Some Lavender Varieties to Consider

lavender for sale

 How many of varieties of lavender are there?  According to the folks at Kew Gardens in England, there are over 400.  Those of us in climates with winters where the temperatures plummet below freezing have a much more limited selection.  The 3 most common ones I see for sale are:

 L. angustifolia    Often called ‘English Lavender’

L. angustifolia ‘Hidcote’

L. angustifolia ‘Munstead’   One of the most winter hardy but needs good pruning to keep in shape.

 These varieties have good winter hardiness but are often started from seed and may not look identical if you buy several plants to put in a row.

 A project to study winter survival of lavender at the Simcoe Research Station in Ontario and headed by Sean Westerveld and Cathy Bakker.  Survival can depend on how bad your winter was and this past 2013 – 2014 we had a very severe winter and many varieties that would have survived a normal winter, did not have a chance this winter.  The 3 varieties that have done the best over the last 4 years are:

 L. angustifolia ‘Folgate’

L. angustifolia ‘Royal Purple’

L. angustifolia ‘Royal Velvet’

 A pretty white variety, L. angustifolia ‘Melissa’ has done well over the 4 years and particularly well in a milder winter.  A variety that has just been added to the trial and did well last winter was L. angustifolia ‘Pink Perfume’.  I have it in my own garden and it is a pretty pale pink with nice long stems for making lavender wands.

 Finally, there is a new variety that has only been on the market a couple of years called ‘Phenomenal’.  It is supposed to be very winter hardy and a beautiful plant.  Some of our lavender farms are planting quite a few of these this year, so we’ll see how it does up here.  I ordered one from Gardenimport and the flowers are a beautiful dark purple but my plant is quite young yet.

 If you are going to plant some lavender this year, do it sooner rather than later and it will have a better chance of surviving this winter.

Enjoy your lavender!

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