How to Grow and Care for Lavender ‘Munstead’

How to Grow and Care for Lavender ‘Munstead’

Lavandula angustifolia, commonly known as Lavender ‘Munstead’, is a woody sub shrub that is perennial and favored by gardeners and commercial growers alike due to its hardiness, which enables it to withstand both cold and hot climates, while also emitting a delightful fragrance throughout the year.

Munstead‘s small size makes it ideal for ornamental hedges, potted plants, and as an appealing border plant.

Continue reading to learn additional information about the suitable location for cultivating and maintaining Munstead lavender

Plant profile:

Care/requirementsLavender Munstead
Flowering:Flowers usually in mid June and last for 4 weeks.
Fragrance:Exudes a strong, sweet fragrance all year round from the foliage and from the flowers in summer.
Size at maturity:12 inches (30 cm) tall and 18 inches (45 cm) wide.
Longevity:Lives up 15 years with good care.
Light requirements:Full sun.
Preferred soil:Well draining, sandy soil with low to medium fertility.
Pruning:Hard prune once at the start of spring. Deadheading in the summer will promote more flowers.
Watering:Water once every 2 weeks in the growing season if there has been no rainfall. Do not water in winter.
Soil pH:Will grow in slightly acidic soil but prefers alkaline pH. Grows in soils with a pH of 6.5-8.
Hardiness:Tolerates frost, snow, ice in through winter in cold temperate climates. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9. Munstead also tolerates high heat and is resistant to drought.
Pots and containers:Grow very well in pots and containers thanks to the preferable draining conditions, and its proportionate size.
Best time for planting:Spring is the best time to plant, although munstead can be successfully planted throughout the growing season up until the fall.
Spacing:Plant Munstead lavenders 2 feet apart for good airflow to reduce the chance of fungal disease.

Where will Lavender ‘Munstead’ grow?

Lavender Munstead is a perennial that is known for its ability to withstand cold weather and thrive in many different climates. This type of lavender can survive snow, ice, and frigid temperatures during the winter season and live for an extended period of time. In comparison, French lavenders will not make it through the first frost without proper winter protection.

Munstead has the ability to withstand drought and thrive in hot regions with minimal rainfall due to its adaptations to the Mediterranean climate where it originates from.

Munstead can thrive in regions with abundant rainfall and is widely grown from California to the Pacific Northwest, including Washington where commercial lavender cultivation is prevalent, as well as being a popular choice in England.

For those residing in regions with abundant precipitation, it is crucial to possess adequately permeable soil and comprehend the appropriate method and timing for Lavender Munstead irrigation, as explained later in this piece.

The lavender will thrive, bloom and generate oil and aroma in a variety of climates as long as it is exposed to direct sunlight. Just like all other lavenders, ‘Munstead’ does not do well in the shadows.

Sunny location is crucial for the lavender to produce more flowers and emit a stronger fragrance.

Munstead can thrive in exposed and breezy sites since it imitates its natural habitat found in the coastal regions of southern France, Italy, and Spain.

Unfortunately, no lavender species or variety is suitable for areas with high humidity. These climates can cause lavenders to be more prone to the fungal disease root rot.

Flowering and Fragrance

Lavender munstead is grown not only for gardeners due to its resilient characteristics but also for commercial purposes because of its oils and exquisite scent.

English lavenders possess the most sweet-smelling fragrance among all types of lavenders, and their aroma is more noticeable than that of French varieties. The scent emanates from the foliage throughout the year, but it becomes more intense during summer when the flowers are in full bloom.

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The flowering of Lavender ‘Munstead’ is contingent upon the climate and weather, but it typically blooms in mid-June and lasts for approximately four weeks.

Removing the faded flowers on a regular basis will promote the growth of new ones and maintain the neatness of Lavender ‘Munstead’.

Longevity

English lavenders outlive other lavender species by a considerable margin, with French lavenders lasting only 4 to 5 years despite receiving proper care, although they may bloom for a more extended period.

‘Munstead’ lavender, which belongs to the English lavender variety, is known for its hardiness and longevity. If given proper care and suitable environmental conditions, it can survive up to 15 years.

As such, lavender ‘Munstead’ is a cost-effective option that can spread its pleasant fragrance throughout the garden for an extended period.

Regular pruning, well-draining soil, and full sun are crucial practices to ensure the longevity of lavender munstead. It is essential to prune the lavender annually to prevent the woody base from growing too quickly.

Check out my article for more tips on extending the life of Lavender ‘Munstead’.

How to care for lavender Munstead

Despite being an English lavender variety, ‘Munstead’ actually comes from the Mediterranean region of Europe, just like all other lavender species.

It is crucial to replicate the Mediterranean environment of Munstead in your garden to properly care for it, especially when it comes to soil type, watering, and sunlight exposure.

