dogwalker17
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preparing lavender for the winter zone 5

i am pretty new at lavender. actually very new. i purchased 4 nice size lavender plants at the start of the summer. most are doing well considering here in chicago this summer has been a hot one and now a wet hot one. i recently put up a greenhouse hoping to start my own flowers, plants and herbs from seed. i know that will start come spring as the house is not heated except for the sun.

but my question. everything i have read in regards to lavender plants tell me that i will need to bring them indoors for the winter. give them as much sun as i can. okay with that but it tells me in the evening the temps should be about 60. living in chicago with our dreadful winters there is not a room in my house that is 60.

i really don't want to loose these plants so i am hoping that someone can give me some help.

any and all would be greatly appreciated. :)

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rainbowgardener
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Re: preparing lavender for the winter zone 5

Do you know what variety of lavender you have? Some varieties are much more cold tolerant than others.

An English lavender will probably be fine with the temps in your house. Spanish or French lavenders would struggle more.

Even the English lavender will probably go dormant if ambient temps are below 50. The leaves will turn grey and it will quit growing. That's fine, that is what it does in the garden too. Just be sure you are giving it very little water at that point. Before you bring it in, re-pot in to cactus mix (if the potting mix you have it in is not real sandy). They hate to stay damp. Don't fertilize.
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imafan26
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Re: preparing lavender for the winter zone 5

If you bring them in they need good light, they don't really like to be in the dark and really don't like for the leaves to stay wet

Lavender should be pruned back annually in the Spring. Prune just before new growth starts, but only the green wood, not old wood or you might kill it. Pruning will make it bush out better later so it won't get so lanky.

Most of the true lavender are hardy in zones 5-8. They need to be in well drained soil and protected from the wet. I have my lavender in pots under the eaves of my house so when it rains most of the rain misses the tops of the plants. Multifida is the only lavender that is for zone 10 (My zone.) It is a landscape lavender that blooms most of the year but smells a bit musty not as nice as the edible lavenders. Hidcote, munstead and the other English lavenders are the most cold hardy and don't survive well through summer in warmer zones (9b and up).

https://michiganlavenderfestival.net/tip ... -lavender/
https://sunshinelavenderfarm.com/planting-care/
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dogwalker17
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Re: preparing lavender for the winter zone 5

my lavender plants are Goodwin Creek Grey.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: preparing lavender for the winter zone 5

OK .... it's a hybrid of a French lavender. Very tender, only hardy to zone 7, will not withstand much frost. Reputed to bloom well indoors in the winter if you can give it enough light and warmth.

For your conditions, I wouldn't figure on blooms and would just let it go dormant. If your house stays 50 degrees, it will survive just fine. Just water very little and don't fertilize and don't worry about trying to give it as much sun/light as you otherwise would.
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dogwalker17
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Re: preparing lavender for the winter zone 5

I'm afraid it won't last in my house. 50 degrees inside is really cold to me, especially when it's below zero outside. it wouldn't even survive my greenhouse. that will only be heated by the sun, with 4 feet of snow around it. thank you for your help. much appreciated.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: preparing lavender for the winter zone 5

RE "50 degrees inside is really cold to me, "

I'm not following. I thought you said your house is unheated. So what kinds of temperatures do you maintain indoors through the winter?

I only meant that the French lavender would probably survive temps as low as 50, by going dormant. If your house is warmer than than that it will be fine. If it is warm enough, then it might not go dormant, but keep growing and blooming through the winter (but didn't you already say your house doesn't stay as warm as 60? I'm confused).
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imafan26
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Re: preparing lavender for the winter zone 5

This is what I found on the White Flower Farm site. I have to keep my lavender out of the rain as much as possible or they go black.
https://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/how-to- ... creek-grey

Growing Lavender ('Goodwin Creek Grey')
LIGHT: To keep its lovely silver coloring and to produce spikes of dark blue flowers from spring to fall, Lavender 'Goodwin Creek Grey' demands a sunny south window indoors where it will receive 6-8 hours of direct sun. It will also grow well given 14-16 hours of light under a fluorescent light stand.

TEMPERATURE: Daytime temperatures of 60–75°F are fine indoors. In fall and winter, place your Lavender where the nighttime temperature falls to 60°F.

WATERING: Like most silver-leaved plants, Lavender is accustomed to growing in very dry, lean soil. Water only when the top inch of the potting mix is dry to the touch.

FERTILIZER: Fertilize no more frequently than once every 6 weeks during the growing season (April through September) with a balanced fertilizer, such as 20-20-20.

CONTINUING CARE: Lavender 'Goodwin Creek Grey' would be pleased to spend summer outdoors in a sunny location—either in a pot or in the ground. If you live in Zone 7 (0°F) or warmer in the West, you can grow it outdoors year-round. In colder climates, bring the plant back indoors before frost. Lavenders falter in the torrid summers and mild wet winters that are common in the South. If you summer your plant outdoors, keep it in a pot and bring it back indoors for the winter.

Once the flowers have faded on a flower spike, use scissors to cut off the spike close to where it attaches to the stem. Maintain the overall shape of your Lavender by selective pinching of the new shoots. Pinch each shoot between thumb and forefingers; do not shear the plant as though it were a hedge.
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