Lavender is one of the most popular and versatile plants out there. It boasts beautiful flowers, a distinctive scent, and can be used for anything from decoration to cooking. If you are looking to grow lavender in your garden or backyard, you should know that it requires some maintenance to thrive. Pruning lavender, for instance, is an essential step in keeping the plant healthy and promoting its growth. But when should you prune lavender? Here’s everything you need to know.
Why prune lavender?
Before we dive into the timing of pruning lavender, let’s quickly go through why it’s necessary. Lavender plants are woody shrubs that grow rapidly and can become leggy without proper pruning. That is, the stems develop bare sections that don’t produce flowers or leaves. Regular trimming keeps the plant bushy and attractive, and ensures optimal air circulation, which can prevent diseases.
When to prune lavender?
Lavender should be pruned in late summer or early fall, once the flowers have faded and most of the blooming is done. Generally, it’s safe to prune anytime between mid-August to early October, depending on your location and climate. The idea is to trim the stems before the winter arrives, but not so early that the plant starts producing new growth and flowers that won’t have time to mature before the cold sets in.
How to prune lavender?
When pruning lavender, the goal is to remove about one-third of the plant’s overall size. That means cutting off the top third of each stem, including the flowers and browned foliage. Use a pair of sharp pruning shears that will make a clean cut and avoid tearing the stems. It’s recommended that you prune lavender in the morning or late afternoon, when the temperatures are cooler and the sunlight not as intense.
What about spring pruning?
Some gardeners also prune lavender in the spring, to shape the plant and remove any dead growth from winter. However, it’s generally not recommended to cut the plant too severely in the spring, as it can delay the blooming and affect the plant’s overall health. Instead, focus on pruning in the fall and then give the plant a light trim in the spring if necessary.
In conclusion, pruning lavender is an essential step in keeping the plant healthy and promoting its growth. The best time to prune is in late summer or early fall when most of the blooming is done, and the plant has enough time to recover before winter sets in. Follow the guidelines mentioned above for optimal results, and you’ll enjoy the beauty and fragrance of your lavender plant for years to come!
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Last update 2023-12-09. Price and product availability may change.