Plan to prune your lavender plant once or twice per year. You can see the unpruned lavender behind the recently pruned lavender. From Farmer Rick: “Since the lavender plant is so young, pruning is heavy to shape and control the lavender … New plants need to be pruned in spring when new green growth has appeared. In the first year, pinch off new growth to encourage a more bushy appearance. The right time to prune lavender is after the blooming, at the end of summer. Prune with shears, electric hedge trimmers or even a brush cutter, for general pruning these will get through the foliage. Grab the flower stalks by the handful and slice them off at the base. There will probably be some winter die back, but if you wait until the new growth starts, you will be able to see which stems are dead and can be pruned out. Without it they grow a large, lanky, woody base that can split open — it looks bad and shortens the plant’s lifespan. They do very well outdoors and have long, slender blooms that occur late spring to early summer. The main pruning should be done at the start of spring to really dictate the lavenders shape and appearance. 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. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. After you've trimmed lavender, you can display it in a … The best time to prune lavender is after flowering, but this plant is forgiving. First year pruning is a little different from other years. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. The one thing to look out for here is wet soil. By year 3, your plant should be quite large and blooming with abandon. Here's how to prune lavender so it looks (and smells) great year after year. Don’t try to do the whole plant at once. Remember, lavender has a bushy growth habit, so trim regularly to keep the spaces between plants open. Pruning in late-summer or early-fall encourages good air circulation, which guards against rot. We have planted in middle of May, June, July, August, and September. You can prune at harvesting time and prune to shape in early spring. We find the best time to prune lavender in the Pacific Northwest is fall, well before the first frosts come. Pruning lavender after flowering is ideal, but if you miss the window, don’t fret. Drying and Using Lavender Dry the lavender. Remove any dead branches all the way down to the hedge bottom. You can slot your lavender pruning when it works for you, as long as you complete it by early spring. March through May, early spring is the best time to prune. This also reduces the second and third year harvested yields and stunts overall plant growth. Many questions are asked when to prune lavender. Lavender plants left to their own devices will become woody and flowering will diminish. Typically pruning should take place during the harvesting of lavender bundles. The danger is that if you cut too much, the new baby plant may not recover. If you prune too drastically, they might not regrow. If you have tall stems where the buds have formed and flowered off you should prune these down below the first set of leaves before the bud stem starts. Lavender is not the easiest plant to grow in most areas, but your best bet at success is to get your plants well established early. Pruning should begin early, when lavender plants are still young. Don’t forget to clean up the sides, too. A small sythe or curved harvesting knife is a much better tool for this. Join now. A first-year lavender bush will typically produce only enough flowers to form 1 or 2 bunches, but older plants can give you up to 10 bunches. Pruning lavender. While the plant is in bloom, usually in mid-summer, gather up the flower stalks and once again prune the plant back to 2 - 3 inches above where the soft, green growth begins on the lower part of the plant. Lavender will go 'woody' if not pruned regularly, 2/3rds each year from year 1. The reason for doing this is because lavender is one of those plants that does not respond to pruning of old wood, and hard pruning back to old wood of a more mature specimen (over 3 years) may well kill the bush. Snow will insulate lavender plants only if no ice has accumulated before the snow fall. Prune right after the plant flowers and at the beginning of fall. However you should also perform a light pruning of your lavender plants in the late summer/early fall to prepare you lavender for the coming winter. This will make sure it stays compact and strong. This also reduces the second and third year harvested yields and stunts overall plant growth. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Cut off about 2/3 of the plant’s height or to just above the bottom two sets of leaves on each stem. Pruning lavender every year will enhance blooming. Allowing your plants to flower the first year of planting greatly reduces the size of your lavender plant for over wintering. This last photo is of our new Impress Purple (an intermedia) which is only 1 year old (awww, baby lavender!) How to prune English lavender. Don't be afraid to cut the leaves down to 2 inches above the woody base. If you get a second flush of blooms in the fall, you can go ahead and cut them back. Good pruning is key to keep growing lavender looking tidy and producing robust blossoms. Should I prune now so they will look good next year? (see image) Following a harsh winter season as seen during the winter of 2013-14 (see 2014 Winter Blog) you may want to prune the entire lavender bush down to the bare woody hedge. Start pruning your lavender as soon as you have it, very young. Peaceful Acres has played around with multiple seasons of planting. Your plant should be quite a bit larger this year, with more blooms. Don’t wait too long to prune, though. Light pruning is best after the first harvest, followed by a heavier one during summer or fall. A. Unpruned lavenders tend to become woody and have decreased blooms. Second year pruning should begin after its first flowering. This means that pruning can be done in early- or mid-spring without sacrificing the current years flowering. For a first-year plant, keep your pruning soft and avoid any drastic cuts. In frost free areas, your lavender plants may remain evergreen. Fertilize them lightly the very first year after planting. Pruning once a year is great. Deep pruning I recommend only during the early spring. One year old lavender plant First Year Lavender Pruning. Then all the new growth would go into the foliage, not the flowers, to produce less woody looking shrubs with more growth at the base of the plant. It can seem severe, but pruning off all that top growth strengthens the roots and gives you a bushier, more compact plant. 01:42. They will grow healthier, bloom more profusely and live longer if you do a little annual pruning. If you have a mild, but wet winter, check your lavender plants to make sure the tops are not holding excess water, which can cause the crowns to rot. Pruning: Prune right after the first flowering and again in late August after the last flush has faded. We use gas-powered hedge trimmers to prune the 30,000+ plants in our fields. This method reduces loosing valuable buds and eliminates the need to return for another day of pruning your lavender plants. The important thing to remember about first year plants is not to prune down into the woody part of the stems. Don’t shear straight across. This is important because the parts of the plant that turn to wood will not produce new lavender stalks. Q. That’s why it should be cut back just a bit – few centimeters, just to … When to Prune Lavenders. You should wind up with a rounded mound. Also, remove all flower buds before they can fully develop to encourage the plant to grow larger and stronger. The flowers will continue to open after you harvest them and you will be able to enjoy both their beauty and their fragrance in bouquets or however you plant to make use of them. Pruning your Lavender will prevent your shrub from turning to wood. If you want to keep your plant healthy then you should prune it twice a year, every year. The only downfall we have found is the reduced size, yield and second year growth from a lavender plant planted in the ladder part of the growing season. Don’t be afraid of this tough love. Spring pruning prevents flowering but encourages branching, allowing the new lavender to develop strong roots and a full framework of branches. We have established three methods for pruning lavender plants to achieve the prefect hedge. After the initial harvest sporadic buds will shoot up and form. Just grab what you can hold. This reduces random pruning and lengthy, woody growth. Take lavender cuttings from all your varieties every June and July. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener, 12 Essential Spring Cleaning Tasks for the Garden, Hardy Chrysanthemum (Garden Mum) Plant Profile, Growing Geraniums in Containers—Indoors and Out. Pruning every year is important to maintain appearance, promote blooms, and extend the life of the lavender. My lavender bushes are looking rather ragged. 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