Despite being native to the Mediterranean region, ‘Munstead’ lavender can thrive in colder temperatures due to its hardiness and adaptability.

It is simple to create the ideal environment for cultivating Munstead, and once achieved, the plant requires minimal upkeep.

Soil preference

The soil type is the crucial factor to consider when caring for lavender ‘Munstead’.

To grow and care for Lavender ‘Munstead’, it is important that the soil has a porous texture to ensure rapid drainage of water from the roots, as these plants are generally resistant to diseases but can be vulnerable to root rot if the soil remains persistently wet.

Munstead lavender, native to the Mediterranean region, thrives in sandy and stony soils that drain quickly but lack the water retention of organic soils.

Lavender ‘Munstead’ is suitable for colder temperate regions due to its ability to withstand cold weather. In such areas with heavy precipitation, it is crucial to have well-draining soil to ensure the plant’s survival during winter when evaporation is minimal and the lavender is dormant.

When cultivating lavender ‘Munstead’, it is essential to modify the soil with sand or gravel to imitate the soil conditions in the lavenders natural habitat. Check out my guide to discover more about how to make the ideal soil mix for lavenders.Read more here.

Soil fertility: Lavender ‘Munstead’ grows well in soils with low nutrients, contrary to popular belief. Planting lavender in rich, organic soils with high nutrient content will result in excessive growth of foliage at the expense of flowers.

To thrive and have a long lifespan, Lavender ‘Munstead’ requires soil with moderate to low fertility, which is essential for its growth, flowering, and aroma.

When planting Lavender ‘Munstead’, steer clear of using enriched compost, manure, or fertilizer in the soil. A general potting soil mix should suffice, with about one-third course builders sand or gravel added to it. Check out this link for more information on the ideal soil mix for lavenders in containers and pots.

By adding sand to the soil, you can achieve the appropriate soil structure without affecting its fertility, which creates ideal growing conditions for Lavender ‘Munstead’.

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Soil acidity: Lavender Munstead and Hidcote, which are robust English varieties, can tolerate slightly acidic soils with a pH of approximately 6.5 (pH 7 is neutral) better than French lavender types. Nevertheless, all lavenders thrive in soils that are somewhat alkaline, up to pH 8.

Soils with an overly acidic pH (below 6.5) can cause Lavender ‘Munstead’ to experience stress, as it may not be able to access certain nutrients in this level of acidity. If you are uncertain about the pH of your garden soil, read my article on lavenders and acidic soils, which explains how to measure soil pH and how simple it is to amend acidic soils.

Watering Munstead lavender

Proper watering is crucial for the care of munstead lavenders.

It is important to remember that lavenders come from a hot, dry climate with intense sunlight and minimal precipitation.

As such, lavender requires only occasional watering.

  • Mature ‘Munstead’ English lavender requires watering only once every two weeks during spring and summer, provided there is no rainfall.
  • Avoid watering your lavender for a few days if there has been substantial rainfall in the past two weeks since the last watering. Check the soil around the plant, and if it feels damp, wait for it to dry out before watering again.
  • Young lavenders need extra attention to prevent transplant shock. Give the plant a thorough watering every two days for the initial week. During the following month, water it every three or four days. After three months, return to a regular watering routine of once every two weeks.
  • Avoid watering ‘Munstead’ during winter when it is dormant to prevent root rot, as lavenders are highly vulnerable during this period and can absorb sufficient moisture from the surroundings.

All lavenders are more susceptible to problems caused by over watering than under watering, as they are naturally resistant to drought.

Signs of an over-watered Lavender ‘Munstead’ are a wilting appearance with brown leaves, which can be mistaken for an under-watered plant. (Check out my article for solutions to a dying Lavender ‘Munstead’).

Lavenders thrive when watered using the ‘soak and dry’ method, which involves giving them a substantial amount of water at once. This technique promotes root growth and helps the plant withstand periods of drought.

Pruning

All types of lavender can greatly benefit from an annual hard pruning.

Pruning lavenders has several advantages:

    1. Slowing down unproductive growth at the woody base can enhance the longevity of lavender through pruning.

Regular pruning each year can help the Lavender ‘Munstead’ maintain a neat and compact shape, making it more resistant to harsh weather conditions such as snow and ice while also enhancing its appearance.

  1. Lavenders flower only on new growth, so pruning encourages the development of fresh stems to bear more blooms.

There is a difference of opinion among experts and commercial growers regarding the best time to prune, either in Spring or Fall.

In my experience, Spring pruning yields the most favorable outcomes for English lavenders since it encourages fresh growth that leads to abundant blossoms.
The ideal moment to trim is when fresh verdant development is starting to appear at the bottom of the shrub.

To prune ‘Munstead’ lavender, use pruners or shears to remove the top third of the previous year’s green growth and shape it into a mound.

