How can I protect my munstead lavendar in a pot on the 8th floor Sw facing lake Ontario, should I completely cover it or burlap it?
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’, commonly known as an “English Lavender”, is a hardier variety than some of its cousins. But in a container on a balcony, it is wise to protect this herb in its container for the winter, as higher balcony floors will be colder and also subject to more wind.
The Toronto Master Gardeners Container Gardening Guide provides general information about how to overwinter plants outdoors in containers. Some key highlights:
- Choose the right container that can handle freeze thaw cycles
- A larger container is better (more soil = more insulation)
- Protect against the wind (e.g. with a burlap shield)
You should also mulch the top of your soil (e.g., with bark mulch or even leaves) to provide a layer of freezing protection.
Make sure your plant has sufficient moisture up until the time the soil freezes and consider clustering all of your plants together in one corner of your balcony that is most sheltered. There are some other general tips about overwintering perennials on balconies that may be of interest in this past post.
Another option would be to bring your lavender inside for the winter. There is information on how to do that in this previous Toronto Master Gardeners post on overwintering lavender:
Make sure that you keep it in a cooler room, with lots of light, and away from drafty windows. As the lavender plant will not be actively growing during the winter, keep your watering to a minimum – again letting it dry out between waterings – and do not fertilize until growth starts again in the spring.
A more fulsome description of how to bring your lavender inside is in a different past post here.
Good luck with your lavender!