Which Lavender Is The Hardiest?

English lavenders are the most durable of all species of lavenders as they are able to withstand snow in winter, and drought during summer, withstand predation by rabbits and deer, and last for a long time when taken care of. Hidcote Superior is the coldest resilient lavender, surviving temperatures that are as low as -30 degrees Celsius (-20 degrees Fahrenheit).

English lavender is the only one of them that is able to sustain many years in climates with frequent winter frosts. They can thrive up to USDA zone 5..

Why English Lavenders are the Hardiest

English lavenders are able to endure freezing temperatures as well as frosts, snow and freezing temperatures in winter , but they will not harm the plant. They will bloom magnificently the following year.

This assumes that the lavender is properly prepared for winter by pruning in the last week of summer, and also the removal of dead leaves and any other moisture sources prior to winter, which could contribute to fungal diseases.

Pruning properly in the early spring and in the late summer to create a sturdy mound shape and form is vital to the long-term viability of lavender.

Lavenders are more resilient to winter’s effects when cut into a mound , as this shape helps to deflect snow or ice, and blocks moisture from getting to the fragile woody base over long time.

(Take an interest in my article to see the complete list of how to take care of lavender plants through the winter).

Pruning also reduces the development of the woody base which is essential to extend the life of lavenders.

All lavenders require the soil that is swiftly draining which is why it is vital that all varieties of lavender are not planted in moist soils that retain water like clay or boggy low-lying areas in your garden.

English lavender

The non English varieties (such such as Spanish, Italian, and French lavenders) are extremely popular with gardeners, but they are not cold-hardy and are likely to die by the first winter frost.

This is why non English lavenders can be confused with annuals, even though they’re actually an perennial sub-shrub which can last for a long time provided they are given the proper treatment as well as are planted within the right climate.

Non cold-hardy lavenders have to be grown in pots and kept inside during winter when there are conditions which are frosty in order to survive for a long time.

English lavenders do not just thrive in colder climates , but are also extremely drought-tolerant because of their Mediterranean roots.

The established English lavenders require only occasionally water when there are long periods of heat and no rain, or if they are in pots that have the tendency to dry out faster.

English lavender varieties can be tolerant of more exposed and windy areas than the less fragile French, Italian and Spanish lavenders.

English lavenders aren’t particularly susceptible to diseases, but this is the case for all species of lavender. The most frequent danger can be the root rot that is caused by soil that isn’t draining quickly enough or if the lavenders are excessively watered, but with a little cultivation this could be easily prevented.

Although it is not a ‘English’ name, it is not a ‘English’ lavender. English lavenders are indigenous to the dry and hot Mediterranean area of Europe that is true for all other lavenders. (They are referred to as English lavenders because of their capacity to withstand the temperate English climate, and also because they have been extensively grown in the region since the 1800’s.).

Since lavenders are adapted to windy and dyer conditions, there isn’t a lavender plant that thrives in humid areas. The lavenders that live in humid regions are more susceptible to the browning of their foliage because of rot. However, there are some ways to reduce negative impacts of humidity on lavenders.

English lavenders can be found in areas that are relatively dry, but the soil has to be altered by adding lots of sand to ensure that it drains quickly and doesn’t retain the moisture.

English lavenders have been specifically designed to thrive in the sandy soils with low fertility that are found in the Mediterranean region in southern Europe. The cultivation of lavender does require no extra fertilizers and is able to thrive in dry, sandy fast draining zones which other plants might consider unsuitable.

This is the reason English lavenders can do very easily in pots since they have the ideal drainage conditions.

English lavenders are also known to be rabbit and deer resistant.

The variety of English lavenders make them among the most easy plants to cultivate under the right conditions.

A few examples of Hardy English lavenders

There are a variety of English lavenders that are available in various sizes. English lavenders are loved by gardeners due to their lengthy blooms and distinctive strong aroma. They’re extremely adaptable and can be used to create low hedges, for decorative use, potpourri and commercially as oil.

Popular Dwarf English Lavenders:

  • Hidcote Superior
  • Munstead
  • Sarah

Popular Giant English Lavenders:

  • Alba
  • Hidcote Giant
  • Vera

Popular Semi-dwarf English lavenders:

  • Jean Davis
  • Hidcote blue
  • Martha Roderick

Superior Hidcoteare the most suitable option for small hedge or decorative lavenders in cold climates , and they are believed to be the cold-hardiest variety that can withstand conditions as cold as – 30 degrees Celsius (-20 degrees Fahrenheit).

Munstead and Hidcotevarieties Munsteadand Hidcotevarieties Are among the most popular English lavender cultivars. They are admired for their longevity of blooms and strong aromas, hence their popularity among gardeners.

Hidcote Giantand Veracan grow to sizes as large as 40 (1 1) inches tall as well as 36 inches (90 centimeters) in width. They are cultivated commercially within Provence France, for their oil.

For more details on the dimensions of lavenders at maturation, take a look at my article Do lavenders spread?

Key Takeaways:

  • It is believed that the English varieties of lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia) are the toughest of all the lavender species capable of enduring winter cold as well as wind, snow and even rabbit and deer resistance.
  • English lavenders can be grown to zone 5 and are able to grow in mild climate.
  • The smaller variety of Hidcote Superior can endure temperatures that are as low as -30 degrees Celsius (-20 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • The non English lavender species are generally not winter-hardy and can be dead by the first winter frost.
  • Every lavender species has a difficult time to thrive in conditions with higher humidity since they’re better suited to dry climates.
  • English lavenders can withstand rain provided that the soil is amended with plenty of sand or grit in order to create the proper soil structure, so that the water drains quickly.


Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)