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Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:07 am
Location: Philadelphia, Pa. Zone 5


I would like to keep a particular lavender alive throughout the winter in my zone where it is not winter hardy. I happen to have an unheated sun porch that gets sun all day. Would it have a better chance surviving in this unheated area, where it would simulate a winter outside in an acceptable zone, or would it do better inside our heated house? If so, how dry or moist should I keep it?

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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

If your unheated porch stays above freezing during the winter, I would think that would be a fine place for it. I think it would prefer that to a heated house.

Lavender is hardy in my area, but it never really gets cold enough here to freeze the ground. It's grown commercially here, and just stays out in the fields all winter, even when we have snow. :)

Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:07 am
Location: Philadelphia, Pa. Zone 5


Thank you for your opinion; I will take your advice, but, what about the rest of my question concerning how dry or moist to keep the soil if I do keep it in my unheated sunporch?

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

From Sunset's Western Garden Book:

"Lavenders need well-drained soil and little or no fertilizer...Give good air circulation..."

In northern California, winter = lots of rain (in a good year). My lavender plants have been drowned many times and always have come back--so far. They've also experienced a few frosts, but only one "hard" freeze, approx. 27 deg. F. Once they're established--two or three years old--I give them only "desperation" water during the dry season (approx. March/April through Nov/Dec).

I'd say to check out the soil moisture with your fingers while the plant is on the porch. Give it as much light as you have available--the SF Bay Area is at 37 to 38 deg. north, and Philadelphia is just under 40 deg. north. My lavenders (L. dentata candicans) do just fine with the available winter light.

Lavender is a great plant! Just smelling it makes me feel good, and the bees absolutely LOVE it.

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

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Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:07 pm
Location: Downers Grove, IL

I've grown lavender outside successfully here in zone 5. But it does depend on the variety. Moisture at the crown is the kiss of death for these plants. This year I graduated to a fancy mulch I found in an herb book by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Contains chicken grit, oyster shells, charcoal, green sand and something else. I've used just plain aquarium gravel in the past. We'll see if this new mulch is worth the time I spent tracking down the components! Be certain to plant them in a lean, fast draining soil. And definitely yes the porch no to the house over winter.

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