Lavandula x intermedia (Lavandin)

Lavandula x intermedia is commonly known as Lavandin or Hybrid lavender. It is an aromatic evergreen subshrub, forming a dense, rounded cushion of narrow grey-green leaves.

In summer, long branched flower stalks emerge from the foliage. They bear fragrant spikes of tiny flowers, which can be blue, light blue, or white, depending on the variety.

Hybrid Lavender, as its name implies, is a blend of two species: Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. Its popularity results from its unique mix of traits—it inherits the cold hardiness of L. angustifolia and the heat tolerance of L. latifolia, making it a highly versatile plant that can thrive in various climates.


This plant is native to the Mediterranean region, especially France and Spain. In these places, you can find both of its parent plants, L. angustifolia and L. latifolia, growing side by side. They easily and naturally mix together, creating the hybrid Lavandula x intermedia.

Lavandula x intermedia plant (Lavandin, Hybrid Lavender)

Quick Overview

TYPE

HEIGHT & WIDTH

Lavandula x intermedia size

BLOOM TIME

Lavandula x intermedia bloom time

SUNLIGHT

full sun

HARDINESS

hardiness (-15ºC / 5º F)

DROUGHT TOLERANCE

drought tolerance aprox 4 months

ORIGIN

origin mediterranean basin

Lavandin Scientific name

  • Botanical name: Lavandula x intermedia (lav-AN-du-la  in-ter-MEE-dee-uh)
  • Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee)
  • Common name: Lavandin, Hybrid Lavender
NameMeaning
lavandulaFrom the Latin word “lava”, which means wash since lavender was so commonly used during bathing
x intermediaThe name “intermedia” comes from Latin meaning “intermediate” or “in-between.” In botanical terms, it often indicates a hybrid or intermediate form between two species or varieties.

How to identify Lavandula x intermedia

Lavandula x intermedia plant (Lavandin, Hybrid Lavender)

Plant

Lavandula x intermedia is an aromatic evergreen subshrub with narrow grey-green leaves that form a dense cushion-shaped form.

During summer, its long flower stalks emerge, carrying long cylindrical spikes of tiny flowers. Depending on the variety, the flowers can be different shades of violet or even white.

The plant’s foliage is around 40 cm (1.3 ft ) high, and the flower stalk is 70 cm (2.6 ft) long. The width is 60 to 90cm (2 to 3 feet).

This Hybrid Lavender is hardier, larger, and yields more essential oil than its parent  L. angustifolia.

Lavandula x intermedia stem (Lavandin, Hybrid Lavender)

Stem

The stems are upright or slightly prostrate. The upper part of the stem is square-shaped and green, but it progressively becomes rounder, browner and woody at the base.

The leaves grow opposite at each node in pairs or whorls, often with tufts of tiny foliage in the leaf axils. 

The flower stalk emerges from the tip of the stem, is usually branched, and can reach 70cm (2.6 ft) in height or more.

Lavandula x intermedia leaf (Lavandin, Hybrid Lavender)

Leaf

The leaves are narrow, very fragrant and lightly haired. They are grey-green but turn silver as they face harsh weather conditions especially high temperatures. The new leaves in spring are a bright green colour.

The shape is linear with a prominent mid vein on the underside, untoothed and edges rolled under.

The size is around 5cm ( 2 in) long.

Lavandula x intermedia flower (Lavandin, Hybrid Lavender)

Flower

The inflorescence varies between 3 to 7 cm (1.2 to 2.8 in) and is composed of tiny flowers loosely arranged in whorls around the stem. The inflorescence is long and pointy, like its parent L. latifolia.

The flowers are usually violet and have a fused corolla inside an oval, densely-haired calyx. They are two-lipped: the upper lip has 2 lobes, and the lower lip has 3 lobes. The stigma and stamens are inside the tubular corolla.

The fragrant flowers are borne on long, branched stalks and bloom in the summer.

.


Interested in Lavenders? Click the button below to download a quick guide

Get your FREE ebook!

A complete guide to 7 Lovely Lavender varieties!

    Lavandula x intermedia Habitat

    Lavandula x intermedia originates from the Mediterranean basin and grows naturally in places where its parents coexist, specifically France and Spain. 

