How to Grow and Care for Lavender ‘Provence’

How to Grow and Care for Lavender ‘Provence’

Lavender ‘Provence’ (Lavandula x Intermedia) is a sub shrub that is evergreen and perennial, known for its adaptability and hardiness, as it can thrive in both hot and cold climates, and even withstand some humidity.

Provence Lavender is widely grown for its highly valued fragrance and oil, making it a perfect choice for gardens that receive full sunlight and require minimal care.

Continue reading as there are specific cultivation preferences and optimal techniques to cultivate Provence lavender for maximum foliage fragrance and flower production.

Care/ RequirementsLavender ‘Provence’
Blooms:Blooms in June for several weeks into the Fall.
Fragrance:Strong, highly regarded scent, grown commercially for its oil.
Size:Height 36 inches, Width 32 inches. Lavender ‘Provence’ takes 2 or 3 years to reach full size.
Life-Span:Up to 15 years with annual pruning and good care.
Sun:Full sun.
Soil Requirements:Well draining sandy soil, with low to medium nutrients. Does not require a fertilizer.
Soil pH:pH 6.5 to pH 8 (slightly acidic to alkaline).
Hardiness:Cold hardy, USDA zones 5-9.
Growing Characteristics:Drought resistant, heat tolerant, cold hardy and can tolerate some humidity.
Spacing:Plant 3 feet apart in garden boarder or pots and containers or plant 2 feet apart for hedging.
Best time for Planting:Plant in the Spring although it can be successfully planted in Summer or the Fall.

Where will Lavender ‘Provence’ Grow?

The hybrid species Lavender ‘Provence’ is named after the renowned Provence region of France, where lavender is cultivated on a grand scale for commercial purposes.

Although it is named after a region in France, Lavender Provence is not a type of French lavender but a crossbreed between English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Portuguese lavender (Lavandula latifolia).

Thus, ‘Provence’ possesses the cold-resistant traits of an English lavender (along with its highly esteemed fragrance) and the extended blooming period of the Portuguese lavender.

‘Provence’ is a versatile type of lavender that can thrive in various weather conditions and produce fragrant blooms.

Lavender ‘Provence’ is capable of surviving in colder, temperate regions like Washington, Oregon, and the UK that encounter freezing temperatures, snow, and ice during winter and can thrive for several years (resilient in USDA zones 5-9).

Nevertheless, due to their Portuguese ancestry, Lavender ‘Provence’ can thrive in dry environments with elevated temperatures, sporadic precipitation, and moderate winters.

Lavender ‘Provence’ has the ability to withstand a certain level of humidity, which is not commonly observed in other types of lavenders.

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For Lavender ‘Provence’ to thrive, it is essential to provide soil with good drainage and infrequent watering, especially in colder climates with more rainfall or high humidity.

Full sun is necessary for all types of lavenders to enhance their blooms and fragrance, and they cannot thrive in shaded areas.

When Does Lavender ‘Provence’ Bloom?

Provence Lavender usually begins to flower in June, similar to English Lavenders, but it has a longer blooming period than English lavenders if you regularly remove the dead flowers.

If provided with ideal growing and climate circumstances, lavender ‘Provence’ has the potential to produce multiple rounds of flowers and continue blooming until autumn.

Provence lavender has been selectively grown in France for its fragrance and oil, resulting in a strong aroma emanating from both the foliage and flowers that can be enjoyed throughout the garden during summer.

What Size Does Lavender ‘Provence’ Grow to?

The Lavender variety ‘Provence’ can grow up to 36 inches tall and 32 inches wide.

‘Provence’ typically reaches its full size in 2 to 3 years, but its growth is influenced by the growing conditions and climate, with those receiving proper care growing larger.

Lavender ‘Provence’ may grow larger in Mediterranean climates compared to colder ones, but with proper care and full sun exposure, it can still reach a similar size.

How to Care for Lavender ‘Provence’

Provence Lavender is a resilient and versatile type that can thrive in various weather conditions.

Although lavender species have their origins in the Mediterranean region of Europe, ‘Provence’ variety still needs similar soil and watering conditions, even though it doesn’t necessarily need the high temperatures of Southern Europe.

To ensure the healthy growth of ‘Provence’ in your garden and prevent issues like root rot, it is necessary to recreate some Mediterranean conditions.

Soil Conditions

Provence Lavender thrives under specific soil conditions, which include:

    • Well draining sandy soil
    • Low to medium nutrients

Porous and friable soil texture is recommended.

  • The ideal soil pH range for growing and caring for Lavender ‘Provence’ is between 6.5 to 8.

In the Southern parts of Europe, Lavandula intermedia Provence flourishes in soils that are typically alkaline and have a low nutrient content. These soils are usually sandy.

Lavenders are well-suited to these conditions, and ‘Provence’ will produce the greatest number of flowers and more potent aromas.

