Even if lavender traces its origins to the Mediterranean coast, it can nevertheless grow in our cold Quebec winters. Some cultivars even thrive in our climate, including the Munstead, True English Hidcote, Melissa and Provence Blue varieties.
Lavender is a natural repellent against pests and does not necessarily attract animals. Lavender does not have a lot of predators (which is a good thing!). Cultivating lavender on a large scale, however, presents some challenges. As in our case, we also have the extra pressure to offer the most beautiful landscape possible. Weeding is, therefore, a relentless task! We are proud to have developed a steam weeder with a local engineer. Thanks to this machinery, we can get the work done without herbicide in a healthy and ecological way.
Our years of experience have gifted us with the possibility to cultivate lavandin. Which is a very different variety and the one most found in France. It is a hybrid that offers so much more in essential oils. We love growing lavandin so much here, especially for its breathtaking blooms, which happen a little later than the Munstead.
It could be said that spring is not lavender's best time of the year! As soon as the snow melts, the plant becomes green and everything looks healthy. But as the days go by it becomes grayish; it's quite unbecoming. It almost looks dead! People often make the mistake of pruning it right to the ground and tearing it off. Please don't do it! You just have to be a little patient. Lavender takes its sweet time to wake up; it must be left as is until mid-June at least. And with the arrival of warmer days, the plant should start to green up and bloom fully.
Lavender thrives in all types of soil. Whether the soil is rich or poor in nutrients, it will adapt to its environment with a little bit of help.
Lavender does not like to get its feet wet. If your parcel of land has a slight incline, water will drain itself. If you fear that water will accumulate at the foot of the plant, build a small mound of dirt when planting. Water will then drain naturally and easily.
Except for scorching days, your lavender plant does not need to be watered.
It is best to harvest lavender flowers when the buds are 60% open.
Never cut down more than one-third of the plant (in terms of height). You must also not cut into what is known as the "wood" of the plant, a lavender stem that is more than one year old and has turned brown. This plant base is the source of new growth and must be protected.
If you want to, use a pail to cover and protect your plants from the winter elements.
Never cover your plant with dead leaves, mulch or an object such as a cone.
Remember that snow is also a good insulator for lavender, which is excellent news for Quebec residents. So you must be sure to cover your plant with enough snow if you don't use any other protection.
Your lavender plant is dormant; leave it alone!