    L. angustifolia can be found in the mountains at an elevation between 600m and 1200 m (2000 and 4000 feet) in sunny areas with well-drained limestone (calcareous soil).

    L. latifolia can be found in the same areas but at a lower elevation interval, 300m and 800m (1000 and 2600 feet) in open sunny spaces and forest areas with well-drained limestone.

    Hybrid Lavender typically inhabits the shared habitat of its parent plants, found within the range accessible to the pollinators that transfer pollen between the two parent species.

    Lavandula x intermedia Cultivars

    Many different varieties of Lavandula x intermedia are cultivated due to their high yield of essential oil and ornamental interest in gardens. The table below shows some popular varieties.

    CultivarDescription
    ‘Alba’Known since 1880. Evergreen, dome shape up to 75cm (2.4 ft) high. Grey-green leaves and white flowers. The name comes from its white flowers.
    ‘Dutch group’A widely-grown lavandin, introduced in 1920. Evergreen foliage is up to 40cm (1.3 ft) high, and flower stalks are up to 90cm (3 ft) high. Leaves are grey, and flowers with light violet corolla and light green calyx. Long flowering time, ideal for extended seasonal interest
    ‘Grosso’The mostly cultivated lavandin. An aromatic French cultivar introduced in 1972. Evergreen foliage up to 40cm (1.3ft) high. Flower stalk up to 75cm (2.5 ft). Flowers have a violet corolla and light green calyx. Leaves are narrow and grey-green
    ‘Hidcote Giant’Introduced in 1958, it has evergreen foliage up to 20cm (0.6 ft) high and flower stalks up to 76cm (2.5 ft). Its flowers have a violet corolla and light green calyx. The plant has narrow grey-green leaves and sturdy stems, which is why it is often grown for cut flowers.
    ‘Old English’Introduced in 1930 and historically known as L. spica, it has evergreen foliage up to 43cm (1.4 ft) and a flower stalk up to 115cm (3.7 ft). The leaves are grey-green, and the flowers are pale-purple. It is ideal for cottage gardens.
    ‘Phenomenal’A new variety, selected for its cold and damp tolerance. Evergreen foliage up to 50 cm (1.6ft) that does not thin out in the centre. Flower stalk up to 70 cm (2.3 ft). Leaves are grey-green or silver, and flowers are bright blue-violet. Ideal for cold and humid climates.
    Provence’This is a new variety selected for its cold and damp tolerance. It has evergreen foliage up to 50 cm (1.6ft) that does not thin out in the centre and a flower stalk up to 70 cm (2.3 ft). The leaves are grey-green or silver, and the flowers are bright blue-violet. It is ideal for cold and humid climates.

    Lavandula x intermedia Usage

    Ornamental

    Lavandin is very much appreciated due to its dense cushion shape of narrow, grey-green to silver-grey foliage and tall spikes of fragrant flowers, which add movement, colour and pollinators to the garden.

    Its beauty, combined with low maintenance requirements, make it a popular choice for gardeners seeking both beauty and practicality. 

    It can be used in the landscape in the following ways:

    1. Border Plant: It can be used as a border plant along pathways or garden beds, adding fragrance as it is brushed and creating a stunning visual display.
    2. Xeriscape: Due to its drought tolerance and low water requirements, it is ideal for xeriscaping projects in arid or dry climates.
    3. Focal Points: Whether single or in groups, its striking flower stalks make it an ideal focal point in the landscape. It draws attention with its long stalks gently swaying in the breeze.
    4. Container Planting: it can thrive in containers on patios, balconies, or entryways providing a burst of colour and scent in small spaces.
    5. Wildlife Gardens: Its flowers attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, making it a valuable addition to wildlife-friendly gardens.

    Biodiversity

    Like all lavenders, the lavandin flowers are also attractive to beneficial insects such as bees,  butterflies and other pollinators. This makes it an ideal plant to enhance the biodiversity of your garden. 

    Moreover, due to its high nectar content, lavandin is particularly attractive to bees, making it a top choice for honey production, resulting in one of the most popular honey.

