Nothing pleases the senses quite like a mass planting of lavender – the velvety spikes of purple blooms set against silvery-blue fine foliage; the busy bees, butterflies, and hummingbird moths flitting from flower to flower; and the heavenly scent of those blooms that can undo all the stressors of the day with just one whiff.
However, many gardeners have difficulty growing lavender, as they have a reputation of being somewhat picky about where they are grown. Fortunately, we live in an age where plant breeders recognize problems and swiftly create new tougher varieties. One such tough, reliable hybrid is Grosso lavender. Continue reading for all the perks of growing Grosso lavender plants.
What is Grosso Lavender?
Grosso lavender, scientifically known as Lavendula x intermedia ‘Grosso,’ is a woody perennial hybrid of English lavender and Portuguese lavender. Lavender hybrids of these parent plants are generally known as lavadins, and incorporate all the beauty and fragrance of English lavender with the resistance and tolerance of Portuguese lavender.
Not just a favorite for beds, borders or mass plantings in the home landscape, Grosso lavender is also the most widely cultivated lavender variety for its essential oils. Its long lasting blooms and fragrance are excellent for cut flowers, dry flowers, oil infusions, potpourri, and other crafts, as well as in culinary and herbal recipes.
This is also an excellent plant to grow for honeybees. Harvest the large, deep purple to blue blooms of Grosso lavender from mid to late summer, just as the buds open, on dewy mornings when blooms a laden with natural essential oils.
Growing Grosso Lavender Plants
Like all lavender, Grosso lavender plants require full sun and well-draining soil. However, Grosso lavender does not struggle quite as much as English lavender in the cool, wet conditions of spring or fall in cooler regions. It also can stand up to the hot, arid summers of warm regions better than other lavenders.
Hardy in zones 5-10, Grosso lavender plants will grow best when planted in slightly sandy to rocky soil, with excellent air circulation. Even this tough hybrid cannot handle extremely humid regions, or overcrowding and shading from other plants.
Grosso lavender plants are rabbit and deer resistant, and drought tolerant once established. They seem to thrive in poor, infertile soils where other perennials suffer. To keep plants looking their best, water deeply but infrequently and apply a general slow release fertilizer in spring. For tidy looking plants, deadhead spent blooms.