It is important to only trim the flexible growth of the lavender plant and avoid cutting into its woody base, which cannot regrow and may split if trimmed.

To get a better understanding of how to prune lavender and what the plant should look like after pruning, refer to this YouTube video.

When is the best time to plant?

The optimal time to grow Lavender ‘Munstead’ is during the early spring months (April/May) when the soil temperature begins to rise.

Optimal planting time is now to allow the Munstead Lavender plant to acclimate and establish itself before June’s flowering season.

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Munstead can be planted at any time during the growing season, but if you choose to plant it in June or July, the transplant shock may decrease its blooming capacity, and you may have to wait until the following year for a satisfactory flower display.

Another option for planting is after the flowering season in August, but it requires extra attention to watering due to the hotter temperatures and reduced rainfall.

Planting in Autumn may pose a greater risk as it provides less time for the roots to establish themselves before the winter dormancy of Munstead Lavender.

If Lavender Munstead does not have sufficient time to establish in new soil before winter, it is more susceptible to root rot since winter soils are usually cold and wet for extended periods.

Munstead can be sowed during autumn in regions with milder temperatures that don’t encounter frost during the winter and have reduced precipitation to minimize the possibility of root decay.

How far apart to plant

  • For decorative hedging, space the ‘Munstead’ lavender plants 18 inches apart, while in borders, maintain a distance of 2-3 feet.

Lavender munstead is widely used for creating ornamental hedges due to its small stature, pleasant aroma, and ability to withstand harsh conditions.

During flowering season, the lavender ‘Munstead’ produces a profusion of lovely purple flowers that create an appealing display in any garden.

If you are planning to create a decorative hedge using lavender munstead, it is recommended to plant them every 18 inches to 2 feet apart. This distance allows the lavender to produce a continuous and beautiful display of flowers during summer while also providing enough space for air circulation around the leaves.

Every lavender plant requires sufficient space to permit occasional air movement through the leaves, which decreases the likelihood of fungal infections.

Planting lavender ‘Munstead’ in close proximity emphasizes the significance of well-draining soil and low humidity, underscoring the need to incorporate sand or grit into the soil prior to planting.

Planting lavender in pots or raised beds can enhance the drainage and promote better airflow around the plant’s foliage.

For optimal growth, position Lavender ‘Munstead’ in borders at intervals of 2-3 feet, so that each one can get enough light.

Growing in pots and containers

Munstead lavender is ideal for cultivating in pots and containers due to their preference for favourable drainage conditions, and their nice compact size makes them an excellent choice as ornamental plants.

If your garden soil is unsuitable due to excessive moisture or acidity, using pots and containers can be an excellent alternative for growing lavenders, allowing you to adjust the soil according to their specific requirements.

It is important to ensure that the pot has drainage holes in the base and measures 16 inches across.

A container of this size will provide enough soil to keep the roots warm in winter and ensure that there is sufficient nutrients and access to water for the lavender roots. Check out my guide on selecting the ideal pot for Lavender ‘Munstead’.

Although the care guidelines for cultivating lavenders in pots and containers are identical to those for growing them in garden soil, using pots and containers has the added benefit of improving airflow around the Munstead lavender’s foliage, thereby decreasing the likelihood of fungal disease.

Mulching

Avoid adding organic mulch like leaf mould or compost to Munstead lavenders as it goes against their preferences.

Munstead lavenders thrive in soils with low to medium fertility and dry conditions, making it beneficial to use a mulch like wood bark for weed control.

White stone is utilized by some professional cultivators as a mulch to reflect sunlight onto the Lavender Munstead, resulting in increased light exposure and decreased moisture levels, which helps keep the plant healthy and disease-free.

While promoting flowers and increasing oil yields, it is not always essential to have increased light in ornamental gardens.

Key Takeaways:

Munstead

    • is a type of English lavender that typically blooms for a month, usually around mid-June, and is well-liked by both gardeners and commercial cultivators due to its pleasant scent.

    • Munstead lavender is a resilient perennial that can thrive in both cold and hot climates, enduring harsh winter conditions such as snow, ice, and frost while also being drought-resistant; with proper care, it can live up to 15 years.
    • Munstead lavender is a suitable option for decorative hedges, pots, containers, and borders due to its relatively small size of 12 inches (30 cm) in height and 18 inches (45 cm) in width.

Munstead thrives in full sunlight and well-draining soil, particularly in sandy soils with low nutrient levels, where it blooms abundantly.

    • During the growing season, it is recommended to water mature Lavender ‘Munstead’ plants only once every two weeks if there is no rainfall.

Prune your Lavender Munstead annually during springtime to promote longevity and maintain its neat appearance.

  • ‘Munstead’ should be planted in early Spring, with a spacing of 18 inches for hedging and 2-3 feet apart in borders to achieve optimal growth.

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