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Caring for Lavender Bushes: How to Pruner Lavender

October 4, 2023

A guide to caring for lavender plants

Lavender, with its ethereal purple blooms and intoxicating fragrance, is undoubtedly a favorite in many gardens. But to keep this beloved bush in its prime, regular pruning and care of lavender plants is essential. If you’ve ever been unsure about when or how to cut back your lavender, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of caring for lavender to ensure it remains a vibrant feature in your garden for years to come.

Why Prune Lavender?

Pruning lavender does more than just maintain its shape. It stimulates new growth, ensures robust flowering, and prevents the plant from becoming woody at its base—a common occurrence with older lavender plants.

1. Best Time to Prune

The optimal time to prune lavender is late summer or early fall, after the bloom season. However, it’s essential to ensure you do this well before the first frosts to give your plant ample time to heal before the colder months.

2. Tools You’ll Need

  • Sharp, clean pruning shears.
  • Gloves (lavender can sometimes cause skin irritations to sensitive individuals).
  • A small rake or hand brush.

3. How to Prune Lavender: Step-by-Step

  1. Begin with Deadheading As the flowering season progresses, regularly remove spent flower stalks. This encourages the plant to produce more blooms.
  2. Shape Your Plant: Aim for a rounded mound shape. This ensures good airflow and an attractive appearance.
  3. Cut Above the Wood While you want to trim back your lavender, avoid cutting into the old, woody part of the plant. Always leave some green, as lavender doesn’t always regrow from old wood.
  4. Don’t Go Too Short When pruning, cut approximately one-third to half of the plant’s height, ensuring you leave some green foliage.
  5. Clear the Area Once you’ve pruned your lavender, use your rake or hand brush to clear away cuttings from the base of the plant. This will ensure good air circulation and reduce the risk of mold or pests.

4. Annual Maintenance

For the best results, make pruning lavender an annual gardening task. It not only keeps the plant healthy but also ensures consistent growth and flowering every year.

Lavender care leads to a bounty in Spring

5. Consider the Variety

Different types of lavender have slightly different pruning needs. While English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) benefits from regular pruning, other varieties, like French lavender (Lavandula stoechas), may require more frequent trims. Always take the specific needs of your lavender variety into account.

In Conclusion

Pruning lavender might seem intimidating at first, but with these easy steps, you’ll find it becomes a rewarding routine. Remember, pruning not only ensures a beautiful appearance but also promotes the overall health of your lavender bushes.

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