Winter hardiness of Lavendar with dry winds?

OregonEdFebruary 26, 2014

Hello all-

My wife would like to plant lavender in our backyard. I know it grows fine in Oregon (we have picked it at the various u-pick farms around Portland).

How does it stand up to the dry winter winds in Portland? My yard is on a hill and can get bad east winter winds. This is my first year in this home so I don't know if this winter's winds were normal or worse than normal, but it was pretty bad.

The cold dry east winds this year have broken most of my fern's leaves and ripped off evergreen shrubs' leaves.

Will the lavender get dessicated and damaged too? If so, how does it recover?)

Thanks, Ed

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

What you want for these is full sun and good drainage on a lean soil. You also need to select cold-tolerant kinds as well as ones that are not prone to fungal die-back. Even then annual shearing from early in the life of the planting may be needed to maintain a tidy appearance.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:08PM
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bbiy, thanks for replying!

I've got full sun and good drainage (the backyard i on a mild slope and doesn't collect water). Do you recommend any varieties for the I-5 corridor area?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:12PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

See what local vendors have a little later, after the season is more advanced. If labeling doesn't say ask employees about hardiness and disease resistance. Shop at independent outlets so there is better selection and information than at box store plant departments.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 3:13PM
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Avoid the Spanish lavender types (L. stoechas) - these are less hardy and more prone to fungal issues. Any cultivar of Lavandula angustifolia or the x intermedia hybrids should work fine for you.

What bboy said is very important - full sun and excellent drainage are key. Since lavender is often recommended for seaside plantings it can take wind. And it is essential to keep lavenders pruned back on an annual basis to keep the plant dense and tidy.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 5:18PM
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Not sure how much help this is, but the patch of lavender that came with our house took moderate damage back in early December when temperatures were in the single digits twice and in the teens for a few additional mornings. That said, it's still alive and will probably come back fine. I wish that I could be more helpful with a cultivar name. If you purchase a one of the hardier cultivars, you should be fine. Portland's winters aren't as bad as ours.

If you're one of us unlucky folks who have thick clay, you might want to consider building a small berm (maybe 6" in height) to keep winter and spring rain from pooling around the crown.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 5:50PM
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George Three LLC

where are you in Portland? if you get bad east wind, you are probably on columbia flood plain soil, which is pretty great for lavender. gravelly loam.

do you have enough space for a windbreak?

portland nursery usually has a decent selection, and if you call them, they could probably just put an order in. garden fever is really great about custom orders. joycreek has a zillion varieties, but you might want to call to see what is growing best right now.

Here is a link that might be useful: lavender sheet from portland nursery.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:54AM
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Good info in the above 3-4 posts. I appreciate it. Thank you!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:56AM
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The lavender in my yard in north central Oregon does just fine. We have cold temps, freezing fog, north winds, and snow and of course hot dry winds in the summer. I've been impressed with all of the reseeding that takes place in my lavender beds.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 9:00PM
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princessgrace79(8 PNW)

I had a big lavender that did die off one winter - built on a fairly windy hill slope. It had made baby lavenders that are still going, however.

I believe the year it died was the year of that awful snowstorm, so it might have just been a freak thing.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 4:37AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I'm in east Multnomah county and very windy my experience follows what gardengal advises. I've lost several of the Spanish lavenders especially the newer ones supposed to bloom longer or repeat and have English lavenders that are a decade old.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 2:22PM
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