Ever heard about Lavender ‘Phenomenal’?
Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ is a hybrid lavender created from crossing English lavender and Portuguese lavender that can live up to 15 years.
This lavender differs from other lavenders since it can tolerate mildly acidic soil.
What Is “Phenomenal” Lavender?
Many people think the phenomenal in lavender ‘Phenomenal’ is a describing word.
But actually, it is a type of lavender, a hybrid to be exact. In the attempts to get a lavender with superior characteristics, scientists cross two lavender varieties to retrieve a new variety.
And this approach did work and lavender ‘Phenomenal’ inherited all of the best traits and none of the bad ones! Qualities that this lavender boasts of are:
- Increased tolerance to both cold and hot weather
- Adaptability to a variety of soil types (as long as they are porous)
- More acceptance towards some humidity
- Longer flower blooms
Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ is a mix made by crossing English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), the most common lavender, and Portuguese lavender (Lavandula latifolia).
The hybrid gets its hardiness from English lavender and the flowering traits are passed on from the Portuguese lavender.
This particular lavender grows to a size of 32 inches/80 cm (height) by 30 inches/76 cm (width). This makes it quite a large lavender plant but still not the largest one there is.
Growing Tips For Lavender ‘Phenomenal’
With the benefits of this lavender, you might be interested in growing it for yourself to see if it checks out.
But before you try you will probably want to know what conditions it does best in. It will definitely differ from your normal lavender plants.
Let’s find out what the ideal conditions are for this versatile lavender and what climate it can tolerate.
It requires high sunlight. The more sunlight you provide, the bigger and better it grows.
It also requires porous soil that should not retain water. It can tolerate a wide range of soil types as long as they are porous.
This Lavender survives in mildly acidic soils. But alkaline soils are preferential for optimal growth and flowering.
Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ plants are tolerant to USDA zones 5-9. This makes it almost as hardy as English lavender. Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ stands during frost, ice, and snow
It can also tolerate extreme heat, drought, and high rainfall provided the soil is well-draining. You can also grow it in colder climates with average humidity levels
How To Care For Lavender ‘Phenomenal’?
Just because Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ is versatile doesn’t mean it won’t need any care and help from you. Thinking like this will only lead to a plant of poor health or worse, a dead plant!
Here are all the conditions that need monitoring in order for your lavender ‘Phenomenal’ to be healthy and flower optimally.
Soil happens to be one of the three pillars for growing any lavender plant successfully.
Cultivating Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ in a range of soil types is possible but one soil quality is essential, it must be well-draining.
Looking at the native soils that lavender originates from gives an idea of what soil texture to aim for.
These soils are sandy with low to medium nutrient levels and are highly porous thanks to the bits of weathered rock it contains.
Ability to stabilize soil nutrients range but failure to meet drainage requirements will kill your lavender. You must find a balance.
Avoid using clay soils and compost-rich soils. Since these materials tend to retain water and reduce a soil’s draining capacity. Also, you can increase draining capacity with grit or horticultural sand.
If you don’t want your lavender to have any soil complaints, amending the soil prior to planting is the way to go.
It is quite difficult to amend soil post-planting, plus it poses a risk to the lavender plants.
The Mediterranean, where lavender originates from, is quite a harsh environment where natural nutrients are hard to acquire.
But this is exactly why lavender only requires nutrients in low to medium amounts. This plant is adapted to the nutrient-lacking Mediterranean soils.
Fertilizer shouldn’t be added to lavender soils. For “lavender phenomenal” soil, even a small ratio of compost will suffice.
Soil for lavender ‘Phenomenal’ should have ⅓ sand and ⅔ compost to balance the nutrient levels.
Adding too many nutrients will lead to leggy flowerless growth. However, an excess of Nitrogen will reduce flower production and induce the yellowing of lavender foliage.
These plants do better with fewer nutrients rather than more.
3. Soil pH
Soil can have an acidic or alkaline pH. Looking at the plants thriving in the garden can give you a hint as to what category your soil falls under.
- If your garden has flourishing Roses, Azaleas, or Camellias, it is likely the soil is acidic.
- Daylilies, Boston Ivy, and Polemoniums are a few plants that suggest the garden has alkaline soil.
But, you shouldn’t take a guess and there is an easy way to find out your garden soil’s true pH reading. A soil test kit will let you know if you have to fix your soil’s pH to accommodate your lavender.
Although lavender ‘Phenomenal’ can tolerate mild acidic soils (pH 6.5), it grows best in alkaline soils (up to pH 8).
You can make your garden soil appropriate for this lavender plant by increasing the soil pH. This can be done by adding horticultural lime, a product you can find in garden centers.
You are unlikely to find a lavender that likes shade and lavender ‘Phenomenal’ is no different. This plant should be planted in an open spot where sunlight shines the longest with the highest intensity.
Provide your lavender with a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight and even a maximum of 8 hours.