To plant ‘Provence’ lavender, it is recommended to mix one-third of horticultural sand or grit and two-thirds of compost into the soil.

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By doing this, you can mimic the low to medium nutrient conditions that Provence Lavender thrives in and also improve the drainage.

Lavender cannot handle soils that are constantly wet, as this can lead to root rot or fungal infections, so it is essential to have soil that drains well.

The presence of sand in the soil facilitates root respiration by increasing the amount of oxygen available.

Avoid planting ‘Provence’ in soil that is nutrient-rich or has been amended with manure (high in Nitrogen) and refrain from using extra fertilizer, as this will promote foliage growth over flowers and result in a less pronounced fragrance.

Provence lavender plants may droop if grown in overly rich soils, while excessive nitrogen levels can lead to yellowing of the leaves.

If the soil in your garden is not suitable for ‘Provence’ lavender due to slow drainage, boggy texture, or high acidity, it is recommended to grow them in pots or containers as it allows better management of the soil composition.

(For more information read my guide to creating the ideal soil blend for Lavender ‘Provence’).

Horticultural lime from the garden center can be used to amend very acidic soils, which will raise the pH level and make it alkaline.

(For additional details on measuring soil pH and cultivating Lavender ‘Provence’, read my article on lavenders in acidic soil).

Watering

To successfully grow lavender ‘Provence’ for commercial purposes in the South of France, it is crucial to replicate the watering conditions of this area.

    • Provence lavender that has already grown well needs minimal watering. It is advisable to water it once every two weeks during hot weather or when planted in pots. In regions with higher rainfall, additional watering may not be necessary.

Provence lavender plants need more frequent watering when newly planted to prevent transplant shock while the roots are establishing. It is recommended to water them immediately after planting and then once every two or three days for the first week. For the first month, water them once every 3 or 4 days. Once a month has passed, reduce watering to once every two weeks since the roots will be more established by then.

  • Avoid watering during Winter to prevent the development of conditions that promote root rot.

It is recommended to give ‘Provence’ a thorough watering to promote root establishment and increase its ability to withstand drought.

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It is important to keep in mind that Provence lavender is native to the Mediterranean region, and excessive watering can cause more issues than insufficient watering.

If you notice that your lavender has a drooping appearance and its foliage is turning brown, it could be a sign of overwatering. However, this may also occur due to slow draining soils, in which case you can enhance the drainage by adding more horticultural sand or grit to the soil.

If there has been substantial precipitation or numerous cloudy days, then refrain from watering for an additional two weeks.

Pruning Lavender ‘Provence’

Annual pruning is crucial for the longevity and prevention of woody growth in ‘Provence’ lavender.

Encouraging new growth through annual pruning is essential for a better display of Provence lavender flowers since they only bloom on new stems.

Successful pruning of Lavender ‘Provence’ can be done either in the early Spring or the Fall.

As per my personal experience, I trim ‘Provence’ during Spring, typically in March or April, to encourage the growth of numerous new stems before the flowering period that commences in June, resulting in abundant blooms.

Nevertheless, if pruned in the Fall, ‘Provence’ can produce abundant flowers, but ultimately the decision should be based on your climate and personal preference.

It is recommended to prune Provence lavender by at least one-third of its growth, shaping it into a mound to help it withstand harsh Winter weather conditions like snow and ice.

Avoid cutting the lavender down to its woody base since it is unproductive and does not generate numerous new stems.

If you need a helpful demonstration, refer to this YouTube video on pruning lavender:

How Far Apart to Plant

It is crucial to consider the planting distance for Provence lavender since it grows larger at full size.

Provence Lavender requires a planting distance of 3 feet to ensure proper airflow, which minimizes the risk of fungal diseases, and allows the roots to establish themselves in the soil without competing for water and nutrients.

Keeping a distance of 3 feet between each Lavender ‘Provence’ plant is crucial to ensure they receive sufficient light for optimal blooming and fragrance.

As hedges:

Provence Lavender is a suitable option for creating hedges since it can endure certain levels of humidity, which may occur in areas with a denser plant population and more humid microclimates.

Lavender ‘Provence’ has a decent lifespan of approximately 15 years if taken care of properly, and it is resistant to cold weather, which means you won’t have to frequently replace plants damaged by frost or snow like you would with less hardy lavender varieties.

To create a seamless hedge without any spaces, it is recommended to plant each ‘Provence’ lavender approximately 2 feet apart, which may require up to two years for the plant to reach its full size and achieve a uniform appearance.

If you live in a colder region with a brief growing period, it is advisable to plant each ‘Provence’ lavender approximately 18 inches apart since the ultimate size of the plant is typically determined by the growing environment and the summer temperature.

(For more information read my article on spacing lavender for hedges).

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