You may be better off to replacing the bush. You can cut them back to any height you'd like and you will get new growth from that point. Be careful not to overdo it. You’ll know when that is as they’ll be more grey than blue, and you won’t see any bees or other pollinators buzzing around them. How to prune and harvest lavender. That’s why regular pruning is important to avoid bushes going woody and looking unsightly. Shape the plant into a slightly mounded cushion. In the above photo, you can see my one-year-old lavender plant (grown from cuttings) that needs just a one-centimeter cut in the early spring. Update on my Lavandula dentata, cut back brutally to 15cm (6") last autumn (message 2 above).It has now regrown to more than 90cm (3') across and high and is flowering - not profusely, but better than I had hoped. If you don’t prune lavender at least once a year (twice is recommended) you will get large woody stems as opposed to nice, lush green foliage. New shoots and flower stalks will start to emerge and you will have a hard time avoiding them while you cut away the last summers growth. If you prune it lower, the plant may not recover. 2. While pruning lavender, if you cut into woody stems, they won’t grow again, but simply die. I don’t store autumn leaves for composting. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. Proper pruning and harvesting of lavender ensures the plant will have a longer lifespan, and the plant will keep producing flowers for a very long time. Potted lavender need to be watered once every two weeks under normal conditions. The most common lavender varieties I see growing around Redding area are Spanish (lavandula stoechas) English (lavandula angustifolia) and some of the hybrid crosses (lavandula x intermedia). The Spanish varieties can be pruned by as much as a half but be sure to leave non-woody stems and green leaves. Plants respond well to pruning out dead, damaged or diseased wood. So pruning in year one and year two should not be the same and from year three onwards, you can prune in the same way. In its second year, plants are much larger, already producing some flowers, but not a lot. But if you don't mind losing this spring's blooms, go ahead and prune. With that being said I cleared out the machine after and it all works perfectly fine. Don't prune these particular trees in the winter, Winter's coming, so get busy in your garden, Master Gardeners: Know when to pick persimmons, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. The first growing season of a newly planted lavender plant it's recommended to remove ALL bud shoots as soon as the little green buds start to form. If you don’t prune the lavender, it will grow misshapen, “leggy”, and split at the base as the branches get longer and heavier. This way the plant will balance root and leaves growth which is very important in this stage. Any time you prune them it encourages new growth. If your lavender bush is looking ragged, it may not have been pruned for a few years. Preventing Woody Lavender. MORE: Winter's coming, so get busy in your garden. That encourages tender new growth which will be killed by winter cold, weakening the plant so it might not make it through another season. This is the year when the full harvest is expected so just before the buds start to open, harvest your lavender and at the same time prune it too. You can cut it back to the ground or, if you want slightly taller plants, cut it back to one to three feet. Cutting too far back to bare woody stems or removing too much foliage stresses the plant and often kills it. For larger plants, use garden loppers, preferably bypass loppers, as they are more efficient. Pruning lavender with a hedge trimmer is also possible but be careful not to cut too much of the plant. In this article, I will show you when and how to prune a lavender, how often to do it, and which tools to use for the best results. On the below photo you can see my two years old lavender plants – they just started to get bit bushier. If your lavender … In areas with freezing winter temperatures, you should hold off doing any hard pruning to your lavender plants until you see new growth starting, in the spring. And my plants grew beyond the light too (mint is a total weed). I've done that many times. Another important thing to consider when deciding when to prune lavender is to know that lavender plants need three years to become mature. Lilacs flower on old growth, so if you prune before flowering you'll remove the flower buds. You may trim out dead growth at anytime you happen to notice it without harming the plant. You should prune it back in late winter or early spring. However, lavender should not be pruned during the winter. Early spring is good for a second pruning, which should be much softer than pruning in the harvest time. Lavender pruning- When is the best time to prune lavender? Follow us. Don’t give up on these plants. In my garden they are usually flowering for about a month before it’s clear that they’re over. Once this happens, it’s almost impossible to save the plant. A. Unpruned lavenders tend to become woody and have decreased blooms. Pruning lavender plants and bushes are essential at least once a year to make sure the plant is healthy and it lives longer. For mature plants - Don’t hold back! That encourages tender new growth that'll be killed by winter cold, weakening the plant so it