officinalis'....

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 11:33AM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Carol, lavandula officinalis is the former name for lavandula angustifolia, or English lavender. Your description of it having smooth leaves would likely make that the case, I think. It is the kind most people think of when they think of lavender, and if you are growing it successfully, hats off to you, girlfriend. Mine has already croaked for this season, and I swear, I'm not wasting my money on it again.

Congrats on getting it to grow, as it is out of its zone totally when it gets below Zone 8. You must be doing something right.

Marcia

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 11:43AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

OK - I got up off my lazy behind & went & looked @ the tags - It's Provence Lavender - 'intermedia'.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:22PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Thanks for looking that up, Carol. I was able to find it on several interesting websites. It is one of a group of lavenders called lavandins, which are hybrids of English lavenders and French lavenders. That explains why yours is a French lavender but has the smooth leaves of an English lavender. It looks beautiful. There are several lavindins out there, all of which are sterile, apparently, and propagated from cuttings rather than seed.

I am thinking of ordering one of these. I've never seen it in local stores, but since yours is doing well for you, it would be worth a shot at getting one online and trying it out.

I visited several sites and read some conflicting info. One site said it was the ONLY lavender they like for cooking uses, and another one said it was NOT used for cooking ever. Go figger. But I don't usually cook with it anyway. I just want the LOOK of it in my yard or herb garden.

Thanks again for getting that info. I'm excited to know about it, and to finally understand what lavandins are, a term I had heard before, but never knew the meaning of.

Here is one of the better pages I found with lots of general lavender information on many varieties.

Marcia

Here is a link that might be useful: Lavender Website

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 1:07PM
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oldhousefan

For what it's worth- I have several "Provence" plants that have done well for the past two years. They are planted in full sun- southern exposure. They took a good amount of water to get established, but have lived through last summer and this past winter. I've also planted spanish lavender this spring and it seems to be doing fine thus far.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 1:35PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Nice legwork, manature - very interesting info - thank you 2 = )

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 1:22PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Thanks, Carol. I found it interesting and informative, and I know a bit more about lavenders than I did before. Now if I could just GROW one. But since you and Oldhousefan have had luck with this lavandin, I may have to give it a try. I'm sure not having any luck with lavandula angustifolia or l. dentata. May as well try the hybrids.

Marcia

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 1:28PM
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imagardener2(9-10)

I would like to grow lavender too but heard it doesn't do well in Florida. Interesting posts have me re-thinking.

But why does rosemary do well here? Seems like the same kind of plant.

Denise

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 7:43PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

I have very limited success with rosemary, too. I've never grown one in ground that looked good.

Marcia

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 9:59PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I've 2 rosemary plants in the ground & both are doing fine - I think they like sandy, alkaline soil & full sun best - I had 1 in a moist partially shaded area near my oak tree & it languished until I moved it.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 2:49PM
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imagardener2(9-10)

I went looking to see what lavender was available and it is a little confusing because no one labels theirs quite the same.

My reading turned up the fact that the "lavandin" most likely to grow in Florida is an hybrid not grown from seed because it's sterile, so propagation is vegetative (cutting or division). Darn.

Yes my rosemary bush is flourishing with no attention from me so maybe I can grow lavender too.

Found some at Seminole Springs but I need to get more stuff planted in the ground before ordering anything new. Really.

Denise

Here is a link that might be useful: Seminole Springs Rose & herb farm

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 5:47PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

Yeah, that info on the lavandins is also at the link I provided in my posts above. Very interesting. All of them are hybrids and sterile.

Carol, if you are growing healthy lavender AND healthy rosemary, then you must have a perfect spot for that type of plant, as I think the growing requirements would be similar. I apparently have soil that's too rich, too much shade, too much water, and every other thing they don't like. That's why I've tried growing them in containers, but that doesn't work well, either.

The fernleaf lavender (lavandula multifida) loves my yard. The others don't. But I'm going to try the lavandin you have and see if it likes it better than the others I've tried.

Marcia

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 9:32PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Oh hey - my 2nd Lavender is 1 of those 'Bonnie Best' plants from either Target or Home Depot - 1st came from an independent local grower: "My Mother's Garden"(I think that's the name)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 10:22AM
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