Silver Mist Lavender
Ghostly White Foliage
Just 18 to 24 inches high and wide, 'Silver Mist' is a good choice for smaller spaces where other cultivars will not fit, as well as in patio containers, long the front of the foundation, and beside the blazing-hot driveway. The foliage emerges pure white in spring, acquiring a silver patina that just makes it stand out all the more. The blooms begin with the first really hot weather of summer, and continue all season, until nipped back by autumn chills.
'Silver Mist' is evergreen in mild areas, and fragrant from spring through fall everywhere. Its foliage has a pleasant balsamic scent, while the flowers release the sweet perfume for which Lavender is prized around the world. An herb, Lavender is useful for everything from potpourri to Everlastings to air freshener. Cut branches to tuck into your linen closet, use the flowers to perfume tea and sweets, and admire the bees and butterflies that are drawn to this plant all season long. Every garden needs at least one stand of Lavender!
Easy to grow in very well-drained soil receiving full sunshine, Lavender is a plant that prefers dryish soil and sandy rather than heavy conditions. If you do not have this type of soil, begin with a pot of Lavender on the patio or porch. Before long you will find yourself amending the soil so that you can grow this wonderful perennial in the garden! Such color and fragrance are simply too good to bypass. Zones 5-9.
|Zone||5 - 9|
|Bloom Season||Early Summer - Late Summer|
|Plant Height||18 in - 24 in|
|Additional Characteristics||Bloom First Year, Butterfly Lovers, Edible, Flower, Fragrance, Herbs, Long Bloomers, Rose Companions|
|Foliage Color||Silver/Gray, White|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Moisture Requirements||Dry, Moist, well-drained|
|Resistance||Deer Resistance, Drought Tolerant, Heat Tolerant, Pest Resistant|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy, Sandy|
|Uses||Border, Containers, Cuisine, Cut Flowers, Everlastings, Foliage Interest, Outdoor, Potpourri|
|Restrictions||Virgin Islands, Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico|
Lavender is such a joy in garden and home that every gardener should grow at least a containerful, and the lucky among us will be able to blanket driveways, sunny borders, and meadows with this fabulous herb. Popular since ancient times (it was used in the mummification process by the ancient Egyptians, and scented the Greek and Roman baths), it is used as a seasoning, fragrance, and home remedy, among many other things.
Lavender is not the easiest herb to grow. It needs exceptionally good drainage and prefers light, dry soils in low-humidity climates. But with the range of available varieties on the market today, you can find a Lavender that suits your climate, your soil, and your gardening style!
Choosing a Variety
With nearly 40 species and countless exciting varieties within those species, Lavandula is treasure-trove of possibilities for the gardener. Here are just two of the most popular species for American gardens:
Lavandula angustifolia, the beloved English Lavender, is renowned both for its flowers and foliage fragrance. It is used in cuisine and potpourri, besides as a spectacular fresh or dried cutflower. Among the classic cultivars are Munstead and Hidcote Blue.
Lavandula stoechas, Spanish (formerly French) Lavender, blooms earlier than its English cousin and sports a different bloom form as well as fragrance type. The flowerstalks are topped with several large, wing-like bracts known as "rabbit ears," very showy in garden or vase. The scent is more pine-like than sweet. To try a superb L. stoechas for containers or small spaces, give Sancho Panza a whirl.
When to Start
Lavender can be sown indoors in late winter or outdoors in early spring or late fall. Wherever it is sown, it will germinate in about 15 to 20 days.
How to Start
Indoors, place one seed in each bio sponge of your Bio Dome or, if you are using a seed flat, on top of the starting medium (the seeds need light to germinate). Best results are when temperatures alternate between about 55 and 72 degrees F.
Outdoors, scatter the seeds onto the soil and then cover with a row protector or very light sprinkling of soil.
Lavender can also be started from cuttings. Dip the cut end of the stem into a rooting hormone and pot it up in a sterile soil-less medium. Keep the cutting away from full sun until it has rooted.
Lavender seedlings are ready to transplant when they have at least two sets of true leaves. Space the plants 12 inches apart in full sun in a neutral to alkaline, light, rich, sandy, well-drained soil. Drainage is critical for Lavender's success.
To dry Lavender, just stand your cut stems in a dry vase, or harvest the flower spikes when the buds just begin to open and hang them upside down by their stems in a shady, cool, dry location.
- Growing Lavender in a lean soil will encourage a higher concentration of oils. An
alkaline and especially chalky soil will enhance Lavender's fragrance.
- Prune your Lavender plants in early spring to keep them from looking ragged. This will
also improve their branching ability.
- Keep in mind that although Lavender has a large, spreading root system, it prefers growing in a tight spot. If you are growing your plants in containers, select those that are just a few inches larger in diameter than the rootball. Too large a pot will only encourage excessive dampness.
Pests and Problems to Watch For
The enemies of Lavender in the garden are moisture and heavy soils. Humid, damp summer weather can cause the plants to rot.
Which plants should I grow to repel insects?Many of the herbs will repel insects. Pennyroyal repels fleas and other insects. Pyrethrum repels moths, flies, ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches, mites, and bedbugs. Mint repels flies, fleas, and ants. Lavender repels flies, silverfish, and fleas. Catnip can repel mosquitoes. Thyme repels insects. Lemon Grass repels mosquitoes. Basil repels flies and mosquitoes. Sage repels a variety of insects. Chrysanthemum, grown for its beautiful flowers and for the extraction of pyrethrin (an organic insecticide), repels flies, beetles, mosquitoes, roaches, lice, and fleas.
Which plants should I grow to repel rabbits and deer?Planting garlic, onions, chives, lavender, rosemary, and sage around rabbit-susceptible plants will repel rabbits. Deer repellent plants include: lavender, onion, catnip, sage, chives, garlic, spearmint, and thyme. Be sure to strategically place these repellent plants around and in between rabbit and deer-susceptible plants. Also, place some along the property line and especially at key points the rabbits and deer are using as entryways, which can even deter them from coming onto your property.
Which of your plants offered are deer resistant?Perennials that are deer resistant include: Asclepias, Aster, Baptisia, Coreopsis, Dianthus, Digitalis, Echinacea, Gaillardia, Heuchera, Hibiscus, Malva, Monarda, Oriental Poppy, Platycodon, Peony, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Sedum, and Tricyrtis. Shrubs include: Buddleia, Buxus, Cotoneaster, Daphne, Forsythia, Fothergilla, Hibiscus (Rose of Sharon), Potentilla, Spiraea, Syringa, and Viburnum. Vines include: Clematis, Honeysuckle, Campsis, Wisteria, and Climbing Hydrangea. Trees include: Acer (Maple), Cercis (Redbud), Corylus, Fagus (Beech), Magnolia, Ginkgo, Mulberry, Spruce, and Salix (Willow).