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Lavender Spotlight

Category: Plant Spotlight | Posted by: Mike Forste


(Lavandula x intermedia) Zone 5-10

English Lavender Hybrids that bloom later than straight species lavenders and have a higher essential oil content. They have large, gray-green leaves and are known for their speedy growth and strong fragrance.


(2.5’ x 4’) best humidity tolerance and exceptional cold hardiness. Also, one of the better lavenders to attract pollinators (try lavender honey!)


(1.5’ x 2.5’) a bit shorter than phenomenal, but basically all the same attributes. Silvery foliage is topped by large, dense purple flower spikes. With a compact, dense habit and notable durability for sun, heat, and humidity, as well as cold tolerance, Sensational stands apart from many traditional Lavender varieties. A favorite of honeybees, these fragrant flowers will attract a wide range of pollinators.


(3’ x 3’) is one of the tallest of the lavandins. It gets its cultivar name from the area in southeastern France adjacent to the Mediterranean and Italy (Provence) where it is commercially grown in large plantings for the perfume industry. Flowers and foliage are heavily scented. This a mounded, shrubby cultivar that typically grows to 30-36” tall. It features fragrant light lavender flowers in summer on upright stems clad with aromatic silver-gray foliage.


(2.5’ x 4’) this selection is actually a French lavender hybrid grown for its fragrant dark blue flower spikes and vigorous growth habit. With nice wide gray-green foliage, it is a large grower and blooms heavily providing an ample harvest of flowers for lavender wands, sachets, and culinary use. This is an outstanding honeybee plant providing mid-summer flowers after the English lavender finishes flowering in early summer. ‘Grosso’ has good cold hardiness for a French hybrid and thrives in zone 6 winters in well-drained soils.

English Lavender

(Lavandula angustifolia) Zone 5-8

(These varieties are considered THE MOST cold hardy)

Small, tight flower clusters, that bloom in the early part of the season, set against blue-green leaves. These hardy lavenders perform well for northern gardeners, overwintering to zone 5. Those gardening in colder zones will need to rely on a warmer microclimate within their garden beds to ensure the plants’ survival.

Despite its common name, it is not in fact native to England, but comes primarily from the Mediterranean region. It was reportedly named English lavender because of its ability to grow well in the English climate.


(1.5’ x 1.5’) a compact, early-flowering English lavender cultivar that was first introduced into commerce in 1916. It is a semi-woody perennial that typically grows to 12-18” tall and as wide. Lavender blue flowers appear in terminal spikes in late spring well into summer. Munstead’ was reportedly named for Munstead Woods in England where the plant was grown by garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.


(1.5’ x 2’) a compact mounded form typically growing to 20” tall and featuring deep purple-blue flowers and gray foliage. May be kept dense with regular pruning.

French Lavender

(Lavandula dentata) Zone 5-10

well-suited to milder climates without the scare of harsh winters, French lavenders are ornamental plants known for their needle-like, toothed leaves (hence their Latin name – dentata). Their fragrance is lighter than the perfumy English varieties. These plants work well in fast-draining containers and rock gardens, and add a good dose of beauty when lining walkway and entry paths. They prefer full sun and gritty soil.

‘Goodwin Creek’

(1.5’ x 1.5’) is both fragrant and compact, with silver leaves that contrast wonderfully with its deep purple blooms. It looks great by itself in a container, but you can also pair it with creeping thyme or other drought-tolerant herbs and annuals.

Spanish Lavender

(Lavandula stoeches) Zone 7-10

Have silvery leaves and larger flowers with bigger, pine-cone-shaped petals at the top. The flowers alone are quite eye-catching. Carrying a eucalyptus fragrance, Spanish lavenders can tolerate a bit more humidity than most of their relatives. Popular as focal points in courtyard and small-space gardens, Spanish lavenders take well to containers and stylized pruning.

Fernleaf Lavender

(Lavandula pinnata) Zone 9-10

This is a compact, bushy, fine-leaf shrub that should be treated as an annual in our area. It has silvery-gray-green foliage with deep purple bloom spikes that sit high above the foliage. Fantastic scent


Susceptible to leaf spot and root rot. Plants may not survive in winter if soils are not well-drained and/or if temperatures dip below zero degrees without protective snow cover.


This is a versatile garden perennial that should be considered for a wide variety of uses and not just relegated to a corner of the herb garden. The flowers and green-gray leaves provide mid-summer color and contrast to the perennial border front, rock garden, herb garden or scented garden. Can be particularly effective when massed. Also effective as an edger or low hedge in some areas.

Genus name comes from the Latin word lavo meaning I wash in reference to a former use of the plant as an aromatic wash.

To combat high humidity, consider using rock instead of organic mulch. English lavender has slightly better winter hardiness than lavandin



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