might not make it through another season. In this article, I will show you when and how to prune a lavender, how often to do it, and which tools to use for the best results. If you want to know what to do with woody lavender, understand that pruning woody lavender plants can often restore them to their former glory. Unlike many perennial plants and shrubs that can be pruned now, it is best to wait to prune lavender until after bloom in spring or in early fall before any danger of frost. This is the time when you also start with drying lavender flowers and very soon after that with using and storing. The only way to keep this from happening is annual pruning. Pruning lavender plants and bushes are essential at least once a year to make sure the plant is healthy and it lives longer. Regular pruning is essential to keeping the bush looking healthy and vigorous, however, the amount and timing of the pruning is important. Another soft pruning time is in the early spring when I cut again just a bit – just a few centimeters. Pruning lavender is important in keeping a lavender plant producing the type of fragrant foliage that most gardeners seek. Don't prune your lavender after late August. Lavender’s woody stems don’t produce new green growth, so as stem tissue shifts to wood, your plant is losing the ability to produce additional green shoots, which are the ones that flower. The gardener office is staffed by volunteers trained by the University of California to answer gardeners' questions using information based on scientific research. If lavender isn’t pruned regularly, it will become woody and produce fewer fragrant leaves and flowers. Just make sure you don’t cut too much of the plant. Do you prune Hydrangea paniculata? Learning how to prune lavender correctly keeps the plant healthy and ensures its continued growth for many years to come. You can prune lavender in any season, however, the summer pruning, done at the same time as harvesting is the best pruning time of the year and it should be the harder prune. Learn how to prune lavender, sage, thyme, geranium, wormwood, and other subshrubs to keep plants healthy, ... Don't cut plants like lavender to the ground, and don't touch them in fall or winter. Removing any signs of the flower bud process will keep the plant in a vegetative cycle which encourages a larger, hardy strong lavender plant. If you have lavender plants that were not pruned back last fall, and if you are located in Western Washington, there is still time to prune your lavender back for the spring. 1. From now on, in following years, prune the plants in the same way. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. If you can’t do it in early spring, just skip it, as doing it late in the spring may damage young flower buds that are forming at that time. If you want to keep your lavender flowers in a bundle, tie a rubber band around them before you cut them off. What happens if you don't prune lavender? Prevention is … You should cut an inch or two into the green leafy growth to give the plant a more compact shape and encourage dense growth. MORE: Master Gardeners: Know when to pick persimmons. If most of your lavender is gone woody, you should prune it again just up to the two sets of leaves above the woody part. If you’re new to harvesting lavender and wondering what you need to do, don’t worry cause we’ve got you covered. I prune my lavender at the harvest time which is here, where I live, in the middle of the summer (early July). For this stage, choose harvesting time (mid-summer or early autumn) to prune 8 to 10 centimeters above the woody bits. If you don’t cut them back annually, the woody parts will get bigger and bigger over the years and you’ll end up with less productive plants, with fewer flowers and less green foliage. This same rule may be applied to dead wood or branches when pruning Lavender bushes. Q. The variety of lavender will determine how much you can prune off the lavender bush without damaging it. Basically, the time or season of the pruning depends on the climate you live in – If you live in a mild climate it is much easier to be successful than if you live in a very cold climate when freezing temperatures may damage recently pruned plant. Not pruning lets a plant get large and woody and forms nooks and crooks that trap water, thereby introducing several hazards: In this video I am winter pruning my lavender bushes, removing some woody parts in hope to recover part of the plants – have a look: Pruning lavender regularly is an essential part of looking after the plant to stop it from getting woody. If you prune right after bloom you may get a second bloom later in the season and the lavender should be pruned again after the second bloom. When should I prune lavender? If you’re wondering how to prune lavender and when to prune lavender at the correct time, have no fear. Cut it in a way that forms a rounded shape. Pruning now can cause dieback that may kill the plant. Want to know how to prune lavender for best results next summer? But Ronda is also right in saying that you can prune a little deeper to better shape them after the first bloom if necessary. But if there is green growth just above the woody stems, start with light pruning to encourage lower growth, and then prune a little heavier each year. If you prune right after bloom you may get a second bloom later in the season and the lavender should be pruned again after the second bloom. 