The Q&A Archives: Lavender

Question: Does lavender need full sun? Wet or dry soil? How high does it grow?

Answer: Lavender (Lavandula) is a small shrubby herb widely cultivated for its fragrant flowers and oils. It is many-branched and somewhat woody. It is a perennial that grows from 1 1/2 to 3 feet high. Smaller varieties are available however, as are taller ones.

The plant thrives best in light and rather dry soils, but will do well almost anywhere. On low or wet land it is more susceptable to winter kill, therefore it is best to mulch it well for winter protection.

It grows slowly, and usually does not flower for a few years after planting. Be patient with it!

By the way, since you don't mention where in New York you live, you should know that most types of lavender are marginally hardy in zone 5, and generally won't grow as a perennial in areas colder than this. The variety of lavender named 'Lady' is reputed to be hardy in zone 5. If you are trying to grow it anywhere colder than NYC that would probably be your best bet. It is available from Burpee at 1-800-888-1447.

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