Will Lavender Survive Winter? Important Points to Know

Lavenders may seem fragile, but they can endure difficult conditions and temperatures. Growers know that lavender plants thrive in a sandy and dry environment, and maintaining these conditions is very important for your lavender to reach its full potential. So, what happens in the winter?

Will lavender survive winter? It depends on the species. Lavender species such as Spanish, Italian, and French lavenders will not survive winter unless they are transplanted into a plant pot and moved indoors. In contrast, English lavender species are frost tolerant and can endure frosty winters outdoors without any issues.

What happens to your lavender plants in the winter? How can we prep and take care of them during this frosty season? Read on to learn just how hardy and low-maintenance lavenders are and what you need to carry out to keep them safe while they are waiting for the arrival of spring and summer.

Will Lavender Survive Winter?

You work so hard to keep your lavender healthy and blooming, so the prospect of them not surviving can be saddening; however, if you stick to the basic and simple guidelines for survival, you need not stress at all!

English lavender species are frost tolerant and can endure frosty winters outdoors without any issues. Still, lavender species such as Spanish, Italian, and French lavenders will not survive winter unless they are transplanted into a plant pot and moved indoors.

Lavender indoor in a vase

Following a few simple care rules will ensure the safety of your lavender plants in the winter, regardless of their type of species. Here is how:

Prune The Lavender For Winter

Pruning is essential as it increases the lavender’s life expectancy and aids with survival during the winter. It is important to prune lavenders every year (late summer or early fall) because it hinders the growth of woody stems.

The woody stems usually split in the winter due to frost and possible water damage.

The damage to the lavender persists even after the winter season is over. Woody stems that split in the winter does not grow back.

Pruning increases lavender growth, which in return produces more blossoms. It also keeps the lavender looking attractive and neat.

When pruning, only remove a third of the green growth and shape the lavender into a mounded form, so the foliage has enough space to allow airflow and stay compact.

Place Lavender Pots Indoors In The Winter

Bring your Spanish, Italian and French lavenders indoors before the start of winter. Place the lavenders in a plant pot and the sunniest part of your house or in a heated greenhouse (temperature needs to remain above freezing).

During winter, lavenders become dormant, but they still prefer dry conditions, so avoid placing your potted lavenders in humid areas like the kitchen or bathroom.

Moving the lavender into a pot is a great idea because it provides the soil with better drainage, and you can easily maneuver it around to place it in direct sunlight.

Also Check: Why Is My Lavender Drooping? 4 Most Likely Causes And Solutions

Prevent Lavender Root Rot In The Winter

Suitable soil contributes to the survival of lavenders over winter. Cooler temperatures mean that the rate of evaporation is slower, so the soil will retain more moisture for longer, resulting in root rot. If you do not take precautions, your lavender can perish.

Lavenders became accustomed to the sandy soil of the Mediterranean region. So, they despise moisture and favor drought-like conditions. Soil containing organic matter holds onto moisture which makes it the ideal state for root rot and the emergence of fungal diseases.

Soil that is overfertilized can also contribute to root rot.

Damaged Lavender: How To Fix Lavender Damaged During Winter

Low, freezing temperatures can damage lavender plants and leave woody stems and discolored leaves behind. When this happens to your plants, this is what you need to do to fix them:

  • Cut the woody stems and remove the discolored leaves. Snip the stems at the bottom just a few inches above the soil.
  • Examine for any green stems that might have survived. Do not cut these stems.

You can cover the bottom area of the lavender stem/s with an inch of soil. This method will help the lavender stems grow roots, eventually becoming independent plants.

Can You Plant Lavender In Winter?

The most appropriate time to plant lavender is in early summer or spring. Lavenders thrive in a hot and sunny environment. In the winter, lavenders go dormant, which means they might not grow during this time, or the growth process will slow down.

These plants prefer well-drained and dry soil (low to moderately fertile), so winter is not ideal for planting lavenders. Wet soil that does not allow proper drainage can cause root rot and kill the plant.

How To Take Care Of Lavender In The Winter

This low-maintenance plant is easy to care for, especially in the winter. The following tips will give you suggestions on caring for English and non-English lavenders, indoor planted lavenders, and potted lavenders. Let’s have a look:

Water Lavender In The Winter

Lavender goes into a state of dormancy during this season. Watering lavender, especially established lavenders, during the winter is usually unnecessary due to high rainfall and frosty conditions.

However, newly grown lavender (in their first year of growth) might need a sip of water once every four to six weeks during winter. It will benefit them greatly. The same goes for non-English lavenders as well.

Once you move your non-English lavenders indoors, use a moderate amount of water and water it every four to six weeks. This will prevent it from drying out. Ensure the soil is not damp first and if it is, skip out on watering.

How To Care For Non-English Lavender Species In The Winter

Italian, Spanish, and French lavender species are frost-sensitive, so it is best if you keep them indoors, in direct sunlight, over the winter. Although some non-English varieties are more frost tolerant, they may still perish if exposed to extreme cold and frosty conditions.

Suppose you usually experience moderate winter environments, but an unsuspected frost is heading your way. In that case, you can use a thin duvet or blanket to insulate the plant and keep it from the icy-cold temperatures. Simply cover the lavender with the chosen sheathing.

Related: What To Do With Dried Lavender Stems?

How To Care For English Lavender Species In The Winter

The English lavender species are hardy and frost tolerant. They can survive frosty winter temperatures as low as -20°F, but even if they can endure the winter outdoors, they are vulnerable to the repercussions of the wet soils.

Lavender plants require good drainage, especially in the winter, to prevent root rot. Amend soil with gravel or sand before planting the lavenders.

If you have previously planted the lavender in the ground, remove it using a fork and mix a 50%:70% ratio of sand to compost it into the soil.

If you use sand or gravel to alter the soil, it will speed up drainage.

How To Take Care Of Potted Lavender Plants In The Winter

Potted lavender

Place your potted lavender plants indoors until the frosty conditions pass. Potted lavender is not immune to the cold because its root system is above ground and unprotected as planted lavender root systems.

Keep your potted lavender plant in a sunny location inside your home, ensuring that the soil drains well (amend with sand or gravel) and water it only when it is completely necessary. Do not overwater your plant.

How To Take Care Of Indoor Lavender In The Winter

Indoor lavender plants do not require much care, so it is simple to maintain them in the winter. Place them in a well-ventilated room that will help airflow through the foliage and water it twice during the winter to prevent them from drying out.

Conclusion: Will Lavender Survive Winter?

Lavender is a well-favored plant, not only because of its many benefits but also because of its low maintenance and durability. If you carefully follow the information I outlined in this article, you can effortlessly prepare and take care of lavender in the winter. Knowing what sort of lavender plant you need to care for is relevant.

English and non-English lavender need to be treated differently in the winter, and although they may not require our full attention, we must keep an eye on them every now and then. Root rot, improper pruning, and placement of lavenders can determine whether this plant will survive winter.