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Sad lavender and heart's tongue fern.

I have a couple of potted Lavenders which I think may have got too dry, they have new growth now since added fresh compost and watered them. Now they look very tatty, is it possible to prune them out, or will this damage them? I have been told never to cut into the wood.

My heart's tongue fern is also struggling. It's in damp shade, sharing space with a rampant ivy. 

Thank for reading! 


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,243

    Hart's tongue ferns are usually pretty easy. Is it getting enough moisture with the ivy nearby? You can also remove all the old foliage if it's tatty to let new stuff come through.

    You can certainly prune the lavender, although that may affect flowering this year, but have you checked to see if they're a bit pot bound? Once roots get dried out, it's difficult to get them moist again. You might need to take them out the pots and submerge them for a while in a bucket of water. Although they like free draining soil, it doesn't mean they don't like plenty of water. Check for any obvious root dmage by vine weevil too, although I didn't think Lavender was very susceptible. Do you know what variety you have? Some are hardier than others.

    If they're in a location where it's been very windy that can affect foliage too. It's every bit as damaging as severe frosts or cold wet ground.

    Have you got a photo? That will help with advice too  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • cumuluscumulus Posts: 5

    Thanks, Fairygirl. I think you're right about the fern. perhpas I could move it. I'll get some photos of the lavender shortly. I think the pots are fine, had them out about two weeks ago to put fresh compo in. We have had some cold winds, frost and snow in the Midlands recently. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,243

    Are the lavenders quite mature or are they young, small plants? Young ones will dry out more readily, so need a bit more protection. The advantage of pots is that you can move them out of the firing line a bit! 

    Also - if they're going to  be in pots long term, a soil based compost is better, with plenty of additional grit for drainage. Compost alone will dry out more quickly.  Frost and wind on new foliage is the usual problem - snow is fine as it actually protects growth as long as it's not soaking wet to start with. image

    I don't grow lavender any more - our climate here is useless for it. Wet, cold soil is worse than dry cold for that type of plant, as well as lots of winter rainfall which makes them look dire. Rosemary likes the same sort of conditions, but it gets woody over time in the same way, so it's good to take cuttings or sow seed for replacements, and you could do that with your lavender. Cuttings are probably better. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • cumuluscumulus Posts: 5


  • cumuluscumulus Posts: 5

    I've used my own compost to replenish them this time. Before they were in bought compost. I sont put them in the ground anymore, we have heavy clay. And the garden is part shady, facing east, so it takes ages to warm up in spring. It's not easy to grow in! Perhpas I won't have the lush, wonderfully fragrant wonders I crave, maybe it's just not the right area, as you say. Thanks for your advice, it's appreciated! 

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