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Xeriscape Gardening: Best lavender?

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3gardeners
Mableton, GA
(Zone 7a)

June 9, 2008
4:12 AM

Post #5074906

Hi. I live in Georgia where it's already 98 degrees with practically 95% humidity, and absolutely no rain! I'm getting rid of as much lawn as I can and I'd like to cover about a 15 X 4 ft. patch with lavender. Can y'all tell me which ones you prefer and which you think will like living in these conditions?

Also, can you suggest a good lavender plant supplier? Our nurseries seem to be all out of it.

I appreciate your help. :-)
fernman23
HENDERSON, NV
(Zone 9a)

June 9, 2008
4:22 AM

Post #5074946

i would ask your nursuries to call when it comes back in...if they are sold out, it would seem the ones they had were a good choice, BUT not neccessarily...i would definitely ask for a call though. I live in the Nevada desert, so I have no humidity except what i create myself~hope somebody in your region has the rest of the answer. I would start with the basics ~~french, or likely English and see if there are any cultivars that are resistant to mildew or problems caused by humidty or damp. Will there be enough room for the plants to have circulation? That is important ~ the sun there will not be a problem likely.
cheers
:Darren
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 9, 2008
4:31 AM

Post #5074969

I'd start by doing some searching and find out which varieties deal better with humidity and higher moisture levels. There are some lavender varieties that will do better in wetter more humid climates than others. Since my climate is not like that, unfortunately I can't advise you on which ones those might be! For most lavenders, even one of your dry years is likely a wetter year than they would really like, if your soil has perfect drainage that can make up for some excess moisture, but if you don't have good drainage that is going to be an additional challenge and will probably lead to them not being successful in the long term.

Also I wouldn't advise planting them at this time of year, the weather is too hot and it'll be very stressful on the plants--every year I decide to ignore my own advice and I plant some things this time of year, and every year my success rate of how many plants survive is much lower than if I plant in the fall or very early spring. I've also found in my own garden that drought tolerant plants can be harder to get established when you plant them in the heat--other plants you can just soak and soak them with water and they'll often make it, but with drought tolerant plants if you soak and soak them, then they wind up with root rot, but if you try to water them less then the heat/transplant shock gets them.
3gardeners
Mableton, GA
(Zone 7a)

June 10, 2008
3:30 AM

Post #5080645

I've been reading a bit and it seems that the Spanish lavender is the most resistant to problems due to humidity. I already bought a few and put them in before this info. search, (typical!) so I think I will remove them and try to work the whole area. I need to try to cut the clay with sand, maybe even gravel, before I try a mass planting. I need plants that are about 2 ft. high and mounding; purple, not white; drought & humidity resistant. Not too much to ask is it? :-)

I love the look of Thyme after Thyme, maybe I'll take a trip there. And the site Crimson Sage has GREAT looking herbs of all sorts. Thanks for that info.
I've been to Purple Haze in WA state, so I'll give them a look as well.
Ya'll have given me some great info. and places to find more. Thanks, DG folks always come through!

ecrane - that is exactly the pattern I'm afraid I will get into!
fernman23
HENDERSON, NV
(Zone 9a)

June 12, 2008
3:12 AM

Post #5090989

I have always planted mine in the spring/summer, as long as there is drainage and you water a godly amount, then fertilize ~but not too soon ! ( a few days to a week )after planting mine have always done ok. I do not want to disagree with ecrane; i am in a different environment Zone is similar, the soil and air totally not.(?) Ecrane, has it broke a hondred degrees there, i am unaware and too lazy to gooogle your town of Dublin ! Sad...anyway I would ask other local nurseries too, 2 feet high is a tough one. all my lavenders hit 3 feet easy.
Frankly~I am surprised how few post replies to this there have been. Must be everyone is outside, LOL !
cheers
:Darren
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 12, 2008
3:32 AM

