One of our readers sent us a question asking about the best lavender to grow in our climate.
The most hardy lavender for Ontario gardens is Lavandula angustifolia (English lavender), hardy to zone 5. Lavender Hidcote is one of the better performing English lavenders. The colour is outstanding , the scent is wonderful, it attracts pollinators and it is deer resistant. Another hybrid lavender to try is Sweet Romance. It was recently recommended by Mark Cullen (Toronto Star, Saturday, July 30, 2022) who suggested that it will provide blooms through summer and into late fall
Growing lavender can be a challenge. You can have a few good years and then suddenly your plants will die, often because of a a very cold winter or from lack of good insulation from a snow cover. There are a few things to keep in mind if you do decide to grow lavender.
Lavender grows best in well drained slightly alkaline soil and is not tolerant of excessive soil moisture or humidity. Good air cirulation is a must. Mulching with pebbles or sand around the base of the plant is a good idea. Plant lavendar where it will have some protection from harsh winter winds and remember, lavender loves the sun.
To keep a nice rounded shape, lavender plants must be pruned. Prune in the spring once green growth is noticed. Prune up to 1/3 the branch length. Do not prune in the fall as this may kill your lavender plant.