Lavender is a popular plant known for its distinctive fragrance and beauty. It is usually grown in gardens, pots, and fields, and is used for various purposes such as medicinal, culinary, and cosmetic. Lavender requires maintenance to keep it in good shape, and one of the necessary horticultural practices is trimming. Trimming lavender not only enhances its appearance but also promotes the growth of new stems, flowers, and foliage. Moreover, trimming helps to prevent the plant from becoming woody and unmanageable. This article will discuss when and how to trim lavender to ensure that the plant thrives and remains healthy.
When to trim lavender
Trimming lavender is an essential practice that should be done at the right time to avoid damaging the plant. The suitable time for trimming lavender depends on the type of lavender and the objective of pruning. The following are the three main types of lavender and when you should trim them.
English lavender, also known as true lavender, is the most commonly grown variety. This type of lavender usually flowers in late spring, and the best time to trim it is after flowering during the summer. Trimming English lavender in late summer helps to promote the growth of new stems and foliage; however, avoid trimming the plant too late in the season as it needs time to recover before winter.
French and Spanish lavender
French and Spanish lavender are often grown for their decorative purposes and tend to flower in summer. These types of lavender should be trimmed in late summer after the flowering season is over to encourage new growth.
Hybrid lavender is a cross between English and French/Spanish lavender. The timing and method of trimming depend on the dominant traits of the hybrid. You should trim hybrid lavender when it has finished flowering, usually in mid-summer, to ensure that it remains healthy.
How to trim lavender
Trimming lavender requires a particular technique to avoid damaging the plant, especially the older parts. The following is a step by step guide to trimming lavender.
Tools you will need:
- Pruning shears
Steps to follow:
- Pick a relatively mild and cloudy day to trim your lavender. Avoid trimming the plant in the hot sun as this can damage the plant or cause it to wilt.
- Wear gloves to protect your hands from the sharp leaves of the lavender plant.
- Using pruning shears, cut off the spent flowers just below the base of each flower spike. This process is known as deadheading and encourages the growth of new blooms.
- Next, trim back the plant’s foliage by cutting back no more than a third of each stem. Make the cut just above the point where the leaves grow out of the stem.
- Use a broom to sweep up and dispose of the trimmed foliage to avoid attracting pests to the garden.
In conclusion, trimming brings out the best in lavender plants and helps to promote their healthy growth. The timing and method of trimming depend on the type of lavender and the desired outcome. English lavender should be trimmed in late summer after flowering, while French and Spanish lavender should be trimmed in late summer after their flowering season. Hybrid lavender should be trimmed after flowering, usually in mid-summer. When trimming lavender, use pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant and wear gloves to protect your hands. Follow the above steps, and you will get the best out of your lavender plant.
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Last update 2023-09-22. Price and product availability may change.