Post #5091079

We have had one 100 degree heat wave, typically though our temps are in the mid 80's to low 90's. And there's no right or wrong here, different locations and different soils can lead to different results. I think it's pretty universally true that when you plant in hot weather it is more stressful for the plants and they have a harder time getting established, but it's very possible to plant things in the summer and have them do fine (I do it all the time!) It's just the success rate is going to be lower and the amount of effort/attention needed from you is going to be higher if you plant during hot weather, so you improve your odds of success and make things easier on yourself if you can wait until cooler weather.
fernman23
HENDERSON, NV
(Zone 9a)

June 14, 2008
4:44 PM

Post #5103406

yeah, with out having to put energy into flowering they can and will get better root established...no doubt...
darren
:D
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

July 20, 2008
5:35 PM

Post #5290916

3gardeners - if you just add sand to clay, you will get brick hard soil when it dries. I know, because I have done it! It is suggested that organic matter added to the mix, buy experts, but I have found when planting drought tolerant plants that adding perlite, and organic matters works best for me, it would be OK to add sand to that.

Also, the items for fertilizing from High Country Gardens. They can be used at planting time, they are formulated for drought tolerant plants, and they do not "burn" the plants.

Now about that humidity! I remember one cold wet spring. I ordered at least a dozen lavenders. I kept them in my shed, hoping for better weather soon, and guess what? The moisture got to them and I ended up losing them all. One fall, I sowed some Lavendula angustifolia seed, and left them outside,through the winter, including snow, though covered with flats, and several sprouted, and did quite well. I didn't have to worry about acclimatizing them. I have tried Spanish Lavender here, and they were not hardy enough during the winter, but maybe where you live the winters might be milder.

My 2 cents worth

Evelyn
3gardeners
Mableton, GA
(Zone 7a)

July 20, 2008
6:38 PM

Post #5291162

Thanks everyone. Looks like I'm either going to skip it, or add a lot of finger crossing!
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

July 20, 2008
11:51 PM

Post #5292678

I will be happy to send you some white lavender to try. don't give up!

Evelyn
fernman23
HENDERSON, NV
(Zone 9a)

July 22, 2008
3:01 AM

Post #5299652

Good call on the Sand Evelyn, i do not have enough experiance with clay to that degree. I helped a friend in GA set up her aplms and a few opther plants and they did ok but we did add soil and mulch too as well as sand to the clay~
nuf from me, ;) and never give up!
:Darren
dparsons01
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7b)

April 28, 2009
8:29 PM

Post #6476170

I realize this is old, but I would look at the English lavenders as opposed to Spanish or Frence. Reasoning is that England is a wetter country.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 29, 2009
1:24 AM

Post #6477498

Contrary to what you would think because of its common name, English lavender is not native to England, it's a Mediterranean native as are the Spanish and French lavenders. Spanish lavender (L. stoechas) is supposed to be a bit more water/humidity tolerant than English and French lavender so it's probably a better choice.
fernman23
HENDERSON, NV
(Zone 9a)

April 29, 2009
4:12 PM

Post #6479774

French lavender has survived here in the dry heat, and sandy soil ~ we've very low clay content though, but it lives on thru the 110 summers...
:D
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

June 3, 2009
6:50 PM

Post #6637032

I do have a few French lavenders, though small, they look great and have survived the winters here, including snow.

What is nice about them is that they do not require constant pruning, as some of the larger lavenders. I have found through experience, that L. angustifolia (regular English Lavender), will get "leggy" if not pruned right after flowering. I had a huge one, sitting on a clay hill, and it barely bloomed, compared to all the rest, so out it went. I always amend the soil for them and other plants, but the longer they live, clay takes over if not cultivated frequently. This one was quite a few years old, and was very nice at first.

So, since I have several types of lavenders still alive, even in some neglectful seasons, they do live on. If you don't mind pruning at least 3 times in the spring-summer season, and once in the fall, the nicer named varieties do well. If I were you, I would try some of the sma,,er plants to start, rather than investing in larger plants that may not survive. Also, if you buy from a nursery, take a look at their roots in the pots. If they are brown, don't even buy them, but if they have white strong roots, those are the ones that have a better chance of survival, even if they are slightly pot-bound.

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