Lavender is a Mediterranean evergreen shrub, grown for its fragrant leaves and bee-friendly flowers. They adore the sun and can thrive in poor soil. However, as autumn approaches and the weather becomes colder and more extreme, chilling lavender may be necessary. Chilling a plant will give it a chance to survive especially cold temperatures and harsh conditions like strong winds and heavy rain. Fortunately, it is not difficult to chill ready lavender for a healthy plant during the spring and summer months.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Daniel Carruthers, Director of Sales at Cultivar Greenhouses and Garden Street’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Holly Jones, said that light pruning is all it takes for lavender plants to survive the winter period ” is important.
Daniel said: “Lavender is generally a low-maintenance plant, but there are a few things you can do to make sure your plant survives the winter.
“Pruning is important to maintain the shape and appearance of your lavender, and although most pruning should be done in spring and early autumn, during the winter you should prune any dead flower stems and generally Appearance should be neat, the goal is to create a mound, strong shape.
“This will ensure the plant does not become woody or fruitful the following season, as well as helping it survive the colder winter months when planted in beds and borders.”
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While she encourages “light” pruning, she stresses that gardeners should avoid “heavy” pruning. Holly said: “Don’t do heavy pruning in winter. Any final pruning should be done no later than late summer or early autumn. Heavy pruning of lavender in winter can weaken the plant, making it vulnerable to other diseases.” Can prevent growing in the season.
Both experts also advise gardeners to remove fallen leaves to prevent lavender from developing “root rot.”
Daniel said: “A lot of organic debris can accumulate in your garden during the winter which can cause problems for your lavender. Although the leaves are often used as a mulch in your garden, they can trap excess moisture.” maintain, and lavender prefers free-draining soil and dry roots.
“It is therefore prudent to remove any excess leaves from around your lavender as this will help ensure the soil drains well, reducing the risk of root rot in the wet months.”
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Holly offers the same instructions: “Wipe up any fallen leaves around lavender because they tend to hold on to excess moisture, which can lead to rot.”
Gardeners should also avoid planting new lavender in winter, as this too can lead to root rot. Holly said: “Lavender should ideally be planted in April or May as the soil is warming. Avoid planting lavender in winter, as cold and wet soil causes the plants to rot.
When it comes to watering plants in winter, especially lavender, experts recommend cutting back.
Daniel added: “As a hardy plant, lavenders are drought resistant and enter a state of winter dormancy, which means they won’t need as much water during the winter period. Lavender plants may only need watering every four to six weeks.
“If your lavender is potted rather than planted in a bed or border, its root system is more sensitive to cold weather and frost due to it being above ground. In extremely cold climates, keep your lavender plants indoors for a few days It is best to bring indoors until the cold snap has passed, watering only occasionally over the winter period.
Ideally, winter gardeners should keep their potted lavender somewhere warm, with constant temperatures such as a greenhouse, conservatory or porch.
Holly also agreed with the reduction in watering, adding that if the soil is wet or frosty, watering should be eliminated altogether.
He said: “Reduce watering at the end of the summer. Lavender thrives on dry soil, and rainwater in autumn and winter will be sufficient. Avoid watering if the soil is wet or frosty, as this can rot or damage the roots if the soil freezes.