The lavender is used to the Mediterranean climate, but can also survive our winter. We show what to consider when winterizing lavender. Lavender ( Lavandula ) originally comes from the warm Mediterranean region, where it can be found in mountainous regions or near the coast, depending on the species. The real lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia ) is therefore usually far more resistant to the winter cold than, for example, the broad-leaved spear lavender ( Lavandula latifolia ) or the beautiful potted lavender ( Lavandula stoechas ). In this article, we will explain to you how you can successfully overwinter your lavender in pots and beds.
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Not every type of lavender is hardy and can survive the cold season outside with us unprotected. The most robust kind is the real lavender. This can usually remain in the bed without any problems. In contrast, spear lavender, poppy lavender. are more sensitive to frost and therefore need special protection in winter. If you plant them directly in a tub, they can easily be relocated to a sheltered place in the garden or house.
Cut back before winter?
Regular pruning of lavender is important to prevent the shrub from balding in the long term and to keep the plant compact. However, if it is cut too late in summer, the lavender can no longer ripen in time. The last pruning should therefore take place at the beginning of August at the latest. If frostbite should nevertheless occur in winter, you can remove the dead plant parts the next time you prune in late spring.
How and where does lavender hibernate?
Depending on the type and variety of lavender, overwintering in a pot and/or in the garden bed is possible. We explain to you what you have to consider depending on the cultivation method.
Hibernate lavender in a pot
Frost-sensitive types of lavender (Speiklavender, Schopflavender) are best cultivated in planters. Before the first frost, bring the potted plants inside and place them there in a dry, unheated room. Cellars, garages, greenhouses, or winter gardens are particularly suitable for wintering.
However, if there is no space inside, the parking space in the garden should always be frost-free and partially shaded. A house wall also offers a shield against the wind. As a protective measure against floor frost, you can place the pot on an insulating mat as a base or on styrofoam or wood. Terracotta pots are particularly suitable for wintering as they bind excess moisture and protect the roots from freezing. If the temperatures drop below zero for a long time, the bucket can be placed inside or covered with straw mats as thermal insulation.
Hibernate lavender in the bed
For those species that can be overwintered outdoors – in particular the varieties of real lavender – a sheltered location is of great importance. A layer of brushwood, leaves, or mulch also offers protection from precipitation and cold, as well as from excessive solar radiation. Because the combination of frost and sun can be fatal for lavender. If more water evaporates from the leaves than the plant can absorb from the soil, there is a risk of dehydration even in winter. A cover made of garden fleece or coconut mats, which serve as thermal insulation, also protects against permafrost below -15 ° C.
Watering lavender in winter
Thanks to its long taproot, lavender can supply itself with sufficient water and nutrients from deeper layers of the earth. In winter you only need to water when necessary, when the soil is frost-free and permeable. Otherwise, the roots could be damaged when the water freezes again. In pot cultivation, the lavender needs to be watered more regularly. In the cold months, however, you should only water in moderation and make sure that excess water can drain off. You should absolutely avoid waterlogging because otherwise, the Mediterranean herb tends to rot.
Particularly hardy lavender species and varieties
The varieties of real lavender are particularly robust and tolerate temperatures down to -15 ° C, as long as there is no permafrost. The Speiklavender, for example, is much more sensitive to frost and does not get along particularly well with fluctuating weather conditions. To give you an overview of the variety of lavender, we have put together particularly hardy lavender varieties for you in a special article.