Lavender is a well-known aromatic plant with tiny purple flowers. This easy-to-grow plant has long been appreciated for its unique fragrance, myriad of uses in the kitchen, and medicinal properties. However, keeping lavender bushes healthy and looking their best takes a bit of work. Pruning lavender is essential to maintain the plant’s longevity and encourage new growth. If you are wondering when and how to tackle your lavender pruning task, then read on to learn more.
### When to Prune Lavender?
Pruning is an essential part of maintaining the health and beauty of your lavender plant. Pruning times for lavender differ, depending on the species and where you reside.
The majority of lavender species grow best in the spring; therefore, spring is considered their ideal pruning period. The rule of thumb is to prune the year’s growth in late spring, as soon as the initial flush of flowering has concluded.
Summer pruning can aid in preventing woody, leggy plants that struggle to thrive. Pruning back twenty percent of the new growth midway throughout the summer months promotes fuller foliage and a second bloom.
It’s crucial not to prune the plants too late in the fall, as pruning causes new growth which may be susceptible to harm when the temperature dips below zero. As a result, it’s best to put off pruning until the spring if you live in areas prone to winter freezes.
### How to Prune Lavender?
Now that we know when to prune lavender let’s move on to the how. Here are the primary steps to take:
**Step 1: Prepare Tools**
Prepare the pruning tools, including long-handled shears, a pair of sharp scissors, and gloves.
**Step 2: Remove Dead Stems**
Lavender plants appear healthier and neat when damaged, dead, or diseased branches are removed. Identify stems that are brown or withered, and clip them back to the point where they meet healthy growth.
**Step 3: Prune Only the Upper Third**
Prune back the upper third of healthy growth, taking care not to cut into the thick woody growth for newly planted or young bushes will only be pruned a little bit, reducing approximately one-third of the size.
**Step 4: Pay Attention to the Shape**
Lavender shrubs are usually pruned to maintain a small dome, which promotes airflow, allowing light to access the lower leaves. Prune the shrub to make sure the base is wider than the top, ensuring that light can reach the base leaves.
**Step 5: Don’t Overdo It**
Prune conservatively, snipping away only as much as necessary to keep the plant neat and tidy. Lavender grows slowly, and a heavy-handed pruning may take many years to recover.
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In conclusion, pruning lavender plants is necessary for their growth and appearance; however, different types of lavender require different pruning times. Remember to prune frequently to control the plant’s growth, remove dead branches, and shape the plant as you desire, but limit your pruning to one-third or less at a time. Now that you know how to prune lavender, get to work, and enjoy the beauty and fragrance of this exceptional plant.
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Last update 2023-06-03. Price and product availability may change.