The guide on how to prune lavender plants will give you a deeper understanding of the type of lavender you are growing and its age, as they are essential factors. Lavender pruning keeps it growing for a long time without looking old.
This will ensure a thriving plant with tidy foliage and beautiful flowers yearly. Follow the advice below to help you grow healthy, beautiful plants.
- How to Prune Lavender Plants at Different Stages? Simplified
- How to Prune Established Lavenders?
- How To Prune Different Types of Lavender Plants?
- How to Prune Lavender as a New Gardener?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Prune Lavender Plants at Different Stages? Simplified
To prune the lavender plants in the first year of growth you must gather your tools, give it a light trim and remember to do it in summer so the plant has time to recover. Be very careful. As it is still pretty young and tender you can do damage.
1. Gather the Right Tools
Use a clean, sterilized pair of scissors. You need sterilized equipment to ensure you don’t spread disease between your plants. To be even safer you can sterilize between branches.
2. Give it a light trim
Being the first year, lavender requires a light trim to keep it from becoming “leggy.” You should trim it to keep it in a mounded shape.
3. Prune in Summer
Prune it in late summer after the flowering season. This is to encourage new growth as well as keep it in shape. Remove the flowers and some of the stems but do not hard prune by going near the woody base of the stem; ensure you leave plenty of green on the stems because the plants are still young. Maintain an even dome shape by leaving the middle stems longer and going shorter on the edges.
How to Prune Established Lavenders?
To prune established lavenders you will collect your tools, but give it a heavy trim. Just remember not to go to close to the base. Lavender grows quickly, and starting from the second year, you will need to prune them differently than the young plants.
1. Collect Your Tools
As with younger plants, you should collect all the tools you need before starting. It is also good practice to still sterilize. Using a sickle is advisable at this stage.
2. Give It a Thorough Trim
Give your established lavender a good trim in the summer. Cut off at least a third of the foliage when the plant is flowering.
3. Not Too Close to the Base!
When pruning, maintain a well-rounded shape, and don’t cut too close to the base of the stems. If you do, the plant might struggle to overwinter successfully.
How To Prune Different Types of Lavender Plants?
To prune different types of lavender plants, you must understand the varieties you are growing and trim them according to their kind. Whether English, Hybrid, French, or Spanish, each has its proper season and the right length to trim back.
1. Pruning English Lavender
Lavandula angustifolia is a commonly grown hardy lavender with blooms that appear in early summer. Prune right after the first flowering and in late August after the flush has died.
Cut off at least two-thirds of the plant’s length or just above the bottom two leaves. Be careful not to cut into the woody part, as it will cause damage to the plant. Prune twice a year to keep the plant compact and healthy. You will enjoy its silvery foliage and stems that make a beautiful border.
2. Pruning English Hybrid Lavender
This variety has long flowering stems topped up by slender tapering flower heads with a rounded mound of foliage. Prune in August after the blooming happens. Be extra careful with this variety as it is less hardy and does not cut into the woody part.
Cut back at least half the plant’s length, leaving plenty of green leaves intact. Go for a tidy, rounded mound of foliage that stays in shape all winter.
3. Pruning Spanish Lavender and French Lavender
These tufted lavender flowers much earlier with full, thick flowers from late spring in warmer areas and early summer in colder regions. You will find these varieties bloom right into the fall. Trim them after the first flush of flowers has died off.
Do not cut these lavender varieties back hard, as it can kill them since they are the least hardy of all the lavenders. Be gentle with these varieties as they can easily break or get damaged. Deadhead them for the rest of the season until late summer, when you trim them to a mounded form.
How to Prune Lavender as a New Gardener?
To prune lavender as a new gardener you should just be gentle, prune during winter, use clean and sterilized tools and be careful to not over prune. Remember that lavender is fragile and easily damaged and it’s easy to injure it permanently.
1. Be Gentle With the Plants
Lavender plants are fragile and easily split due to mishandling, rotting, snow, or low temperatures; therefore, be extra gentle and careful when pruning. This shallow-rooted plant will easily break if you handle it too roughly. Prune at the right age to ensure the plant is strong enough to withstand it.
Lavenders in their first year will not hold different stamina than the matured plants. Monitor your plants to know their actual ages and the kind of pruning you should administer.
2. Prune During Winter
Pruning during winter encourages more root growth, enabling the plant to store more energy for the season. Strong roots are essential to keep this plant thriving for many years. You can do hard pruning on mature plants as it is safe and will not injure the plant permanently but allows it to grow back with time.
If your area experiences cold climates, avoid pruning after the early fall to avoid frost damage that could kill your plants.
If you prune in the summer, take some of the best pieces as cuttings for new plants. These will expand your lavender garden without needing to buy new plants. If you prune in the late summer or fall, cut back only one-third of the plant working to give the plant the best shape.
3. Use Clean and Sterilized Tools Always
You should always use a pair of sharp, clean, and sterilized pruning shears. Remember to sterilize the blades after each cut, wiping them with alcohol or bleach.
It will protect your plants from the spread of diseases. Avoid using water only to clean your tools, as it does not disinfect.
4. Don’t Over Prune the Plant
The one reason lavender is pruned is to slow its transformation to turn to wood. This semi-shrub plant matures into a woody plant, but pruning will keep it younger for longer. Cutting off the branches above the new growth is advisable to make the plants fuller.
Never prune into the woody area of the branches below the leaves, as this will cause stagnation or kill the plant. Ensure you leave plenty of green foliage left on the stems each time you prune them to keep the plant beautiful and growing.
Frequently Asked Questions
– What Tool Is Best for Trimming Mature Lavender?
The best tool for trimming mature lavender is a sickle. This single-handed tool is designed to cut using its curved blade and is used for harvesting crops or cutting back plants. It is sharp enough to cut the branches off with one single cut without injuring the plant too much.
– How Many Times Can You Trim Your Lavender?
You can prune your lavender at least twice in a growing season, once in spring as the season starts and in late summer once blooming is done. Do not prune in spring if you are yet to see new growth; this is the sign that the plant is ready for pruning.
Find out how to prune lavender plants in the guide above and make your plants look beautiful and compact all year long. Knowing how to prune these plants will keep them in shape and avoid overgrowing too soon after planting them. Before you grow lavender and start your pruning journey, here are a few things to remember:
- Pruning lavender plants in their proper time to keep them growing back fresh and beautiful every year.
- Avoid cutting into the woody growth as this can damage, stagnate or kill the plant.
- If you don’t prune lavender, it will quickly become leggy and woody and won’t be able to carry its weight.
- Even if you are new to gardening you don’t need to hire the services of a professional to prune your plants, this guide is enough to teach you everything.
These plants can last many years if you take good care of them!
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