Help! I can't grow lavender!

Dewey, AZ(Zone 7a)

I want to grow lavender, and have yet to succeed for any length of time. Closest I got was Provence (I think) in a clay pot...lasted almost a year.

What am I doing wrong? I know in some cases I watered it too much, or it didn't get enough sun.

If any of you keep lavender in the ground--as a perennial that stays healthy rather than buying a new one every year--would you advise me on what you do, soil type, and what cultivar you plant?

(I'll post another thread on culinary sage...I have trouble with that one too.)

Thanks in advance!

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

not sure if I'll be much help... My lavender is growing in zone5, full sun.

I bought a bunch yrs ago to plant next to my roses to aid in keeping aphids away.... they are still plugging along.

I've also grown English Lav by seed.... started out small, but now if a nice sized plant.

and i'm the type... plant, water and don't give it another thought....

I'd assume lavender would do well in the south. I've seen it as a perennial up in zone4 also.

Dewey, AZ(Zone 7a)

Thanks,'s our heat that gets it, I think. We get humidity sometimes as high as 98% on a day with 104 temps. But there's gotta be a micro-climate I can create for this stuff! :~)

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, it is the heat and humidity. I managed to keep a lavender plant (unknown cultivar) for two years. I planted it in full sun, in a raised bed and under the eaves of the greenhouse where it received no rain. It never did really thrive and this summer I apparently lost it.

I have read that an herbal garden in New Orleans managed to keep it growing in a raised, fast draining bed. They mulched the bed with white gravel which reflected the heat from the roots.

I like it too but just don't know if it is worth my effort. And my next thought is why the heck do they sell it when it doesn't grow here?!?? Kristi

Dewey, AZ(Zone 7a)

"And my next thought is why the heck do they sell it when it doesn't grow here?!?? Kristi"

In a word: Money.

I will of course give the garden center my money, and like a fool, keep looking for a place to grow lavender--but only because we've moved to this new place and I have to try a few spots to see if this is the Magic Place that will grow it. Heheh. It would be smarter if I just put those $$ to better use on a plant I KNOW will thrive here.

The definition of insanity was once defined as: "Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results." Well, a raised bed and white rock mulch...that's at least a little different. :~)

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

>>And my next thought is why the heck do they sell it when it doesn't grow here?!??

Same thing up north.... yrs ago DH brought home a beautiful Hibiscus. I said... You know that is a tropical??

I had to carry it in and out for 10 yrs before it finally died.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Gave up on lavender, even one supposed to grow in heat, switching to russian sage and Texas everblooming sage. I did have one for awhile but the rottweiler loved it to roll in...

Hemet, CA(Zone 9b)

I also tried for years to grow lavender with no success. Success finally with Grosso. I live in zone 9.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I have loads of lavender, since the deer do not eat it, well except for an occasional flower. However, I have had difficulty with Russian sage and the lavender-blue Teucrium. I have dug them up and brought them into the fenced garden area and see if they improve as they always look smaller than when I purchased them.

I had to actually dig out 3 large lavenders that were taking over the White Flower Garden, as I did not realize their final size. Most of what I grow are the smaller varieties. Some winters are harsh and do damage, but the last two have been mild. There is no telling what this winter will bring.

I have clay soil, but it is amended, though it does not stay that way. I always add perlite and a compost with pine bark fines to give them air space as they do not like to be soggy. Up front, where I rarely water, I have lost one or two there. They do like regular water, especially the first year.

Dewey, AZ(Zone 7a)

The problem here is the humid heat in the summer...things that like their feet dry are okay, because we don't have a lot of rain, but the muggy air makes them very unhappy.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

True - we do have very dry summers here.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Maybe a small raised set , or bed if you prefer , in a partial shade ? Mine grows here next to the driveway ,, hot, dry. lays over some times , but grows ..

New Bern, NC

Do you cut your lavender back for winter? Mine seems to die at the bottom which makes the plant huge but unattractive. I'm thinking of cutting it back for winter. We live in North Carolina coastal area.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Yes I've cut mine back , I get a taller plant learning how to take the dead branches or pruning in the spring ..
Last time I cut it back in the fall , I got a shorter plant the following spring ..

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I prune mine in the spring. There are always dead branches in there. maybe I will prune some in fall, just to see how small they will be.

I know that the same holds true for santolina. They are much smaller pruned in fall...sometimes I want them to be smaller, but I forget or don't have time to prune them then.

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