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All you lavender lovers

Posted by Kris 8a DFW (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 13, 05 at 22:42

I'm considering moving a sad little azalea which isn't growing well in a northeast foundation bed that gets morning sun afternoon shade. I was thinking of replacing it with a lavender and I know you all know the best cultivars. I'm new to lavender since we just didn't succeed with them in FL.

I'm in Texas (Dallas area) on the border between zone 8A and 7 (technically in Z8a). This summer highs reached into the low 100's regularly (record high here is 115) and we get droughts. We have heavy clay (that I will ammend) that is calcerous alkaline. I'm growing a hidecote blue in the black and sweet lavendar (lavendula heterophilia) in the back garden, and the sweet lavander has nearly doubled since july (the hidecote is new).

I would love a magestic lavender that will grow large and tall with nice form and flowers that would be noticable from the street-lavendar fits that right?.

So give me your best suggestions :)

Thanks everyone.

Kristi


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: All you lavender lovers

Lavandula intermedia 'Grosso' or 'Dutch Mill' fronted with Lavandula angustifolia 'Blue Cushion'. Pop in some L.a. 'Alba' and L.a. 'Rosea' to add color other than blue. All are very long blooming, not finicky, hold their shape well, will take the afternoon shade, and are maintenance free.

The L. intermedias in bloom will be about 5' tall in your zone. The L. angustifolias will be about 2'. They could all get taller if they are in full sun.

'Grosso' has a bit darker flowering than 'Dutch Mill' and is a bit more robust. I like 'Dutch Mill' for the bit lighter foliage when combining with other lavs.

Check the University of Deleware website. They are lav afficianados. To buy, nothing beats Papa Genos by mailorder.

Martie


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RE: All you lavender lovers

English Lavander (Lavandula augustifolia) will get large in afternoon shade... I just cut my monster back to the ground and it's already sprouting new growth.


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RE: All you lavender lovers

  • Posted by Kris 8b DFW (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 15, 05 at 19:26

MartieInCt, Thank you so much, that's fabulous info. Dutch Mill is really pretty from the pictures I looked at I see what you mean about the coloration differences, very nice. We have a pretty good nursury, so I'll check their first but papa genos sounds great-and I could buy alpine strawberries. That U Deleware site is great, thanks. I haden't even thought about fronting the lavender or throwing in the different colored ones that sounds so pretty, I may have to make more space.

Westell, thanks for the heads up, I think that 1/2 a day of sun is a gift here to plants, full sun is just brutal to most except the very hardy (mostly mexican plants ;), so maybe they will grow full sized even with half day sun here. The sun seems so much stronger here than it was even in FL even though in FL I was in a warmer zone.

Thanks so much!


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RE: All you lavender lovers

Kris: We have the same problem with the sun... it's way too hot for afternoon sun for many plants that say "full sun".


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RE: All you lavender lovers

Someone please kick me and remind me that not everyone lives in Z6 :-)

Kris, make the room. I got hooked on lavs when I saw a mixed bed and breathed in. I have L.i. 'Provence' planted in a drift outside our bedroom window. When we bought the house it was the only immediate gardening thing that popped in my head. Everything else is fair game, but they won't be moved.

Westelle, by trial and far more error, I've learned that the L.a. varieties behave very differently than their granddaddy. There's nothing like a true English in full bloom, but I'd hate for anyone to expect the same size from all L.a. varieties. After yanking a few to many healthy plants because of size, I caught on quickly :-)

BTW: There is a burgeoning lav growing industry going on in CT and MA. An incredible group of people, really smart and business savvy. Darn good gardeners as well.

Martie -- lost in Lavenderland


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RE: All you lavender lovers

Any suggestions on Propagating your lavenders?? I like to try to root everything I get!
Weldon


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RE: All you lavender lovers

I prop most of the year, but particularly in August here in Z6. This allows the lavs to get a good start outside. They are then moved under lights when it gets frosty. The only lavs I've had absolutely no success with are the Lavandula multifida (Fernleaf) which is just as well -- I still can't get used to the smell.

Take soft stem cuttings about 4" long. Strip the last 1.5". LIGHTLY dip in willow juice or other rooting hormone. Stick in at least 2" seed/rooting soil mixed with a bit of course sand.

I usually do this in large trays with holes in the bottom. I support the trays with bricks on either end and put the whole shebang in anyother tray to catch water. This allows the runnoff to provide just enough air moisture to root, but doesn't allow for any standing water.