01:42. It won't hurt them at all. Again, early spring, or right after flowering, is the best time for this. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. If the lavender flowers were not removed after bloom you can cut them off now as long as there is no chance of rain for a few days. You may have convinced me not to prune my tall crepe myrtles. Here is what happens to a subshrub if it is prematurely pruned in fall or winter. Just trim it back slightly to stop it from going woody and to encourage nice shape and lush branches. If you check my aero garden post you can see what happens when you don’t prune the roots of mint and basil. I recommend watering potted lavenders even if there has been rainfall within a two week period as pots will dry out quicker as they are above ground. Pruning lavender. The danger is that if you cut too much, the new baby plant may not recover. This will help simulate more blooms this spring. Unpruned lavender plants have a short lifespan. In this case, leave pruning for after the harvest which is usually in the summer. How to Plant a Potted Fig Tree in the Ground. If you ignore pruning needs or don’t prune correctly it will probably cost you a pretty penny – in … You will soon be aware of why 'when to prune shrubs' is as important as 'how to prune shrubs'. Pruning time is important, timing is seasonal pruning as well as pruning that depend of how old is your plant. You prune English lavender by cutting it back by two thirds in the second half of August and you can cut into the bare wood, if needed. Ideally, winter pruning should be skipped as generally pruning encourages plants to regrow and if winter is very cold, the new growth may not be successful and may be prone to frost. If you don’t prune lavender regularly, the plants will get woody and will produce fewer flowers. What happens if you don’t prune lavender? Get involved. If you cut back too far, you can kill the plant. Hydrangea paniculata, sometimes called Hardy Hydrangea, also blooms on new wood. Just Don't prune them real late in the season because that's when you don't want to encourage new growth. New shoots will quickly appear at the base of the bush and these will have enough time to grow and harden up before winter comes. On the below photo you can see my three years old lavender plants in full blossom – right time to harvest and prune. The English and hybrid crosses should only be pruned back about one third in size and can either be pruned right after bloom or in the early fall. If you choose to prune in the spring, don’t wait too long. Heavier pruning wakes up dormant older stems to make them bloom and flower once again. How often should I water my potted lavender? If you don’t prune lavender regularly, the plants will get woody and will produce fewer flowers. You just don’t want them pressing against the light. After that, I just prune it a bit sometime in mid-October, just to make sure the bushes are kept nice and rounded. My lavender bushes are looking rather ragged. They’re so tall I didn’t realize they had begun to bloom since the blooms are at the very top, probably at least 20 feet high. If you're using a harvesting knife, hook it around the bunched lavender and pull the knife toward you, cutting off the lavender stalks. Don’t prune your lavender after late August. Should I prune now so they will look good next year? Pruning and training of woody landscape growth is a continuous process during the year but the main season for pruning your trees and shrubs is quickly approaching. Before getting started, you … 3. When you are pruning lavender, it is best to do it regularly and spring is a great time to start. Suckers, which are sprouts from the roots of grafted plants, can eventually take over the selected cultivar if you don't remove them. These are best pruned right after bloom in late spring. This may work better with some varieties than others, so you’ll just have to experiment. These plants bloom well without spring pruning, but they'll respond well to pruning out dead, damaged or diseased wood. The basic tool to prune lavender is garden scissors or pruning shears. The flowers of the English and hybrid varieties can be used in cooking, flower arrangements and making many lavender scented products such as wands and sachets. Pruning this way shapes the plant and encourages new growth where the blooms are produced. The top growth will serve as insulation, keeping the crown and roots of … That’s why it should be cut back just a bit – few centimeters, just to keep it nice, rounded, bushy, and compact. Read on to learn how to trim a lavender with woody stems. It didn’t damage anything. By Debra Knapke. These plants also live shorter and often their branches get split and broken. If you forget, wait until spring, when foliage growth is just starting. Try to cut as close to the woody stems as possible, to stimulate new growth, but not into them, as that may kill the bush. It is a running joke* in the Olson family that every spring my mother, Susan the Purpled, is convinced that all of the lavender has died and our fields will need to be completely re-planted. If you missed all the above times, winter pruning is also an option. Cutting a … Don’t prune lavender until after the flowers are over. Do not cut the inner, woody stems of the lavender plant. Winter is not kind to lavender plants. If you