Lavender “Provence” ( Lavandula x intermedia) is a perennial plant that lives up to 15 years if given proper maintenance as well as regular trimming.
“Provence” is a cross that combines Portuguese lavender (Lavandula latifolia) and English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) which combines the toughness and endurance of English lavenders with the long blooming time of the Portuguese lavenders.
Since ‘Provence’ has the characteristics of cold-hardy English lavender, it is able to endure winter’s harsh cold and then grow back next year, whereas less robust Portuguese, French and Spanish lavenders are not able to withstand cold temperatures, which is why they are considered to be perennials in certain climates, however, as with all lavenders , they are in fact perennials.
Lavender “Provence” will come again each winter and bloom for up to 15 years, and possibly even longer provided it receives the proper treatment.
Make sure that the perennial lavender ‘Provence’ Re-grows each year
The plants in Temperate temperatures (such such as Washington, Oregon and the UK) French, Spanish and Portuguese lavenders are usually considered annuals since they usually die in winter because of freezing temperatures..
English lavenders as well as Hybrids like “Provence” can withstand the rigors of freezing, snow and ice winters if they are cared well and pruned each year.
The most crucial aspect to making sure that lavender ‘Provence’ lasts through winter is to plant the lavender in the correct pot mix.
All varieties of lavender don’t like soil that is wet at any time of the year because it can cause the fungal disease known as root rot. The diseases that affect lavender are more prevalent during winter because the soil stays wet longer because of the less transpiration.
Lavender ‘Provence’ can die in cold, wet soils if the profile of the soil is not amended with the grit or sand used in horticulture.
If you are planting your lavender or preparing the garden soil to plant, make sure you add about 1/3 the mix in sand or grit, and the remaining 2/3’s with compost or potting soil.
The large proportion of sand ensures drainage of the dirt very quickly and won’t retain water for prolonged periods of time.
The roots will remain healthy and dry during winter and will protect the lavender’s roots and avoiding diseases.
1/3 sand or grit might appear to be a lot, however, consider that lavenders are indigenous to the sandy soils along the Mediterranean coast, where they thrive in dry conditions. In addition to the mix of soil,, we as gardeners mimic the conditions that lavenders live in their natural habitat.
More dry and swiftly draining the soil gets more fragrant and the more flowers the lavender “Provence” can display which can be a good reason to properly prepare the soil!
For more details on how to prepare soil, read my guide to the best soil mix to plant the lavender pots.
Prune ‘Provence’ Every Year for Longevity
The next step to make sure that the lavender you plant in your ‘Provence’ garden lasts longer than one year is to trim the lavender in the fall to ensure three reasons:
- Pruning lavender each year can help to cut down the growth of wood at the base of the plant. It also encourages new growth that will help allow for more flowers.
- Pruning lavender can increase its longevity of the plant and also prevent the lavender from getting leggy.
- Pruning the plant into an attractive mound will ensure a consistent bloom and will prepare the lavender for winter.
Pruning lavender ‘Provence’ in the fall after it has finished blooming (‘Provence is a perennial flower that blooms between mid-summer and the fall). The aim of pruning is to get an elongated shape since it will help prepare the lavender to be ready for winter.
A mounded form will be more resistant to the effects from weather (such as ice and snow) which could make the woody base of the lavender to split.
Pruning can also extend the life of lavenders, in the same way that pollarding a tree can prolong its lifespan..
Prune around in the upper third the flexible growing of the lavender, and be careful not to cut too deeply down to the base of the woody.
To get a visual reference, watch this YouTube video on pruning lavenders:
Other factors that affect Lavender “Provence” life-span
Other elements that will help make sure that your perennial lavender ‘Provence will last for more than one year are…
- It is important to plant it in full sun or shade
- The proper amount of water should be poured in.
- Soil pH (lavender requires a pH of between 6.5-8)
To make the most of your lavender “Provence” you must replicate the conditions of the Mediterranean where the lavenders flourish.
Lavenders will have a more intense scent and produce more flowers if they are in full sunlight. Lavenders that have less than 6 hours of sunlight tend to become sagging with only a few flowers, and usually don’t last very long.
Always plant lavender “Provence” in full sun as well as in an area that gets some airflow, not an area that is enclosed in the garden.
Once established, lavender “Provence” doesn’t require any irrigation and in warmer climates are likely to get all the water it needs from rain.
The lavenders flourish in the coastal regions in Southern Europe with infrequent rainfall and are therefore drought-resistant in nearly every climate.
If there’s not been any rain for longer than two weeks in the season of growth (Spring until the fall) Then give your lavender a bath at least in the morning, and don’t water the lavender in winter.
The only time that your lavender ‘Provence’ needs substantial watering is following the planting. Learn more about how to water your lavender under all conditions within my post How often should you wash lavender?
All varieties of lavenders prefer soil with an acidity between 6.5 to 8. It is a range that goes from mildly acidic to slightly alkaline.
So perennial lavender will only last for a few weeks in the case of soil that is too acidic. The majority of garden soils are around pH 7 to 8 (which can be slightly acidic, but not quite the pH of neutral).
If plants like the azaleas, rhododendrons blueberry plants, and roses thrive in your garden, but however, the lavenders are dying in the first year, like an annual be, it could mean that your soil isn’t acidic to sustain lavenders.
But you can still plant lavender in containers, pots and raised beds if you can alter the soil’s profile by adding 1 tablespoon of garden lime , or half one cup of wood ash into the soil to increase the pH to ensure it’s alkaline.
It is also possible to measure the pH of your soil using soil gauges, which can be used without or specialist knowledge. They are also can be purchased at a low cost on Amazon.
(Read my article to learn more about the measurement of the pH of soil and cultivating lavenders in soil that is acidic).
- Lavender “Provence” ( Lavandula x intermedia) is an annual plant that can last as long as 15 years if the right conditions.
- Add sand or grit to improve drainage, to avoid root rot and improve the soil’s structure.,
- Every year, you can trim ‘Provence’ in the fall to get the lavender ready for winter.
- The lavender plant should be planted in the full sunlight It is recommended to water only occasionally even in hot weather.
- The lavenders aren’t able to last long in soils that are acidic (‘Provence prefers soils with 6.5-8 pH). 6.5-8). Plant ‘Provence ‘ in pots if have soil that is acidic and amend it with wood ash or horticultural lime (both that are acidic) If needed.