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November 17, 2018

QuestionI have a lavender plant in a large pot with amended soil in a large pot.  The last three years I feared for its survival during the winter months.  Shall I put it in garage, in house if I keep thermostat at 68 degrees F, or leave it outside?  This week, I saw a kit to grow lavender indoors.  Nothing is planted until customer takes the box and terra-cotta pot home.  Would it survive if thermostat at 75 degrees in house?


AnswerLavender is not the easiest plant for home gardeners in the hot, humid south during the summer months, but it usually does quite well over the winter, provided the soil is well-drained.  If your container is large enough to protect the roots from freezing, and is not a terra cotta pot which will break apart if exposed to freezing and thawing, then I would leave it outside where it is.  The pot could also be moved to a more protected spot. I often move marginal potted plants between the foundation of my house and the shrubs.  If you want to try an indoor new plant, put it in the sunniest and coolest room of your house. 


October 2012

QuestionI have a lovely lavender bush that has been growing and looking very healthy until recently and now parts of it look like "dried lavender." I cut off the dried looking part, but the problem seems to be spreading. Do you have any guesses as to what is causing this and how to fix it before the whole plant is gone?


AnswerLavender is one of those plants that thrives in drier seasons, and struggles in damp, hot and humid ones, especially if the drainage isn't great or if you have a sprinkler system which hits it regularly. Raised beds and rocky, poor soils tend to be better than highly amended, rich sites. Cut out the damaged parts and get it through the winter. Then prune it back by 1/3 to 1/2 before new growth kicks in next spring and see what happens. It tends to do better in poor soils which are not heavily fertilized or watered.


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