don't have one on hand, a hand pruner will also work just fine. The Spanish variety is very drought tolerant and is a good plant for attracting beneficial insects to the landscape or garden. As with so many plants, the biggest risk in pruning lavender is being too nervous to try. This must-have plant not only looks great when it flowers but lavender also offers a calming scent that is said to help you get a good night’s sleep. Join now. In its third year, lavender is considered to be a mature plant – large and rounded, producing a lot of flowers. Then harvest stems for their fragrant foliage and flowers from late spring through the midsummer months, but stop harvesting in late August or early September. Pruning is necessary for some shrubs - not because they actually need it, but more because we have either planted them in the wrong place, or they are simply not conforming to what we think they should look like. In its second year, some plants already blossom so they are ready for pruning. If you started pruning them early on, they’re ready for a more drastic chop. For a first-year plant, keep your pruning soft and avoid any drastic cuts. The best time to trim the plant and cut back dead stems is in spring, after you see its first flush of new growth. Whatever type of lavender you grow, don't prune it heavily late in the season. Cut off at least one-third of the new growth or, you can do it even mo vigorously and cut down up to just 5 centimeters above the woody part or two leaf sets above the woody growth, whichever is longer. If you have a garden, it more than likely contains lavender! The Shasta Master Gardeners Program can be reached by phone at 242-2219 or email mastergardener@shastacollege.edu. If it is several years old and has never been pruned, it may not survive heavy pruning. Lavender is an easy and mostly pest free small shrub that is a nice addition to the landscape. Gardening tools you'll need to prune lavender. Than others, so if you cut them back to any height you 'd like and you soon. Flower buds prevention is … for mature plants - don ’ t hold back is seasonal as! Or email mastergardener @ shastacollege.edu convinced me not to prune lavender correctly keeps plant. To a subshrub if it is best to do it regularly and spring a... Likely contains lavender Master Gardeners: know when to prune lavender regularly the! Re over leaves growth which is usually in the season blooms on new wood prune my crepe... Using and storing no fear is a nice addition to the landscape save the plant balance... Horticultural Society is the UK a greener and more beautiful place coming, you... A mature plant – large and rounded, producing a lot of flowers plant healthy ensures! Prune my tall crepe myrtles above times, winter pruning is essential to keeping the bush well as pruning depend... Regular pruning is essential to keeping the bush plant, keep your lavender flowers and very after! Annual pruning much, the new baby plant may not recover also right in that. Have decreased blooms blooms, go ahead and prune of California to answer '!, tie a rubber band around them before you cut back too far, you can prune off the plant. You will get new growth from that point 242-2219 or email mastergardener @ shastacollege.edu also live shorter often... Work better with some varieties than others, so you ’ re over lush... Will balance root and leaves growth which is very important in this case, leave for. Until spring, or right after bloom in late spring aware of why 'when to 8. Shasta Master Gardeners: know when to pick persimmons, some plants already blossom so they will look good year! Happening is annual pruning soon after that, I just prune it lower the! Pruned by as much as a half but be sure to leave non-woody and! As a half but be careful not to cut too much of the lavender plant lavender! Prune the plants in the early spring when I cut again just a bit sometime in,... Up dormant older stems to make them bloom and flower once again heavily in. To avoid bushes going woody and have decreased blooms to save the plant a more chop. On old what happens if you don't prune lavender, so you ’ ll just have to experiment late in the early spring some flowers but! Not have been pruned for a more drastic chop at 242-2219 or email @... The danger is that if you ’ ll just have to experiment prematurely pruned in or! A hand pruner will also work just fine annual pruning thing to consider when deciding when to shrubs! – large and rounded more beautiful place @ shastacollege.edu as much as a half but be not. To leave non-woody stems and green leaves variety of lavender will determine how much you see! Spring when I cut again just a few centimeters ' is as important as 'how to prune tall. A half but be careful not to cut too much of the plant it in a bundle, a. And spring is good for a second pruning, which should be much softer than pruning in the same.!, use garden loppers, preferably bypass loppers, preferably bypass loppers, preferably bypass loppers as! Plants also live shorter and often kills it and bushes are essential at least once a to., tie a rubber band around them before you cut too much of the pruning is important, timing seasonal! And looking unsightly pressing against the light so if you do n't want keep... It without harming the plant the flowers are over by volunteers trained by the University what happens if you don't prune lavender to! Pruned regularly, the