    Other Uses

    The flower stems of Lavandin can be used in fresh floral arrangements.

    The dried flowers retain their strong fragrance. They can be used to make sachets to perfume wardrobes, and repel moths.

    How to care for Lavandula x intermedia

    Cold exposure

    This plant can tolerate frost and cold weather down to -15ºC (5ºF ) or less. However, this is possible only if the soil is well drained. Cold, soggy soil can be fatal to it. If this is the case you can lighten the soil to improve its drainage by adding sand and gravel.

    While the plant is not yet established, you should add a thick layer of mulch around the plant’s base to protect the roots from cold temperatures. Using gravel mulch is preferable because organic mulch will stay humid and can cause the plant to rot.

    Sun exposure

    Lavandin prefers full sun to produce more flowers and fragrance, but it can also tolerate some shade.

    In extremely hot climates or areas with intense sunlight, it’s beneficial to shield plants from the harsh afternoon sun to avoid leaf damage. Offering partial shade during the hottest part of the day can shield the plant from excessive heat and strong sunlight.

    Soil

    Lavandin thrives in poor, well-drained soils, particularly gritty, rocky ones. It’s best to avoid planting it in damp locations, as it is not tolerant of soggy soil, which can increase the risk of root rot and fungal infections.

    If your area tends to become waterlogged, you may need to keep the entire root ball above ground level and fill in with a raised mound of sandy soil, sloping gradually away from the plant’s base.

    It prefers neutral pH or alkaline soil but can also tolerate mildly acidic soil.

    Avoid fertilizing the soil if you need the plant to remain robust and better equipped to handle extreme temperatures.

    Watering

    Lavandula x intermedia  is drought tolerant and can go for some months without water once it is established (about 4 months of drought if the temperature is not too hot). 

    Once established, it usually does not need watering. In fact, excessive moisture can lead to root rot. However, if there’s a long period without rain or very hot weather, you should water it.

    During its first year after planting, it’s essential to water the young plant regularly. Depending on the soil and the temperatures, you may need to water it once a week, every two or three weeks.

    When you water the plant, make sure to give it plenty of water, allowing the soil to get a good soak. This way, the water can sink deep into the soil, helping the roots grow deeper as well. With deep roots, the plant can withstand longer dry periods since the lower soil layers stay moist for a longer time.

    Mulch should be added around the plant’s root area to preserve the soil’s moisture. The mulch should be gravel because organic mulch can lead to leaf rot.

    Pruning

    Hybrid Lavender should be pruned every year to maintain a neat, rounded, compact growth and prevent it from getting a shaggy, woody look.

    • During any time of the year, cut off the diseased or yellow leaves to maintain the foliage’s vigorous growth and healthy appearance.
    • Immediately after the flowering period (late summer), give it a hard prune by about one-third. Be careful to always prune above the leaf, otherwise, the stems will die out.

    Pruning should not be done in autumn as this will encourage new growth that may not survive the cold winter ahead.

    Even if you prune it every year, it will eventually start to get woody. You may need to replace it every 10 years or so.

    When to plant Lavandula x intermedia

    The best season to plant is typically in the spring or autumn, but it will depend on your climate. You should avoid planting during periods of extreme temperatures.

    If you have mild weather where you live, it’s best to plant in the autumn to give it time to develop the roots during the cooler months before the arrival of the hot summer. In case of very cold winters, it’s better to wait until spring when the risk of frost has passed and the soil is warmer. That way, the plant can have a better chance to grow well and be healthy.

    How to propagate Lavandula x intermedia

    Lavandula x intermedia is sterile so it cannot be propagated by seed.  So, the best way to propagate it is by cuttings.

    Semi-ripe cuttings: Mid Summer to early autumn

    • Take a 7 to 10 cm (2.7 to 4 in) cutting with a heel or at a node from the current year’s growth. Roots will form within a few weeks.
    • Place them in a cold frame over winter. 
    • Plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts.

    Sources of information used for this article

    Sources

    Article from Kew

    Article from Jardin-sec

    Article from MDPI

    Other Lavandulas you may also like

    If you liked this content, please share !