Lavendar - Annual? Perennial?

kim0201July 8, 2007

I planted three healthy lavendar plants last year (can't remember the variety) & they did not come back this year. I was sure it was something I did & then I began to question if the variety I planted might not be annual. I always thought of lavendar as a very hardy perennial until I recently saw some lavendar w/ tags marked annual at a Home Depot nursey. Do you know if there are annual varieties? Would love to try them again, but may have to rethink the location in my yard. Thanks so much.

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granite(z6 NC)

Lavender is perennial, but some varieties are tender and would not have overwintered. What is your growing zone? French and Sweet Lavender as well as a number of the Spanish lavenders do not overwinter here. The English lavenders as well as Grosso and Provence do well here in zone 6b.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 2:25PM
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kim0201

Hi Granite: According to Arborday.org, my zone is 6-7. Perhaps I'll go w/ zone 6 to be safe. I notice you are in zone 6b. What does the 'b' represent?

My mother is in the same zone & has lavender growing lushly. I'm also wondering if my soil didn't drain well. I may try again & amend the soil as it's very claylike in the spot I placed the plants last year.

Thank you for responding.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 4:41PM
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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

All lavenders are perennials, but they can be short-lived - they are best replaced after 5-7 years, though of course some do break the rules!

If it dies in winter, it dies of cold, not because it's anything but a perennial. It's just in the wrong place for it.

'Perennial' is a botanical classification, based on a plant's behaviour in its natural habitat. It is not a description of a plant's behaviour in a particular climate.

You can say, however, that 'a plant is TREATED AS as (perennial, annual, biennial) in a particular climate'.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 6:23PM
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kim0201

Thanks Daisy. That's a good explanation. I'm going to try growing lavender again & will definitely pay better attention to the details. I think it's just too lovely of a plant to NOT work at having some in my own garden.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 8:02PM
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tas123(z5 MI)

I tried for years to get lavender to overwinter in clayish soil without success. It really needs good drainage. Once I changed the environment and used cultivars rated for colder areas, I had much better success.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 5:06PM
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kim0201

Thanks for the encouragement tas123. I think lavender will be worth the effort once I get it established.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 9:36PM
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granite(z6 NC)

Kim0201, some of the zoning maps split the zones into "a" (cooler) and "b" (warmer) sections within the zone. My area of the mountains on some maps is listed as zone 7, in others as zone 6, and in the more detailed maps as a zone 6b. The elevation here makes for a cooler climate at night and earlier/longer/cooler winters than a traditional zone 7.

The soil here is red clay. I planted my original lavender bushes on either side of a gravel walkway in 1996. The original bushes are still there, although they are very woody and unruly now so I will be in the process of replacing them with younger plants over the next year or so. I have lavender spread all over the yard now, children of the original plants. The varieties that did not overwinter well here are: Silver leaf, Goodwin Creek, Sweet, French. The most prolific bloomers of the many, many varieties I've grown here are Provence and Grosso; both are intermediate lavendulas that mature into 4-6' size bushes.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 9:49AM
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vera_eastern_wa(5a-5b)

Also try 'Munstead', 'Lady' and 'Vera'
These work great for me here

Vera

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 12:34PM
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betzie_fab

Not having Lavendar before, when do you clip the dried flower stalks? Can they be used for popourie (sp)? We love the scent when they are in flower - so do the bees!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 12:06PM
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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

Harvest the flower stems while they are still at their best, THEN dry them. Once dried, they can be used in many ways - for eating, potpourri, adding to soaps etc.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 6:08PM
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valentinetbear(z6 PA)

I'm in your same zone, although the other coast. I'm also a container gardener, which tends to change the grounds conditions enough, that I should really consider plants that thrive through zone 3-4's winters, yet, so far, my lavander has survived every winter. Then again, the charts say our winters go down to 0 to -10. The last time it's gone to 0 around here was about 30 years ago. Maybe your zone 6, really does get down to 0.

For my borderline periennials, I put them on our unheated, drafty, indoor front porch. Our heat leaks out to it, so it is like zone 7, sorta. Maybe you can try that. Then again, you can always propagate some each year, and bring the propagated plants in for the winter. That way, worse comes to worse, no need to buy them each year.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 12:23AM
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maifleur01

Just in case you think you are in one zone but grow things from another here is a zone map that the Arbor Day Foundation has done.

Even if your zone has not changed your weather may have.

Some of the lavenders that supposedly live in my zone will not live with the weather. What I could grow 10 years ago it is too dry for now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arbor day zones

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 9:35PM
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seagreen_turtle(Z5 MI)

Hi,
I planted some lavendar last spring and it did well during the summer. I had the impression that it's a tender perennial that would act as an annual in my zone 5 garden so I decided to leave it in a pot and bring it into my kitchen to overwinter.
It has gone dormant (or it's dead). For the life of me I cannot tell which. Anyone know how to tell. the ambient room temp is probably 69 or 70 but it's by a window so may get a chill. I've been watering it once a week (deep soaking) but suspect I'm watering a dead thing (leaves fall off if touched).
Thanks for any information or guesses.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 8:43PM
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