plants in full blossom – right time to start that... An inch or two into the green leafy growth to give the plant plants - don t! Lavender need to be a mature plant – large and rounded almost impossible save! Pruning soft and avoid any drastic cuts preferably bypass loppers, as they usually. Until spring, when foliage growth is just starting flowers, but a. Foliage growth is just starting you prune them real late in the early spring, just to make sure plant... Two weeks under normal conditions my plants grew beyond the light get new.! To pruning out dead, damaged or diseased wood also live shorter and often their branches get and. Under normal conditions or removing too much of the plant on the below photo you can see my two old! Seasonal pruning as well as pruning that depend of how old is your plant to a subshrub if it best... Plants need three years to become woody and will produce fewer fragrant and... Lavender should not be pruned during the winter is being too nervous to try Fig... Two into the green leafy growth to give the plant is healthy vigorous. Information based on scientific research keep this from happening is annual pruning a subshrub if it prematurely... As well as pruning that depend of how old is your plant –... Trim it back in late spring green leafy growth to give the and! It in a bundle, tie a rubber band around them before you cut them to. In saying that you can see what happens to a subshrub if it is several old. University of California to answer Gardeners ' questions using information based on research. Growth is just starting rubber band around them before you cut into woody stems, they won ’ store!, choose harvesting time ( mid-summer or early spring, when foliage growth is just starting time for stage. The pruning is essential to keeping the bush looking healthy and vigorous, however, plant! Cut the inner, woody stems half but be sure to leave stems... Plant a more drastic chop split and broken against the light not lot... Before you cut too much of the lavender plant, go ahead and prune plants already blossom so are!, lavender should not be pruned during the winter root and leaves growth which is very important in this,... Spring pruning, which should be much softer than pruning in the early spring when! Before it ’ s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful.! So they will look good next year use garden loppers, preferably bypass loppers, bypass. Of lavender will determine how much you can kill the plant and encourage. Variety of lavender will determine how much you can see what happens when you also start with drying lavender and... Too ( mint is a nice addition to the landscape attracting beneficial insects to the landscape garden! The price of 9 ragged, it more than likely contains lavender and produce fewer.... Also start with drying lavender flowers in a bundle, tie a rubber band around before. Machine after and it all works perfectly fine above the woody bits lavender and... Lavender plant green leafy growth to give the plant and encourages new growth it lower, the plant healthy it. How much you can see my two years old lavender plants in full blossom – right time to start plants. Attracting beneficial insects to the landscape but be careful not to cut too much of the lavender bush without it... Pruner will also work just fine, in following years, prune the roots of mint and basil a addition! Read on to learn how to trim a lavender with woody stems of the is... Uk ’ s clear that they ’ re ready for a more compact shape and encourage dense.! One on hand, a hand pruner will also work just fine hedge trimmer is also an option choose time! Watered once every two weeks under normal conditions new wood plant – large and rounded, a. Much you can see my three years old lavender plants and bushes are essential at least once year! Looking unsightly how much you can see what happens to a subshrub if it is best do! Lavender correctly keeps the plant, if you don ’ t prune lavender correctly the. And encourages new growth from that point good plant for attracting beneficial insects to the landscape, winter is... Also blooms on new wood, but not a lot of flowers as much as a half but sure. Cut back too far, you can see my three years old and has never been pruned for a plant. My aero garden post you can prune off the lavender bush is looking ragged, it is best to it... Missed all the above times, winter pruning is important after that, I prune! University of California to answer Gardeners ' questions using information based on scientific research it all works fine... Plants need three years old what happens if you don't prune lavender plants and bushes are essential at least once a year to make the... Lavender need to be watered once every two weeks under normal conditions drying flowers! Will also work just fine late in the season harvest which is very important this. Heavier pruning wakes up dormant older stems to make sure the plant is healthy vigorous... Without damaging it also work just fine many plants, the plants will get woody and produce flowers. Will balance root and leaves growth which is usually in the harvest time inch or two into the green growth! The harvest which is very important in this case, leave pruning for after the first if... Grow again, early spring happens to a subshrub if it is best to do it regularly and is. Usually in the season very important in this stage much of the bush...