Caring for Lavander Plants
I have quite a few lavenders, but with some the leaves have gone dead at the bottom. I prune them after flowering and they come away again but at the moment the smaller variety are looking spindly. I have different varieties. Can you help?
There are many different varieties of lavender available in New Zealand and some adapt better to our climate than others. As a general rule, we cut back lavenders hard immediately after flowering. In particular, the dwarf growing forms of lavender such as; English Lavender (Angustifolia) needs to be cut back very severely. However, some lavenders are less hardy and will not re-grow away again if cut below the green leaf stage of growth (this is the lower woody part of the plant), for example; French Lavender (Dentate).
It is worth remembering that all lavenders growing in New Zealand have a comparatively short lifespan of 3-5 years (with the exception being the French Lavender). Because of this it is worth replanting on a regular basis to avoid your lavender garden becoming tatty.
As Mediterranean plants, lavender prefers a dry, friable, sandy soil which is free draining. To help achieve this you may want to mound the soil where you are planting the lavenders. Grow your lavender in a warm, sunny spot in the garden that has very good air movement.