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Dec 6, 2019

Leading The Lavender Revolution

Karl Batschke
General Manager for Darwin Perennials

2020 has been dubbed The Year of the Lavender by The National Garden Bureau. This fine organization designates several ornamentals and vegetables as “Year of” plants to draw attention to their importance and usefulness to consumers. Putting focus on Lavender is particularly significant to me because I’ve been involved with bringing innovative, problem-solving Lavender varieties to the North American market for well over a decade. New, weather- and humidity-tolerant Spanish Lavender varieties like the Anouk series made it possible for producers to be successful in non-traditional Lavender growing locations like the Northeast and Southeast U.S.

I’ve had the great fortune to work with some of the finest Lavender breeders in the world and evaluated hundreds of thousands of seedlings in their trial fields. I’m still amazed at the advancements these dedicated Lavender experts are bringing to market.

One example is Lavender Primavera, which Darwin Perennials will introduce at California Spring Trials for the retail 2021 season. I first experienced this amazing breakthrough in the summer of 2018 in our West Chicago trials. Typically, Spanish Lavender do not respond well to the summer heat and humidity of Illinois and flower very poorly if at all. That’s why I was shocked to see the wonderfully large, showy and non-fading flowers of Primavera.

We repeated this trial at multiple locations in the U.S. during the summer of 2019 and the results were equally impressive. Not only does this unique variety flower in summer heat, it will flower in early winter because it requires no cold treatment. Imagine: A Spanish Lavender that will flower in January in Florida or south Texas, and July in Charlotte or Chicago. I have to say, Primavera is not just an improvement over other Spanish Lavender, it is truly a breeding breakthrough!

Consumers love Lavender and the market continues to grow at double-digit rates. If you’ve struggled growing Lavender in the past, consider many of the new and improved varieties bred to facilitate your success. The technical team at Darwin Perennials is always available to help.

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