Herb to Know: Lavender 'Grosso' Plant

The hardy ‘Grosso’ lavender variety can grow in areas with cold winters and humid conditions.

  • With 'Grosso', you can realize the dream of beautiful lavender in your garden.
    Photo by Rob Cardillo

With its brisk aroma and eye-catching flowers, lavender has become a symbol of the delicious life. To many Americans, lavender evokes a mythical Provençal night: the window open to the warm night air, a view of faraway hills, clean linen, crusty baguettes, a bottle of wine, and someone to love. Unfortunately, for those of us in much of the continental United States, a healthy lavender plant sometimes remains as elusive as the dream of a Mediterranean paradise.

Lavender 'Grosso' Plant• Lavandin
Lavandula ×intermedia ‘Grosso’
• Hybrid of cold-hardy English (Lavandula angustifolia) and heat-tolerant Portuguese lavenders (L. latifolia)
• Zones 5 to 9

For years, English lavenders (varieties of Lavandula angustifolia) were promoted as the most adaptable because of their cold-hardiness. However, they tend to melt in the humidity and heat of summer.  Lavandins, L. ×intermedia hybrids, combine the cold-hardiness of English lavender with the greater heat tolerance of a Portuguese lavender species, L. ×latifolia. The resulting hybrids are adaptable, heavy-flowering garden plants with a strong scent.

Of the lavandins, the best for all-round garden performance is the variety ‘Grosso’. ‘Grosso’ is the primary commercial variety for production of lavender oil. Its deep aroma, large flower heads, and heavy-flowering nature make it highly profitable to grow. Fortunately for gardeners, it makes an excellent garden plant that is highly adapted throughout the United States.

With some of the most richly colored flowers of all lavandins, ‘Grosso’ makes an impressive show in the garden. Its flowers are a strong violet-blue that shimmer in the summer sunlight. It has a more elegant habit than English lavenders, with long, graceful flower wands making a vast lilac halo around the central mound of silver foliage. It’s heavy-flowering, with sporadic repeat bloom after the main flush of flower in midsummer.

When not in bloom, plants of ‘Grosso’ make compact mounds of silver foliage to 3 feet high and wide. In winter, the foliage picks up tones of pink, violet and blue. With its strong globe shape, ‘Grosso’ is particularly attractive for geometric plantings. A grid of lavandin in gravel would be an excellent low-maintenance substitute for a lawn. ‘Grosso’ grows well in rocky or sandy places. It makes an excellent low hedge and its tolerance for hot, dry conditions lets it thrive along the edges of masonry walks and walls.

9/21/2015 1:09:24 PM

I was wondering why my lavender plant did not flower this year? It is it's first year.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Get the latest on Natural Health and Sustainable Living with Mother Earth News!

Mother Earth News

Your friends at Mother Earth Living are committed to natural health and sustainable living. Unfortunately, the financial impact of COVID-19 has challenged us to find a more economical way to achieve this mission. We welcome you to our sister publication Mother Earth News. What you sought in the pages of Mother Earth Living can be found in Mother Earth News. For over 50 years, “The Original Guide to Living Wisely” has focused on organic gardening, herbal medicine, real food recipes, and sustainability. We look forward to going on this new journey with you and providing solutions for better health and self-sufficiency.

The impact of this crisis has no doubt affected every aspect of our daily lives. We will strive to be a useful and inspiring resource during this critical time and for years to come.

Best wishes,
Your friends at Mother Earth Living and Mother Earth News

Save Money & a Few Trees!

By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of Mother Earth News for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter