Cold Hardy Lavender Plants: Tips On Growing Lavender In Zone 4 Gardens
The following are some tips on how to grow cold hardy lavenders in your garden. These plants will not only survive the winter but they will thrive during it too! They require very little care and provide great results for you and your family. You can start with one plant or several, depending upon what type of soil you have available.
First thing to do is to get yourself a good container for your cold hardy lavender. There are many types of containers out there, but I suggest using plastic pots because they last longer than metal ones and they don’t rot easily. Plastic pots should be at least two feet deep and wide enough so that the roots won’t sink into them when watering. A few inches of pebbles around the bottom helps keep water from getting inside the pot.
If you’re going to use gravel instead, make sure it’s smooth and doesn’t have any sharp edges.
Next, fill the pot with well-draining soil. Fill it about half way up the sides of the pot. Then add a layer of perlite (a kind of fine sand) until you reach the top. Finally, add another layer of soil and then a layer of coarse vermiculite (also known as peat moss).
The coarse vermiculite or peat moss will help keep the soil from getting too wet which can cause the plant to rot. Don’t forget to leave a little hole in the middle for your plant!
Next, bring home your cold hardy lavender plants. Choose plants that are about 4 inches wide and at least 6 inches tall with lots of roots. If you can’t find one, you can always purchase one from a nursery. Be sure the leaves aren’t too brown or crispy looking because that means it isn’t very healthy.
When you get your plant, soak it in a bucket of water for an hour or two before planting.
When you’re ready to plant, gently remove the plant from its original container and place it in the middle of your container. If you’re using a bag or a tray, make a hole in the middle and place the plant inside. Fill in the pot with soil and gently pat it down around the plant. Be careful not to pack it down too tight because you still need room for watering.
Once you’ve finished planting, give it a good watering and then let the water drain out the bottom. If water pools at the top then you need to add more coarse vermiculite or peat moss. Let the soil dry out a bit between waterings but don’t let it turn into a bone dry husk. Cold hardy lavender plants need about one gallon of water per week (less in the winter and more in the warmer months).
Finally, place your plant somewhere that gets a lot of sunlight. These plants do best outside in a well-draining position. They don’t need much fertilizer but if you want to add some, then use something like bone meal or rose tone. Don’t over-fertilize because it can cause too many flowers and make the leaves turn brown.
Also, be careful not to over-water the plant because this will cause the roots to rot and kill the plant.
Cold hardy lavender plants can take a pretty hard frost (even down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit) as long as the soil isn’t frozen solid. If you get a hard frost warning, simply cover the pot with a blanket or some other cloth to insulate it.
Mostly, all you need to do is enjoy that wonderful scent each time you pass by!
You are done!
If you live some place other than the USA, then you will have to do a little research on what types of plants can survive in your climate. This is a fun experiment so don’t worry too much about it. Just get two different kinds and see what happens.
If you don’t want to water the plants yourself, then simply buy a plant that doesn’t need much watering like a cactus!
Sources & references used in this article:
Growing lavender in Colorado by KA Kimbrough, CE Swift – Gardening series. Flowers; no. 7.245, 2009 – mountainscholar.org
Mammoth™ series garden chrysanthemum ‘Lavender Daisy’ by R Kourik – 1998 – Chronicle Books
English Lavender in the Garden by NO Anderson, E Gesick, V Fritz, C Rohwer, S Yao… – …, 2014 – journals.ashs.org
The Lavender Lover’s Handbook: The 100 Most Beautiful and Fragrant Varieties for Growing, Crafting, and Cooking by D Drost, K Cummit – 2020 – digitalcommons.usu.edu
Survival of the most adaptable by SB Bader – 2012 – books.google.com
Herbaceous perennial plants: A treatise on their identification, culture, and garden attributes by P Barrett – 1996 – Storey Publishing
6 The retail lavender nursery by P Del Tredici – Arnoldia, 2000 – JSTOR
Influence of variety and organic cultural practices on yield and essential oil content of lavender and rosemary in interior BC by AM Armitage – 2008 – books.google.com