Lavender Winter Care (#7 Important Tips for Cold Weather Plant Care)

Lavender plants are stunning plants that always have a pleasant smell. These plants are generally hardy and low-maintenance plants, but their care requirements do change in the winter. So, how do you care for your Lavender plant through the cold winter?

There are some important lavender winter care steps to take before winter arrives. At the very minimum, you need to prepare your Lavender plant for the cold months ahead by doing a light pruning of the plant. In the winter, you do not need to water most Lavender plants, and you must not fertilize the plant. You still need to keep them in bright sunlight throughout the winter.

Lavender (Lavandula) plants are low-maintenance plants that go dormant through the winter. But these plants still have certain care requirements that need to be met throughout the winter to keep the plant healthy. Let us go through how you can care for your Lavender through winter!

Prepare Your Lavender Plant For Winter

Before you start worrying about your Lavender’s care requirements for the winter, you need to ensure that you prepare your Lavender plant for the winter. Preparing your Lavender plant for winter is crucial to the plant’s survival in the cold months.

Whether you grow your Lavender indoors or outdoors, it is always a good idea to prepare your plant for winter. The two most important things to focus on when preparing your Lavender for winter are:

  • Pruning the Lavender plant into a more robust and dense shape
  • Tidy up any fallen leaves around the Lavender plants

Both of these are necessary to ensure your Lavender survives through the winter, so let’s have an in-depth look at why you need to do them to prepare your plant.

Prune Your Lavender Plant For Winter

Snow on labendrt in a storm

Lavender plants need to be pruned well every year to keep them healthy, but not many Lavender owners know that you need to lightly prune Lavender plants in the late fall, just before winter as well, to help prepare the plant for the upcoming cold winter months.

When you are doing this light, pre-winter pruning, you need to focus on forming your Lavender into a thick mound-shaped shrub, as this will help prevent the plant from getting damaged in the winter.

When pruning your Lavender for winter, you should trim off spent flowers stems, tidy up the plant’s appearance, and round the shrub nicely. When you are pruning your Lavender plant, remember to never trim back to the woody material of the plant.

This is because this wood does not grow back and rejuvenate itself; the wood is the least resilient and weakest part of the Lavender plant.

When pruning your Lavender for winter, you must not trim off a large amount of foliage but only shape the plant, as the plant needs its foliage to stay healthy in winter. This rounder shape you trim the plant into will help it deflect ice, snow, or excess water from getting to the weaker woody base.

Tidy Up Fallen Leaves Around The Lavender

You need to tidy up any fallen leaves that have accumulated around the base of the Lavender plant to help prepare the plant for winter. Whether you keep your Lavender indoors or outdoors, you should do this as it will help the plant nonetheless.

These fallen leaves around the Lavender plant act as a mulch, which is great for some plants, but Lavender plants prefer their soil to drain well and not hold onto any excess moisture, which is what mulch does.

Leaves that gather at the base of the Lavender plant will hold onto an exceptional amount of excess water, but this will lead to unfavorable conditions for your lavender plant as it can create an environment where disease and fungi can grow, for example, root rot.

So, you need to ensure that you remove any fallen leaves from the plant’s base in the late fall to help keep your Lavender plant healthy.

Related: Important Lavender Temperature Tolerance Tips (Plus Info for USDA Zones)

Caring For Lavender Plants Through Winter

Once you have prepared your Lavender plant for the cold winter months, you need to know exactly how to care for it to ensure the plant stays healthy and recovers properly from the winter in the spring. Let us go over what you need to do to care for your Lavender plant through the winter.

Watering Your Lavender Plant In Winter

In the winter months, Lavender plants usually enter a dormancy stage, where they will not require a lot of water. Lavender Plants are also drought-tolerant, which also adds to their decreased need for water during the winter.

If your Lavender plant is well-established, then it will not need additional water through the winter months. If your Lavender plant is young or still establishing itself, you should water your Lavender once every four to six weeks in the winter if you have not received any rainfall.

With Lavender plants, the main problem is overwatering in the winter, especially for plants kept outside in climates that have winter rains, as this can make the plant’s soil too moist and cause root rot.

If you have potted Lavender that is not native to rainy climates, you should bring them indoors for the winter to control the amount of water they receive.

Temperature Requirements Through Winter

The temperature requirements of your Lavender plant will depend on the type of Lavender plant you are growing.

For example, suppose you are growing an English variety of Lavender. In that case, some of these lavender plants will have no trouble with cold temperatures as they can survive in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

But if you are growing a French, Spanish, or Italian species of Lavender, you need to watch their temperature closely as they are not hardy to cold environments. If you have a non-English variety of Lavender planted in your garden and you are worried about it surviving through the winter, you need to transplant it and overwinter it indoors.

For most Lavender plants, though, the ideal temperature range is between 40- and 65-degrees Fahrenheit, so if you can keep the plant’s environment between these two temperatures, then the plant should be fine through the winter.

Light Requirements For Lavender Through Winter

Lavender placed beside window

All Lavender plant owners should know that Lavender is a sunlight-loving plant, no matter which species you are growing, and this does not change in the winter. Even though the Lavender plant is not in its active growing stage, the plant will still need a lot of bright sunlight through the winter to stay healthy.

Whether you are keeping your Lavender indoors or outdoors through the winter, you need to ensure the plant receives the correct amount of sunlight daily. If the plant does not receive the right amount of daily sun throughout winter, the Lavender could die or take longer to recover from its dormancy period.

You can place your Lavender plant on a bright, cool windowsill, or you can use a grow light to help supplement the natural light that the Lavender needs through winter.

Fertilizer Requirements Through Winter

In the winter, you must not fertilize your Lavender plants, even if the plant is beginning to look a little bit worse for wear. In these colder months, your Lavender plant will not be growing and, therefore, will not need the extra nutrients in the fertilizer.

If you fertilize your Lavender plant in the winter, the unused nutrients will start to build up in the soil, becoming toxic to the plant. You need to wait until new growth begins before you fertilize your Lavender plant again.

If your Lavender is planted indoors, then you can use a multipurpose liquid fertilizer or a granular fertilizer; if it is grown outdoors, then your usual garden fertilizer should be fine. Remember to slowly introduce the fertilizer to your plant again, so do not start with the full dose of fertilizer.

Also Check: Is My Lavender Plant Dying? 8 Likely Factors and Effective Solutions

Protecting Outdoor Lavender Plants Through The Winter

If you keep your Lavender plants outdoors or planted in your garden, and you live in a climate where you get subfreezing temperatures in the winter, you need to protect your Lavender plants, or they will die.

To help protect your Lavender plants, you can cover them with evergreen boughs after having your first frost, and the soil is cold. These evergreen boughs shade the plant and shelter it in the cold weather, and they protect the plant from being blown over in the strong winter winds.

These cold winds may also dry out your Lavender plant and cause the death of stems on the plant, which these boughs also protect the plant against. If you cover your plant with boughs for the winter, they have a higher chance of survival and a faster recovery time.

Conclusion: Lavender Winter Care Tips

Lavender can be a hardy winter plant and require very little care if you grow the correct species like the English variants, but certain species will need extra help to survive the winter.

Most lavender plants still need a good amount of sunlight in the winter, and they do not need to be watered, but if you want your Lavender to have a better chance at surviving through winter, it all comes down to the winter preparation you do for the plant. Good luck with your Lavender plant!