HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY
GROW LAVENDER IN ONTARIO
Growing lavender successfully can be a challenge, in Ontario, if you don’t understand the nature of the plant. Understanding that lavender is not a native plant to Canada, it is native to the Mediterranean, is important. It reminds you that you will have to make it comfortable in this country.
All species of lavender are sun lovers, semi-woody, semi-evergreen, perennials and thrive in well-drained soil. They are drought tolerant and pest and disease resistant.
All this said they are not a plant for everyone if you don’t have the right conditions.
Here is a Check List of Requirements
(to ensure that your lavender plant will thrive in your garden).
You need to check all four.
1) All lavenders require all day sun 6 am to 8 pm, with no shadows from fences, buildings, trees or shrubs. Light is so important to maintain the health, vigour and longevity of the plant.
2) All Lavenders require well-drained soil. Keeping lavender in a pot long term is not suggested. The English lavender and the Lavandin species require an area in the garden that never has any puddling after heavy rain or in the early spring.
3) Both the English lavender and the Lavandin species require summer pruning in early August, just after they have flowered and no later than the middle of August. Spring pruning is not recommended in this country since our spring starts so late. As well as fall pruning is not recommended in this country since our falls are too short.
The pruning involves removing the flower heads and the stalks first (deadheading), then pruning back 1/3 of the GREEN plant mass that is left. Never take down more than 1/3 of the green plant mass since plants make their food from their leaves, if you cut off more than 1/3 you will be starving your plant of food.
4) Lavender will not winter in a pot in Ontario Canada, they must be planted in the ground. Both the English lavender and the Lavandin species require wind protection from early November to the middle of May. This is since these plants are semi-evergreen and don't lose their leaves in the fall, this makes them susceptible to windburn or drying out.
To protect them build a frame over your plant with some wire, close to the plant but not touching it. Over this wireframe cover the plant with a breathable material like burlap, making sure there are enough layers to break the wind. It must be a light colour to reflect the sun and keep your plant from overheating.
Lavender requires some work and mostly timing. If you are away at the cottage all summer this is not the plant for you.
With the array of colours of flowers and leaves, height and spread and bloom times that vary across the species and cultivars. Lavender makes a beautiful addition to the garden if you are prepared to take care of it.
( If you have any questions regarding growing Lavender please email your questions.)
Our goal is to help you grow lavender successfully.