Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27 Provence Lavender

Between the time I set up the rain guage last night and now, we've gotten a little over half an inch of rain.  The temperature has dropped to 54 degrees. Brrrrr. 

David was down at the Farmer's Market yesterday taking pictures and he brought home a Provence Lavender (Lavendula x intermedia) plant. I've never grown Lavender before but have wanted to. It looks lovely.  Mountain Valley Growers, a website I found by searching Google, has many different types of Lavender listed and has provided great pictures of them so you can see the differences. I didn't even know there were so many different types!

Unless otherwise stated, the following information about Provence Lavender was gleaned from the Mountain Valley site. Provence Lavender is a hybrid of the English lavenders. They are great for lining the driveway or as border plants.  Apparently, "they ... bloom lots, grow just the right size, and smell like a million bucks."

The 'x' in the name Lavendula x intermedia refers to it's parentage. It's a cross between two varieties: Lavendula augistifolia (English Lavender) and Lavendula latifolia (Spike Lavender). Though Provence Lavender has qualities of each parent, they either do not make seeds or produce sterile seeds.

Ideal soil type for Lavender should be well-drained with a pH beween 6.5 and 7.5. Yellow growth in Lavenders can indicate soil imbalances. In hot, humid areas, put Lavenders in raised beds or on a mound to help prevent fungal disease and rot from exposure to too much water. Let the soil dry out before watering again.

Lavenders must have full sun. It usually takes 3 years before they reach their full size. It's essential that they be pruned each year to extend the life of the plant. Cut the green flower stem off and about 1/3 of the grayed leafy stem. Do not cut back to only woody stems.  This will likely kill the plant.

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