Overwintering English Lavender


Hello! My SuperBlue English Lavender died off last winter. Do you have any tips for helping them survive the winter in the garden? Can a potted plant be brought indoors for the winter?
Ever hopeful,



I am not surprised as last winter was very hard on many plants which had no difficulty surviving previous winters. I lost some roses and herbs that I have had for many years.

There are some steps you can take to increase the chances of survival of your lavender.  First, as you have done, plant an English lavender again as they are the most hardy. ‘SuperBlue’ is a cultivar that can grow well in Ontario – indeed can grow as low as Zone 4.

To help your plant survive, make sure you are growing it in optimal conditions.  This would be in full sun in a well drained site with good air circulation.  As lavender was originally a Mediterranean plant, you should make sure that you do not overwater as it prefers drier conditions – let the soil dry out between waterings.

After the ground has frozen, if you do not have reliable snow cover – which in the Toronto area is uncertain – cover the plants with either a row cover – if you are growing a lot of lavender –  or straw or dry leaves, and perhaps some burlap to prevent your cover from blowing away, to protect your plant from drying winds, and the freeze thaw conditions we often experience.  Your cover should be removed in early spring.

Although English lavender should survive our winters outside with a little protection, if you want to grow your lavender in a pot you can bring it inside for the winter.  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.

Following these simple guidelines you should be able to keep your lavender thriving for many years.  Good luck!

Sept. 25, 2022