Was planting lavender as a perrenial a huge mistake?

casmith_epApril 18, 2010

I planted about 20 Provence lavender as an edging around my garden yesterday--a small plant about every 2 1/2 feet. I thought long and hard about the effect I wanted for the border and mulled over a number of different plant ideas. Decided on lavender when I realized it would be pretty inexpensive on top of having the plant characteristics I wanted. But somehow I neglected to factor in that Provence lavender isn't hardy in zone 4. Apparently good snow cover and the right soil conditions can help, however...

Does anyone think I have a chance?

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Hardiness zones are 5-8; overwinters in warm zones. But, unless you have a really really extreme zone pushing microclimate, I wouldn't be at all hopeful.

The weather in zone 4 has been pretty decent with sun, rain, and some warm temps so far this spring - do you see any signs of life yet?

Lavender is lovely, but the Nepetas give the grey foliage with long lasting lavender-blue flower spikes. Nepetas don't disappoint and don't seem to miss a beat with whatever a Minnesota winter throws at them.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 11:07AM
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Thanks, Duluthinbloom. Walker's low netpa was actually my first choice, but I couldn't find it anywhere this early in the season--so I got impulsive.

Since I just planted the lavender, I won't know anything until next spring... The only thing that gives me slight hope is that some butterfly bush (which isn't necessarily hardy here either)survived last winter. But it was in a pretty sheltered spot.

I think you're right about not getting my hopes up. Thanks for the straight talk.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 11:42AM
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I've never had any luck getting any type of lavender to overwinter.

Too bad too, because I love it!


    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 1:58PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

The only lavender that I have had survive outside over the winter is Mumstead. All others left outside perished in the winter though I have wintered some inside. There is one that will bloom the first year when started from seed, I believe it is 'Lady'. I grew it and 'Hidicote' from seed years ago.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 2:27PM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

I have tried to grow lavender every year. I did get one Munstead to over winter this past winter. It doesn't look great though. There is a new one Cynthia Johnson that is claimed to be hardy in MN. It will be available at the Friends plant sale.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 9:23PM
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I have lavender that overwinters. I am not sure what variety it is. I'm in Winona though. My thyme, sage and parsely generally comes back every year too. Don't lose hope yet!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 3:54PM
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Lavender is iffy here at best, a mass planting of a non-zone hardy plant is almost always a mistake. Lavenders like to go to bed with dry feet in light soil, nothing heavy. So as you have already done the deed and planted them, I would hope for a dry fall and don't water them late in the season. If you bought them cheap enough and you like the way it looks this summer, you may not mind doing it each spring, I have annual borders that I love.

Good luck and enjoy! Helen.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 10:35AM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

I had one I started from seed that overwintered several years in Owatonna (down near Rochester) and so far as I know is still going strong. Unfortunately, I don't recall the variety.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 4:24AM
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peggy_hosta(z4 neSD)

My Munstead is on it's 3rd year in my turn-around garden. This winter, it was covered w/ snow most of the time and looks likeit survived this spring, too.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:35AM
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I've had had 3 plants of 'Hidcote' come back for 4 years so far, although they've never taken off and gotten very big. I'm in Bloomington--my friend in Belle Plaine has a 'Munstead' that is about 3 feet across after 5 years. It's planted in a somewhat sheltered 'L' between her garage and porch, but it's still very windy out there on the prairie!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 9:24AM
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