Growing lavender in highly humid conditions

sunshine100April 29, 2006

I live in Jacksonville, Florida where the average relative humidity in the summer months is about 89% to 90%. I hear lavender plants hate humidity. Should I grow it indoors in an effort to control the humidity? Does it make a difference? I dont have a device to measure humidity indoors but Im thinking it should be lower than outside especially with central airconditioning indoors.

I just bought my plants recently and they are just a few inches tall. Also if I put them indoors in summer how often should I water them? And how much? Ive potted them in containers with a potting soil mix I got from a nursery(I think its called Fafard's )... how can I tell if it drains well? I also fertilized with miracle gro.

As anyone can tell I know very little about plants and I just hope I dont end up killing them even before they ve had a chance to bloom for me. Any help will be appreciated!

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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

Be comforted and assured. I live in the subtropics of Queensland, Australia, where the sun is fierce, and the humidity in summer is extremely high. I have no trouble at all growing lavender, or any other of the 'Mediterranean' herbs. In fact, they grow extremely well in these conditions, can even take our torrential downpours, during which my little garden can take on the appearance of a swimming pool.

As long as you provide good drainage, you'll be right to put your darlings out into the garden. A raised bed will ensure that.

How often to water? How long is a piece of string? Do the finger test. Poke your forefinger as deep as it will go into the soil a short distance (a hand-span?) from the base of the plant. If the tip of your finger detects moisture, no water is needed. If it's dry, give the plant a drink.

While your plants are still in their infancy, protect them from winds and extremes of afternoon sun. Putting another larger plant nearby will do the job, whether in a pot or in the ground. Lavender will stay small for a year or so, then suddenly have a growth spurt, and when that happens, you can pretty much leave it to its own devices. Just a little prune from time to time to stop it from getting straggly.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 3:37AM
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sunshine100

Thanks Daisy! I feel really comforted to know that you can grow them in these conditions!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 12:41PM
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drewsmaga

I lived in Orange Park for 10 years before moving here to Houston last fall (same zone so I still read the FL Garden forum!) I was a FL MG for 9 yrs. and for our herb demo garden, we ALWAYS bought plants from Maggie's herbs. I had a GORGEOUS never-babied lavender in my yard from Maggies for 7 yrs. but I don't remeber the cultivar. Maggie's grows herbs that do fantastically locally -- like the lavender I had there. Maggie's is in St. John's Co. on highway 13, s. of 16, past Piccolata. I couldn't give you directions, but I still have the phone #. Really, that is the BEST place to buy anything you want to have thrive in that tri-county area. The # is 829-0722.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 1:37AM
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rivers1202(Z8a South Carolina)

I've had 2 lavender plants out in my garden for nearly 3 years now, and they do just fine in our extremely humid climate. Forgive me for not remembering their names at the moment. One is Munstead, but the name of the other escapes me. Both of them are thriving and they bloom their little heads off...the scent is heavenly.

I planted them a bit higher than the rest of the plants in the same bed...mixed pea gravel in with the soil in the planting holes, and I also mulch them with pea gravel. The pea gravel assists with drainage.
You shouldn't have any problems growing them outside in the garden. The only advice I can really offer is to resist the urge to water them as often as you might water other plants in your garden (check the soil for moisture first, as the other poster suggested)...and don't baby them. I've never done a thing to mine except cut back a bit of dead foliage every now and then, and I cut back the wands after the blooms have faded.
Good Luck with your lavender!
Renee

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 4:46AM
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bekados(z9a--NW FL)

I had beautiful lavender in Pensacola, but it couldn't survive the hurricanes. For drainage, I dig out all the soil and replace it almost completely with gravel. A variety that does extremely well z8-9 is spanish lavender. My mother has one at least 2 ft tall in z8b.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 8:56AM
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sunshine100

Thanks so much for all the advice. Im going to resist the urge to baby them!
Drewsmaga, THanks for the tip! im going to check out Maggies... sounds good!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 6:44PM
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youngcook

I have never grown it before. Humidity is high here in GA too. Teach me.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 1:08PM
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