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Lavandula angustifolia ‘Imperial Gem’ (Lavender)

Imperial Gem Lavender, English Lavender 'Imperial Gem', Lavender 'Imperial Gem'

AGM Award
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Lavandula angustifolia ‘Imperial Gem’ is celebrated for its intense flower color, delightful fragrance, and versatile garden uses. Its moderate growth habit and stunning visual appeal make it a favored choice for gardeners seeking to add a touch of elegance and functionality to their outdoor spaces.

English Lavender – Imperial Gem: An In-depth Look

Lavandula angustifolia ‘Imperial Gem’ is a distinguished cultivar of English lavender known for its strikingly deep violet flowers and dense, aromatic foliage. Its vibrant color and compact, bushy habit make it a standout in any garden setting, offering both aesthetic beauty and practical benefits.

Native: This cultivar, like its species Lavandula angustifolia, is native to the Mediterranean region but has been specifically bred to excel in garden performance. Lavender belongs to the mint, deadnettle, or sage family, Lamiaceae.

Plant Type and Habit: This shrub is characterized by its neat, mounded growth habit, forming a well-defined shape that’s ideal for formal and informal gardens alike. ‘Imperial Gem’ combines the traditional allure of English lavender with a robustness that suits modern landscaping needs.

Size: It typically reaches a height and spread of 12 to 24 inches (30-60 cm), making it suitable for small gardens, borders, and container gardening.

Flowers: The plant boasts deeply saturated violet flowers that appear in dense spikes, offering a long-lasting display of color and fragrance. The bloom period for ‘Imperial Gem’ extends from late spring through to early summer, with the potential for a second flush of flowers in late summer or early autumn if spent blooms are deadheaded promptly.

Foliage: Its foliage is a striking silver-green, providing a beautiful contrast to the dark flowers and adding year-round interest to the garden. The leaves are narrow, lance-shaped, and emit a strong, pleasing scent when brushed against.

Hardiness: This cultivar is hardy in USDA zones 5-9, making it a resilient choice for a variety of climates.

Award: Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Uses: ‘Imperial Gem’ is prized for its decorative appeal in landscape design, suitable for mass plantings, borders, and as a focal point in rock or herb gardens. Like other lavenders, its flowers can be used to add flavor and decoration to dishes and beverages. The dried flowers maintain their color and fragrance, making them ideal for use in sachets, potpourris, and homemade beauty products.

Wildlife: The flowers are a magnet for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, enhancing biodiversity in the garden.

Deer and Rabbits: Lavender is deer and rabbit resistant, owing to its fragrant foliage, making it an excellent choice for gardens plagued by these pests.

Drought Tolerance: This lavender is highly drought-tolerant once established, requiring minimal watering and thriving in dry conditions.

Toxicity: Lavender contains compounds toxic to dogs, cats, and horses if ingested in large quantities, leading to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and lethargy. Use caution around pets.

Invasiveness: English lavender is not considered invasive. It grows well where planted without spreading aggressively.

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How to Grow and Care for English Lavender

Light: Full sun (6+ hours of direct sunlight daily).

Soil: Well-drained, sandy, or gravelly soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. Excellent drainage and air circulation are essential, specifically in hot, humid climates. Lavender tolerates dry soils.

Water: Allow soil to dry out between watering. Established plants are drought-tolerant.

Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization is needed. Apply a light, slow-release fertilizer in early spring, if at all.

Pruning: Prune lightly in early spring to shape and again after flowering to encourage dense growth.

Propagation: Best propagated by cuttings in summer.

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English Lavender – Pests, Diseases, and Common Problems

English Lavender is relatively low-maintenance but can encounter some pests, diseases, and common problems

Pests

  • Aphids: These insects can cause curling and distortion of the leaves and stems, as well as the production of sticky honeydew.
  • Spider mites: These tiny pests can cause yellowing and stippling of the leaves, as well as the formation of webbing.
  • Whiteflies: Whiteflies are small, sap-sucking insects often found on the undersides of leaves, where they feed on plant sap and excrete sticky honeydew.
  • Thrips: These insects feed on the plant’s flowers, causing them to become deformed and discolored.

Diseases

  • Septoria leaf spot: This fungal disease can cause small, dark spots on the leaves, which can eventually cause them to turn yellow and drop off.
  • Root rot: Overwatering and poorly-draining soil can lead to root rot, which can cause the plant to wilt and die.
  • Powdery mildew: This fungal disease can create a powdery white coating on the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and fall off.

Common Problems

Woody Growth: Lavender becomes woody with age. Regular pruning can delay this, but plants may need replacing every few years.
Insufficient Blooming: Often due to too much nitrogen or insufficient sunlight. Ensure full sun and avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers.
Legginess: Caused by inadequate light. Plant in a location that receives full sun to promote compact growth.

Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Gorgeous Lavender


Trouble-free if grown in the right conditions, lavender is a wonderful addition to flower beds and containers thanks to its richly fragrant flowers and aromatic foliage.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 5 - 8
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Herbs, Shrubs
Plant Family Lamiaceae
Genus Lavandula
Common names English Lavender, Lavender
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy, Evergreen, Fragrant, Plant of Merit
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Edging, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden
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Lavandula (Lavender)
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Lavandula angustifolia LITTLE LADY (Lavender)
Lavandula stoechas ‘Silver Anouk’ (Spanish Lavender)
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Lady’ (Lavender)
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote Pink’ (Lavender)
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote Superior’ (Lavender)
Lavandula angustifolia Lavance Deep Purple (Lavender)

Recommended Companion Plants

Rosa (Rose)
Achillea (Yarrow)
Salvia (Sage)

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Lavender in the Garden
How to Dry Lavender and Preserve its Fragrance
Pruning Lavender for Beautiful Plants
Planting and Caring for Lavender in Pots
Lavandula x intermedia (Lavandin)
Continuously Blooming Lavenders
Mid to Late Summer Blooming Lavenders
Late Spring and Early Summer Blooming Lavenders
Early Blooming Lavenders
Lavender Varieties and Blooming Seasons
Drought Tolerant Companion Plants For Lavenders
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Strongest Scented English Lavender Varieties
Strongest Scented Lavandin Lavenders
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Plants with Purple Flowers to Add Charm to Your Garden
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 5 - 8
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Herbs, Shrubs
Plant Family Lamiaceae
Genus Lavandula
Common names English Lavender, Lavender
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy, Evergreen, Fragrant, Plant of Merit
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Edging, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Lavandula (Lavender)
Not sure which Lavandula (Lavender) to pick?
Compare Now

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