Lavender on Gabriola Island, east of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC.
This aromatic perennial herb is available in many varieties,  several colours and assorted sizes.  It is an easy plant to care for if given a sunny, well drained site and is reasonably drought resistant.  Also deer, rabbits & critters tend to leave it alone.

Lavender has a special place at Potager Way.  Despite our thin, sandy soil and unreliable water source, lavender enables us to enjoy colour and scent in the garden from May through to September, although we do encourage them with a bit of watering mid summer if we lack rain.  At Potager Way we offer about 30 varieties of lavenders, many of which are not commonly available in local nurseries.   Plants are sold at our Gabriola Island, BC location only, but we’re working on providing mail service to regional areas.

The lavender plants we sell fall into a few hardiness categories:

Hardy (-15 to -20 Celsius or 5 to -4 F) – L. angustifolia & L. intermedia

Frost-Hardy ( -5 to -10 Celsius or 23 to 14 F) – L. stoechas,  L.latifolia,  L.x chaytorae,  L. pedunculata

Half-Hardy (0 to -5 Celsius or 32 to 23 F) – L. lanta, L. viridis, L. dentata, L. stoechas hybrids, L. x gininsii cultivar

Tender (Above 0 Celsius or 32 F) – L. multifida

Frequently, lavenders, similar to many perennials & shrubs, will tolerate temperatures less than ideal for their type depending upon upon drainage, exposure, etc.  Likewise, lavender can succumb to temperatures within their hardiness zone if conditions are less than ideal.  By and large, they will survive winters within their hardiness zones and, even more so, if pruned according to their needs so that they enter winter compact rather than sprawling.

Pruning doesn’t take long to do and, although it can be tough to cut back a plant that still holds some interest, you’ll be rewarded with a healthier, fuller blooming plant the following year.  Following are some simple guidelines for pruning:

Hardy/Frost Hardy:

L. angustifolia – severe pruning- up to 2/3 of bush – once flowers have lost their colour (about mid august).

L. x chaytorae cultivars & L. latifolia – prune same as L. angustifolia although they are a bit later to bloom, but do not prune hard if pruning is left until the autumn.

L. x intermedia – requires hard pruning as well, but they bloom late so it may necessary to just cut the blooms to foliage level and hard prune in very early spring.

If fall pruning is missed for the above lavenders, then prune hard in late winter or very early spring when the worst of the winter weather is finished and before new growth begins.

Half  Hardy:

L. stoechas, L. dentata, L. viridis – prune hard after spring blooming, then light pruning through to end of summer.


L. multifida – prune lightly with the occassional hard pruning when plant starts looking straggly.