difficulty with lavender

sullivjoJuly 29, 2013

I have never had luck growing lavender in my garden or in a pot. It always does this thing where it gradually turns brown and dies one stem at a time. My guess is too much water. What is the best way to tell when lavender needs water, or does it never really need water? I love the smell, flavor, and its ability to attract bees. Are there any lavender better suited for a humid climate? I live in northwest Philadelphia, which is zone 6b. My garden is full sun, with reflective heat, and frequent breeze, although we get quite hot and humid. We also get once or twice a week downpours in the summer.

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azaleaphile(z7 MD)

Lavender needs really good drainage. I usually mix small gravel (chicken grit, to be precise) into the soil where it is going to be planted. I also rarely water my lavender, except during the first season after planting. No guarantees though..... it's just not the right climate here. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 5:55PM
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There is a lavender farm in central Monmouth County, NJ where they have grown about 20 varieties of lavender. If it can be grown here in central NJ, I don't see why it would not also succeed in the Philly area. They did sustain damage in last summer's heat and then Sandy, so are renovating their fields, but you might want to consider a visit - very nice people who might be able to recommend some varieties more tolerant of our climate. And, yes, they do require excellent drainage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pleasant Valley Lavender

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:16PM
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As stated above, Lavender needs good drainage, and benefits from shearing during/after bloom. My best specimen grows out of a stone wall and the stem looks tortured.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 11:01PM
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