Sunlight plays an important role in making sure all the plants grow and produce good flower blooms. This is assuming that all other conditions are being provided to the lavender.
If all the conditions are right but the lavender is in a completely shady location, the lavender will not survive. A lot of sunlight is not a negotiation for lavender.
Lack of sunlight can cause problems for your plants and they will physically show.
It could take one extra watering to compromise your lavender plants. These plants are very sensitive to water and even cactus has to be watered sooner than lavender!
Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ like all other lavenders is a drought-tolerant plant from a desert-like environment.
A common misconception is that lavender needs more water because it’s grown in porous soil and full sunlight.
This is not true and watering according to these false conceptions will lead to overwatering. In turn overwatering can lead to root rot, a potentially fatal condition for your lavender.
Infrequent waterings are best for lavender and they prefer being neglected when it comes to watering!
You can adopt a different watering schedule based on the age of the plant or the season currently in progress.
Established lavender plants:
An established lavender plant will display the watering routine that most mature lavender will thrive under.
In the spring and summer seasons, this lavender is content with a generous watering once every two weeks.
That is assuming there has not been any significant rainfall. If there has been rainfall, watering should be skipped or only a minimal amount of water should be given to them.
Temperate climates with occasional rainfall suffice for lavender and it will not need any watering.
Newly planted lavender:
All newly planted immature lavender plants need better care and attention must be paid to them to ensure root development.
Directly after planting, water them generously. Thereafter water them every 2 to 3 days up till the first week. From the second week onwards, only water the plants every 3 to 4 days.
This watering schedule will last a month by which roots must be established and the watering can commence every 2 weeks.
Watering lavender ‘Phenomenal’ in winter:
Don’t water lavender ‘Phenomenal’ in winter as it will obtain moisture from the environment and nothing extra is required.
The plant will not grow and only exhibit a dormant state to survive the winter.
In order for a plant to thrive in its environment, it needs enough space.
This spacing is essential to see any results in your lavender plants. Spacing them too close together can also prove detrimental to health.
Spacing lavender plants too close together with minimal spacing can cause the following.
- Increased humidity between plants
- Competition for resources
- Blockage of sunlight to neighboring plants
- Fewer chances of soil drying (due to reduced sunlight and air currents)
- Chances of plants becoming tangled and intertwined increases
To avoid growing problems, plant lavender plants at a distance of 2 to 3 feet from each other. Larger variants like the Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ need the 3 feet spacing.
Reasonable spacing distances assure that each individual lavender receives its fair share of sunlight, water, nutrients, and warm air.
7. Pruning Lavender ‘Phenomenal’
Spring pruning for Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ will be the most successful timing as they will show the most growth at this time.
Note that flowers only emerge from new growth and hence pruning in spring to promote new growth is ideal.
Pruning helps to promote stem growth and flower production, but it also has another use.
It increases the longevity of lavender by promoting the hardening of the stem to become woody and hardy.
Also, summer is right around the corner from spring.
Pruning in spring stimulates shoot growth, hence chances of having a wonderful Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ bloom in summer will be likely.
When Should You Plant Lavender ‘Phenomenal’?
You will be glad to hear that you can plant Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ in spring, summer, or the fall. But you are best off by settling your lavender into the ground in spring.
This means planting them from April to May which happens to be the spring season in the USA.
What makes spring the best time to plant this lavender?
Spring is the season in which temperatures are just starting to rise after the winter cold. Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ will show the most growth with increasing temperatures and intense sunlight.
Planting in spring also assures that the plant has enough time to establish a solid root system. That is, by the time summer approaches. The plant will make it to winter with the strength and ability to tolerate the cold.
Can You Grow Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ In Pots?
Looking at the size of these pots, you may wonder if it is possible to grow them in pots or not. The truth is if you have the right pot you can grow anything in it!
Just as long as you give the Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ what it needs, it can do well in a pot.
Here are some requirements your lavender will have if grown in a pot:
- Several drainage holes in the pot
- Pot size of 16 inches by 16 inches
- Use a terracotta or clay pot
- Porous, well-draining, low to medium nutrient-rich soils
- Alkaline soil
- The pot must be positioned in a sunny place
- Water once every 2 weeks (use your finger to feel the soil)
Do you need to prune ‘Phenomenal’ lavender?
Yes, lavender ‘Phenomenal’ needs pruning and it can be pruned in either spring or the fall. Seeing as the most growth occurs in spring, this is the best time to prune your lavender. Doing so at this time stimulates flowering and helps to keep the plant looking attractive.
If you live in a colder climate with a lot of space available to you, Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ will be a good pairing.
As you have seen, there are many similarities between Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ and regular lavender variants like English lavender.
Except care has to be taken when pruning this plant. That’s because it has an extra woody stem. Also, they need the full 3 feet or more spacing.
Otherwise, all conditions regarding soil, watering, sunlight, and nutrients are the same as all other lavenders.