Pot up when the trays start to get crowded. A lot of folks lose babies because they pot up too soon. Or even better yet, plant directly into the garden.

Enjoy!! and expect some absolute failures. They make the successes that much more sweet!

Martie


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RE: All you lavender lovers

  • Posted by Kris 8b DFW (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 17, 05 at 22:46

Oh, that bedroom window idea was just too cruel, now I'm gonna have to make a lavender bed, that sounds wonderful!

I didn't expect to like lavender so much, though I'm also not a fan of fernleaf-I didn't realize the differences when I was buying it, It's about to bloom and I'll see, but if it doesnt make the winter I don't think I'll cry about it.

Are 'Dutch Mill' and 'Dutch' the same.

I found this site the other day that discusses a couple methods of propagating, course I have no personal experience but I thought the kitty litter method was interesting. I didn't know that could be a growing medium.


HREF=http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/staff/jmdavis/lav.html>NC State Lavender Page


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RE: All you lavender lovers

Kris:

I wish I could answer if 'Dutch Mill' and 'Dutch' are the same. Common names continually confuse the plant world.

It depends on how reputable the grower is. If someone has both listed, count on them being cousins. If you are looking at two different sources, it could be the same.

I've noticed lately that 'Dutch' is being used more and more to describe the overall species of L. x intermedia. Best answer??? -- If you're not holding the plants in your hands, stick with a source you can trust to get what you want.

Martie


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RE: All you lavender lovers

I wouldn't say lavender is "maintainence free"...if you want to keep a good shape and prevent the center from dying out/getting too woody (before it's time), the wands should be harvested and remaining shrub pruned back into foliage at least 2-4". In my zone I'll get a flush of new growth and re-bloom in fall and will not prune again until spring above the 'wood'.
I put in a 5" 'Grosso' June of 95' and the plant has more than doubled in size this year...with wands about 3x2.5 (the wands made up most of that height).
Lavender 'Munstead' was all seed started December of 95, planted out (8) 4" plants in March/April and this year I'm even more in love with Lavender that I was before!! Great bloom-and re-bloom from both types. Some variation in the 'Mustead' bloom color...a few plants are deep purple, while a few are more lavender in color. Soil alkaline and generally poor and full sun in zone 5b-6a.
Have also found Lavender summer cuttings easy to root in straight perlite keep moist. Pot up in gritty mix after rooting in 2-3" pots.
Mustead re-bloom
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Early spring transplanted 'Munstead'...was probably the smallest this year, but it bloomed beautifully!
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Thought I had pic's of the 'Grosso' but no such luck!

Vera


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RE: All you lavender lovers

Hello lavender lovers,
Has anyone had experience growing Lavandula multifida from seed? I've purchased live plants & had marvelous luck, but it's rather difficult to find them. I'd like to try starting this lavender from seed next year.
Also, any advice on growing lavender in ACID soil? I just moved from coastal TX to Deep East Texas near the Big Thicket, where the soils are sandy & acidic. Should I sweeten the soil with ag lime first? I've read that lavenders like slightly alkaline soil. Thanks!


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RE: All you lavender lovers

Hello!!

Rather than ag lime, try calcium. It's a bit quicker acting and if you need to add green sand, will adhere a bit better. Better to give it a few light applications rather than all at once.

Zonal jealousy, here :-) Direct sow the seeds in combo green sand, perlite and a bit of potting soil for texture. Treat them like you would any direct-sown annual but if they throw any bloom, make them wait a bit. First year, I wouldn't let them go to seed. Second year, let them self-sow to keep the planting fresh. I do this with hardier L. angustitolias and it works well.

Do you really like the scent of L. multifida?

Martie


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RE: All you lavender lovers

Sounds like Lavandins x.intermedia 'Grosso' would make the best hedge?

"Grosso: A great lavendin for hedges. Grosso is compact and has large flowers held above the foliage. A great lavender for crafts as the scent is held through the drying process. Grosso makes a beautiful casual border to a driveway or perennial bed."

"‘Grosso’, one of the largest growing lavenders; in flower it can reach up to 4 feet high and wide. Good for medicinal and cosmetic uses."
http://www.nwnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6603:lavender-in-the-garden&catid=39:home-a-garden&Itemid=67

How important is it really to amend clay soil with sand (or another drainer) so their roots don't ever get damp and moldy, though? Has anyone grown these well in clay soil - and if so, how?

Here is a link that might be useful: Lavendar hedge


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