Have you seen a variegated lavender plant? Lavandula x allardii ‘Meerlo’ is not your average blue foliage plant with purple blooms – instead, it features pale, muted green leaves with creamy serrated edges to form a head turning contrast.
Though the appearance of the plant might be unusual, it still has that typical sweet scent that works perfectly in potpourris!
How to grow Lavandula x allardii ‘Meerlo’
Flowering time: Early spring to late summer
Location: Containers and sunny borders, rock garden, low hedging
Soil: Well-drained soil
Light: Full sun or part shade
Water: Drought tolerant
Care: Cut back by one third after flowering to keep the plant compact
Size: 90cm height and spread
How was Lavandula x allardii ‘Meerlo’ created?
Louis Meerlo, breeder of Lavandula x allardii ‘Meerlo’, had been interested in plants from a young age, and after finishing his horticultural studies in The Netherlands, immigrated to New Zealand to work in various plant nurseries before launching his own business specialising in perennials and lavenders in 1998.
In 2011, he discovered a single plant in a batch of Lavandula x allardii with a variegated mutation in one of his greenhouses. Asexual reproduction of this new cultivar, ‘Meerlo’, by terminal cuttings was performed, and since that time, under careful observation, the unique characteristics of the new cultivar have been uniform, stable and reproduced true to type in successive generations of asexual reproduction.
The first plants were sold in July 2015, so it took over four years from selecting and breeding the Lavender ‘Meerlo’ to the first sale.
What’s different about this plant?
The real magic is in the foliage, which is highly variegated. The leaves have a grey-green centre with creamy yellow coloured margins. Great for adding leafy interest amongst other greenery or colourful blooms.
Lavender ‘Meerlo’ also has a highly fragrant aroma and is one of the most heat, humidity and drought-tolerant lavenders on the market.
Where can you plant Lavandula x allardii ‘Meerlo’?
This vigorous variety will hold its colour and fragrance, and is less picky about soil conditions than other lavenders. It is a moderate to fast grower and is excellent for adding volume to borders of any size, as well as filling containers to the brim, and creating low hedges for landscaping purposes.
Where can you buy Lavandula x allardii ‘Meerlo’?
This plant is available in the UK from Manor Farm Herbs and Fairweather’s Plant Shop, and Plants By Mail in the US.