You’ll recognize the familiar scent of lavender growing in a garden as soon as a gentle summer breeze tosses the fragrance your way. And you may have tried your hand at growing lavender ‘– perhaps several times before ‘– but your plants just didn’t make it. Most lavender plants like hot and dry conditions, so your plants may have failed simply because of your humid climate. If that describes your efforts to grow this favorite fragrant herb, we may have just made your day. We have a lavender plant that grows from Maine to Central Florida ‘– SuperBlue Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia ‘SuperBlue’). Now you can grow a cold-tolerant, heat-loving plant that can handle humidity in its stride ?… without sacrificing the signature lavender fragrance that you love!
Abundant Flower Spikes
In summer, your SuperBlue Lavender bursts into bloom with flowers that are a mesmerizing shade of deep violet-blue. Even SuperBlue’s flowers are a cut above other types of lavender because they are larger and formed more tightly together on the flower spikes. The result is a dense profusion of color without the gaps between the flowers that other lavenders produce. You’ll be able to cut loads of vividly colored and fragrantly scented blossoms from each mature plant!
SuperBlue Lavender’s flowers aren’t its only lively feature ‘– even its foliage adds a colorful touch to your garden! Far from a nondescript shade of green, SuperBlue’s leaves are a striking shade of grayish-green. And it’s this grayish cast that gives the leaves a shimmery hue to brighten your garden. The brilliant contrast between its flowers and its foliage truly makes SuperBlue Lavender a knockout of a plant.
The fragrance of SuperBlue Lavender is, of course, abundant in its flowers. But even after the flower spikes fade, that unmistakable lavender scent continues to perfume your garden because the foliage is just as fragrant as the flowers! If you make your own potpourri or drawer sachets, you can use either the flowers or the leaves. You can also use both by cutting flowering stems in the peak of bloom. Cut each stem so that you have equal parts of leaves and flowers showing. Add the sprigs to dresser drawers or tie them in bunches that you hang in your closet or antique chiffarobe.
Lavender is a Must-Have Plant for the Herb Garden
Herb gardens come up empty-handed if they don’t include lavender plants. You may wish to grow SuperBlue Lavender for its aromatherapy benefit, but did you know you can also use it as a culinary herb? This aromatic plant is a vital ingredient in Herbes de Provence, which is a special blend of garden herbs. And it’s also a wonderful standalone herb for flavoring roasted meats and vegetables. You can even fold one-half cup of finely chopped flowers into a cup of softened butter and spread the flavored butter on your favorite muffins and pastries. If you want to make lavender-infused sugar, tuck at least six long sprigs of lavender into a plastic zippered bag filled with 4 cups of sugar and let the lavender flavor infuse into the sugar for at least a week. Sprinkle your lavender-infused sugar over cookies; use it to sweeten your favorite tea or coffee; or bake it in your favorite muffins.
But It’s Not Just for the Herb Garden
You don’t have to relegate this plant only to the herb garden because SuperBlue Lavender is as ornamental as it is fragrant and edible. It’s definitely a super plant for “edible landscaping,” which is the mixing of ornamental plants with edible plants into a blended landscape design. SuperBlue Lavender is perfect in rock gardens, where its clumping habit forms tightly concentrated pops of color. Imagine lining your sunny walkway with SuperBlue Lavender as an edging plant to provide color, texture, and fragrance at your feet. If you grow plants of SuperBlue on a gentle slope, they will add a wash of color where other plants may not be able to grow. But SuperBlue will thrive there because of the excellent drainage a gentle slope offers.
Here’s an Herb that Butterflies and Hummingbirds Love
A plant as pleasingly fragrant as SuperBlue Lavender is sure to tantalize your sense of smell, but it also tickles the fancy of some other backyard creatures ‘– butterflies and hummingbirds love lavender nectar! While it’s true that hummingbirds are attracted to the color red (this is the reason that hummingbird nectar feeders always feature that color), they eagerly visit lavender flowers, too! Choose SuperBlue Lavender as an essential plant for your pollinator garden ?… and you’ll enjoy all the butterflies and hummingbirds that it attracts!
Deer- and Rabbit-Resistance is a Plus
The same luscious lavender fragrance that you love is not so much loved by deer and rabbits. And although we agree that deer and rabbits are overwhelmingly cute, they are also overwhelmingly destructive when they happily eat your favorite garden plants! The secret is to plant deer- and rabbit-resistant plants, such as SuperBlue Lavender. This is not a guarantee of zero damage, but it is a step toward growing certain plants that these creatures don’t prefer. And if you live in a rural area, you certainly know the value of deer- and rabbit-resistant plants!
Potted Plant Perfection
SuperBlue Lavender is a container plant darling for three reasons: 1) it has a need for excellent drainage, which containers allow; 2) its fragrance can be enjoyed up-close if you place its container on your patio or other sitting area; and 3) it adds fabulous color to any container design. Play off its grayish-green foliage and its violet-blue flowers by selecting a container that either blends or contrasts with these colors, such as a bright-red pot or a dark-grey pot. And use a potting mix that is specially formulated for succulent plants ‘– not a rich potting mix as you would for most other types of plants.
Performs Magnificently in Raised Beds
For the same reason that SuperBlue Lavender grows well in pots, it also grows beautifully in raised beds ‘– excellent drainage. The primary killer of lavender plants is often wet soil because their roots are quite vulnerable to root rot, which is exacerbated by excessive moisture. For lavender plants to grow happy and healthy, they must grow on well-draining soil. You can construct a simple, framed raised bed by using landscape timbers, or you can just mound the soil in your planting area so that it’s above the grade of the surrounding soil. This small attention to detail ensures a healthier environment for your SuperBlue Lavender plants.
A Poster Plant for Drought Tolerance
As you might imagine from all the talk about the importance of good drainage, SuperBlue Lavender does not have a high demand for water. It’s an outstanding plant for xeriscaping, which is the term for a landscaping practice that efficiently uses and conserves water. One principle of xeriscaping is using drought-tolerant plants, and SuperBlue Lavender is a perfect example of this. Check any cooperative extension university’s list of suitable xeriscape plants, and you’ll see lavender listed. Don’t stand over the plants in your yard with a garden hose or run your sprinkler system to death in the heat of summer. Simply incorporate drought-tolerant plants into your landscape design, such as SuperBlue Lavender, and you’ll save money, time, and one of our most important natural resources ‘– water!
Our Best Growing Tips
Other than well-draining soil, SuperBlue Lavender has only a few other essential growing needs. It prospers in full-sun locations, but if you live in the sunny South, it can also handle some afternoon shade. If you plant it where it receives too much shade, it may not flower as profusely for you. You’ll need to water it more the first year in your garden than in subsequent years to help its roots become established ?… just don’t overdo the watering. Apply fertilizer sparingly. In fact, if you already have reasonably good garden soil, you may not have to fertilize SuperBlue at all. To be on the safe side, take a soil sample to your local Cooperative Extension Service. The staff there will analyze the soil and let you know if you need to add fertilizer, and they’ll recommend what’s best for your climate and soil pertaining to specific plants. SuperBlue Lavender grows as a perennial in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 through 9, where it may need a little protection during harsh winters across the coldest regions in these zones. You can apply mulch around your plants to help insulate the roots in winter, but remember to pull the mulch away from plants in springtime so their crowns won’t rot. After it flowers, prune your plants lightly just to remove the faded flower spikes.