Ask a Question forum: Wintering young lavender

Views: 292, Replies: 10 » Jump to the end
Name: C B
Munich, Germany (Zone 7b)
LavenderNoob
Nov 11, 2017 8:23 AM CST
Hi all,

I bought some potted lavender in late summer. I have no idea exactly how old the plants are (or what type they are), but they're still pretty small. I have them each in their own 24 cm (approx 3 gallon) pot. I was told that should be enough until spring when I should probably repot them into a larger pot. The pots have great drainage, and they have a good chalky soil-mix.

I live in Germany (according to Wikipedia in a hardiness zone 7), in the city. The plants have been thriving on my south facing balcony, despite its nearly enclosed nature (there are walls on either side and a roof above, but plenty of direct sun). The coldest part of winter gets to lows of about -25 C/-13 F. We haven't hit negative lows yet this year. But we have had a week of solid overcast days.

( Just a quick pre-question question... In the last couple of days, a couple of leaves on some of the plants have started kind of curling and browning. I'm worried I might some how be over watering, but I've been waiting until the soil is dry to the touch. Could this be because of the sudden decrease in sun or am I doing something wrong? )

I've found some pretty conflicting advice on how to care for lavender in winter. Some people say move it inside no matter what, others say it should be fine outside. I would really appreciate some advice. Should I move them inside? Do I need to train them to be inside?

Thanks :)
C
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Nov 11, 2017 8:36 AM CST
Welcome!

Your temperatures of -25C would put you in USDA Zone 5b according to this USDA zone map:

http://planthardiness.ars.usda...

I don't know how much the height of your balcony will affect what the plants experience but it can be a harsher environment than at ground level. Also since the plants are in pots they will experience harsher winter conditions than a plant that is planted in the ground.

Lavenders vary in their hardiness. I've had 'Munstead' lavender survive outdoors here in USDA Zone 4 although eventually one winter killed them. On the other hand I bring my Lavandula dentata indoors for the winter because it is not as hardy. As soon as the temperature starts getting below about -2 or -3C at night I bring it indoors. Often it can go back out again during warm spells and then back in to a sunny windowsill as the weather fluctuates, staying indoors for the rest of the winter once it gets too cold. So not knowing which lavender you have makes it a bit harder to answer your question.

Lavender does OK as a houseplant and you may find it needs more water than you expect. It came as a surprise to me just how thirsty they can be in pots on a sunny windowsill. You may want to check whether yours are curling and browing because of that, although if it's only the oldest leaves then it may be natural ageing. Every so often I cut my lavender back a bit to keep it from getting "leggy".

I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts and experiences.
Name: C B
Munich, Germany (Zone 7b)
LavenderNoob
Nov 11, 2017 8:55 AM CST
Thanks!

The best I can guess is that they are probably Hidcote.

Now I'm curious as to how they decided my area is a zone 7. Many maps are showing this. But those are night time lows that I've recorded myself, so...

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Nov 11, 2017 9:45 AM CST
Hidcote is fairly hardy too. It shouldn't hurt them to bring them indoors to be safe but since you have more than one, why not try both by leaving some out and bringing some in, then you'll know what's best for the future? Although -25C is pretty cold and I don't think I would leave them out in pots in that kind of weather.

Is your balcony high? That may account for the difference in apparent zone, it could be 7 at ground level but colder at balcony level.
Name: C B
Munich, Germany (Zone 7b)
LavenderNoob
Nov 11, 2017 9:51 AM CST
It's the 5th floor, but those are ground level measurements. -25 C is only in the coldest part of winter, and normally only a couple times. My assumption is it only takes once to kill the plant. I find the predictions of our weather to be very off, making it hard to plan, so I'd rather be safe.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Nov 11, 2017 10:30 AM CST
Sue ...

I have one that needs to be either potted up or planted out .. an end-of-season purchase. It is totally root bound ... Smiling

The name of the cultivar is 'Phenomenalâ„¢ Lavender'

https://www.fast-growing-trees...

Night temps have not dropped below freezing ... yet ... Smiling

I'd like to pot it up and leave it outside on the patio. What do you think ? What kind of potting mix should I use ?

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Nov 11, 2017 11:44 AM CST
It's reportedly hardy zones 5-8 so should be OK if the pot is big enough to buffer the temperatures somewhat. For indoor lavenders I've just used regular commercial soilless potting mixes. I've had more problem with them drying out too quickly indoors rather than holding too much moisture. They have seemed to dry out less quickly when outdoors for the summer.

There's some info on Phenomenal (cultivar name 'Niko' - just a quibble but I wish sites like your link would learn to write plant names correctly, the single quotes never go around a TM because it is not recognized as a name) here from Monrovia.

http://www.monrovia.com/plant-...
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
Image
tarev
Nov 11, 2017 11:58 AM CST
Hello LavenderNoob, I would bring that Lavender indoors no matter what. Position in as much light or add more grow lights to keep it warm. Lavenders are typically deadheaded during the cold months and they resume growth in Spring. These plants are happiest with drier set-up and full sun, and very high heat on normal days.

Good luck on your Lavender. I have effectively killed mine several years ago, even with our mild winter conditions here outdoors. That is how I found out how much it cannot take being wet and cold.
Name: C B
Munich, Germany (Zone 7b)
LavenderNoob
Nov 11, 2017 12:07 PM CST
Hi tarev,

Thanks for the advice.

If I have a window sill that gets slightly less sun, but is right above a heater, do you think that might be preferable to the window sill that gets slightly more sun?


I read somewhere that the plants need to be trained to be indoors. Should I be doing that or can they handle being brought in cold turkey? Remembering of course that there's been no sun this week anyway.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Nov 11, 2017 12:55 PM CST
You can bring them in cold turkey, but not put them out cold turkey. I only have the one plant currently and it has a transitional sunroom for the cold but not very cold days. So it will go back and forth between the three places a few times before it comes in for good. The sunniest windowsill would be best. I would say on non-sunny days in winter here the windowsill where mine is is about 15C, the room only gets a little heat as it is not currently used.

Because we have reflective snow for most of the winter the light levels are still fairly high. Mine is currently indoors because of lows around -14C but next week is above freezing during the day so it may go back out again, at least into the sunroom. Just bear in mind that once they have got used to being indoors for more than a few days then you shouldn't put them back outside without a gradual transition.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
RoseBlush1
Nov 11, 2017 7:13 PM CST
Thank you, Sue ... I tip my hat to you.

I'll pot it up tomorrow. I am not going to go out and buy special soil for it, but I can make up a "lean" mix. It's a $2.00 plant. I hope it makes it ... Smiling
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by EscondidoCal and is called "Geranium maderense"